ICC Drops Pursuit of Milwaukee County Board Downsizing
Several members of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council of Milwaukee wanted the board reduced and the positions switched to part-time.
The proposal to shrink the Milwaukee County Board is on hold, despite strong support of it by 12 suburban Milwaukee communities.
In April, suburban voters overwhelmingly supported reducing the size of the board from 18 members to nine, and making supervisors part-time rather than full-time positions. But on Monday, members of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council of Milwaukee County voted to stop pursuing the downsizing of the board.
"There’s some new leadership at the county," Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke said. "I think we want to get the politics behind us and give them the opportunity to work more cooperatively with us."
"There’s this idea that now that Chairman (Lee) Holloway is gone, things could improve. Everyone’s willing to give the county a chance to see if it does."
The two-part, non-binding referendum first asked voters if the size of the County Board should be reduced from 18 to nine members; that was supported by 84 percent of voters. Eighty-two percent of voters also supported making the position of County Supervisor part-time.
"They get the point," Neitzke said. "To continue to pursue this may be counterproductive at this time. There is new leadership on the County Board that has expressed a desire to work with us. Let’s see how it goes.
"It’s ultimately up to the County Board to determine what size it is and what role they play. The communities have given a pretty strong indication about what their population thinks, but it’s up to the Board."
The referendum questions appeared on the ballot in Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, River Hills, Shorewood, West Milwaukee and Whitefish Bay.
The ICC, made up of village presidents and city mayors of the 19 municipalities within Milwaukee County, uniformly decided in November 2011 to take the referendum back to their respective councils and boards to determine if it should end up on April's ballot.
At that time, Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor said the supervisors were not listening to the municipal leaders.
Patch editor Jeff Rumage contributed to this story.