Thoughts on city contracts, budget
We were struck by the words of Scott Wasemiller, president of the Janesville Professional Police Association, in last Saturday’s Gazette:
“When you get reduced shared revenue, and you got a property tax freeze, income is limited,” Wasemiller said. “We understand that. Nobody in our department is looking to burden the city.”
Police and firefighter unions aren’t covered by Wisconsin Act 10, which all but erased collective bargaining for most public employees. That controversial law stands in legal limbo—pending certain appeals—after a Dane County judge struck down nearly all of it Sept. 14.
Still, as negotiations begin, Janesville City Manager Eric Levitt suggests it’s reasonable to ask police and firefighters to contribute to their pensions because employees covered by Act 10 are doing so.
As The Gazette reported Thursday, in previewing Levitt’s budget, that property taxes for the average homeowner can inch up just $2 or $3 because of state-imposed limits that allow increases only in the case of rising assessed value or new construction.
We’ll share our perspectives on Wasemiller’s words and Levitt’s budget in our editorial Sunday.