Friday, July 07, 2006

Shrink the County Board?

Winnebago board chair to ask for committee to study board size
By Alex Hummel

of the Northwestern

The chairman of the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors said he plans to ask his 37 peers to back the formation of a special committee to study the shrinking of the full county board.

“I personally think our board functions fine,” said County Board Chairman and Supervisor David Albrecht of Oshkosh. “(But 38 supervisors) may not be the number we come up with … I also know from different times in board history we could have eliminated four positions and never missed a beat.”

Albrecht is not saying it should shrink, but he said in two weeks he will recommend a special board committee be created to study a possible reduction in the 38-member board. The panel may not be officially formed until August or September he said.

Albrecht plans to outline background and directions for this would-be panel during the county board’s regular, July 18 meeting.He said his presentation, delayed in June due to lingering controversy on touch-screen voting machines, will include some discussion of other counties that are approving or considering board size reductions around Wisconsin. It would also outline some general assignments and expectations of the committee.

The Northwestern will have more on this story in Saturday's edition.

I am looking forward to this debate. I personally believe that more representation is better (I discuss that here). And wheterh they will admit it or not, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance agrees as well:

Using sophisticated statistical techniques, WISTAX researchers found that, after accounting for other factors, an increase in county board size of one supervisor was associated with lower spending of $8 to $10 per resident.

I do hope that the Board (and Chair) will approach this discussion (as well as committee assignment) in a more open manner than has been done previously this term.


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