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Oh, Those Meddling Citizens

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on July 9, 2010

From Milwaukee County First:

On Independence Day, being the first Sunday of the month, WISN-AM hosted Inside the County Board“, a monthly radio show in which various County Board Supervisors speak about issues facing the Board.  The purpose of the show is to give citizens a chance to gain insight into how the County Board works and how they reach the decisions that they make.

This month’s show is definitely worth the listen.

No, not for the dredging up of Peggy West’s gaffe regarding Arizona, even though that is all the local paper seems to be interested in.

What is dramatically more interesting, especially for people that care about their community and/or mental health issues, is the segments regarding all of the problems surrounding the mental health complex.

After Peggy West gets done trying to explain her gaffe, she and Supervisor Paul Cesarz talk about BHD.  Predictably, they both take the attitude of supporting the current administration and encouraging a laissez-faire sort of mentality towards BHD and the problems.

In the next segment, Supervisors Lynne De Bruin and John Weishan, Jr. also speak of the issues and challenges facing BHD.  Their take is much more honest and to the point, especially on how some of Walker’s ideological stances have directly contributed to the problems there.

De Bruin’s calling out the other Supervisors who voted to censure her is also very interesting and shows why she deserves to be applauded for her actions.

Also interesting was the give and take between Supervisors Joe Rice and Marina Dimitrijevic on the problems with the Board and how it is perceived by the public.  Dimitrijevic shows why she is so wildly popular and growing in political prestige in the community.

As I said, all of these segments are very interesting, or at least I found them to be.  However, there is one thing that really is worthy of closer attention.

In the segment which included West and Cesarz, Cesarz said something that was rather outrageous.  He said that part of the problems facing BHD was the “micromanaging by some citizens” and some of their fellow Supervisors.

Micromanaging by some citizens?!

Is he really inferring that the citizenry shouldn’t be interested in what is going on, and shouldn’t be expressing outrage when problems like the ones currently going on at BHD?  I certainly hope not!!

We pay our taxes that go into these services.  We are the ones that will have to pay for any lawsuits due to unacceptable levels of service.

Even more importantly, it is our loved ones, our friends, our neighbors or even ourselves that might be in need of these services.  You know darn well that we will be interested in the quality of the services that we or someone close to us might need.

Furthermore, if there had been more citizen interest, there might not have ever been a pension scandal or any of the problems that the county is currently facing.

For Cesarz, or any other elected official, to whine about the citizens taking an interest in what is happening with their tax dollars or with the services being provided with their tax dollars is incredulous.

And for Cesarz, who only got elected because of the lack of oversight which allowed the pension scandal to occur, and who is one of the favorites of the self-purported “watchdog” group Citizens for Responsible Government, it is downright hypocritical.

And I have news for Cesarz.  While I can’t speak for other groups, I can say that Milwaukee County First will not be going away any time soon.


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