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Mayor Vetoes Council Action on Union Contracts

Didier repeats her position that measure had been fully vetted when it was defeated in first vote.

Mayor Jill Didier has vetoed the ratification of union contracts passed Tuesday night by the Common Council.

The council passed the contract vote 8-7 late Tuesday, with Ald. Jill Organ absent, after 4 1/2 hours of public comment and debate among the aldermen in a special meeting. Aldermen had voted down the contracts on March 15.

In a statement released minutes before noon, Didier said: "My objection is that this issue was fully vetted and all normal procedures were followed prior to the vote on the (sic) March 15, 2001.

"In addition, the decision to vote in favor of the ratification sets employee groups against one another. As the leader of this organization, I must strike a balance between the well-being of our workers, our responsibilities and expectations of the Wauwatosa community."

On Monday, Ald. Don Birschel said the mayor had told him she did plan to veto the measure if it passed, and the close vote no doubt strengthened Didier's resolve.

Ald. Jeff Roznowski had said Wednesday morning he thought it was likely that Didier would veto the measure. "She made her statement last night, and it was quite clear where she stood."

After the veto, he said, "What's unfortunate is we are foregoing the opportunity to cut some costs and save the city significant money right now."

"It's not a surprise to me," Ald. Craig Wilson said. "It's her right just as it was the council's right last night to vote.

"I know she said it was properly vetted before; the council heard all that, too. But I would assume that some of my colleagues voted as they did based on what they've heard since.

"That's my version of democracy; we've followed the rules, and (Didier) has too, as is her right.

"It'll come before the council again. I don't think much will change, but over the course of two weeks we will continue to play out the process."

Ald. Linda Nikcevich told Patch on Monday that she thought there would be a veto if the vote was close, and today said, "I'm disappointed. I agree that it was well-vetted – to the council – until a large and vocal group showed up at the first vote.

"The mayor had supported these contracts prior to March 15 and until she suddenly did a 180-degree turn, for whatever reason.

"She has to live with it as well as I do with my votes."

Although there is no way of knowing how Organ would have voted had she been present, had she voted against ratifying the contracts, it would have resulted in a tie on the council, and Didier would have then almost certainly have cast the deciding vote against the measure.

Didier made a strong statement of her disapproval of the do-over vote Tuesday night before opening the debate, saying the issue had been fully and properly vetted before the public and in the council when it voted down the contracts on March 15.

Ald. Bobby Pantuso said after the new vote that he expected Didier to veto it, and that given the close vote, it was unlikely the council could muster the votes to override. It is possible, however, that some members could change their votes.

Mayor Didier has not returned calls asking for comment.

The mayor had five days from the passage of legislation by the council in which to approve or disapprove by her signature. She choose to act immediately.

The mayor is also required by statute to state her objections to any measure she vetoes, and the Common Council can then attempt to override the veto at its next meeting. It would take a two-thirds majority, or 11 votes, to undo a veto.

Charlie C April 21, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Sorry to burst your bubble - of course you tea baggers could care less about the facts and the Truth! I am a Small Business Owner employing 6 employees! These "Nazi Tactics" Walker is taking is financially reckless and when you throw away over a Million Dollar Savings - then it is fiscal malfeasance NO MATTER WHAT PARTY is involved!! Tax Payer Dollars are not assigned by Party - but Corporate Bribes appear to be!!! The First thing Adolph Hitler Did was to Break the Unions... Give Scotty a mustache and both the resemblence and behaviors are stricking! Wisconsin used to stand for the hard working ethics and values - of many sons of immigrants... Now it is turning into a surfdom of a few rich (Koch Brothers) absentee landowners who are underminding everything that Wisconsin has Stood for for over 100 years... Why do you HATE the hard working middle class so much? What do you hate what made Wisconsin so Proud and America So Great!!! What is next - taking away the right to vote - unless you vote Republicans??? WAKE UP Wisconsin!!
Charlie C April 21, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Fast and Loose - the SOP for the Walker administration - at least as far as Wisconsin State Laws! Let me just try some words and maybe you can connect the dots - Walker, Didier, Phone Call, Kill Union Contracts, Corix Utilities Move to Tosa. Unethical - When an Alderman - who reports to the Governor is called on to support the governor or vote her mind - is at risk - and should recuse herself from the vote! Even the appearance of bias is enough for review. You want several clear examples - just look at Walkers parison appointments and quid pro quo for his Donations - Blantantly Inappropriate! Putting his employees on city councils - guarrantees his positions get supported! And I believe more than one of the Tosa 5 were just elected. Anger about ones Political Party is a Waste of Energy - losing a million dollars in savings based upon ideological policy - is simply fiscally irresponsibile!!! Especially when you are put in a position to lay people off - when the savings from that contract would save many many teachers job - but I guess when you are Republican you don't need an education! Oh wait - you have the money to send your kids to private schools - only the middle class and the poor would be effected... nevermind! I forgot to read the Koch Brother Playbook!
Charlie C April 21, 2011 at 10:53 PM
PS. Great that the Pach allows for such open informaion exchange. The Constitution is very important to me and validates mine and my brothers sacrifices in Vietnam... I simply HATE the disrepect and lies of so many and to loose the freedoms that Wisconsin has championed for 100 years! I take nothing personally other than lies, false smears and Opinions - presented as Facts!! Thank You - Jim Price - your efforts are appreciated! "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson
Nancy April 22, 2011 at 05:02 AM
You go Charlie C!!!! I personally want to thank the Mayor for wasting everyone's time on Tuesday when she planned to veto the contract all along. I don't think Act 10 will go into affect for quite some time, if ever, and waiting for it to pass will cost us more than if she had let the ratification stand. Time will tell. Remember J. Kop, what goes around, comes around. May you suffer the same as you wished on Charlie C. when Walker gets recalled and Wisconsin government is returned to the sane and fair-minded people of Wisconsin. And stop listening to Sykes, Belling, Limbaugh and all the other talking heads that pollute the minds and souls of the once reasonable Republican political party.
Betty April 25, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Nancy, Are those the same sane, fair minded people of Wisconsin who led us into a $3.6 billion dollar budget deficit? Why are republicans only reasonable when the cave into democrats? Conservatives could ask liberals to stop watching, listening to and reading the lame street media - MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, Journal Sentinel, NY Times, etc., who report the big labor line like its gospel. The reason talk radio, the internet and Fox News are so popular are that they report the other side of the story. People enjoy it and for proof of its popularity, all you have to do is look at the ratings. The top talk radio shows in SE WI are all conservative talk shows, primarily the ones you mentioned, but don't forget we have Weber, Wagner and Hannity and others as well. Prime time Fox News shows dominate their time slots over the liberal shows they compete with. An informed electorate is the last thing the big labor lefties want ,talk radio does the job that the traditional media is supposed too, but because of its agenda, cannot.

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