Lookback: Legislator calls for elected technical college boards

Almost $1 billion per year goes from your property tax bill to unelected, unaccountable technical college boards. As Senator Darling advocates – we need more elected officials, not fewer!

A government watchdog group report that suggests Milwaukee Area Technical College is heading toward a financial crisis while faculty salary and fringe benefits have escalated is evidence that technical college district board members should be elected, not appointed, state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said Thursday.

Darling announced she will re-introduce legislation during the next legislative session for nonpartisan election of all members of technical college district boards to four-year terms. Darling introduced similar legislation each of the past three sessions, but the bills failed to make it out of committee.

“Taxpayers continue to be frustrated that they have no voice in the fiscal and policy decisions made at the tech college level,” Darling said. “Electing tech college board members won’t in itself solve every problem, but clearly this reform would provide a climate of accountability when it comes to managing these resources.”

Technical colleges levied about $796 million in property taxes this fiscal year. That is the fourth most behind school districts at $4.8 billion, municipalities at $2.6 billion and counties at $2 billion.