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Thursday, July 14, 2016

MPA LLC Response to City Panel Approves Bus Rapid Transit

City Panel Approves Bus Rapid Transit

BRT line linking Downtown and Tosa moves forward, though some decry “the rush.”
Above is the title of the July 14, 2016  blog by Jeramey Jannene, Urban Milwaukee 


MARY GLASS - Chief Visionary Officer
To unpack the comments of the July 14, 2016, blog by Jeramey Jannene, Urban Milwaukee, entitled “City Panel Approves Bus Rapid Transit”, the following comments reference a “failure to communicate” and “lack of leadership” in BEST PRACTICES in the city of Milwaukee.

The problem of “segregation”, “discrimination”, “conflict of interest”, “denial”, “disenfranchisement of groups” – by gender, by race, by perceived social and economic conditions, by districts, by assumed party affiliation, culture, ages and profiling of the citizenry – in our country, has too often given rise to a gaping hole of “failure to conduct real public policies that will help HEAL as well as HEAL” the public square.

The “swelling” is why we have a huge divide in the 2016 national election and the growing and painful shootings that we have in the marketplace daily.

“Lock-step politics” based on lack of knowledge and tacit assent has the CORE CONSTITUENTS population – largest population in Milwaukee – African American, other People of Color and Work Challenged (re-entry vets, re-entry ex-incarcerated, ex-retirees that can no longer live off a fixed income, the disabled, the homeless and those with graduate degrees but cannot match degree to a degreed position) MIRED in Enduring Concentrated Poverty.

We see shameless “scratch my back on a project and I scratch yours when it is presented”, never mind the validity – merits, never mind public trust and real vetting and most of all, what did the CORE CONSTITUENTS SAY.

I start with PREPAREDNESS. Why did Alderman Mark Borkowski, Chair, feel it was necessary to pass the gavel? Why hadn’t he summoned the many resources that the taxpayers have at his disposal to brief him to a level of comfort in understanding this very important piece of city of Milwaukee agreement. Why was the gavel given to Alderman Bob Bauman? There is an appearance of favoritism, privilege, conflict of interest and lack of preparedness.

Further, according to this article, Bauman stated that he “knew not”. Then, why was this item even voted on by Members of the Public Works Committee (Aldermen Mark Borkowski-District 11, Bob Bauman-District 4, Jim Bohl-District 5, Bob Donovan-District 8, and Nik Novak-District 3)? Why did this gateway committee move this item closer to the FULL common council without credible review?
Why wasn’t there “due diligence” at the Public Works Committee?

The limited and one-sided sell by John Rodgers (point person for Brian Dranzik, Milwaukee County Director of Transportation) and the “hired guns” – led by Lead Consultant Dan Meyers, AECOM and Ashley Booth, HNTB, were “points of extreme privilege” and implies bias.

Instead of Ashley Booth, why wasn’t Caron Kloser, HNTB, before the PW Committee?

She is the Lead Consultant of HNTB that is supposed to provide the East/West BRT SAG/Stakeholders Advisory Group and Community Outreach.

She is also the representative, even though her name was given by John Rodgers as the contact, she “refused” to provide input/outreach to Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC engagements – Lunch & Learn Public Transportation seminars, to share information to the public.

Where was Ashley Booth, HNTB, in June when Caron Kloser refused to participate and said no one else was available?

Then there is Dan Meyer, Lead Consultant – AECOM, who was a surprise. He confirmed as a speaker for engagement of MPA LLC Public Transportation Seminar I with Architect Richard Kauper – Amazing Architect, President James Macon – Amalgamated Transit Union 998 and Senior Researcher Joe Peterangelo – Public Policy Forum, but canceled the day before by conveying he had not confirmed. However, I quickly shared his email of confirmation – that stated if he was not available someone from AECOM would be present.

No one came and Meyers has failed to convey expected behavior courtesy.

MISSING at PW Committee
Where was Citizen Participation – Ridership?
Where was the ATU 998 President? ATU represents those who operate the bus routes and know about the Infrastructure?

Where were city-Wauwatosa-state hired staff that is around the table of the East/West BRT?

City – DPW Jeff Poleske, City Engineer, DCD Sam Leichtling and Executive Director Beth Weirick – BID 21.

Wauwatosa – Mayor Kathy Ehley, Paulette Enders and Jim Archambo.

WisDOT – government representatives Sheri Schmit, Ian Ritz, Andrew Levy, and Brian Bliesner.

Why wasn’t there “due diligence” at the Public Works Committee?

