Several Kenosha County Board Members are speaking out against the Board’s chairman – a chairman that they voted for. Kenosha County Board Chairman Gabe Nudo is facing mounting criticism from fellow conservatives on the county board for recent decisions he’s made that they say are retaliatory.
Kenosha Board member Brian Bashaw has introduced two recent measures that are very controversial. First, deemed “Kenosha’s Green New Deal”, is an ordinance change that would force certain businesses to install solar panels on new development in Kenosha County. Fellow conservatives on the board have attempted to talk Bashaw out of bringing this forward for a vote. He isn’t relenting and it isn’t expected to pass.
The Kenosha County Democratic Party and Forward Kenosha, a far-left fringe group, has asked Bashaw and Nudo to change the decades-old rule for the committee meeting schedules. For years, the chairmen of the committees would consult with the other members and agree together on a time. Board member Zach Rodriguez set the time for the meetings of the Judiciary and Law committee at 4:15 pm, a move he said was agreed to by all members, including Bashaw. He also said that it saved the county money, because Sheriff staff could attend this meeting and not have to be paid overtime.
Nudo and Bashaw promised the democrats that they would pass an ordinance that allowed the County Board Chairman to change the times. This measure failed. This infuriated Nudo, according to county board members we spoke to. Nudo and Bashaw showed up to one county board member’s place of employment unannounced and uninvited to bully him into voting for this. A member said this almost seemed like a “shake down.” The two re-introduced this rule change and KCE is told now, they have fewer votes than when it was first voted on.
According to at least three board members, Nudo began to threaten members with stripping them of their positions as chairmen if they didn’t vote for the “Green New Deal” and the committee meeting time rule change.
Kenosha County Board Member and State Representative Amanda Nedweski (R) said in a statement sent to KCE, that she has accomplished her goals as Chair of the County’s powerful Human Services Committee. She planned to transition to a new role on the committee and pass the reigns off to another member, but that transition was forced on her early, as Nudo pressured her as recently as last Friday, when she finally resigned.
“It’s disappointing that Chairman Nudo has chosen to take this dictatorial leadership approach, especially since it was him who actively recruited me to run for the county board. In electing me, District 16 voters voiced that they share my belief in decentralized government. It is my duty and responsibility as a representative to vote on behalf of residents in my district, not to blindly comply with demands to obey the chairman ‘or else.’ Supervisor Nudo is supporting policy that would shift the balance of fair representation away from individual supervisors and into the sole role of the board chair. What is the purpose of having 23 supervisors if most of the authority is placed in the chairman’s role? The chairman’s position on these proposed changes in direct conflict with the principles of a democratic republic, and I will not be threatened into compromising my oath of office.”
Kenosha County Board Member Zach Rodriguez, like Nedweski, refused to change his vote at the strong urging of Nudo. Rodriguez, in a statement, touted his accomplishments as chair of the county’s Judiciary and Law Committee.
“It is unfortunate that Chairman Nudo chose to remove me from my leadership role after the committee has made such wonderful progress for the safety and well-being of
Kenosha County residents. He made it clear to me and several of our colleagues on the county board that his choices were due to differences we had in pending policy proposals. I informed Chairman Nudo that I was not in favor of stripping county supervisors of their authority in order to increase the power held by the Chairman of the county board. I was then told by Chairman Nudo that he was immediately stripping me of my leadership position. It is upsetting to see that Chairman Nudo has taken this route in an attempt to funnel power away from the duly elected supervisors.”
Another county board member told KCE on the condition of anonymity that “Nudo is acting like he’s a mafia Don. This is not how county government works. He has a skewed perception on what it means to be the Chairman of the board. He thinks we need his permission to do anything. We don’t.” Another board member said that they are considering calling for a vote to replace Nudo as Chairman.
Nudo, who calls himself a Republican also put the former Chairman of the Democratic Party of Kenosha County, John Franco (D), on the powerful Finance committee. Earlier this month, he appointed one of the most liberal members of the board, Andy Berg (D), to the Racial and Equity Commission. Nudo told KCE that Berg was the only member that expressed interest. That was a lie. The only minority on the board, Zach Rodriguez, told KCE that he wanted to be on the committee.
Nudo also recently made Bashaw chairman of one committee and placed him on another to reward his loyalty. Bashaw’s future son-in-law, Zach Stock, was also made a chairman of a committee for his loyalty.
KCE reached out to Nudo for comment. He received our communication, but chose not to reply.