Coggs Channels The Joker
Just in time for the premiere of the new Batman flick, "The Dark Knight", the Milwaukee County Supervisor presently known as Elizabeth M. Coggs has decided to channel "The Joker". Not the psychotic killer version of The Joker as played by the late Heath Ledger mind you. Rather, Coggs is doing her best impression of the clownish Joker as played by Cesar Romero on the old Batman television series.
Always looking out for the downtrodden, Coggs has decided that now is the time to take up the cause of a very special group of economically disadvantaged Milwaukee County residents. What group, you ask? No, not the homeless. No, not the unemployed. No, definitely not the uninsured.
The group that Coggs wants to take care of is the underpaid and underappreciated members of the Milwaukee County Board - herself included!
Coggs, with a straight face, is arguing that she and her cronies on the County Board should get a $300 per month "transportation allowance" to supplement their annual salaries of almost $51,000 per year. If passed, this extra $3600 annually would translate into a 7.1% pay increase.
In support of her desire for a pay raise, Coggs points to the fact that her salary has been frozen since 2000 because of the pension scandal. That's true. At the same time, Coggs makes almost $51,000 a year for what is essentially a part-time job. She also receives Cadfillac health insurance benefits at taxpayers expense plus a pension plan that is, literally, a crime.
Yet she's still not satisfied because she has to spend more for gasoline? Poor baby. If this is a real problem for her, I have a two word solution: bus pass.
Coggs complains that Milwaukee Alderman make more money than County Supervisors - and also receive a transportation allowance. As Michael McGee Jr proved, this transportation allowance is payable even if an alderman has no travel expenses (like if they're in jail).
On one hand, Coggs has a point. That point however isn't that Supervisors are underpaid. Instead it is that Milwaukee Aldermen are overpaid and that the transportation allowance is a joke. That's a column for another day though.
When you think about it, Coggs' audacity is truly breathtaking. Midwest Airlines is laying off almost half its workforce. The local newspaper is cutting its staff by 10%. Miller Brewing is moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago and taking a bunch of high-paying jobs with it. Businesses throughout the area are cutting back or closing down. On top of this, Coggs and her cronies are hell bent on raising the sales tax paid by county residents by $130 million.
Yet she wants more money for herself! Perhaps she should try getting a real job?
In a perfect world, an idea this stupid and greedy would never have gotten off the table. Unfortunately, as we're all well aware, the County Board is far from a perfect place. Staff are therefore currently "studying" whether it would be legal for supervisors to boost their pay in this fashion before the next election. My guess is that the answer is "no".
Regardless, it's clear that Elizabeth Coggs is channeling The Joker and trying to further raid the wallets of the taxpayers of Gothem City - I mean, Milwaukee County. Hopefully Batman will show up shortly and defeat her nefarious plan!
Meanwhile, how do these jokers keep getting re-elected?