Why does Milwaukee County need an 18-member Board of Supervisors?

Why does Milwaukee County need an 18-member Board of Supervisors?

While it might constitute heresy for a liberal such as myself to suggest it, I actually think Milwaukee County’s Board of Supervisors could use some trimming down to a more reasonable number of supervisors (and no, cutting the size of the board by one seat to get rid of a conservative doesn’t really count).

When I wrote in May 2011 about the Marina Dimitrijevic-led plan to reduce the size of Milwaukee County’s board by one seat, I noted I didn’t necessarily favor a plan to reduce the size of the board by four seats, as was suggested by Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo. However, over a year and a half later I’ve come to the conclusion that shrinking the size of the Milwaukee County Board by four seats just might not be enough of a cut. Given Milwaukee County’s population of just over 952,000 residents and the current size of the board, each supervisor in Milwaukee County represents just over 52,000 residents.

In stark contrast, the 5 county supervisors in Los Angeles County (California) serve a total population of 9.8 million people, leaving each supervisor in that county responsible for representing just under two million residents.

In Cook County Illinois, 17 supervisors represent just over 5.2 million residents of that county, with each supervisory district representing approximately 300,000 residents.

And last (but certainly not least) is King County, Washington, which has 9 elected council members representing just over 1.9 million residents, with each council member representing 211,000 residents.

While I certainly understand that Milwaukee County, Los Angeles County, Cook County, and King County are all unique – as are the constituencies contained within those counties – I still cannot help but wonder why Milwaukee County needs an 18-member Board of Supervisors when other counties have been able to function and provide services to far more residents served by fewer elected officials. What work is done by our 18 County Supervisors that couldn’t be done by 11 supervisors…or 13 supervisors….or 9 supervisors?

Is the job of being a County Supervisor that much more difficult and time consuming in Milwaukee County than it is in Los Angeles, Cook or King Counties, thus explaining the need to have more supervisors in Milwaukee County, with each representing fewer citizens?

I don’t think it is, and voters in 12 of Milwaukee County’s 19 municipalities agree with me.

Residents in a dozen states start petitions to secede from United States

This is crazy, but not surprising…

Residents in more than a dozen states across the country have filed secession petitions to the Obama administration’s “We the People” program, which is featured on the White House website.

A petition filed by Jesse W. (no last name provided) on behalf of Arkansas reads:

As the founding fathers of the United States of America made clear in the Declaration of Independence in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”

While the fact that some Americans actually think secession is a good idea due to the reelection of President Barack Obama is not surprising to me, what is surprising is that more folks haven’t made noise about seceding from the United States or moving to another country, especially given how popular the second option is among folks from both sides of the political spectrum following presidential elections.

Wisconsin Tea Party Beats Dead Horse With Wrong Stick?

Even John Boehner says ” Obamacare is the law of the land.”  Enough about Obamacare. Or not.

A collection of Wisconsin Tea Party groups issued a press release this morning calling on Governor Walker  to refuse to create the state health insurance exchange required under the Affordable Care Act citing general opposition to the law, but also noting that if the Governor lets the feds create the exchange Wisconsin businesses will somehow be exempt from the $2,000 per employee penalty that will be assessed for failing to provide her/him with health insurance. Huh?

All that’s required of Governors nationwide to sidestep the penalty to their respective business communites is to let the feds create the exchange? Huh?

I called the Wisconsin chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business in Madison, one of a number of business and medical groups in Wisconsin that  have supported a state created exchange, and an employee there told me that this was news to her. She said they’d look into it and get back to me.

I also called Citizen Action of Wisconsin, and a fellow there told me that it was his understanding that the content of the Tea Party press release was inaccurate. Assuming he was correct, I asked him how people could come to believe such crazy bullshit, much less put it in a press release. He said he didn’t know.

I would have called someone from the Tea Party collective that put out the press release but there was no name or telephone number attached to it.

So, Wisconsin Tea Partiers, I’ll put it to you here at Blogging Blue and invite you to reply. Why isn’t there a name and telephone number on your press release? Where do you get your information about the Affordable Care Act? Is it possible you’re beating a dead horse with the wrong stick?




Allen West will not go quietly into that good night….

Despite having clearly lost his bid to be reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives, tea party Republican Allen West just doesn’t want to honor the democratic process.

Firebrand Republican Rep. Allen West was defeated by Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, according to the state’s vote count Saturday, but the incumbent won’t concede.

The state issued complete but unofficial results showing Murphy with a lead of 2,442 votes, or 50.4 percent. That’s beyond the half-percent margin needed to trigger an automatic recount. A handful of overseas and military ballots remain outstanding, but under state law the decision for a recount is based on Saturday’s count.

Rep. West has refused to concede the election based on his allegations of misconduct on the part of elections officials and fraud on the part of voters, without providing a shred of evidence to back up his claims.

To be honest, I’m not a bit surprised that Allen West is refusing to concede his election, because he doesn’t strike me as the type who’d be anything but a sore loser.

Milwaukee County Board makes end-around to fire County Economic Development Director

This just sums up why the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is dysfunctional…

The public should clear its throat to politely remind Milwaukee County’s supervisors that everyone can see them finagling to fire Brian Taffora.

It’s the kind of petty political back stabbing that usually takes place behind closed doors or in dark corners of quiet bars. Politicians huddle together, plot ways to damage their enemies and then subtly slide in the knife without leaving fingerprints.

Such cunning, apparently, is beyond the 14 Milwaukee County supervisors who voted to change the title of Taffora’s position from “economic development director” to “director of county economic development.”

When those supervisors approved the job title change during a budget meeting Monday, not one of them justified the action by explaining how it would improve the operations of county government or make it more responsive to taxpayers.

They’re just angry because Taffora, after a year and a half on the job, still doesn’t reside in Milwaukee County. They’re angry because Kerry Mitchell, the county’s director of human resources, granted Taffora a waiver from the county’s residency requirement.

In voting to change the position title for the job currently held by Brian Taffora, the County Board is creating a “new” position that would force County Executive Chris Abele to nominate Taffora for the “new” position, leaving the County Board in the position to decide not to confirm Taffora’s nomination. Even if he were re-confirmed, Taffora would then lose a waiver of Milwaukee County’s residency requirement – a waiver he was granted by the county’s director of human resources in keeping with the county’s residency policies.

So much for the Marina Dimitrijevic era of the Milwaukee County Board being vastly different from the Lee Holloway era…