Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

Taylor Blames FPC Problems on Mayor

Mayoral opponent accuses Barrett of mismanagement, corruption, cronyism.

By - Dec 5th, 2019 02:48 pm
Lena Taylor speaking at a press conference. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Lena Taylor speaking at a press conference. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

It was a roasting of Mayor Tom Barrett by state senator and mayoral candidate Lena Taylor at a press conference today outside City Hall.

“The Fire and Police Commission is just one example of a department that is in turmoil,” Taylor declared, referencing the second public resignation of a commission staffer since Griselda Aldrete was appointed executive director — and placing all the blame on Barrett.

“This mismanagement under Tom Barrett, this cronyism, has to stop,” said Taylor.

Taylor said the Aldrete’s appointment was rushed. The senator said pushing Aldrete through was similar to Barrett’s efforts to locate Strauss Brands in Century City, a move she said was pushed “rapidly” and without community input. Urban Milwaukee has previously reported that Taylor’s legislative aide, through her radio show, incited opposition to the deal that ultimately killed it.

The speed of Aldrete’s appointment came up during her July confirmation process before the Common Council, but a supermajority of the body voted to confirm her. Aldrete even drew praise from frequent Barrett opponents Robert Donovan and Mark Borkowski.

But that changed this week when investigator Cheryl Patane resigned. Donovan issued a press release in advance of a Thursday afternoon meeting regarding the commission that he wanted a formal investigation into the matter. Taylor backed Donovan’s call during her press conference.

“The turmoil is scary,” said Taylor. She said one thing that would add stability is if Barrett appointed a full complement of nine individuals to the board. A change in state law added two members to the maximum board size. But Taylor said Barrett has failed to take advantage of it.

Currently six members serve on the commission, including a member whose term expired in 2017 (Ann Wilson), while a seventh member had their initial confirmation hearing Thursday morning (Raymond Robakowski).

Taylor said the commission should not be considering a new four-year contract for Milwaukee Police Department Chief Alfonso Morales in its current state. “This Fire and Police Commission cannot be trusted to that make decision,” said the senator. When asked if she was referring to the staff or commissioners, Taylor said both.

“The buck stops with the Mayor,” said Taylor. She called on Barrett to resign. “We have an alternative that is prepared to run the city.”

Taylor also issued a press release with her charges which  included this salvo: “Barrett and his administration have been in office for over 15 years and at present, gun violence, crime, reckless driving are all completely out of control.”

Barrett’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

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More about the 2020 Mayoral Race

Read more about 2020 Mayoral Race here

More about the Fire & Police Commission's Troubles

Read more about Fire & Police Commission's Troubles here

Categories: City Hall, Politics

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