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9/28/17

Is metro Milwaukee prepared for the new knowledge-based economy?

Our latest research finds that the four-county Milwaukee metropolitan area has made strides in increasing educational attainment levels and adding scientists, engineers, and technology workers to the regional talent pool. Yet, with regard to other indicators tied to innovation — including small business formation and venture capital funding — ourRead More
Blog

9/25/17

Building Infrastructure Challenges Highlight City, County Limits

The further the Forum gets into our examination of local government infrastructure challenges, the more we discover vulnerabilities in the different types of infrastructure owned by our largest local governments. In the first two reports of our infrastructure series, we found that Milwaukee County is facing a serious burden inRead More
Blog

9/8/17

Region’s Property Tax Collections See Only Modest Growth

Of all the local government and school district policy issues researched by the Public Policy Forum, perhaps none generates more contradictory conclusions than our annual review of property taxes and values in the region. This year’s report — which we release this morning — offers a good case in point.Read More
Blog

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