Barrett Must Rebuild Fire & Police Board
Powerful Fire & Police Commission needs new director and two new board members.
After the overwhelming rejection of Denise Bartlett, Mayor Tom Barrett now needs to find two nominees to serve on the powerful Fire & Police Commission. He also needs to find a new executive director.
The seven-member commission, one of the most powerful such bodies in the United States, is responsible for hiring and firing police and fire chiefs, oversight of the public safety departments and approving major policies, like the recent change to again allow high-speed chases.
He also needs to replace Ann Wilson, who continues to serve on the commission until a replacement is found. Her term expired in 2017.
Barrett will also need to decide whether to reappoint Dr. Fred Crouther. The pastor’s term is scheduled to expire this year.
Butler, who is out on maternity leave, is now listed as the “first lady” of First Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville, AL on the church’s website. Her husband, Don Darius Butler, was installed as the church’s new pastor in April. He previously led Tabernacle Community Baptist Church in Milwaukee.
All of the appointments will be subject to Common Council confirmation, a process that has become increasingly contentious.
Two of Barrett’s last three appointments have been rejected, William Gielow in 2018 and Bartlett earlier today.
What did the mayor think about Bartlett’s 3-11-1 rejection by the council?
“I’m not entirely surprised. At the same time we want to have individuals step forward, to have community service, to take part in community service. She has a long record of community service,” said Barrett in an interview.
“I think she had an opportunity to have her voice heard. That’s what she wanted to have happen, and that’s what happened.”
But her voice probably hurt her case. Alderman Robert Bauman, who voted against allowing Bartlett to address the council, called her attitude “petulant” after a half hour of listening to her answer questions.
“I felt that she was someone that came from a part of the city that doesn’t have much representation on the board,” said Barrett.
But the administration will need to do more than check the address and service record of the next candidate.
It surfaced during the confirmation process that Bartlett had written a letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2012 backing how police handled Derek Williams, who died while in their custody. Coincidentally, the council voted Wednesday to approve a $2 million settlement to Williams’ family.
“The mayor was unhappy and disturbed,” said Barrett’s spokesperson in an email to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in early May after the letter surfaced.
Bartlett defended her letter before the council on Wednesday morning. Based on the reaction of multiple members of the council, that decision effectively ensured her rejection.
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More about the Fire & Police Commission's Troubles
- Murphy’s Law: Did Chief Morales Target His FPC Boss? - Bruce Murphy - Jan 21st, 2020
- City Hall: Council, Aldrete Again Spar Over FPC - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 16th, 2020
- Op Ed: City Attorney Guts Authority of FPC Board - Paul Mozina - Jan 13th, 2020
- City Hall: Chief Morales Reappointed for Four Years - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 18th, 2019
- The Milwaukee Police Association Calls for Milwaukee Fire & Police Commissioner Steven DeVougas to Resign - Milwaukee Police Association - Dec 17th, 2019
- City Hall: Officer Ray Confirmed Without Debate - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 17th, 2019
- Murphy’s Law: The Mess at Fire & Police Commission - Bruce Murphy - Dec 17th, 2019
- FPC Leader Submitted Inaccurate Resume - Gretchen Schuldt - Dec 16th, 2019
- What Is Going On With the Fire and Police Commission? - Ald. Bob Donovan - Dec 16th, 2019
- ACLU Pushes City On Stop-and-Frisk - Edgar Mendez - Dec 13th, 2019
- City Hall: FPC Fumbles Police Residency Points - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 12th, 2019
- City Hall: Stunned Council Grills FPC Director - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 5th, 2019
- Mayor Tom Barrett released the following statement regarding Fire and Police Commission Director Griselda Aldrete: - Mayor Tom Barrett - Dec 5th, 2019
- City Hall: Taylor Blames FPC Problems on Mayor - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 5th, 2019
- Senator Taylor calls for Barrett to resign over confusion and mismanagement of Fire and Police Commission - State Sen. Lena Taylor - Dec 5th, 2019
- Alderman Donovan: Fire and Police Commission dysfunction demands a thorough investigation - Ald. Bob Donovan - Dec 5th, 2019
- Public Meeting for Board of Fire and Police Commission Appointee - Mayor Tom Barrett - Dec 4th, 2019
- City Hall: Council to Review Fire & Police Commission - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 4th, 2019
- City Hall: Trouble at Fire & Police Commission? - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 2nd, 2019
- City Hall: Barrett Must Rebuild Fire & Police Board - Jeramey Jannene - May 29th, 2019