County Supervisors: Real reform or saving their own skins?


by WDJT Graphics

MILWAUKEE- On Friday, County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and Supervisors announced the launch of “OUR Milwaukee County,” a local government reform initiative.

According to the announcement, the word “OUR” of OUR Milwaukee County stands for “Outreach for Unified Reform.”

The goals are to discuss reform of Milwaukee County government and to create dialogue and listening sessions, inviting everyone whose daily lives are touched by Milwaukee County government.

"Our Milwaukee" plans on doing this by including a series of town hall meetings in all 18 Supervisory districts throughout the months of February and March as well as a nighttime public hearing in March.

Dimitrijevic said Friday that the the areas for discussion include: County Governance, Services Consolidation, Funding Sources and Mental Health.

County Executive Chris Abele said that this plan is more of a distraction and an attempt to save board member's jobs than an actual solution.

Draft legislation has been presented in Madison that would cut Supervisor pay by 75% and county budget by 85%.

Dimitrijevic admitted part of the motivation was sparked because of the talk coming from the state's capitol.

The new group added that a key element of the initiative is the request and receipt of an independent audit of the Department of the County Executive and Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

Abele said that audits have already been done in 2002, 2004,and 2007 and they show that the county board larger than average, has more staff, and has a bigger budget than similar sized cities.

A cost for the latest audit could not be provided.


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