Despite showing up at the first two OUR Milwaukee County listening sessions in a semblance of wanting to know what the citizens of Milwaukee County actually want for county government, State Representative Joe Sanfelippo today introduced his bill to mirco-manage Milwaukee County Government from the state house in Madison…he’s decided to attack Milwaukee democracy and take our future out of our hands. Later tonight I will find the link to the actual bill, Assembly Bill 85 and post it here…but for the time being I will post the list of sponsors and the analysis by the LRB below from the pdf that I was provided:
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, in a county with a population of at least 500,000 (presently
only Milwaukee County), county board supervisors are paid an annual salary that
is set by the board. In general, county board supervisors may receive other benefits
such as life and health insurance, and supervisors in counties other than Milwaukee
County are paid a per diem by the county for each day that the supervisor attends
a county board meeting. Current law provides a maximum number of days for which
a supervisor may receive such per diem payments, ranging from 20 to 30 days, based
on the population of the county.
Subject to approval by the electors in a referendum to be held in Milwaukee
County in April 2014, under this bill, county board supervisors in a county with a
population of at least 500,000 may be paid an annual salary that may not exceed the
annual per capita income of Milwaukee County, as determined by the U.S. Bureau
of the Census, beginning with the term that commences in April 2016. Currently, the
county’s per capita annual income is approximately $24,000. Under the bill, a
Milwaukee County supervisor may not receive any additional compensation or
benefits, including health insurance and pension benefits, that are not authorized
or required by law, although the bill authorizes the board to provide the board
chairperson additional compensation, such that his or her salary may be up to 150
percent of the salary paid to a supervisor. The board may also provide the
chairperson of the finance committee additional compensation such that his or her
salary may be up to 125 percent of the salary paid to a supervisor. The board may
increase a supervisor’s salary by the rate of inflation or, subject to approval by the
electors in a referendum, at a rate greater than the rate of inflation. In no case,
however, may the salary of a supervisor, other than the board chairperson and
finance committee chairperson, exceed the annual per capita income of Milwaukee
County, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
Currently, Milwaukee County employees are covered under the Milwaukee
County Employee’s Retirement System (MCERS), a retirement system established
for a county having a population of 500,000 or more. MCERS is not part of the
Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), but is a separate retirement system.
The bill provides that no individual who is receiving an annuity under an
employee retirement system of a county having a population of 500,000 or more and
who is reemployed by the county may continue to receive the annuity if a similarly
situated individual who is receiving an annuity under WRS and who was reemployed
by a participating employer under that system would be required to terminate the
annuity. This provision first applies to individuals who terminate employment on
or after the bill’s effective date.
Under current law, the term of a Milwaukee County supervisor is four years.
Under the bill, beginning with the spring election in 2016, the term of such a
supervisor is two years.
Subject to a number of exceptions, the bill also limits the Milwaukee County
board’s expenditures for expenses related to the county board, such as salaries and
fringe benefits of county board members, costs for staff, and certain items related to
the functioning of the board, to no more than 0.4 percent of the county portion of the
property tax levy. Items not subject to this 0.4 percent limit are costs related to
pension and health care payments for retired county employees, officers, and their
families; salaries for supervisors and the county board chairperson for a term that
begins before April 2016; and certain costs related to duties performed by the
Milwaukee County clerk.
Generally under current law, a county executive has the authority to direct all
administrative and management functions of county government that are not vested
by law in other elected officers. The Milwaukee County executive is further
authorized to appoint and supervise the heads of all departments, unless otherwise
provided by law, and the department heads are generally authorized to supervise the
administration of their departments. Current law also generally authorizes a county
board to exercise any organizational or administrative power that is not given to a
county executive or administrator, or such a person’s subordinate. The bill makes
a number of changes which clarify or increase the authority of the Milwaukee County
executive and limits and clarifies certain authority of the Milwaukee County board.
With regard to the powers of the Milwaukee County executive and board, the
bill does the following:
1. Except for a specific statutory provision which states otherwise, authorizes
the county executive, exclusively, to administer, supervise, and direct all county
departments, including any person who lobbies for, or negotiates on behalf of, the
2. Authorizes the county executive to establish departments and subunits of
the departments, subject to the approval of the board, that the executive believes are
necessary for the efficient administration of the county. This authority is subject to
board approval of the county executive department budget.
