I have been a proponent of reforming the Milwaukee County Board since I was a candidate for the Board. I am glad to see that the majority of my colleagues are on the same page with respect to this resolution and its intent. It is important to note that in addition to creating a more efficient county government, this resolution aims to ensure appropriate minority representation on the County Board, reflective of the diversity we see throughout Milwaukee County. Its approval is a step in the right direction and should the State Legislature provide us with the tools to downsize, I hope that other members of the County Board who share my vision will not hesitate to proceed with appropriate steps towards meaningful reform.”A more mature, more intelligent man, Supervisor Michael Mayo, felt otherwise. From his press release (emphasis mine):
Supv. Michael Mayo Sr. today criticized a resolution that passed the County Board by a 9-7 vote asking the state Legislature for permission to downsize, saying it is the wrong approach to County reform and that it would potentially hurt minority representation on the Board.It's fairly obvious that the supervisors who voted for this resolution are hoping that it will be enough to stop AB 85, the Usurpation Bill.
“I will fight hard for minority representation and make sure there is a balance in representation between the City of Milwaukee and the suburbs,” he said. “Downsizing is the wrong approach to reform. The resolution passed today was called a ‘tool’ for downsizing and reforming County governance. But this resolution is not a tool, it’s a mallet.”
Mayo, Chairman of the Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee, said that downsizing the Board would actually mean that supervisors represented more people than members of the Legislature.
He said that even with 18 Board members, each Supervisor represented roughly 52,000. With a reduction of three Supervisors, that number would jump to about 67,000.
“How can you represent your constituents with a lack of resources and no staff?” he asked, referring to a bill before the state Legislature that would cut the salaries and the staff of the County Board. “The Legislature isn’t interested in reform, it’s interested in stripping power from the Board and giving it to the County Executive. That’s not reform, it’s a tremendous shift in power away from the Legislative branch.”
Mayo said that although he strongly opposes downsizing, he will work hard with his colleagues and his constituents to see that any reform such as downsizing will benefit the entire County.
“We might get lemons, but I’ll work to make sweet lemonade,” he said.
If this is indeed their thinking, I think they just made a major blunder.
The only thing that they are interested in concentrating as much power in Abele's hands, just like Scott Walker did when he became governor.
They want this so that Abele can turn Milwaukee County into their own plutocratic playground. He will sell off what they think they can profit on. The rest he will privatize or simply abdicated his duties thereof. He's shown this much in his two budgets and other policy decisions.
If and when AB 85 is passed and if the Board stays at its current 18 seats, Abele would only need to hold sway over five of the ten supervisors on the Finance and Personnel Committee to get whatever he wants passed. It wouldn't even have to go in front of the whole board.
And with the money that Abele and GMC has at their disposal, it would be nothing for them to buy that many seats, much like the Bradley Foundation and Koch Brothers bought the governor's office for Walker.
If the Board gets downsized, it only becomes that much easier for him since he will only need to hold sway over three or four of the seats to get what he wants.
The really ironic part of all this is that if usurpers really wanted to make Milwaukee County Board "just like the other counties in Wisconsin" by cutting their pay to $24,000 and making them part time, they would actually have to almost double the size of the board. The other counties pay their supervisors about a dollar per year for every person they represent. At the present numbers, each supervisor represents 52,000 people, much like a state representative.
Funny thing is, I don't see Joe Sanfelippo, the state representative acting as the sock puppet for the GMC offering to cut his pay to a similar amount. I wonder why that is.
But they aren't about to increase the size of the board to make it just like the other counties, because that's not really their intent.