Alderman Jose Perez Sold Out Our Children’s Education for Streetcar

By Robert Miranda Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

February 12, 2015

Alderman Jose Perez, representative of the 12th Aldermanic District, gave his vote to Mayor Tom Barrett so that the mayor can have his streetcar. 

What did Perez get in return, who knows, but whatever he got in return could never in our lifetime be as valuable as the quality of education our children deserve. 

In voting for the streetcar, Alderman Perez voted to take money away from Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS).   

Wait a minute you say. A recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) Politifact article was released and found that that allegation made by mayoral candidate Alderman Joe Davis Sr. was “mostly false.”  The conclusion of that article was that no money was being taken from MPS.

So just because MJS said it was “mostly false” the game is over? Wrong!

The MJS article was in a word, sophistry. 

The argument that the streetcar was taking money directly away from MPS was a trumped up argument crafted by the supporters of the streetcar.

Money is not being taken from MPS, but it is being deferred from MPS. In fact, it’s being deferred from paying into MPS, not by being taken directly from the MPS budget as the MJS article tried to make us believe.  

What the MJS Politifact article failed to do was to question whether or not Incremental Tax Districts (TIDs) would compromise funding for education. 

In fact, if Alderman Perez would have done his job, Perez would’ve found out that MPS funding is not jeopardized by TIDs newly created, like the streetcar TID #82, MPS funds are taken away when TIDs become “donor” TIDs, such as TID #56, a TID that was not terminated after it paid off all its debts.  

TID #56 was amended by the Common Council to be a “donor” TID to TID #82. After being amended to be a “donor” TID to the streetcar project, TID #56 funds became tied up supporting the streetcar for up to 10 years, instead of paying into MPS and other taxing entities. 

So you see, funds to support the streetcar are funds that would be going to MPS. But it was done in a sneaky, but yet legal way. 

So instead of standing up for our children’s education, Alderman Jose Perez voted to give the mayor what he wanted, a multi-million dollar boondoggle choo-choo train that does not benefit the south side and defers money away from MPS.

Smart play Alderman Perez. Problem is, it was a smart play to help his political career, but a bad play for the community and our children’s education. 

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on February 12, 2015

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