Last week I wrote about Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s new security service, which will cost nearly $74 per hour for each of two guards. I noted that according to a report by Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Abele’s new security detail includes the use of a GMC Yukon XL, a full-size SUV with a sticker price starting at $50,000.

Fast-forward to this week, and bus drivers for the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) have gone on strike over concerns about inadequate bathroom break times (sometimes as little as 4 minutes) and the County’s desire to hire many more part-time drivers (who won’t receive benefits). Predictably County Executive Abele has blamed bus drivers for the impasse and subsequent strike, but curiously Abele has not agreed to allow the matter to be settled by an independent arbitrator.

County Executive Chris Abele criticized the union for “punishing county residents who rely on bus service.”

“Thousands of riders pay taxes for this system and they didn’t do anything wrong,” Abele said Wednesday.

“In a time when state transportation funding has been flat and federal funding has declined, ATU members rejected multiple contract compromises that increased overall compensation while allowing for the continuation of full transit services, stable fares and respect for county taxpayers,” Abele said.

As friend of the blog Randy Bryce noted on Facebook, perhaps County Executive Abele can offer the use of his $50,000 Yukon XL SUV to help ease the suffering of the riders who’ve been affected by the strike…I hear it comes complete with a driver!

GMC Yukon XL SUV

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