Austerity is the apparently the "new normal" for Wisconsin communities as 2014 budgets have been finalized.
That message from Dan Thompson, Executive Director of the League of Wisconsin municipalities. The League is an umbrella group for the state's cities and villages.
Thompson says the League each community has different budget situations. But, in general, he says leaders have a similar reaction...
"...."I get this response, almost universally, 'well, not too bad', so I keep expecting to hear horror stories, but I can't say to you that I have actually heard any. I'm sure there are some out there...."
After a lessening of state aids, many governments complained needed services would be cut with the loss of revenue. ..
"...the expectations of many city and village officials has gotten to be so low over the last few years, given one tough budget after another that just 'muddling through' has begun to feel normal...:
Thompson says the public generally likes government services but doesn't necessarily like to pay for them....
"....challenge is many of our citizens are living on such a low income that they have difficulty paying for the services they would like to receive...."
The League has 585 cities and villages in its membership rolls.