A conversation with Milwaukee County Board candidate Peter Blewett

Image courtesy Blewett for Supervisor
Last week I had the opportunity to talk with Peter Blewett,the current Vice-President of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors and a candidate for Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors in the 5th District.

Blewett, an unapologetic progressive, has the support of a number of Milwaukee progressives, from Democratic State Sen. Chris Larson to current County Supervisors Gerry Broderick, Marina Dimitrijevic, and Jason Haas.

As we started our conversation, I asked Blewett why he made the decision to run for the County Board of Supervisors, and Blewett was quick to note he had no thought of running to replace retiring County Supervisor Lee Holloway, adding that he didn’t feel he would have been the right fit for the seat Holloway was leaving. Blewett went on to add that his decision to run for the County Board of Supervisors came only after current Supervisor Gerry Broderick encouraged him to run for the seat, and that it was Broderick who pointed out that the redrawn 5th district was very different from the 5th district Lee Holloway had represented.

As we continued to discuss how Blewett came to decide to run for the County Board, he cited his personal relationship with Gerry Broderick as another factor in his decision, saying it was “too much of a temptation to join Gerry Broderick on the board to reshape the discussion about government” in Milwaukee County.

Asked to cite the issues he’d look to address if elected to the County Board, Blewett started by lamenting the “intergovernmental bickering” on education that has plagued Milwaukee. Citing his background as a member of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, Blewett said he’d work to foster a more collaborative relationship between the MPS Board, the County Board of Supervisors, and the Milwaukee Common Council.

Moving away from education, Blewett said parks and transit were another issue he’d address as a member of the County Board. Blewett was unambiguous in his support of a dedicated funding source for parks and transit, calling the Legislature’s disregard of a successful countywide referendum on that issue a “travesty.”

Another issue Blewett spent some time discussing was transparency in government. Blewett said he would not support any no-bid contracts as a member of the County Board, noting the process of awarding no-bid contracts can be abused to the detriment of taxpayers. “I’m not interested in making people rich,” Blewett said, adding that if elected to the County Board he’d work to ensure services are provided as efficiently as possible to taxpayers.


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