Gov. Walker says he supports part-time County Board positions

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has thrown his support behind reforms for the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. Gov. Walker is in favor of making County Board positions part-time.

In a statement, Gov. Walker said: "In 2002, I pushed for a part-time County Board during my campaign for County Executive. Milwaukee County is the only place in Wisconsin without a part-time board. The voters in Milwaukee County deserve a chance to have a vote on the matter. I encourage lawmakers to pass legislation that will give them that opportunity."

State Representative Joe Sanfelippo says he wants the Milwaukee County Board members to work part-time. He says this will make County government more efficient -- like it was more than 50 years ago. Meanwhile, County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic says it gives the state micro-managing power and unprecedented power to County Executive Chris Abele.

Sanfelippo spoke at Marquette University's Law School on April 4th -- arguing in support of his controversial bill .

"All of County government has shrunk except when you get to the County Board. The County government is defined as the local face of state government. If we don't step in and fix it, who is going to do it?" Sanfelippo said.

The bill would make the supervisor position part-time.

Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic is against the bill -- saying the law gives too much power to County Executive Abele, and less oversight to the County Board.

"I don't know about you but I want Milwaukee County to move forward not go back. When you reduce the effectiveness and the functionality of the County Board and the elected representatives, you cut off the voice of the people," Dimitrijevic said.

Dimitrijevic argues the bill at the state level should be decided not in Madison, but in Milwaukee County.

"If you don't like the decisions we have elections and remedies to deal with that," Dimitrijevic said.

Sanfelippo says the bill is designed to clear up a system he calls dysfunctional.

"The state has stepped in to fix problems in the past. This is just an example of the state stepping in once again to fix another problem unique to Milwaukee County," Sanfelippo said.

There is a referendum on next year's April ballot that will ask Milwaukee County voters if the County Board should be made a full or part-time position.

In the bill, Milwaukee County's budget would also be cut by two-thirds.