MILWAUKEE – An overwhelming majority of the Board of Supervisors postponed a final decision on whether to re-join the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) today, voting 15-1 to request that Milwaukee County’s top lawyer assemble the outstanding issues of concern on behalf of the County, with a focus on specific actionable process and policy improvements.
Supervisor Czarnezki, who sponsored the resolution, voiced his desire to see a written commitment from WCA to address the Board’s concerns prior to funds being released.
County Clerk George Christenson commended supervisors for working proactively to encourage positive reforms within the WCA and forge a new relationship with the statewide organization, which counts all but Wisconsin’s two most populous counties – Dane and Milwaukee – as members.
“I applaud the Board of Supervisors for their diligence in working towards a solution that renews our relationship with the Wisconsin Counties Association and secures positive change within the organization.”
When setting and adopting Milwaukee County’s 2021 budget last November, the Board voted to withhold approximately $36,000 in annual dues to the WCA due to concerns over the organization’s lack of diversity, operational transparency, and perceived conflicts of interest.
Milwaukee County was no longer a member of the WCA as of January 1.
“While I believe the WCA is stronger with Milwaukee County as a member, and Milwaukee County is stronger when we work together with the WCA and the other 71 counties, it will take focus and determination to ensure our membership remains mutually beneficial,” said Christenson.
The Board will reconsider the measure to rejoin the WCA on February 24.
If Milwaukee County rejoins the WCA, Supervisors Willie Johnson, Jr., Sequanna Taylor, and Chairwoman Nicholson would represent the Milwaukee County on the WCA board.