PEOPLE-Local 645

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Not Living Up To The Title

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on October 31, 2010

From Milwaukee County First:

During a period where Milwaukee County, like the rest of the country and the rest of the world is facing a major economic crisis, it is being reported that the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, for at least the fourth straight year in a row, is racking up massive amounts of over time.  This year, it is projected to be $4.3 million dollars of overtime just at the complex.

This huge pay out, among the myriad of other problems, can be linked directly to Scott Walker’s overriding concern for political posturing instead of competent and responsible leadership.

However, he is not alone in culpability.  The County Board of Supervisors are also supposed to be stewards for the county.

In the article appearing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, two of the supervisors, Joe Sanfelippo and Patricia Jursik, weigh in on the overtime issue:

County Supervisor Joe Sanfelippo said that managers were to blame for runaway overtime.

“That is gross mismanagement,” he said. “It’s like there’s no oversight out there.”

Supervisor Patricia Jursik said some of the high overtime payouts showed “we may have a failure of leadership in some regards here.”

It is most ironic that these two would be making such comments.

Supervisor Sanfelippo sits on the Personnel Committee.  He has also been appointed to the oversight committee that Walker created earlier this year in response to the media’s coverage and the public outrage regarding the horrible condition that our most vulnerable citizens have to endure if they are seeking out psychiatric help.

Supervisor Jursik sits on the Finance and Audit Committee and is the Chair of the Personnel Committee.

In their respective positions, both Sanfelippo and Jursik should have been easily able to see what was happening long before getting a call from the reporter looking for a statement.

As members of the Personnel Committee, they should have been aware of the staffing shortage.  As a member of the Finance and Audit Committee, it is Jursik’s job to make sure that she is up on the numbers from the various departments and divisions.  As a member of the oversight committee, Sanfelippo had to aware of the problems, including the staff shortages and subsequent money issues.

For these two to try to put the blame for these problems on the management, while totally ignoring Walker’s role or their own roles is simply ridiculous.

Perhaps Sanfelippo was too busy helping with his family’s taxi business.  Maybe Jursik was too busy with her private law practice.

Or maybe it is that they just don’t understand that part of being a Supervisor is providing supervision.


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