By Guest Blogger, Franklin Alderman and former Milwaukee County Supervisor Steve Taylor. The opinions expressed are those of Steve Taylor and not necessarily those of Kevin Fischer.
Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb handed out committee assignments this week, and after having the opportunity to briefly discuss my thoughts on the Steve Scaffidi Show of WTMJ Radio Wednesday, I wanted to continue my analysis after speaking to a few of my former colleagues.
First thing and quite obvious, Supervisor Deanna Alexander doesn’t hold a chair or vice-chair position and that is simply because she doesn’t play nice with others. Other than Dan Sebring and now Patti Logsdon, Alexander has no support. You can’t accomplish anything with only three votes, which is why Alexander hasn’t accomplished anything since she was elected.
All four newcomers were given a vice-chair position, which is consistent with what Lipscomb did two years ago. I will point out that my replacement was put on the Economic and Community Development Committee. Though I’d heard many criticisms of how I did my job and my methods, at the end of the day it is all about results. I was heavily involved in many complex deals, and in my last year shepherded through two major deals, Ballpark Commons and Oak Creek land swap, totaling $220 million in economic development. Let’s see if Logsdon has similar results.
Sheldon Wasserman was vice-chair of Finance and Audit, and with the defeat of Chairwoman Peggy West it was assumed by some that he would ascend to the role of chair. That didn’t happen; in fact, Wasserman didn’t even retain his vice-chair position. I will be interested to see if there is any blowback from this perceived demotion.
Luigi Schmitt was anointed chair of Finance and Audit that also came with a $6,000 pay bump. Schmitt has been a steady hand as chair of Personnel the past two years in battling the administration and their repeated violation of the law. The County Board previously filed a lawsuit against the county executive to prevent him from handing out illegal pay raises, including one totaling over $50,000.
Finally, I send my condolences to Tony Staskunas, an attorney, who was named chair of Judiciary. He will be joined by three rookies and Alexander. Due to deaths in the county jail under the David Clarke regime, there are some major high dollar lawsuits facing the county; having three individuals with zero experience and another whose opinion has little weight could be an issue.
On April 16th the county lost 46 years of combined experience and as budgets get tighter and Chris Abele’s attempts to decimate county government continue, I will be interested to see who steps up as vocal critics. Abele spent a lot of money to silence those who didn’t agree with him, and I wonder if my former colleagues will become battle shy because they fear being the next target of his wrath. Only time will tell, and I remind you that elections have consequences!