3. For a contract with the county to be valid, requires the county executive to
sign all contracts on behalf of the county to the extent that no other county officer or
employee is required to sign them, and the county executive must countersign all
other contracts. Under current law, and under the bill, contracts with the county
must also be countersigned by the comptroller and corporation counsel.
4. The county executive may introduce proposed ordinances and resolutions for
consideration by the board, call a special meeting of the board with the approval of
the county board chairperson, and hire and supervise the number of employees that
he or she believes are necessary to carry out his or her duties, subject to compliance
with hiring policies set by the board.
5. The county board is prohibited from creating a county department or subunit
of a department, and may not exercise day−to−day control of any county department
or subunit of a department. Such control may be exercised only by the county
6. Except for making an inquiry, referring a specific constituent concern, or
using legal services of the corporation counsel, the supervisors may deal with county
departments solely through the county executive, and no supervisor may give
instructions or orders to any subordinate of the county executive, although the board
may require any county employee or officer to attend a board meeting to provide
information and answer questions.
7. Although the board may generally set the salary and compensation level of
county employees, the bill prohibits the board from lowering the salary, terminating,
or eliminating the position of any county employee who works in the office of the
county executive, unless such changes affect all county employees in all county
departments. This prohibition does not apply after the supervisors who are elected
in the spring 2016 election take office.
8. Permits only the county executive to bargain collectively with county
The bill creates a new approval process for contracts to which a populous county
(a county with a population of at least 750,000) is a party. Under the bill, a contract
with a value of between $100,000 and $300,000 is subject to passive review, meaning
that the contract may take effect unless the board’s finance committee votes to reject
the contract within 14 days of the county executive signing or countersigning the
contract. If the finance committee rejects the contract, it may still take effect if the
entire board approves the contract within 30 days of the committee’s rejection. A
contract with a value of more than $300,000 may take effect only if it is approved by
the entire board.
Under current law, a county board may schedule an advisory referendum or a
referendum on the question of ratification of an ordinance or resolution of the county
board. This bill prohibits the Milwaukee County Board from scheduling a
referendum on any matter that is subject to the approval of the electors of a county
under this bill to be held concurrently with the election at which the question of
approval is presented to the electors.
Under current law, the state, regional planning commissions, federally
recognized Indian tribes and bands, and local units of government, including
municipalities, counties, school districts, and other special purpose districts, may
enter into intergovernmental cooperation agreements for the receipt or furnishing
of services or joint exercise of powers. Under another provision of current law, a
county and a city, village, or town (municipality), may enter into a contract to
consolidate municipal services under which the county renders such services to the
contracting municipality, either exclusively by the county or jointly with the
Under this bill, before such a contract, or before an intergovernmental
cooperation agreement, between a county with a population of 750,000 or more
(presently only Milwaukee County) and another local unit of government may take
effect and become binding on such a county, the contract or agreement must be
approved by an executive council. The bill defines executive council as a body that
consists of the mayor or village president of every city and village that is wholly
located within that county and is based on a current law provision that is used to
select four members of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Commission.
This bill repeals an obsolete provision of civil procedure governing judgments
entered before the first Monday in January 1962 in the civil court of Milwaukee or
in any court which ceased to function on that date, or in any court functioning under
ch. 254 of the 1959 Wisconsin Statutes.
This bill also removes certain authority currently possessed by the Milwaukee
County board. Under the bill, the board may no longer do any of the following:
appropriate money for planning or participating in a world festival celebration or any
similar program designed to promote international commerce and culture; own and
operate a professional baseball team, and maintain a nonprofit corporation for such
ownership or operation; require licenses for cats; and let a contract for the
design−build construction of a sheriff ’s department training academy.
Under current law, a county board has general authority to acquire, lease, or
rent real and personal property. Under this bill, in Milwaukee County, such
authority is exercised by the county executive, consistent with established county
board policy, although the sale or lease of property is subject to a simple approval or
rejection by the county board.
Because this bill relates to public employee retirement or pensions, it may be
referred to the Joint Survey Committee on Retirement Systems for a report to be
printed as an appendix to the bill.
For further information see the local fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.