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Gone are the days when working for county government meant a satisfying retirement, Eugene Kane writes in his Milwaukee Journal Sentinel column. Budget cuts and weaker unions have made working for Milwaukee and other county governments less rewarding after years of hard work and dedication.

… There was a time when working for the county government meant being much appreciated and duly rewarded during a satisfying career. 

It was also a pretty sweet deal after retirement, too.

It was soul-satisfying work that involved helping provide programs and services to the poor, the sick, the elderly or the homeless, along with all the other needy people who depend on the various county departments.

When your days of service were over, you could look forward to a nice payoff on the back end that included the ability to retire at an age when you could still enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Yes, a pretty sweet deal, indeed.

Of course, we're talking about back in the days when being a public employee of Milwaukee County was considered a badge of honor and not a mark of shame.

These days, due to budget cuts, political rhetoric and weakened collective bargaining for county employees, much of that has changed.

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Read Eugene Kane's entire column at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.