What is a Comptroller?

What is a Comptroller?

The city comptroller is the financial watchdog for the City of Milwaukee.  The office oversees city payroll, accounting practices, internal audit, and public debt.  Click here for the city comptroller’s office organizational chart.  

The case for a progressive comptroller

As a leader, Alex Brower will bring policy-makers and community leaders together to implement bold new proposals to transform Milwaukee. No elected position at Milwaukee’s City Hall has the ability to unilaterally impose a change – working together is inherent in our democracy. Leaders bring ideas in reality by bringing the necessary stakeholders together.  However the comptroller can use the office to advocate for policies that will help everyday people. Elected comptrollers all over the country are using this overlooked office to bring forward transformative changes to improve lives in every corner of the city.

In New York City, City Comptroller Scott Stringer was able to change how the Metropolitan Transit Authority (a state level agency) operated certain train stops. The MTA had configured certain stops to prevent black and brown passengers from using those stops.  Stringer ran a campaign to allow riders to board the train from Black and Brown neighborhoods – and he won!

Closer to home, Illinois’ state comptroller, Susana Mendoza, fought and won more transparency in state government.  She introduced a successful bill that brought more financial transparency to the executive branch, which you can read about here.  She also based a plan to expand financial access and move consumers away from predatory lenders. Read about that here. 

Can the comptroller do that?

As a leader in city governance the comptroller has a hand and a voice in every major decision the city makes, so it makes sense for the elected comptroller to be a leader and propose ways to make Milwaukee better. As with all decisions, no one person can unilaterally make major change – and this includes the city comptroller.