The winner of the 17th District Milwaukee County Board seat vacated by now state-representative Joe Sanfelippo vows to fight for County Board reform, whomever that winner might be.
Whether it’s the longtime politician Tony Staskunas of West Allis, an alderman in that city for 9 years before serving as a state representative from 1997-2013.
Or Al Singer, the retired police sergeant from Greenfield who once ran for county supervisor back in 1980.
Or Tom Anthony, a Greenfield man with no political background but experience as a small business owner and the front man for the band The Tom Anthony Group.
“It just makes common sense, in these challenging economic times,” Anthony said in a response to a Patch questionnaire. “We should start to ask our elected officials to identify and correct inefficiencies in their own offices and make the same types of sacrifices they have asked the rest of us to make.”
The three candidates will square off in a primary election Feb. 19, with two of them advancing to the April 2 general election. Whomever is elected to replace Sanfelippo will potentially tasked with tackling, and possibly trimming, the size of the County Board.
Other proposed reform measures call for the reduction in county supervisor pay and slashing of their budgets.
Some of those proposals come from the very man Anthony, Singer and Staskunas are vying to replace. Sanfelippo was a strong proponent of County Board size reduction while still a supervisor himself, and since becoming a state legislature, has become even more vocal in his quest for reform.
Singer said he hoped the board could manage its reductions on its own, instead of being mandated by the state to do so, but is not so sure the current supervisors are willing to make drastic moves.
“The board has had plenty of opportunity but they have failed to come up with an adequate plan for reduction,” Singer said in his questionnaire responses. “The state legislature has given the board one more chance; that’s fine with me, but if a plan is not worked out, I think a binding (referendum) is in order.”
Last year, several municipalities asked their constituents in a non-binding referendum if the County Board should be reduced and their positions relegated to part-time. An overwhelming amount of voters agreed with both suggestions.
Staskunas said he’s not sure there is a magic number that would make the board more appealing to the masses, but said reduction can be done as long as its “designed for the Board to run efficiently.”
“I do have concerns that reducing the size of the Bard too far will allow the City of Milwaukee to dominate the Board and that the voices of Franklin, Greendale, Greenfield and West Allis will not be heard,” Staskunas added. “I will oppose any restructuring that would deny our suburban communities a voice.”
County supervisor terms are for four years. A supervisor makes approximately $50,000 annually.
For more coverage: