Milwaukee County Supervisor Lynne DeBruin is in the fight of her life to retain her seat but paranoia seems to have set in and often times that marks the beginning of the end for the incumbent's candidacy.
DeBruin is telling folks that I'm working on behalf of challenger Dan Cody. The truth is that while I have run into Cody, I am neither helping out in his campaign nor contributing to his campaign. It is true that I believe he would be a better choice for the district but that is due to several reasons.
First and foremost, DeBruin is lazy and when a person with legislative responsibilities earns a full time salary, they ought to provide their constituents with full time work. DeBruin does not. This is not to say that she has not in the past. Back in 1996 through about 1998, DeBruin was one of the work horses on the board. Under then Board Chairman Karen Ordinans, DeBruin manipulated the budget to her liking and she was fairly good at it even if she took some risks that I was not comfortable with.
Along the way, DeBruin lost her work ethic. Instead of working, she chose to stay at home while continuing to draw her $50,000 a year salary. She used her position to guarantee herself an income which she did not earn. It's time for her to step aside and let the next generation of leaders take over.
(Note: A good many Supervisors do earn their salary and all Supervisors should not be lumped together. The public should not let the rhetoric of venomous partisans and lazy journalists guide their opinions of the board as a whole.)
Cody on the other hand has shown his energy in his campaigning style. He has knocked on over 1000 doors already and is committed to parks, the environment and the restoration of fiscal sanity to Milwaukee County. His website asks, "do you think it's time to put an end to the chronic pension scandal problem"?
It's been eight years. One would think that the problem would been handled by now and DeBruin has been there the entire time. DeBruin was on the committee that recommended the ill-fated pension proposal to the board and remained silent to her colleagues except to say that she didn't believe it was "fair enough" to the workers. One would think that DeBruin, a past Chairman of the Finance Committee, more than anyone, should have been able to see some signs of a problem. Why was she silent about the issues to her colleagues? She voted no because it was not rich ENOUGH, not because she saw a problem with the size of the payouts.
A little background is in order here -- I served on the board at the time with DeBruin, however my focus was as Chairman of the Judiciary committee. Had DeBruin had some insight, it was her responsibility to share that with her colleagues just as I would have shared information about the Judiciary committee which was critical to decision making. In all fairness to DeBruin, there was not and is not any now-public documents which could have given her or any other Supervisor any inkling of what the true cost of the pension plan was but that is not to say that the closed door meetings which only DeBruin and a few others were privy to did not provide true insight. Why, her colleagues past and present deserve to know, would she have voted "no" yet raised no red flags at the full board meeting?
To make matters worse, DeBruin was on the Milwaukee Public Museum Board of Directors when the decisions were made that nearly bankrupt the place. When news broke of the problems, she hastily resigned her position on that unpaid board. And I'll just say this for the record -- when I served on that board things were going well. When I left we had over $12,000,000 in reserves that we were continuing to build on with the intention that eventually we could be in a position to use interest income from that indemnified amount to reduce our need for cash from Milwaukee County (who owns the collections and the building).
Where was DeBruin?
So yes, I believe DeBruin needs to go. She's bad for the county and she's bad for the community.