Waukesha County Supervisor Duane Paulson cites a study conducted in 2003 on the size of county boards in relation to the relative tax burden which had the shocking conclusion that more county board members means lower taxes.
Fortunately, even Supervisor Paulson did not fully believe such nonsense or he might have called for expanding the membership of the county board. How many members would would he like? Fifty? One-Hundred? The study did not indicate at what point the number of county supervisors would achieve a tax rate of zero, but I strongly suggest the experiment be carried out in some other jurisdiction.
Interestingly, Paulson did not mention the following from the same article,
Academic research suggests presidential forms of government (where the executive is directly responsible to the electorate) tend to spend less per capita than parliamentary governments (where the executive is responsible to the elected assembly). In Wisconsin, the county executive form of government has features of the presidential system, while the administrator/coordinator approach has parliamentary features.
So much for whining on the County Board that asks why the County Executive position shouldn’t be eliminated instead.
Paulson, to put it short and blunt, is a liar, too, when he claims, that supporters of a smaller county board cite no examples of inefficiencies of having a larger county board. The Waukesha Freeman and County Executive Dan Vrakas have both shown cost savings that could result from fewer board members. Columnist Jessica McBride has shown how much administrative support is needed to keep those thirty-five board members going (or not going) to meetings.
Paulson says he is willing to let the voters decide. Does that mean he is out there right now circulating petitions?
As for his toungue-in-cheek remark that he’s had three opponents in the past, let us note that two-thirds of his fellow supervisors are currently running unopposed. Given those odds, one has to wonder why his constituents dislike him so much. Paulson is opposed by Michael Crowley.
One other note:
There’s a rumor circulating that Aurora is behind the effort to shrink the size of the Waukesha County Board. Nothing could be further from the truth. And if any County Supervisors are spreading that rumor, I’ll catch them eventually.