As expected, former County Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo (now State Rep. from West Allis) announced a plan yesterday to trim the pay and benefits of County Supervisors in Milwaukee County:
A draft of a bill by Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-West Allis) obtained by the Journal Sentinel would require a binding referendum to be held in April that would cut the 18 supervisors' pay to $15,000 a year and limit the County Board's budget to 0.25% of the county's total levy.
The version obtained by the Journal Sentinel – which is at least a fourth draft – would need to be on a fast track. The draft refers to needing to pass by Feb. 16 in order to get on the April 2 ballot. Proponents of the measure said they were optimistic they could pass it that quickly.
I heard a lot of commentary about how this was a "slap in the face to local control" and see that it's a predictable comeback from some of those affected as well. I disagree however.
The legislature is giving the residents of Milwaukee County – those who would be affected – the choice to speak out through a referendum as early as this spring.
I don't know if there's a clearer example of "local control" or direct democracy for that matter than to give the electorate a yes or no vote on a policy such as this. As I wrote yesterday when there are Supervisors who are double dipping and earning over $100k/year and don't actually do anything, you can't help but wonder why people like me are behind this.
It should also be pointed out that when this issue came up as a referendum last year in ten Milwaukee suburbs, it passed overwhelmingly. I expect the same will happen if this referendum is put before voters this spring.