by Thomas E. Mitchell, Jr.
Dissatisfied with what he was seeing in politics in general (and county government in particular), Attorney Tearman Spencer decided he wanted to be part of the solution to the problems plaguing the Milwaukee County’s 10th district.
“The only way to affect change in anything is to get involved your self,” said Spencer, who is running for the county board seat vacated by Elizabeth Coggs, who was elected in November to the state Assembly.
Spencer was one of two candidates to survive the February primary. His opponent for the board seat is SEIU official Eyon Biddle.
Interestingly, when asked the standard political question of what is the primary—or number one—issue facing the 10th district, Spencer responded that there is no “number one issue” because the issues facing the district are diverse, just like the district itself.
“There is no one paramount issue. All issues impact equally depending on the geography (of the district),” Spencer said, adding if there was a number one issue it was Gov. Scott Walker and his controversial agenda in the form of his budget bills and its potentially negative impact on Milwaukee County. “He’s the biggest issue of concern.”
Though there is no one issue of great importance, Spencer said the numerous issues facing the county are codependent. “If you talk about jobs, you have to talk about education. If you talk about the budget, you have to talk about jobs, government and policy.
Spencer used the issue of education to illustrate his belief that all issues facing the county are intertwined. With the proposed reductions in the budget, Milwaukee Public Schools will have to close and consolidate schools, which impacts county transportation, which faces problems of its own due to eliminated bus routes due to county budget constraints.
The transit system may not be adequate enough to meet the needs of students who now have to be bused outside their neighborhood because their neighborhood school has been closed.
If education suffers as a result of school closings and transportation issues, what does this do to a student’s ability to get a job?
It’s these type of complications that Spencer says he’s prepared to deal with given his background as an attorney who understands legal complexities and as a business owner running his own law firm, Spencer and Associates.
“I think I’m the best candidate for the job with the skill sets to deal with problems (in the county and district). The district needs someone who can identify and deal with the issues head on.
Spencer believes county government must be more proactive in its approach to the myriad problems it and the 10th district in particular face.
“We need to prepare and deal with the problems, not wait for them to happen and then react.”