An activist group calling itself "Save Our City, Milwaukeeans Can't Wait" has delivered to Milwaukee City Hall a notice that it intends to launch a recall effort against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, News/Talk 1130 WISN has learned.
The group, headed by recall petitioner Allen Jansen, plans to collect approximately 52,000 petition signatures to trigger a recall election against Barrett, who won a fourth term as Mayor last year.
In the Statement of Intent to Circulate a Recall Petition the group delivered Friday morning, it lists four reasons to recall Barrett:
- Malfeasance in public office. Thomas Barrett has directed that tens of millions of City of Milwaukee tax dollars be used for the construction of a downtown trolley at the expense of: health and public safety; repair and replacement of public infrastructure; public education; and, job creation and economic development within areas of Milwaukee that represent some of the highest unemployment figures in the US.
- Official misconduct. Thomas Barrett has acted and pursued a political and legislative agenda, which personally benefits his major campaign donors.
- Dereliction of duty. Thomas Barrett has not fulfilled his obligation to sufficiently protect the residents of the City of Milwaukee from crime.
- Endangerment of public health. Thomas Barrett has not acted to protect the residents of the City of Milwaukee from the serious health effects of lead poisoning caused by lead lateral pipes impacting at least 70,000 homes throughout Milwaukee. Thomas Barrett has appointed a “lobbyist” with no actual or educational experience in water or health issues to manage the City of Milwaukee Water Works during this lethal and deadly health crisis.
The group has not said when it intends to begin circulating its petitions, which can only be signed by City of Milwaukee residents.
Asked by News/Talk 1130 WISN whether Barrett's conduct truly rises to the level of malfeasance in public office or whether the recall movement is merely based on political disagreement, one member of the group said, "There is only one pressure release valve, and that is to recall either the mayor, or individual common council members."
"Yes, it is drastic," he continued. "But can concerned citizens be expected to stand by and do nothing? Maybe protest, hold marches, call their aldermen? Well, they've done that with no results.
"These folks are hurting. They are desperate to make a difference. They are patriots standing up to bad government. They represent what is good about our democracy; that decent people can make a difference."