I am writing to respectfully ask you to delay the Capitol holiday tree lighting scheduled for this Friday. In light State of Wisconsin’s current fiscal condition, I want to address several concerns about the tree.
First, the holiday tree was selected in secret (i.e. I wasn’t asked), potentially behind closed doors (or at least doors that close) and someone might have been smoking in the room (hence it could have been smoked-filled). I think the public deserves a much more open process for tree selection. I know the tree is already cut, placed and being decorated, but talk radio in Milwaukee has already made this an issue, thus my hands are tied.
Further, to bind the will of the future governor by pre-selecting ornaments, lights and tinsel is ignoring the will of the voters who spoke loud and clear in the last election - they do not want a lame duck governor and legislature decorating the taxpayer tree. I, along with the newly elected legislature, should make this and all decisions next year regardless of how much sense that directive makes.
While returning the ornaments freely donated and created by Wisconsin school children for our tree might initially seem foolhardy, the future maintenance and storage of these decorations could potentially cost the taxpayers a smidge of a part of a fraction of a percentage of our operating budget. I need the flexibility in the final months of the biennium to see if we can outsource this to the private sector, as I plan to have most state workers on furlough by then.
Finally, there is the matter of the train running around the tree. It must be stopped. It goes nowhere. It does not go there fast enough. Not enough people are riding on it. It is a boondoggle. I ask that you use it to fund roads and to reduce the deficit. Send it to any other community. Just make sure it no longer reaches Madison.
I realize that waiting until I am sworn into office on Jan. 3, 2011 to make these decisions means that we will have a bare space in the rotunda for the holidays and that school children everywhere will be saddened. But these are extraordinary times that demand extraordinary measures…that is to say, my measures.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and for understanding that my sole motivation for sending this letter is to create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin. And in the spirit of the holidays, April Fo….ah Merry Christmas!
Gov.-elect Scott Walker
I found this letter on the printer in 309 East. Yes, it is December 1 not April 1, but since all decisions are being moved up anyway...what the heck! Don't take it too seriously anyone, ok? It's the holidays!