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6/22/17

Building a Resilient Community

“Resilient” is a word that is most often associated with individuals who have experienced trauma, or with materials (like nylon). But in the small village of Wind Point, it’s a word that is being used to catalyze collaborative action to shape a community. The “Resilient Communities” initiative is a newRead More
Blog

6/9/17

Joining Milwaukee’s largest governments through shared services

Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), the City of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County all confront a common challenge. They are squeezed by both revenue and expenditure constraints — forces like stagnant state aids, limited tax-base growth, health care and pension costs, and growing technology and infrastructure needs. The burden of these fiscalRead More
Blog

5/19/17

A “retrenchment” year for MPS

For more than a century, the Public Policy Forum has prided itself on impartial and objective budget analysis that explains the financial challenges facing local governments and school districts, but that calls them out when they violate fiscal best practices in their attempts to make ends meet. When it comesRead More
Blog

5/10/17

Public health consolidation in Oak Creek and South Milwaukee could improve services without increasing costs

When the Forum is approached by local governments, school districts, and civic leaders to consider possibilities for service sharing and consolidation, we typically warn that such efforts should not be undertaken if the sole objective is to save substantial sums of money. Instead, the primary benefit may lie in theRead More
Blog

5/5/17

As Water and Sewer Costs Grow

While many activities of local government go unnoticed by most citizens, in no area is that more the case than sewer and water services, which are literally out of sight. Thousands of miles of pipes run beneath our streets and under our homes, moving drinking water and wastewater from LakeRead More
Blog

3/27/17

Going the Extra Mile

The rise of smart phones, mobile applications, and new private transportation service providers has ushered in a highly experimental period in which transit systems are testing new ways of providing services. Is it time for similar experimentation in metro Milwaukee? That’s one of the questions we address in a newRead More
Blog

3/9/17

Funding for Youth Development in Milwaukee

Most elected officials and civic leaders agree that investment in programming for Milwaukee’s youth must be a critical component of citywide efforts to combat poverty, reduce violence, and appropriately prepare our future workforce. Yet what is the nature and scope of such investment, and how is it distributed among theRead More
Blog

2/24/17

A Forensic Science Center in Southeast Wisconsin?

The recent convergence of several related endeavors led us to examine the potential benefits and challenges of developing a forensic science center in southeast Wisconsin: The State of Wisconsin is planning to develop a new crime laboratory in the region. Milwaukee County is seeking new facilities for its Medical ExaminerRead More
Blog

2/9/17

Is Career and Technical Education Making the Grade in Metro Milwaukee?

Career and Technical Education, often shortened to CTE, has become a hot topic in education in recent years. Teachers, parents, school leaders, and policymakers have all come to focus on this strategy as a means to better prepare students for a changing economic environment. Proponents say the integration of academicRead More