For years, Republicans have asked why government doesn’t run like a business. I’ve always wondered why they always focus on costs rather than customer service. Why, you have to wonder, doesn’t Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican, run Milwaukee like a business?
As a successful business owner I’m left asking myself what would happen if I ran my business like Walker runs his county. If I followed the Walker model, I would take my customers money, and provide substandard services and products to my customers. Rather than focus on the good, I would blame others including my suppliers, my employees and even my customers for poor service.
But rather than focus on the end result — a high level of service, Walker is pursuing a policy of following the party line. The Republican party line includes privatizing everything possible. This sometimes saves money but at other times is costly as private contractors often offer low wages to their employees and get low productivity back. If the county has low levels of productivity from its contractors, the people who will suffer are those in the public who need the services.
Part of running a business also means taking care of your infrastructure before it breaks down and certainly before anyone gets hurt. This is just simple business practices that save money and make for a happier customer. Whether it is tools, buildings or vehicles, any business owner will tell you that it’s easier and makes more sense to pay for the ongoing maintenance rather than bearing the high cost of full replacement. Walker should start to follow this model. To date, he has ignored it as is evident from the fatal accident at a Milwaukee County parking garage recently when concrete fell on a teen.
In the construction industry there are laws and standards that govern safety and safe work practices. A smart business owner will assure that there is adequate staff to assure that a lift by a crane of a heavy object can be done without endangering others and while maintaining safety. In the end, it is both cheaper and more responsible to not put a smaller amount of workers in danger in order to save a few dollars. Walker should follow this model also. Had he, the lady who suffered from mental illness at the County’s Behavioral Health division would not have been raped by a dangerous high-risk mentally ill inpatient man who was unsupervised at the time of the crime.
Running a successful business is difficult. But while it is difficult, it also can be rewarding when you can see the difference that you can make in peoples lives.Share