Milwaukee County Supervisor Alexander: Milwaukee County Board sticks its head in the sand

Contact: Deanna Alexander
414-939-9339 or deanna.alexander@milwaukeecountywi.gov

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee County Board today voted on the County Budget. Two major proposals were brought to the meeting, but only one was heard. A majority of Supervisors rubber-stamped Chairman Lipscomb’s proposal, even ignoring cuts in their own districts.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander issued the following statement on conclusion of the vote:

“Today was an extremely disappointing day! Supervisors flat out refused to allow the two plans to be debated. They shut down all conversation and moved directly into the budget adoption process. I respect that some may have different ideas or priorities, but the board proved that it is not interested in others’ ideas. In fact, the board went out of its way to silence speech.

I worked for weeks on developing a budget proposal with the potential for widespread support and upon bringing it to the body for a vote, they simply rolled their eyes, shrugged their shoulders, and voted to avoid a hearing on the item all together. Had they pulled their heads out of the sand, they would have learned it actually was possible to pass a budget with features like:

· Lower tax levy
· No increase to the Wheel Tax
· Preserving more bus routes
· Prioritizing Public Safety
· Keeping free parking spaces on the lakefront and in parks
· Funding for Child Support Enforcement
· Funding for Homeless Shelters and Crisis Response Teams
· Personnel Relief to the Sheriff’s Office and House of Correction

While refusing to allow the Alexander amendment to be heard and chastising me for even writing the proposal, Supervisors hypocritically granted each and every other idea brought out for the first time today the opportunity for a vote. I was very disappointed to hear Milwaukee elected officials again blaming everyone else for Milwaukee’s problems. Further, they reject the idea that they even made cuts and directed each department to make due, without allowing the budget to affect any services. How ridiculous!

The board ultimately passed a budget on a 15-2 vote prioritizing gardening programs, billboard advertising, and subsidizing lake-side wedding venues, while totally ignoring public safety and essential government services.

I stood passionately against a wheel tax increase, and I stood up for a variety of common sense proposals, but I could not stand for the budget the board was willing to pass.”

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