Let's Fast Track The County Board Pay Referendum
I would never accuse any Republican who served in the Wisconsin State Legislature over the past two years of being politically timid. Any GOP elected official who put up with the abuse, disrespect, lawlessness, boorish behavior and overall childishness engaged in by opponents to Act 10 during "Capitol Chaos" has certainly earned their spurs.
Still, now is not the time to back off from doing the right thing.
Newly-elected State Representative Joe Sanfelippo and State Senator Alberta Darling are introducing legislation which would allow Milwaukee County voters to decide whether or not Milwaukee County Supervisors should receive part-time pay. If this legislation is considered promptly, it's possible that a binding referendum could be put to voters in early April. If the referendum passed, it would be effective in Spring of 2014.
The idea of a part-time County Board has widespread support in the community. The business community is in favor of it as is the liberal Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. Other than several County Supervisors (who would suddenly have to find themselves a real job) or a small group of big government types, it's difficult to imagine too many people not supporting this idea.
My guess is that a referendum on the question would pass with at least 70% of the vote.
So, what's the problem?
For reasons that pass understanding, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says that he's "not in any rush" to put the referendum on the ballot!
Why the heck not?
This legislation is not a power grab by the State government. Instead, it gives the voters in Milwaukee County the ability to decide for themselves whether they want a full or part-time Board. It's also not a complicated question that needs months and months of discussion.
Senator Fitzgerald, this is not the time to be timid or the issue to be squishy about.
In other words, put it on the ballot this April and let voters in Milwaukee County decide.