MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man is trying to remove Mayor Tom Barrett from office. A political action committee called "Save our City: Milwaukeeans Can't Wait" filed a notice Friday morning, July 7th saying it plans to circulate a recall petition against him.
Allen Jansen now has 60 days to start collecting signatures for his petition. He says the mayor has endangered public health and engaged in misconduct in office.
In a statement released by the group, they list four reasons for the recall being sought:
1. Malfeasance in public office. Thomas Barrett has directed that tens of millions of City of Milwaukee tax dollars be used for the construction of a downtown trolley at the expense of: health and public safety; repair and replacement of public infrastructure; public education; and, job creation and economic development within areas of Milwaukee that represent some of the highest unemployment figures in the US.
2. Official misconduct. Thomas Barrett has acted and pursued a political and legislative agenda, which personally benefits his major campaign donors.
3. Dereliction of duty. Thomas Barrett has not fulfilled his obligation to sufficiently protect the residents of the City of Milwaukee from crime.
4. Endangerment of public health. Thomas Barrett has not acted to protect the residents of the City of Milwaukee from the serious health effects of lead poisoning caused by lead lateral pipes impacting at least 70,000 homes throughout Milwaukee. Thomas Barrett has appointed a “lobbyist” with no actual or educational experience in water or health issues to manage the City of Milwaukee Water Works during this lethal and deadly health crisis.
Listing four reasons behind his decision, Jansen says Barrett has directed tens of millions of tax dollars toward the downtown trolley at the expense of: public health, safety and education. He also says Barrett has pursued a political agenda that benefits his major campaign donors. Jansen says the mayor has not protected residents from crime nor lead poisoning in water caused by lead lateral pipes in tens of thousands of homes.
Mayor Barrett says he takes the challenge seriously -- but adds, he won last year's election with 70 percent of the vote.
"Nobody loves a recall, but I embrace the opportunity to talk about how hard we've working to put Milwaukeeans to work," Barrett said. "At the same time, I recognize, as I have for some time, that we've got some serious challenges, particularly with poverty."
According to the Wisconsin Elections Committee, Jansen needs to collect enough signatures to equal 25 percent of the vote cast in Milwaukee for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election in Wisconsin. He says that's about 53,000 eligible voters living in the city.
Once the signatures are collected, each one must be verified. The mayor can also challenge the validity of the signatures.
Jansen and his committee treasurer declined to comment further on the petition. Jansen says he will have more information on his next steps on Monday.