Local Reform Initiative is Misguided
Board actions turn good policy-making on its head
Milwaukee – County Supervisor Deanna Alexander listened to complaints at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee earlier this week. Alexander asked citizens if Chairwoman Dimitrijevic’s plan for local reform was the ‘best we can do?’ and realized that no one actually liked the plan. She also heard other Supervisors complain that it was the only thing they had a choice to vote on.
At a Madison hearing on Wednesday, one concerned state lawmaker proposed real collaboration between the county and the state. Alexander sprung into action, drafting and proposing a substitute to Dimitrijevic’s “OUR Milwaukee County” plan.
The Milwaukee County Board voted 16-2 against Supervisor Alexander’s proposed reform plan that would have allowed the county and the state to work hand-in-hand to make reasonable, compatible changes to both state statutes and county ordinances.
“Supervisors were in a tizzy because I offered an additional option for them to consider; but the majority ruled, so I guess this is what ‘democracy’ looks like,” she said. “We have been reminded yet again the board has a lock-step majority that frowns on independence and innovation.”
Despite a written legal opinion from county attorneys advising incompatibility with the law, the Dimitrijevic plan passed the board with a vote of 15-3.
“I brought this concern up to my colleagues and I even moved for a recess to allow supporters of the proposal time to properly amend the bill,” Alexander said. “But they voted for it anyway, pledging to make the fixes later, and reminding us all that a majority of the board is more interested in speedy, reckless reform than in using wisdom and care.”
The Milwaukee County Board adjourned at 1:15 p.m today.
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