Support my Pi Day Fundraiser at Hawthorne Coffee Roasters!

Please join me on the fourteenth day of March 14 — Pi Day! — for a fun fundraiser at Hawthorne Coffee Roasters, 4177 S. Howell Avenue, Milwaukee. In addition to supporting my campaign for re-election, we will be celebrating π, that wonderful number at the heart of every circle.

Plus, there will be pie, delicious homemade pies from many of our friends and supporters. Iron Grate BBQ and Hawthorne Coffee Roasters will have their delicious food and coffee available purchase.

If you contribute to my campaign at or above the Euclid level of $157.08 (roughly fifty times π), my wife Stacie will make you a custom pie with any ingredients that are available here in Wisconsin.

Please contribute through this link, and I will see you on March 14!

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eRecycling Drive Benefiting People with Disabilities on Aug. 23 2014

From the good people at IndependenceFirst, via the Milwaukee County Office for Persons with Disabilities, comes word of this electronic recycling event. It’s happening Saturday, August 23 from 10am to 2pm.

 

eRecycling Drive Benefiting People with Disabilities

Event location: Pettit National Ice Center
500 S. 84th Street
Milwaukee
Event date and time: August 23 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Computer Donation Drive

FREE ELECTRONIC COLLECTION DRIVE BEING HELD SATURDAY, AUGUST 23
FROM 10 A.M. TO 2 P.M. AT THE PETTIT NATIONAL ICE CENTER IN MILWAUKEE

IndependenceFirst encourages consumers and businesses to recycle their old electronic devices through the “Stuff the Truck for Independence Drive.”

The drive will be held on Saturday, August 23, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pettit National Ice Center located at 500 S. 84th Street in Milwaukee (rain or shine).  It’s an easy drive-up and drop-off process.  No need to leave your vehicle!

Any electronics with a plug or battery will be accepted in working or non-working condition.  Bring your computers, laptops, cell phones, tablets, appliances and TVs, computer accessories like mice and keyboards or household appliances, small electronics, fans and more. Because of increased disposal cost, there will be a charge of $10 for TV recycling for TVs of all tube sizes and wooden cabinet TVs. Flat panel TVs (LED, Plasma, LCD ) and Rear projection will be accepted for free as well as any other electronics. CRT computer monitors are also still free. The data destruction process for all donated laptops and computers will follow strict identity theft prevention standards.

Recycling old computer equipment will benefit IndependenceFirst, providing opportunities for people with disabilities to obtain a computer they otherwise could not afford, develop crucial job pre-skills, gain information, seek jobs or housing, and get peer support.

For more information, call (414) 291-7520 V/Relay.

Supervisor Haas Celebrates Construction Project; “East Layton Washboard” Now a Smooth Ride

See the press release right here!

This is perhaps the biggest thing I have ever done for the public’s benefit. This road is on the north side of General Mitchell International Airport,  and traveled by over 70,000 people each month. It’s one of the gateways to Milwaukee. And you no longer have to worry about having your car’s suspension (or your own tooth) knocked out when you drive on it.

I am working with the Milwaukee County DOT (MCDOT), WisDOT,  and Gateway to Milwaukee on making it even better. Stay tuned!

Announcing my 2014 County Budget Town Hall

So here’s the official announcement of my budget town hall for my constituents to tell me what’s on their minds.

SUPERVISOR HAAS TO HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING OCTOBER 30th
Neighbors Invited to Share Input on Milwaukee County’s 2014 Budget

Milwaukee County Supervisor Jason Haas will hold a town hall meeting on October 30 at the Humboldt Park Pavilion. District 14 residents are encouraged to attend and express their views on the County’s 2014 Budget, including the proposed pool closures and the MCTS bus contract award. 

The meeting will be held on:

Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 p.m.
Humboldt Park Pavilion
3000 South Howell Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53207

 

Bird’s eye view of the recommended 2014 Milwaukee County budget process

The Milwaukee County Board is analyzing and modifying the Milwaukee County Executive’s Proposed 2014 Budget. Milwaukee County’s budget is approximately $1.3 Billion. This may seem like a large amount, and it is. From this sum, Milwaukee County pays for services ranging from Sheriff’s department, to the Courts system to the Gold Medal Award Winning County Parks System.

