So Now Barrett Wants A Referendum?


So Now Barrett Wants A Referendum?

CREATED Mar. 25, 2013

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is apparently trying to become living proof of Emerson's old adage that "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds".

On Friday, Barrett urged the public to support a non-binding April 2nd referendum asking whether same day voter registration should be continued.

I'm glad to see that Barrett supports the referendum process. 

My question to the Mayor now would be: how about endorsing a binding referendum on the proposal to build a streetcar line between the bus depot and the lower East Side?  A referendum on this matter is precisely what Alderman Bob Donovan has been urging for months now.  I mean, if a referendum is good enough for same-day voter registration, shouldn't it also be good enough for a decision that could potentially cost voters millions of dollars moving forward?

A referendum would seem to be especially appropriate for a streetcar project that will most directly impact the City of Milwaukee (as opposed to the same-day registration question which involves the entire State).

The difference, of course, is that Barrett believes the voter registration question will pass (at least in the City); while he probably knows that a referendum on Tom's Trolley Folly would go down in flames (creating an even greater political debacle for his Administration).

So, is opposition to a streetcar referendum "foolish inconsistency" or just "foolish"?