Saturday, February 11, 2006

Vrakas Makes Sense

Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas has put together a proposal to shrink the incredibly fat Waukesha County Board from 35 part-time members to, well, LESS than 35.

It could be 25, or it could be 19.

Predictably, the socialist-inclined members screeched:

"He's just throwing numbers out there," said Supervisor Kenneth Herro of Oconomowoc, who has supported downsizing in the past but said he is leery of Vrakas' proposal.

"If we're really trying to make government more efficient, let's talk about things that will do that," Herro said. "Shrinking the County Board will not do that."

Supervisor Sandra Wolff of Brookfield said she worries that rural areas, in particular, will be left underrepresented with a smaller board.

"I know 35, to a lot of people, is a large number," she said. "But I think all of our communities are well-represented. It works fine."

On Friday, [Jim] Dwyer, of Menomonee Falls, questioned why shrinking the County Board has become one of the first policy initiatives of the new county executive.

The chairman said that scheduling debate on the proposal was not his top priority.

Yah, hey. "Under-represented."

Compared with Waukesha County's population of 370,000, Byers noted, Los Angeles County's estimated 10 million residents are governed by a five-member County Board.

Vrakas' proposal includes calculations showing that downsizing from 35 to 19 members would increase each supervisor's district from the current level of 11,000 residents to about 19,000 residents.

The Waukesha County Board has always had a number of members who are semi-retired kaffeeklatchers--busybodies--who have no particular effect on governance, except for minor agenda items which were parochial in the extreme. Whether we like it or not, the State and Federal Gummints have marginalized County Boards with overriding laws and regulations.

Vrakas, supported by Harenda, is correct. Cut the size.

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