Whither MKE Cnty: There Ain’t No Checks and Balances in County Government?

There have been a number of blog posts and comments over the past month about ‘checks and balances’ in county government over the past month. In the column denying such considerations is a very elegant blog from our friend Dan Cody. But just because county government lacks the formal constructs of government branches devised to keep the others in check, doesn’t mean the mechanism is missing from the dynamics at our county courthouse.

For once you set up an elected executive who develops a budget, provide an elected board that can adjust and modify that budget, the executive who can veto all or parts of that budget, and a board that can override any and all vetoes…you have set up a checks and balances situation. I don’t care that it is lacking a judiciary…the game is afoot just the same.

And the fight over the form our future county government will take comes down to power…of the executive branch over the rule making (legislative) board. And what would be the purpose of all that on the part of County Executive Abele and his cohort if the board wasn’t ‘checking’ their own personal agendas?


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2 thoughts on “Whither MKE Cnty: There Ain’t No Checks and Balances in County Government?

  1. Whether you agree or not with my disagreement that the Chairs comparison between the board and other more familiar legislative bodies, the fact remains reducing the pay doesn’t take away what you/they would call a “check” on the CE.

    If that were the case the Dane County Exec would be running roughshod over the “powerless” (because they are part time?) Board. Same with Brown Cnty. Or when MKE County Board was truly part time in the 80’s?

    The fact is it wouldn’t. And that’s why the argument against doing this is about everything except the pay.

  2. No, a part time board wouldn’t be any less obstructionist that a full time board…it all depends on who can afford to hold the post…the powers that be may find the board even more nitpicky and micromanagy if they get 9 or 13 or 18 or whatever number of fussy old retired people like I would be. I’d have nothing better to do than be nosy. That’s another post for later

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