On Wednesday, the Milwaukee Common Council’s most important committee, the Finance and Personnel Committee held a meeting and discussed COV-19.
In attendance, virtually, was Commissioner of Health Jeanette Kowalik. Having listened to that particular portion of the meeting online I wouldn’t say Kowalik was grilled. But she was on the end of numerous questions about the fact that while the suburbs are set to reopen at midnight tonight, the city of Milwaukee per Mayor Tom Barrett remains shut down. I’ve known Barrett since his days in the Wisconsin Legislature and he’s never once suggested that he’s a tyrant, until now.
Some aldermen on Wednesday’s committee, especially chairman Michael Murphy repeatedly questioned Kowalik about when Milwaukee was going to re-open. What are the metrics being used to determine a reopening date? Can we get a specific plan either today or Thursday?
Kowalik offered nary a specific answer, bobbing and weaving like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Clearly the city led by the mayor and his health department have no plan, no clue.
The opening Friday in the suburbs was mentioned. Kowalik’s response was to pivot and divert attention away from Milwaukee having no idea what in the hell to do to the suburbs acting irresponsibly
“So are the public health officials in those other communities being overruled and they agree with you?” asked Alderman Murphy. “For the most part, yes,” she responded.
Franklin Mayor Steve Olson, speaking not for all suburban leaders, said later most of them had pledged full support to their health officers. Where Kowalik was getting her information was mystery. Sounds like she made it up to try to look somewhat engaged and in the know.
Back to the committee hearing. Alderman Nik Kovac, upon hearing Kowalwik submit the suburban health officials were overruled by their mayors from agreeing with Milwaukee to wait reacted in knee-jerk fashion.
“Just because the suburbs are being reckless we shouldn’t be reckless,” said Kovac.
Alderwoman Milele Coggs jumped in saying economy should never trump human life, and that you can always start another business, but you can’t get a life back. Clearly Coggs hasn’t the slightest notion of running a business and never has.
Coggs also came dangerously close to playing the race card, accusing the suburbs of not caring about the fortunes of city residents.
While this was going on another Milwaukee alderman was injecting common sense into the debate when he held a news conference saying the time for the city’s own order to end has come.
The city’s attack on the suburbs is a smokescreen to hide their ill handling of reopening their economy that dies more and more each day.