I would like to urge everyone to read the article "Privatizing County Services is Just a Path Toward Lower-Paid Jobs" by Gerry Broderick in Sunday's Journal Sentinel Crossroads section. You can read it online by clicking the following address.
I agree with this editorial. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know I have strong feelings about this issue. I stronly believe in the value of our County Parks and I am saddened by all the talk about privatization.
Ironically, County Executive Scott Walker has offered the suggestion of privatizing County Park golf courses. These golf courses, however, are a source of revenue for the Parks Department. Again, I ask the question, "Why would anyone suggest selling or privatizing parts of the Parks which actually generate income?" That doesn't make sense to me.
I have spoken to many cyncial people who believe that all government is bad and all private corporations are good. These individuals seem to have no objection to handing over their hard-earned money to private corporations but complain endlessly about being forced to pay taxes. I strongly believe, however, that corporations are no better than the government. Corporations exist to make money for their owners or stockholders by providing a product or service. Government provides services to people but forces them to pay for those services by collecting taxes. Many people seem to feel perfectly comfortable paying corporations but resent paying government.
If it were possible for a corporation to turn a profit by owning or managing parks then such a coporation would exist. But the reality is that parks are inherently unprofitable. It is a basic economic principal that things which are deemed to be essential for public welfare or safety, but are unable to be conducted by corporations for profit, are delegated to the government. Police, Fire and Ambulance, Water-treatment plants and road construction are just some examples of things which provide essential services and yet are not profitable enterprises. All of these things are paid for by taxes. You may complain about your property tax bill, but do you really want to live in a community with no Police or Fire departments, no water and no roads?
The County Parks are a legitimate function of government. Yes, they add to our tax burden but they are a small part of that tax burden. The Parks will never be profitable, yet, they are used by so many people in so many ways. I wish people would recognize the value of the Parks and not attempt to turn them into profit centers -- something they can never truly be.
I would like to urge everyone to contact Scott Walker and tell him you do not support the Privatization of County Services and the Privatization of Golf Courses in particular.