They liked the idea of breaking up one unit of government and spreading it around among the state, the municipalities and other yet-to-be-created authorities.
The Lubar and Walker suggestions are intriguing. As Walker said in a news release Monday, much of the work of county government overlaps the work of local municipalities and state government. Some services, such as the courts, human services functions or policing the freeways, could be taken over by the state. Other services could be turned over to local governments. They or new regional boards could handle, say, transit and parks.
Walker is also right in pointing out that Milwaukee County is the only county in the state entirely made up of incorporated villages and cities. There are no townships or unincorporated areas where the county necessarily fills a governance gap.
This morning, they take the exact opposite position by agreeing with consolidating smaller parts into a larger one:
Contracting out for police services shouldn't be the only option, though. Other promising avenues could be partnering with other governments on purchasing or services, consolidating or sharing certain services or even merging communities, as has been suggested in the past for the city and village of Pewaukee and the town and city of Brookfield.
These are hard times, but they are also times of opportunity. It is just at such times that smart officials can come up with creative solutions that provide the right services at the right price.
Come on, people, it's one or the other. One simply cannot have it both ways.