It doesn’t surprise too many people in Milwaukee that this last combination of snow and cold and snow and snow has caused interruptions to the business of running the City of Milwaukee and environs. And that city and county and other local municipal road crews have been working overtime to keep the streets clear of snow. It happens at least once and often more than once each winter season.
But this year something is different. Alderman Tony Zielinski of Milwaukee’s 14th Aldermanic District is running for mayor of Milwaukee in 2020. So given the complaints about city services connected to the recent snow storms, he sent this out today on his official city stationary and from the official city email account:
The Alderman who is obviously part of city government is calling out the mayor and the department of public works for failing to do their jobs. A government he is responsible for…not responsible to. If he weren’t running for mayor this would never have been published. If he were concerned as an alderman this would have been taken up with the DPW directly. If he was concerned as alderman he would bring up budgeting for additional manpower and replacement equipment in the city council.
And it is known that the alderman is openly hostile to the street car and has stated that he won’t allow it to be expanded through the 14th district (despite the fact that it makes logical sense to run a spur from downtown to the airport which would run through the 14th). So the overall content here…attacking the incumbent mayor (who is expected to run for re-election) and his administration and the street car (one of the mayor’s priority initiatives) in this email smacks of concern as a mayoral candidate.
Calling the mayor to task and blaming the street car for budgetary restrictions are fine…for a mayoral candidate. But I find that there are serious ethical questions here. Alderman Zielinski used his city email account, his city letterhead, and his city title to castigate the city. Totally out of line…if this is how he feels…and this is how he wants to communicate this…it should have come from his campaign account with the indicia authorized and paid for by Citizens for T. Anthony Zielinski. Not with my tax dollars!