Since the original proposal to blow up Milwaukee County Government was passed through State Representative Joe Sanfelippo’s office, it has been given unqualified support from County Executive Chris Abele. And on numerous occasions, Executive Abele has been quoted as saying, his desire to reform and rein in the county board isn’t personal…
But in an article on jsonline, Exec Abele is quoted as saying, ” supervisors can’t be trusted to reform themselves.” And Steve Schutlze of the Journal Sentinel wrote in the same article:
Abele has chafed under what he has called board interference in day-to-day county operations, including criticism of some of his key staffers. Abele has also objected to changes the board made to his budget.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says his push to cut the pay for County Board members is not personal.
But Abele didn’t pass up an opportunity on Monday to take a shot at Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.
“Last April, more than 80% of voters in 12 Milwaukee County municipalities called for significant change of the County Board,” Abele said. “It’s disappointing that instead of taking action, the Chairwoman and some Supervisors continue to fight against real reform and punish those who want to move in that direction.”
Abele said it was great some supervisors realized “the train has left the station, this (reform) is going to happen, that it’s no longer a question anymore.” He cautioned supervisors that voters expect major change, as evidenced by last spring’s advisory votes in favor of a smaller and part-time board.
Anything that falls far short of the parameters of Sanfelippo’s draft bill probably won’t be viewed as sufficient, Abele said.
“The board can contribute whatever ideas it likes – the bill’s going to happen,” he said.
The public is tired of “half-measures,” such as the board’s own redistricting last year, which reduced the number of supervisors by one, to 18, Abele said.
And Exec Abele’s early response to Rep Sanfelippo’s proposal: “The board has gradually usurped more and more turf and staff over the past several decades, despite a paucity of real duties sanctioned by state law.”
Someone got his toes stepped on and he doesn’t enjoy it. But this is real world politics and real world government and County Executive Abele has shown time and time again that he doesn’t play well with others…that he doesn’t realize this isn’t his personal ivory tower nor the enclave of the wealthy and powerful…it started out being about power, but Exec Abele has made it personal. And don’t get him started on the Brian Taffora thing!
My PoleetaQuack rating: It’s not personal is a liar liar pants on fire!