Some County Supervisors issues a monthly enewsletter to update their constituents on upcoming events or on challenges the county is facing. Normally, they can be very informative and useful.
Unfortunately, Joe Sanfelippo’s enewsletter shows how little he thinks of his constituents or Milwaukee County tax payers in general.
In one section of his July newsletter, he discusses the fact that Scott Walker’s union/economy busting bill now holds sway over Milwaukee County and its biggest union, AFSCME. That’s about the only thing he was truthful about.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
In his first paragraph, Sanfelippo writes:
On June 29, after months of political maneuvering and delay, the changes to collective bargaining privileges for public sector employees that were contained in the state Budget Repair Bill finally became law. These changes will have an immediate and positive affect on Milwaukee County’s ability to correct our structural deficit, protect jobs and continue to provide services to our citizens.
What Sanfelippo fails to mention is that, due to his direct interference, the county failed to reach a contract with the union and thus is still losing out on a savings worth more than $20,000 per month and millions of dollars over the time leading up to Walker’s economy busting bill.
What Sanfelippo also fails to note is that due directly to his role in the bad faith bargaining, Milwaukee County tax payers are on the hook for $6 million in back pay for the illegal furloughs, with a 12% interest compounded daily. He could have cut that bill by two thirds if he had simply done his job.
Sanfelippo goes on to tell another outright lie to his constituents (emphasis ours):
Recently, I was asked by a reporter if I thought county employees would be worse off under these changes. My answer was an emphatic no. Civil Service rules already in place have been protecting nonrepresented worker’s rights for years and will continue to do so into the future for all employees. County employees who are satisfied with the representation they are receiving are able to remain in a union while those who are not have the freedom to choose to withdraw from membership, something they have not had since the County workforce was given permission to unionize nearly 50 years ago.
This is a flat out lie. Milwaukee County employees, from the first day of hiring, are told of their rights not to join the union if they so choose. For Sanfelippo to echo this talking point of the right wing spin machine is either utter dishonesty or displays that he does not understand how the county operates, even after all this time he’s been in office. Truly shameful.
Sanfelippo keeps it up with his next paragraph with this:
Over the past several years, the County has resorted to outsourcing services and privatizing jobs for financial reasons. By making these positions more affordable, the financial benefits privatization offered
in the past will shrink, increasing job protection for County workers.
Perhaps Sanfelippo would care to explain why the county is looking at possibly privatizing the entire child support enforcement division or all of the security guards. Keep in mind, before the pay cuts that workers are coerced into taking, the private agencies were often more expensive than county workers already. How can it be fiscally responsible to contract out to some agency which is all but guaranteed to be more expensive?
Sanfelippo ends this section with a page right from Scott Walker’s playbook, which is to simply ignore reality:
As we move forward during this transitional period, the challenge for County Board Supervisors will be to reassure our employees that their dedication will continue to be respected, their hard work appreciated and their exemplary efforts rewarded in ways previously unable due to collective bargaining contract rules. To meet this challenge, the Personnel Committee will strive to promote a continued safe work environment and pleasant atmosphere for employees that will increase efficiency for County taxpayers. Everyone will benefit.
According to the union contract with the county and civil service codes, the only way the county could “reward” employees is through merit raises and promotions, and then under specific guidelines to eliminate cronyism and nepotism. Is Sanfelippo really advocating that the county takes on that kind of practice? Has he not learned from the mistakes of his hero, Scott Walker?
In summary, Sanfelippo has cost county tax payers millions of dollars in squandered money as he kowtowed to an ideology instead of practicality. Then he lies about his mistakes and tries to cover them up, ending with actually advocating for the unethical practice of cronyism.
Sanfelippo is an embarrassment to the Board of Supervisors and to Milwaukee County as a whole.