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No, That Is Not What Leadership Looks Like

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on July 18, 2010

From Milwaukee County First:

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the County Board’s Personnel Committee approved of a resolution that would lower the supervisors’ pensions by 20%.

Busily slapping himself on the back for the resolution passing unanimously through the committee, Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo stated that he was confident it would pass the entire board.  He also added this doozy:

The 20% reduction in the pension calculation would match the reduction the board is seeking from the county’s 5,400 workers. The pension provision is part of the ongoing bargaining with labor unions and a key element in balancing the 2010 budget.

“We need to set an example,” Sanfelippo said. “We need to be leaders. It’s hard for us to ask for concessions when we are not willing to make them ourselves.”

Not quite.

Real leadership would have been rejecting Scott Walker’s illegal proposed budget to begin with.

Failing to do that, the next real sign of leadership would have been to fix Walker’s proposed budget so that it was balanced.  Sanfelippo and his colleagues willfully failed to do that either, leaving the budget with a big black hole in it.

Another sign of leadership would have been to follow the law and do fair negotiations with the unions.  Instead, the Board allowed the County to be put in a position where it is defending itself and the illegal bargaining practices in a number of lawsuits and grievances.

Every other community in Wisconsin has been able to sit down and do fair negotiations, and receive substantial concessions from their unions.  However, Scott Walker and the Board’s Personnel Committee have willfully failed to do so.

This is not leadership.  This is merely pandering to the special interest groups that would rather see Milwaukee County fail as long as their chosen candidates get elected.


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