Parts of Milwaukee County to vote Tuesday on shrinking county board

Parts of Milwaukee County to vote Tuesday on shrinking county board

By WTMJ News Team. CREATED Apr 2, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Certain voters may see a referendum on the ballot Tuesday asking about the size of the county board.

The question will ask whether you think the board should downsize from 18 supervisors, to nine.

Controversy over cutting the Milwaukee County board in half will now go to the voters -- well, some voters.  "Three quarters of Milwaukee County will not be voting on this referendum question," said Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan, Jr.

Voters in 12 out of 19 municipalities will be asked this on Tuesday's ballot:  Shall the size of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors be reduced from the current number of 18 supervisors to nine supervisors?

They may also be asked if the position should be full-time or part-time.

About $75,000 a year in salary and benefits adding up to $1.3 million -- County Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo wants board reform, but he's in the minority.  "The people want board reform, but the board doesn't want to reform itself and it's human nature.  It's hard to willingly cut your own pay and benefits," said County Supervisor Sanfelippo.  However, County Supervisor Weishan believes: "this is an issue best left up to the county board."

Because of that debate, not everybody is voting on this issue Tuesday.

The board shot down a county-wide vote, leaving it up to each municipality to decide whether to put it on the ballot.

And even if voters rule in favor of cutting the board in half, state statue won't allow it until the year 2020 at the earliest.