Whitewater’s not the last place on earth where government should avoid unfunded mandates, but the last place is probably Rwanda, so that’s not much consolation for policymakers (and is no consolation for residents).
This is a full-time municipal administration of publicly-paid employees that shows almost no understanding of market conditions and burdens.
Each step like this reveals that full-time, publicly-paid managers don’t understand the relative disadvantage that costs impose on Whitewater. It’s always easier to explain away obligations that public employees don’t pay, or that their thin majority on Council doesn’t pay.
The administration’s majority on Common Council can push expensive regulations onto the community, and the DU can dutifully write what a few insiders want it to write, but there’s a limit to their current posture.
Nothing human stays the same: organizations and communities either wax or wane. Each day of imposing new unfunded obligations, or insisting on new regulations, or proposing waste-importation schemes resting on exaggerations, lies, and evasions brings this city farther along the road to a near-permanent, comparative disadvantage.
But the city manager already has his job, and these costs aren’t coming out of his pocket, so why worry?