In his first guest blog on my site former Milwaukee County Supervisor Steve Taylor wrote about his successor, Patti Logsdon, and the fumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’ time she had during an organizational meeting that should have been super smooth, and was, for everyone but her.
Taylor wrote about a fairly simple vote for the County Board Chairman. There was only one choice.
Logsdon’s first official action was to vote for Chairman of the Board Theodore Lipscomb who ran unopposed. You would think this was an easy decision wouldn’t you? I guess it wasn’t as (Supervisor Deanna) Alexander announced that she was abstaining and gave some half-baked reason why. What did Logsdon do when it came to the actual vote? You guessed it . . . she also abstained, and the final vote was 16-0-2. Logsdon attempted to give her rationale before the vote; however, it was ruled out-of-order by County Clerk George Christenson. Interesting that after her complaints that I wasn’t able to get along with others, Logsdon found an odd way to endear herself with her new colleagues.
Why was Logsdon not allowed to speak out as to why she wanted to abstain in her vote on Lipscomb, even though she had never worked with Lipscomb in any Milwaukee County capacity? Because she attempted to do so during an official roll call when debate and personal speeches are not allowed.
Oops. Did Supervisor Alexander forget to instruct Logsdon about that morsel during her official pre-meeting training?
The entire procedure of abstaining is a big bug-a-boo with me, and something I’ve harped about quite a bit on my blog as it pertains to some on the Franklin Common Council who have mastered the concept.
As I ‘ve written in the past, for too long here in Franklin some elected officials have, on more than one occasion, voted to ABSTAIN on items before them when it came time to make a final decision.
Not aye or no.
Doesn’t happen all that often, but in my view, once is too often.
When I vote for a local official, like alderman or county supervisor, I do because I want a voice. I want representation, even if my representative and I don’t always see eye to eye. I certainly don’t want my representative to abstain during a critical vote. The official might have well just stayed home. Better yet, let someone else take over who might have a better understanding of the issues and the job.
The local representatives are elected to make decisions. Tough ones, but even so, MAKE them.
If Alexander and Logsdon couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Lipscomb for Board Chairman, then for heaven’s sake have the guts to vote NO.
A vote to abstain is a weak and cowardly one.