Mayor Barrett talks Milwaukee transfer of power, becoming ambassador to Luxembourg

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett addressed his potential departure to become the U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg Tuesday, Sept. 14, but said timing depends on if and when the U.S. Senate confirms him.

Barrett's nomination was officially sent to the Senate Monday, Sept. 13.

"It could be nine months, it could be six months, it could be two months," Barrett said.

Barrett said once nominated, he immediately spoke to Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson, who is slated to take over as interim mayor.

"Keeping the lines of communication open, and trying to work as closely as we can together, is the best thing that we can be doing right now," Barrett said.

Johnson could have to run to keep that position as soon as next spring. Barrett had words for his critics, who now have a chance to replace him.

"Those Monday morning quarterbacks are about to find out that there are lots of blitzes in this game," Barrett said.

Barrett said one of his biggest goals on the way out is finding the right way to start spending nearly $400 million in federal aid to the city.

"Having this federal aid that President Biden and our delegation supported is really helpful," said Barrett. 

Barrett said his successor will certainly have their plate full with challenges.

"Whether it's the pension, whether it's the structural issues the city faces, whether it's public safety issues, those are issues that we're going to have to continue to put a lot of effort into," he said. 

Barrett said one of the biggest keys for the city will be forging a better financial relationship with the state legislature moving forward.

He does not currently plan on selling his house in Milwaukee.

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