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1st QuarterApril 2014
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In This Issue
Andrew Schiesl becomes chair
Report models hypothetical funding models
Milwaukee County water utility
Afterschool providers struggling
Gift from Quad/Graphics
March Viewpoint Luncheon
President's Message
Rob photo

As most of our members and friends are aware, the Forum is a member of the Governmental Research Association (GRA), a national organization comprised of 38 entities from across the country that conduct research on matters pertaining to state and local governments. Our GRA membership is very valuable to the Forum. We use it to compare research quality and topics, share policy data and findings, and get tips on organizational matters ranging from human resources to fundraising to communications.


Read on... 

Now Accepting... 


2014 "Salute to Local Government" Award Nominations


Nominations are being accepted in the following categories: 

1.) Innovation in financial management 

2.) Effective use of technology or data

3.) Intergovernmental cooperation

4.) Public-private cooperation

 and for:

Leader of the Future Award

Norman N. Gill Award


Nomination submission deadline is May 9, 2014. 


New Members

Todd Michalek

Paul Neuberger

Quick Links...

Andrew Schiesl becomes Forum chairman

The Forum's Board of Trustees voted to install Andrew Schiesl as its new chairman at the January 15 annual meeting. Schiesl, who had been Forum secretary for the past three years, replaces Milwaukee businesswoman Susan H. Hatch, who stepped down after a three-year term.


Schiesl is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Gardner Denver, Inc., where he is responsible for the legal, compliance, government affairs, environmental, health and safety, and real estate functions of the company. 


 Read on...

Article 2

Report models hypothetical cultural and entertainment funding options

The Forum released the second installment of its comprehensive research on major arts, cultural, recreational, and entertainment institutions in Milwaukee County on March 14. The report received front page coverage in that day's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (as well as editorial coverage on March 16) and also was featured prominently by the Milwaukee Business Journal, WUWM, and WisconsinEye. Forum staff presented the report at five different venues during the week of March 17 and Forum President Rob Henken participated in a "live chat" on the report on JS Online.


 Read on...

Article 3
Should Milwaukee County continue to run a water utility?

Every day, as thousands of commuters drive south on Highway 45 towards the zoo interchange, it's likely that very few of them notice the newer water tower on the County Grounds proudly advertising the location of the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MRMC). Even fewer know that the water tower, and the entire water system serving the MRMC, is owned and operated by Milwaukee County. 


In a report released in March, the Forum explored whether the county should remain in the water utility business and the issues that would surround the utility's possible transfer to the City of Wauwatosa. 


Article 4
Afterschool providers struggling to meet state's quality ratings standards

The Forum's latest report on early childhood and afterschool care in Milwaukee County - released in late February - reveals that afterschool programs disproportionately struggle to meet staff education standards prescribed by YoungStar, the state's child care quality rating and improvement program. In fact, less than 1% of afterschool providers that have been rated in the county have achieved high-quality 4- or 5-star ratings, while nearly three quarters have received 2-star ratings that indicate lack of proficiency.


Article 5

Gift from Quad/Graphics shores up Forum's research capacity


Throughout its year-long 100th anniversary celebration in 2013, the Forum has recognized those civic and business leaders who are continuing the vision of historic figures like Charles Allis and August Vogel  by ensuring that metro Milwaukee continues to have one of the nation's only nonpartisan public policy think tanks. We have classified our most generous supporters as "Pillars of Public Policy" and have featured them in recent newsletters.


In this edition, we pay tribute to our sixth Pillar of Public Policy - Quad/Graphics. The Sussex-based company has been one of the Forum's most generous corporate supporters for the past several years. In 2013, Quad/Graphics gave the Forum a $150,000 grant in honor of our 100th anniversary that has been placed in a special reserve to help support the Forum's research for years to come.  


Read on...

Article 6
Coverage of government and elections in the age of digital media

A Forum Viewpoint luncheon at the Italian Conference Center on March 26 explored how public policy reporting and elections coverage are changing in the digital age. The luncheon's keynote speaker was Kevin Merida, managing editor of the Washington Post, who discussed how his prominent newspaper was reacting to the advent of hundreds of online media outlets. He was followed by a reaction panel of local journalists:  Charles Benson, news and political reporter at WTMJ-TV; Dave Umhoefer, reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; and Steven Walters, senior producer for Wisconsin Eye. The panel was moderated by Dr. Lori Bergen, Dean of Marquette University's Diederich College of Communication.


The Viewpoint was the first of an annual series that will highlight the Forum's Public Policy Reporting Fellowship. The Fellowship was initiated in 2012 thanks to a generous grant from the Argosy Foundation. With that grant, the Forum has partnered with the Diederich College and the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service to provide an opportunity for journalism students to gain real-life public policy reporting experience while earning their Master's degrees. The work of the first three Public Policy Reporting Fellows - Edgar Mendez, Rick Brown and Scottie Lee Meyers - was featured at the event.


Photos from the Viewpoint luncheon - which was sponsored by the Diederich College, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Mandel Group, and Mueller Communications (on behalf of the Milwaukee Press Club) - can be viewed here, and the WisconsinEye video of the event here.
In the News
Forum in the News 
The Forum was frequently featured in different media outlets in the 1st quarter of 2014. 
On the Streets
Forum on the Streets 
Forum staff were busy disseminating research and sharing their policy insights with government and civic entities in the 1st quarter of 2014. 
Social Media
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Thank you
Thanks for checking out the latest e-Footnotes and please don't hesitate to let us know what you think.  Thanks also for your continued interest and support of the Public Policy Forum.

Pam Matthews
Membership and Operations Manager
Public Policy Forum