MILWAUKEE COUNTY BOARD CHAIRWOMAN DIMITRIJEVIC STATEMENT ON LRB 1340/2:
Milwaukee – Chairwoman Marina Dimitijevic has issued the following response after reviewing the latest version of bill LRB 1340/2.
We have just seen the bill draft for the first time today, and there are clearly new provisions in this version of the bill never before discussed. While I reserve judgment so I can carefully review all its implications, there are a number of items that rise to my attention. I think the most important discussion to have regarding this new draft is what is the purpose of these new changes? Who benefits from them, and what purpose does each of them serve?
Supervisors can all agree that we are not in the business of managing the day to day operation of the departments. However, one of the sole purposes of the legislative branch of government is to serve our constituents and act as a legislative body.
We will continue to move forward with our commitment to have a real local discussion about real countywide reform, and we welcome putting these new provisions to a public discussion.
SUPERVISOR DAVID BOWEN RESPONDS TO LRB-1340/2
State Legislators are Attempting to Tip the Scales of Power in Milwaukee County Government
Milwaukee – Supervisor David Bowen District 10, has issued the following statement in response after reviewing the latest version of bill LRB-1340/2.
“It seems legislators should be focusing on growing our economy, creating jobs and increasing the quality of life in our communities, instead of attempting to tip the scales of power in Milwaukee County Government.
Without having time yet to study this legislation in detail, it appears the proposal is not Government Reform but now a wish list of requests to benefit the executive branch’s power and assume control of the $1.4 billion county budget, assets and services into the future.
At first glance, this proposal attempts to stop the legislative branch’s oversight on critical items such as contracts that could potentially then be skewed to implement reductions in delivering quality services and potentially exclude small and disadvantage businesses as well as personally favored vendors.
Good county governance is important and we should be discussing it. But I am unsure at this time what part of this proposal has anything to do with “good” governance.”
I have received a number of emails concerning State Representatve and former professional part time county supervisor Joe Sanfelippo’s reversal on allowing the county board to reform themselves. He has lined up a number of new co-sponsors including Milwaukee’s State Senator Lena Taylor and State Rep Dale Kooyenga (R – 14th).
Originally I thought Rep Sanfelippo was doling out some cosmic payback for the rest of the board ignoring him. And then he pulled back realizing that it was a childish thing to do for a freshman state representative AND his proposals were just a tad bit unconstitutional. But constitution be damned. So who do you think is really pushing his buttons…and those of Supervisor Deanna Alexander for that matter?
I haven’t had time to digest all of the documents that I have received but certainly will have more to post this weekend.
In the meantime here are a few things from this evenings jsonline:
“I haven’t taken the approach that it’s my way or the highway,” he said in a Jan. 25 interview. He said he was backing off a year holding a referendum on cutting supervisors’ salaries and eliminating their benefits and deeply cutting the board’s budget. Moreover, he said he was open to input and advice from supervisors on what should be included in his board reform bill.
“The bill will leave some room for the County Board to maybe take some action to do some reforms on their own, without us having to codify it in the statutes,” Sanfelippo said then. He said he might change the bill to reflect steps the board might take on its own.
“I’m happy to have them as part of the process,” he added.
That was then.
Friday, Sanfelippo released the version he says he’ll formally introduce Tuesday after he rounds up more co-sponsors. It still puts a huge dent in supervisors’ paychecks and greatly reduces the board’s overall budget, though the steepest cut wouldn’t come for three years.
His bill also shifts a variety of responsibilities away from the board and hands them to the county executive, in the name of improving government efficiency and lowering costs.
Asked whether he’d shifted course on his willingness to incorporate ideas from the board into his bill, Sanfelippo said the board wouldn’t embrace any real change on its own.
He probably didn’t explain his position clearly in the Jan. 25 interview, Sanfelippo said.
“If we don’t take action in Madison, nothing is going to happen,” he said. “I don’t believe the board is going to have any impetus to make the kind of change they need to make on their own,” he said.
Supervisors will have more time to work out how to accommodate the big cut in their budget with his revised time frame, he said.