Jannene speaks in this article of the times over and over that Alderman Bauman and Alderman Michael Murphy released statements of doubt, rush to judgment, over-rated; but they voted FOR It. Bauman and Murphy completed the 3-1 vote (Yes vote – Bauman, Murphy and Alderman Nik Kovac).

I saw Alderman Murphy at the April Meetings, he heard the PEOPLE downtown Milwaukee and those at the Zoofari Conference Center. I saw Alderman Bauman at the April 12, 2016 meeting downtown, talking with people, he heard what we said that was not IN FAVOR of this East/West BRT Feasibility Study.

The People voiced the East/West BRT was a waste of time and money, not time sufficient, did not focus ON major ridership – African American, other People of Color and the Work Challenged population that are densely populated North/South and a diverse pool of jobs/employment that match the majority RIDERSHIP in the North/South Corridor – ALREADY in need, not maybe in the future as the East/West BRT Alternative alleges.

Mary Glass, Chief Visionary Officer, Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC said, “It is disingenuous and ‘very dangerous’ Alderman Bob Bauman-District 4 and Alderman Michael Murphy-District 10, to “scream NO fire” in the theater while THEY light the fire”.  And, “Alderman Bob Donovan, District 8, we expect you and all the 15-members of the Common Council to stand tall, speak out and in-person to VOTE AGAINST or VOTE FOR, but vote. Not conspicuously be missing. That is a disingenuous behavior not seen as BEST PRACTICE. It is different if you announce a WALK OUT of protest.

Is The Project Being Rushed?
Absolutely. And, the elected officials/Charter Officers – city, county, regional and state – bear the blame of “DERELICTION OF DUTY”.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and team is playing bogus cards for movement. He is on the wrong side of creating the appropriate first BRT for Milwaukee County and therefore, further injuring the families in Milwaukee and advancing lack of SAFETY in high un- and under-employed neighborhoods of Milwaukee. We must give options of EMPLOYMENT – gainful employment – to the densely populated areas of Milwaukee and Milwaukee county mired in Enduring Concentrated Poverty and Co-Dependent on Public Transportation.

This is a time to forge a strong agenda to beef up and strengthen a Public Transportation Infrastructure in desperate need of real state-of-the-art leadership for Ridership reform that connects outline areas to Milwaukee.

President Barack Obama has signed the legislation and OK’d Small Starts, TIGER, CMAQ and other federal funding to get localities moving in 21st Century Mobility. Stop the dumb stuff.

The fly-by-night, time frame from February, 2016 to August, 2016, with the first Introduction to the public on April, 12 & 14, 2016 just disrespectful – something so special introduced last minute in a “DONE-DEAL” fashion speaks volumes.

The two two-hour presentations at the end of the day that was overwhelmingly THUMBS DOWN by the citizenry. The May 18, 2016 meeting was an Open Meeting that was weighted with the “Inside Gang” – paid consultants, hired staff, fellow cronies, funding partners, lobbyists, Marquette, ACLU, METROGO, SEWRPC and others of the SAG/Stakeholders Advisory Group. There were very, very few People/end-user, taxpayer, ridership in participation on May 18, 2016.

The 29 SAG members and the list given by the County Executive are questionable, especially when some are “protest group”, some if not most do not have a CLUE of what is going on OR why they were asked by Milwaukee County to participate (lock-step democracy); and, some who participated in the recent Class-Action suit.

Brian Dranzik is a Commissioner of SEWRPC/Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

That appears to have some form of Conflict of Interest per MPA LLC point of view in some reporting.

Whereas I see the leadership of Ken Yunker, Executive Director, SEWRPC, as meaningful and MPA LLC continues to participate in the 2050 design, we also feel that the Commissioners need to be MORE open and engaging in the development of the city of Milwaukee and the growth changes of African American, other People of Color and Work Challenged in the southeastern Wisconsin region.
Perhaps Milwaukee County Supervisors will show strength in DUE DILIGENCE HERE.

On August 4, 2016, MPA LLC Public Transportation LUNCH & LEARN w/Stewart McKenzie, Federal Transit Administration, Region 5 and panelists will address questions of citizen participation, funding types – Small Starts, TIGER, CMAQ, East/West BRT – cost, ridership, hot spots, employment projections, North/South BRT Alternative, deceptive data of ridership and employment; and, the REAL response of the citizenry.

Grace Center, 250 E. Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53203, 12 noon – 2 pm, $25.00 person.  

It will also talk about WHY the first BRT/Bus Rapid Transit Alternative should be on the NORTH/SOUTH corridor

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