Whither MKE County: County Government Displays Its Dysfunction Once Again!

The latest round of dysfunction in Milwaukee County government is the brouhaha started by first term County Supervisor Deanna Alexander. As reported by MJS’ Daniel Bice in a recent No Quarter article, Sup. Alexander accused the other board members of intentionally preventing her from doing her job. Specifically that board leadership was preventing her from sending out emails or adding arcane requirements before her emails could be sent. And that board staff were either being prevented from helping her draft bills to present to the board or were willfully refusing to help her research and draft a bill.

Now I am not sure how exactly emails get sent or bills get written, but I can’t imagine anyone who survived a campaign for county supervisor would be unable or unwilling to write and send her own emails…and if I were in that position I wouldn’t want anyone else having the input anyway. And I thought each supervisor had at least one dedicated staffer (if Sup. Alexander doesn’t have a staff person I can recommend one with previous county experience). So please, Sup Alexander, get your staffer to do this stuff or do it yourself…really…it is after all, for the moment, a full time job.

But after being told that she couldn’t send the emails she wanted or had to append her home address (which seems a little weird), Sup. Alexander finally sent her email from her personal account (that seems like a bad idea and I hope she kept it in case anyone needs to file an open records request…).

And I don’t know why the legislative staff wouldn’t work with Sup. Alexander without the permission of County Board Chair Marina Dimitrijevic’s permission or permission from her chief of staff. It would seem that support staff should be available to any supervisor as needed…unless someone was trying to re-arrange office priorities.

I am surprised that she is apparently so thin skinned that a discussion with County Supervisor John Weishan, she described Sup Weishan as ripping her, when he requested that she delay her forum on county government reform. Yet she had the wherewithal to go ahead and hold her town hall forum anyway. A town hall meeting that I announced here on BB! I am glad that we was able to hold the forum.

In Mr. Bice’s column, Chair Marina Dimitrijevic says that she is sorry that Sup. Alexander feels as she says she feels and that she is willing to work with Sup Alexander as she has in the past. And Chair Dimitrijevic said that she has no control over the emails sent by Sup. Alexander…but there was not denial reported by Mr. Bice on whether the support staff refused to work with the supervisor on her resolution.

And never one to miss an opportunity to take a shot at Chair Dimitrijevic, County Executive Chris Abele weighed in in favor of Sup. Alexander:

“Last April, more than 80% of voters in 12 Milwaukee County municipalities called for significant change of the County Board,” Abele said. “It’s disappointing that instead of taking action, the Chairwoman and some Supervisors continue to fight against real reform and punish those who want to move in that direction.”

Abele said in his statement that he appreciates Alexander’s interest in modifying the board.

“While Supervisor Alexander and I don’t agree on every issue, her willingness to have a dialogue on County Board reform is what the Board should be all about,” Abele said in a press release.

So the dysfunction? These are supposedly adults who all work yards from each other in the County Courthouse, yet I have to read about their inability to work together in a string of columns by Dan Bice in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel? You can’t walk down the hall and work this out or pick up the phone? We should expect more from our elected officials!

If you want to have a beer pow wow, just let me know and you are all welcome at my house…I’ll get the beer and some wine and we can start on the detente! Milwaukee County is under attack and we need to work together!


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