Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Do we hear nine?


The Waukesha Freeman has upped the ante on everyone, calling for the Waukesha County Board to be reduced from the current thirty-five members to nine.

It’s not that the current board members are doing a bad job. They’re hardworking representatives of their constituents.

It’s just that it’s hard for the public to keep track of 35 supervisors on a county board and easy for some to lay low on those issues the public needs its representatives to take a stand on.

It’s easy to be anonymous – and that’s not good for the public.
It’s telling that 17 of the 31 supervisors contacted – more than half – didn’t want to talk about whether they agreed or disagreed with reducing the board size. Some said they wanted to hear all the arguments before they decided.

But wait – this is a question on the makeup of an office they now hold. Surely, they should have some answer when the public asks them a question about their position.

The conclusion some may reach is maybe they don’t know or are waiting for others to come up with an answer for them. Or maybe because of the part-time makeup, they simply haven’t had time to ponder it. But they probably should have, or at least knew the issue well enough to answer, especially as public servants.

…The fewer board members there are, the more high profile the position becomes and the more responsive they would be to the public.

The nine county supervisors could also be divided along lines that would mean towns as well as villages and cities would be equally represented.

A nine-member county board may seem like the impossible dream, but unless the county board shrinks itself, nine is just as easy a number to ask for as nineteen when it comes time for a referendum. Waukesha’s county supervisors might want to remember that.

The Waukesha Taxpayers League has the tally of which supervisors support the reduction of the size of the county board.

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