Milwaukee aldermen send joint letter to Mayor Barrett asking for more transparency

NOW: Milwaukee aldermen send joint letter to Mayor Barrett asking for more transparency

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Several Milwaukee aldermen are calling on Mayor Tom Barrett to be more transparent. 

A letter signed by a number of aldermen including Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton was sent to the Mayor's office Monday. 

It says they've asked for more communication about the lead lateral remediation plan in the city. 

The letter says they've asked for representatives of several departments to attend committee meetings and they're disappointed none of them have shown up. 

Dear Mayor Barrett,
Last fall, the Common Council issued a communication to your office expressing concern and disappointment over your administration’s failure to appear before the Council and its committees when asked. At that time, we were concerned about your absence from important discussions surrounding the safety of City officials and staff in the event of emergency incidents, such as the receipt of a suspicious substance by your office in September. Our understanding was that this would be the last time we would need to address this particular issue. Unfortunately, we find ourselves here again.
Over the last four weeks, the Common Council has made a number of attempts to facilitate communication between your administration and the public to address the City’s lack of responsiveness and transparency over lead lateral remediation plans. The rising concern and calls for your administration to respond by community advocacy groups led the Council to offer a public airing of these grievances at the February 14th, 2019, Steering and Rules Committee meeting. Representatives from the Health Department, the Department of Public Works, and the Water Works were all asked to attend to respond to questions raised by new information presented by the Get the Lead Out Coalition and the Freshwater for Life Action Coalition.
The failure, once again, by your administration to act in the interest of open communication and transparency leaves the Council in the all-too-familiar position of addressing critical matters that affect our City without any communication from its Mayor. The absences of these department heads – all of whom you appoint – was keenly felt and their collective failure to send even a representative was disappointing, especially when the leadership of some of these departments could be clearly seen sitting across from us earlier in the same Committee meeting.
It is our sincere hope that when the public conversation on this matter continues on March 7th, you will honor our request for members of your administration to be present and engage with the community on this serious issue. We must work together if we want to move the City forward.

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