Milwaukee County Board Overwhelmingly Passes Bold Local Reform Package
15-3 Vote Dramatically Cuts Board Budget, Staff, Supervisors’ Salaries
(MILWAUKEE) – The Milwaukee County Board approved a dramatic local reform package by a 15-3 vote on Thursday, meaning Board Supervisors’ salaries will be cut by 20 percent, staff will be cut by 50 percent and the Board’s budget will be cut by 50 percent.
Under the reform package, Supervisors’ terms would be also cut from four years to two beginning with the new term in 2016 if the state Legislature approves. The comprehensive package includes other measures such as the requirement of an efficiency audit for all levels of County government and use of a mediator to enforce those efficiencies.
“This is the kind of local reform our constituents have demanded,” said Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic. “We listened to everyone – residents, state legislators and community leaders. This bold reform reflects the tone of local input.
“It’s been said that we would never reform the Board, that we would never cut our salaries, and that we would never cut staff. But we’ve done it. This is indeed a new day on the County Board, and we have shown leadership in approving this reform package.
“While the state is attempting to mandate Board change without local support, without even a hearing in Milwaukee County, we have accomplished meaningful reform by listening to the residents of Milwaukee County. Reform without local buy-in cannot work. This is true local reform.”
Dimitrijevic said the overwhelming support for the reform package was a reflection of the Board’s desire to create locally generated reform.
“We made the hard decisions,” she said. “But with local support this is one of the most dramatic changes to Milwaukee County governance in history.”
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