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Milw. Common Council rejects Wilson for Fire & Police Commission

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Common Council rejected the nomination of Ann Wilson to the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission (FPC) on Tuesday morning, February 5th.

Common Council members voted 7-2 in favor of Wilson's confirmation. But because there were five abstentions and one excused absence, Wilson did not get the required eight votes to secure that confirmation.

Wilson was Mayor Tom Barrett's appointee to the FPC. In a unique move, the Common Council’s Public Safety Committee allowed citizens to comment and indirectly ask questions of Wilson prior to this confirmation vote in the Common Council. That happened on January 24th. Wilson also got her say.

Members of Milwaukee's Common Council had nothing but positive things to say about Wilson on Tuesday, calling her a "strong candidate" for the position serving on the FPC. 

Those who abstained from the vote on Tuesday or voted "no," say it's nothing personal against Wilson -- but rather that they made their choice because of their beef with Mayor Barrett.

"The mayor simply has got to get more personally engaged with this council," a Council member told FOX6 News.

One after one, Council members accused Mayor Barrett of not listening to the community's call for more openness and input on who is appointed to the Commission. 

Other Council members argued that Wilson would be a good fit for the Commission and shouldn't be held hostage to make a point against Mayor Barrett.

"I think she's a good choice, she'll do a good job. We will be proud of her representation on the Fire and Police Commission," one FPC member said.

Mayor Barrett issued the following statement in response to the Council's actions: 

“I’m pleased to appoint Ann Wilson to the Fire and Police Commission for consideration by the Common Council.  Ann is an excellent candidate for this board.  

In advance of taking this action, Ms. Wilson, who asked to be considered for appointment to the Fire and Police Commission, met with members of the African American faith community [convened by Bishop Charles H. McClelland] and the President and CEO of the Milwaukee Urban League. It is with their support and confidence in Ms. Wilson’s ability to serve the Commission and City with the upmost integrity and professionalism that I make this appointment. 

In addition, I worked with President Hines and Alderman Witkowski to ensure Ann participated in the most open meeting regarding an appointment to date.  

I continue to welcome input and suggestions for candidates from members of the Common Council and the community.   I encourage interested Milwaukee  residents to visit the City’s Web site and indicate their interest in serving on a City of Milwaukee board.    I will continue to work with Alderwoman Coggs, Common Council President Hines and the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Alderman Terry Witkowski on ensuring community participation in the process.”

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