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Barrett and The Common Council Need To Grow Up

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Barrett and The Common Council Need To Grow Up

CREATED Jul 9, 2013

As if the City of Milwaukee didn't have enough problems.

Despite a full court press on the Governor and the State Legislature, the City of Milwaukee lost its efforts to retain residency rules.  Time will tell whether allowing public employees to live outside Milwaukee will be as devastating to the City as Mayor Barrett and some other elected officials claim.

In the wake of their defeat, the Mayor and the Common Council have directed the City Attorney to challenge the new law in court.  Fine.

It seems to me that any legal challenge will ultimately be a complete loser but the City can certainly sue if it wants.  In Wisconsin nowadays, this is the new normal - lose in the Legislature and hope you can find some sympathetic judge to bail you out.

In addition to bringing suit however, the Common Council (with the blessing of the Mayor) has also directed City officials to ignore the new law on residency!

Wow!  I don't like the aggressive way parking regulations are enforced in the City.  Can I simply decide that I'm not going to abide by them?

I'm not exactly sure how this whole thing will play out.

 I do know that once the new law banning local residency rules goes into effect, some employees will certainly make arrangements to move to the suburbs.  If the City decides to discipline these employees in any fashion, it will be one of the dumbest and most irresponsible decisions the City has ever made (and this is the same City of Milwaukee that wants to build a 2.1 mile streetcar line from the bus depot to the lower East Side).

Talk about buying a lawsuit that you are almost certainly guaranteed to lose.  Absent an injunction barring enforcement of the law, the only people who will benefit from actions against City employees will be the employment attorneys who will undoubtedly sue the daylights out of the City.

The truth is that, for better or worse, the Berlin Wall that the City of Milwaukee has built around itself is about to come crumbling down.

And both Mayor Barrett and the Common Council would be well served to acknowledge the new reality and move on.  In other words, grow up!