MANITOWOC (AP) - The Manitowoc County supervisors have passed a resolution criticizing Republican-backed legislation that would weaken the power of the Milwaukee County Board.
Manitowoc County is three counties north of Milwaukee County, but its supervisors weighed in this week to express their disapproval over the resolution that takes away resources and authority from their Milwaukee County counterparts. They passed a resolution 20-4 opposing the state's legislation.
The resolution was written by Supervisor Jim Brey, who said the Wisconsin Legislature's action violates the principle of home rule, the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter reported.
He said "there would be hell to pay" if state legislators tried to tell Manitowoc County supervisors how to do their jobs, and that the action opens the door to the state micromanaging county governments.
The bill was approved by the state Senate last week and ratified by the Assembly on a voice vote. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker, who's expected to sign it.
The measure increases the power of the Milwaukee County executive, reduces the terms of county supervisors from four to two years and requires a binding referendum next year on cutting supervisor salaries from about $51,000 to $24,000.
Republican lawmakers have said the Milwaukee County Board is their only target and that the measure reins in what they described as an uncontrollable board unwilling to make necessary reforms.
Manitowoc County Supervisors Rick Gerroll and Kevin Behnke were among those who voted no on the resolution. Gerroll said the salaries of Milwaukee County supervisors were excessive, while Behnke said the bill will fix a lot of Milwaukee County's problems.
But Supervisor Todd Holschbach voted with the majority, saying the state Legislature shouldn't interfere with local control of a county or municipality.
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