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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Endorsements

ENDORSEMENTS 2008

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As the legislative body that encompasses the complexity and great potential of Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors can play a pivotal role in the development of the county’s 19 municipalities, and the development of southeastern Wisconsin as well. The following supervisors and candidates have earned the Shepherd’s endorsement.

James White Deserves Support
While Supervisor James White in the First District made a serious error when collecting signatures for his campaign, he deserves write-in support from his constituents. White is consistently right on issues that matter to Shepherd readers, and we expect him to remain attuned to the needs of his constituents.

Marina Dimitrijevic Is an Asset to Milwaukee County
The young and energetic Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic has earned our constant praise for her attention to her Fourth District constituents and innovative ideas for the county. We applaud her for her Green Print initiative, which not only will help the county become more environmentally friendly, but will also make county government more economically efficient.

Dimitrijevic is a strong supporter of the parks, transit options and social services and we admire her tireless service on behalf of the county.

Christopher Larson Will Be a Strong Advocate
On the South Side, where departing Supervisor Richard Nyklewicz is leaving an open seat, District 14 voters have a chance to elect a strong advocate for parks and mass transit, Christopher Larson. Larson, who has a degree in finance, impressed us with his desire to make the most of the county’s resources and his opposition to selling off assets that provide long-term financial stability and income for county government.

Larson wants to make Milwaukee County an attractive place for businesses and residents, and part of that vision includes a healthy economy, affordable homeownership, a vibrant parks system and viable mass transit options.

Jan Balistrieri Deserves a Chance on the Board
Voters in the south suburbs have an easy choice in this race. Incumbent Paul Cesarz, a privatization advocate, has let down his constituents by consistently being a rubber stamp for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and not looking out for his district.

For example, he failed to find the funding to keep the Hales Corners Pool open. We’re not sure if that’s negligence or an innocent oversight, but voters in his district deserve better. Challenger Jan Balistrieri has a thorough understanding of the county’s assets and services and would work hard to ensure that her constituents have a strong voice on the Milwaukee County Board.

Lynne De Bruin Should Be Re-Elected
Voters in the 15th District have a clear choice, and we believe that Supervisor Lynne De Bruin is without question the best candidate. De Bruin has done her best to balance her constituents’ interests with the larger issues facing the county. She is chair of the parks committee at the same time that Scott Walker is attempting to gut the county parks system and leave it in ruins. Her opponent would follow Walker’s lead and, we fear, would simply say no to any option that would preserve the parks and other important but sometimes costly county services. De Bruin has done a good job in a difficult position and we recommend that voters return her to the board.

Weishan Is a Proven Leader on the Board
Supervisor John Weishan has served his District 16 constituents well and deserves to be re-elected. Weishan is a creative thinker, outspoken advocate and thoughtful leader. Along with Supervisor Dimitrijevic, Weishan has helped to initiate the Green Print program, and he has helped to preserve the county parks system—especially the parks in his district. Weishan is also willing to consult with Milwaukee County voters on difficult issues, such as supporting a referendum on a sales tax that would go to the parks, mass transit, public safety and property tax relief. We see this as a sign that Weishan is willing to tackle tough issues, listen to the voters and come up with creative solutions to the county’s most pressing needs.

What’s your take? Write: editor@shepex.com.