Co. Board votes to ask Legislature whether to reduce Board’s size

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, March 21st voted to ask the state Legislature for permission to reduce the Board's size.

Some Milwaukee County Supervisors don't want to downsize the County Board, and won't support any effort to do so, whether it's forced upon them from the state Legislature or they do it themselves.

"It's one more step in the direction the people who despise Milwaukee County want you to go. And I'm not willing to go," one supervisor said.

A resolution was passed on Thursday -- seeking permission from the state to do the downsizing themselves. However, not everyone who voted for it actually supports it.

"I join my colleagues who say, I don't support the downsizing of the Board. In fact, this time around, if we were asked, I would have voted to increase it," another supervisor said.

Many who are against  downsizing the Milwaukee County Board say the people are on their side.

"Even people who do not like me tell me they do not want to downsize Milwaukee County," a supervisor told FOX6 News.

County Executive Chris Abele, who supports the reform, says the voters are on his side.

"We got a big, loud message from the public a year ago, saying they wanted a Board of nine that was part-time. And all that happened was, they went to 18," Abele said.

In fact, a Marquette Law School poll released this week shows Milwaukee County split nearly exactly down the middle on whether the Board should be full-time or part-time.

Supervisor Mark Borkowski, who has fought for reform for years says in the end, it may not matter what the Board wants.

"We have been our own worst enemies. Had we gone along with then Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo,  probably wouldn't be in the state that we're in. It's a little bit of a payback, you bet," Borkowski said.