Two South Suburban county supervisors are proposing their own version of Milwaukee County Board downsizing.
Supervisors Steve Taylor and Mark Borkowski on Tuesday released a proposal that calls for the board to be reduced from 18 supervisors to 13 by 2016. In addition, the board's personnel budget would be cut by about 40 percent starting in 2014 and potentially 50 percent by 2016.
In an open letter, Borkowski and Taylor said they will be "asking the state Legislature to give us the tools to downsize."
"Without this authority, we are not able to take this first step in reforming ourselves," Taylor and Borkowski said.
Their plan comes after state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, a former county board member, authored legislation that calls for a referendum on making supervisor positions part-time. Under the proposal, which has prompted a spirited debate on county board reform, supervisors' pay would be cut from $50,000 to $15,000 should a referendum pass.
Taylor and Borkowski praised Sanfelippo "for allowing us to have a seat at the table during this very important discussion"—differentiating themselves from other county board members who have criticized Sanfelippo and the idea of a part-time board.
They also said their proposal is only one aspect of county government reform they want to pursue.
"Reforming the county board is necessary but the discussion should not end there, after only addressing .5 percent of the entire county budget. For example, the county executive's budget is the highest in the state, and he requested a nearly 25 percent increase this year, which was rejected by the board," Taylor and Borkowski said.
"We need to look at all departments and services we provide, as well as find ways to truly collaborate with our local municipalities by combining services."
Taylor represents Hales Corners and most of Oak Creek and Franklin on the county board. Borkowski's district includes parts of Greenfield, Franklin and Milwaukee's southwest side.