Resizing the County Board
Supervisor Clarifies Position and Intent
Milwaukee – Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander is known for asking questions, analyzing problems, and seeking the best solutions. While Alexander supports reforming County government, she acknowledges that any reform is no easy task.
At a meeting of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee earlier this month, Alexander attempted to steer a group of Supervisors away from discussing the actual crafting of a redistricting plan, asking instead that they acknowledge the simple need for options at the local level. She believed these options are needed whether or not Assembly Bill 85, which would reduce the power and salary of County Board members, is passed.
“Another tool in the toolbox,” she called the resolution, echoing Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic’s positive sentiments towards asking the state for permission to downsize. Some, however, have called the resolution itself a ‘smoke screen,’ meant to distract residents from AB 85.
“I commend Supervisors Borkowski and Taylor for having the guts to ask for a downsizing, and I do not think that they intend for the resolution to mislead anyone. However, that does not mean that everyone who supports it necessarily has the same intentions. I thought it was very strange that some Supervisors who openly pledged opposition to any downsizing of the board were supportive of the request for permission to downsize,” she said.
“I have also had some who were involved in prior redistricting plans bring to my attention how minorities could be greatly hurt by a downsizing,” Alexander said. As a result, she was glad to co-sponsor an amendment pledging that any downsizing would not reduce the current levels of minority representation in the way districts are composed.
“Every vote comes down to a ‘yes/no decision’ and I could have gone either way on the notion of asking to downsize at this time,” Alexander said. “While I voted ‘yes’ in committee to allow the resolution to progress for a vote of the full County Board, and I voted ‘no’ today on whether or not to send the request to the state right now, the item was approved. This issue is now in the hands of the County Executive and the State of Wisconsin.”
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