State Must Move Forward on County Reform
Freshman County Supervisor Exposes Board’s Real Intentions
Milwaukee –First term Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander released the following statement on the County Board’s attempts at self-inflicted reform:
“Last night some members of the County Board gathered for yet another tap-dance in front of Milwaukee media, where they presented their ideas for local reform—and by that I mean board leadership’s agenda for ducking the state’s much needed interventions.
“I’d love to properly analyze the board’s suggestions. I requested the list from the board in writing a week ago, when I learned that Chairwoman Dimitrijevic had shared details with the Wisconsin Counties Association while bargaining to secure their lobbying support against AB-85. But since my communication with leadership on most topics is outright ignored, I suppose it’s no surprise that I wasn’t invited to this party either.
“Rep. Joe Sanfelippo wrote AB-85 as his answer to the symptoms he witnessed in dysfunctional government structure and inbedded cyclical Milwaukee corruption. Whether it’s perfect or not, he offered a prescription to address the the diagnosis. While board leadership is adamant that it’s a ‘New Day at the county’ and their prescription for local reform is on the horizion, they have failed to address any genuine symptoms other than the headache Sanfelippo seems to be righteously and responsibly creating for them.
“They do not actually believe that there are any problems at the County Board—other than the presence of anyone who dares to speak out against the majority—and are carefully spoonfeeding crafted soundbites to the public as part of their efforts to self-sustain. There were no intentions to ‘reform’ until Sanfelippo became powerful and they have never once come out stating what problems they are trying to resolve with the department other than that pesky thing called ‘voter discontent.’ Their ‘New Day plan’ is not meant to solve a problem with the county, but a problem with the state—intervening. And don’t forget: the County Board can revise and reverse a county plan any time it chooses.
“When I ran for office, I thought I could help rebrand the county board’s image by regaining the community’s trust. If the community that supported me then still wants to see a rebranded county board now, I plead with them to hear my voice: There are things that I know about this board’s scandalous modus oporandi that I simply can not discuss with the public. But the Army didn’t teach me to whimper and hide—I am trying to bring you the good government you sent me here to build.
“The bullies on the board have demonstrated an unnerving willingness to set aside truth and fairness, to take away my voice, and to the certain detriment of the citizens of this county, disgracefully mislead the public and state lawmakers. So I am genuinely skeptical about ‘Hail Mary’ reform packages designed to stall state-based reform.
“There might be a few good ideas in Dimitrijevic’s ‘OUR Milwaukee County’ plan, but the complete package should not be swallowed hook-line-and-sinker as a substitute for state reform—especially on the fast-tracked timeline the board is suddenly embracing, and when we already know that state laws need revision anyway.
“I am calling on our state legislators to move AB-85 and SB-95 forward; those on the Milwaukee County Board with an ounce of common sense to at least lay over this reform plan being rushed before us so it can be properly vetted; and the citizens of Milwaukee County who give a flying hoot about their government to resist apathy: call your county and state representatives to ensure, that like me, your voice is heard.”
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