Council members look to strip Soglin’s power

Alds. Mark Clear and David Ahrens are leading an effort to strip Mayor Paul Soglin of the ability to make some committee appointments and to remove him as chairman and a voting member of the Board of Estimates. Instead, the council president would appoint all council members to various committees.

The proposed “government reform initiative” would also extend the terms of some positions from one year to two and rename some committees. Soglin was informed about the move by email and claimed it is in retaliation for his firm stance on finances over the years.

If the alders are successful, Soglin promises a veto, which would then require an override by the Council requiring 14 of 20 votes. If that was successful, the mayor promises to launch a petition drive to put the idea on the ballot.

The alders claim the move would address a “perceived imbalance between the executive and legislative branches,” and has nothing to do with the mayor and would bring Madison in line with procedures followed in other Wisconsin cities, according to media reports. Stay tuned!