Debate spars over a Milwaukee County leader's living situation

CREATED Nov 9, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee County's economic development director isn't living in Milwaukee County, and hasn't for quite some time, and that has some county supervisors irked.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik feels she, and other supervisors, were misled about Brian Taffora's living status.

"It was represented to us that he would move into the county," explains Jursik to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."

"It's important for Mr. Taffora, who is representing Milwaukee County in all of our land sales, to be a resident in Milwaukee County."

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says Taffora, who became the county's development director back in June 2011, has his house on the market and is trying to move into the county.

Taffora would normally be expected to live in the county, but he has been given granted a waiver allowing him to live outside the county.

Abele says he's not sure why this conversation is brought up, since he hears nothing but great things from business leaders and the development community about Taffora's work.

"I hear it all the time," says Abele.  "They're quite fond of Brian (Taffora)."

Abele says he's "agnostic" when it comes to rules about county employees living in the county.

"This seems arbitrary and unnecessary," says Abele of the rule.

While Jursik argues that it's important for Taffora to live in the county to better represent his job, Abele says those concerns are overblown.

"We've got somebody (Taffora) who has gone from zero to a ton of production," says Abele.  "What we've been able to do in a year is something I am really excited about and proud of."