Boots & Sabers

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1752, 27 Dec 16

Shakeup in Walker Administration

This is telling.

Former Superior mayor David Ross has been named Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday announced that Ross will move to transportation on Jan. 7 from his current job as secretary of the state for the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Mark Gottlieb, outgoing transportation secretary, offered his resignation to Walker taking effect Jan. 6.

It’s a big jump for Ross, 64. The transportation department is one of the largest state agencies, with 3,500 employees and an annual budget of more than $3.5 billion. The department supports state highways, local roads, railroads, public transit systems, airports, harbors and bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The department also serves 50,000 people each day through the Division of Motor Vehicles and includes the Division of State Patrol which enforces laws and aids motorists throughout the state.

“Dave Ross has been an outstanding leader for our administration at the DSPS since 2011,” Walker said in a prepared statement. “Dave has always looked to improve the way government operates, and I am confident he will bring the same innovative, taxpayer-first approach to the DOT.”

Walker has been firm in that he will not support a tax increase for transportation unless it’s offset by a decrease elsewhere. Gottlieb was apparently firmly in Speaker Vos’ court and was actively pushing for a tax increase and more spending. He was fighting against Walker instead of finding ways to achieve Walker’s goals for transportation. And now Gottlieb is gone and being IMMEDIATELY replaced by a loyal Walker conservative.

This is a positive development for those of us who think that the Department of Transportation still spends too much and that a tax increase should be off the table.


1752, 27 December 2016


  1. Brian

    I’m up in the Fox Cities for the holidays and the area has been simply raped by roundabouts. Between Oshkosh and Appleton area there are probably 100 of them. I am so tired of bureaucrats crying poor when at the same time destroying intersections that no one wants changed.

  2. Le Roi du Nord


    Take 41, no roundabouts.  And no, there aren’t 100 of them between Appleton and Oshkosh.

  3. Kevin Scheunemann


    Talk to semi drivers in thay area. They will say same thing.

  4. Brian

    Clearly, I didn’t mean in a straight line between Appleton and Oshkosh.

    Do your research, maybe take a visit. There are four of these monstrosities off of each bridge over 41 in Oshkosh alone. No one asked for these in their communities. Green Bay is getting 24 new ones in like manner due to 41 related construction, as a nice DOT F.U. to the locals.

  5. insagtman

    Gottlieb forgot that his boss is the governor and not the speaker of the assembly. I also question this timing, as the results of a state audit of the d.o.t. are due any day now. It’s only a wild guess, but it’s possible that audit will not speak highly of the current d.o.t. admin.

    Studies are out there showing that WI’s roads are more expensive to build, maintain and manage than our peer states, and that is not acceptable regardless of who’s in charge.



  6. Le Roi du Nord

    Perhaps Gottlieb placed his professional integrity, ethics and the safety of the driving public above politics.

    I wonder how an upholsterer will do in a world of PEs ?  Ross is without doubt the least qualified person ever to run that agency.  I hope he at least knows what he doesn’t know, unlike Stepp at DNR.

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