In recent years, Milwaukee County has faced great challenges in providing services while maintaining low taxes. This is due in part to the ongoing constriction of shared revenue from the state of Wisconsin as well as rising healthcare costs for our employees. Shared revenue is operational funding given to Milwaukee County from the State of Wisconsin. Counties are an extension of State Government, and therefore eligible for this funding.

These constrictions present a quandary. How do we determine which services are most important? Where do we make our cuts? How much can we ask our employees to contribute? The past several county boards have needed to make hard decision on how much should be cut, which have manifested themselves in reductions of service and reducing the benefits we afford our employees by forcing them to contribute ever-increasing amount to their own health insurance and pensions.

While the level of cuts has lessened to more popular services such as the Parks Dept. these budgets have included large cuts to the sheriff’s office and mental health services, as well as dramatic increases to employee cost contributions.

Our budgetary process begins with department heads submitting their requested budgets to both the County Board and the County Executive. The County Executive’s office prepares a recommended budget and submits it to the County Board for consideration. It is important to bear in mind that while each department submits its own budget request, the executive’s office is then free to make changes to it. It is reviewed by the Board’s analysts for a week, and a summary is prepared for Supervisors. After this, the Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee begins its budget hearings. In the first phase, the Committee reviews the County’s Operational Budget. In this section Departmental budgets are heard first, with each county department director speaking to the Finance Committee about their department’s needs. After hearing from the Department heads, the Committee reviews the Capital Improvements Budget, which allocates money for improvements to County facilities. Last, after hearing the presentations from departments and reviewing the capital improvements, the committee considers amendments that Supervisors nominate to make changes to the budget.

The number of questions committee members ask of department heads seems directly proportional to the department’s complexity. For simpler departments, the questions may be short and simple. For example, the Finance Committee, which I am the Vice Chair of, didn’t have many for the UW-Extension, whereas the Health & Human Services hearing felt like an all-day affair due to its complexity. Another example of the complexities related to the budget process was in this year’s Parks Department budget: it came out under my questioning that the department had not requested the closures of Noyes and Pulaski indoor swimming pools.

I don’t yet know which route we’ll take in making changes to this year’s budget, but  I look forward to hearing from the residents of my district on what they feel are need to be preserved the most.

The “reform” of Milwaukee County Government: Massive power transfer to county executive

We have received the text and attachments of the Milwaukee County government “reform” bill that is now circulating in the state legislature. Please read through these documents carefully.  The bill would have a binding referendum in April 2014. While most people would be happy to cut elected official’s pay and benefits, there are a lot of things that you would not vote on, but would take effect with bill’s signing.

What I would like to point out to you is the total transfer of power that this bill would perform. The County Board would be strippe of virtually all powers to interact with county departments, be they Transit, Parks, the Airport, Highways, Dept. of Aging, Human Resources, etc. Every request for contact would have to be approved through the county executive’s office. Every single one. So if you wanted a change to Humboldt Park, while right now you would call my office, under this, I’d have to grovel before Abele. If you have a problem with a bus stop, I couldn’t touch it. I’d have to grovel before Abele. You would lose your voice in the county government. It would all be run by the unaccountable executive.This is akin to the president of the United States getting a bill that would remove Congress’s oversight and checking of executive power. The president would have unchecked power to control the government. Think back to grade school, when we learned about the three branches of government, each helping check the other’s grasp on power. This would tip the County government way, way, way to the executive’s favor. Your would lose your way to be heard on these matters that directly affect you.

Collective bargaining is another thing that would be granted exclusively to the executive under this bill. While Act 10 has stripped most public employees of the right to collective bargaining, fire dept. and sheriff’s deputies still have bargaining rights. Currently, it’s done through the nine-member Finance Committee. Under this, it would all be at the behest of the county executive. If Act 10 was overturned, this would still be in effect, so all 4,000-some employees would be under his thumb.
You could lose your voice in county government through this bill. There would be no accountability for the executive, save for at election each four years. This is a transfer of power away from a body of 18 supervisors onto one executive. It’s a threat to the democratic principles that made this state great so long ago, but have since been thrown to the wolves.I ran for office to do something for the people who elected me. This bill would take that power away.

Jason Haas

Milwaukee County Supervisor, District 14
(Proudly representing the Airport, Bay View, Copernicus, Holler, Humboldt, KK River Parkway, Morgan, Saveland, Tippecanoe, and Wilson Park neighborhoods.)