Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Time For Abele To Put Up Or Shut Up

The Milwaukee County Board proved all their critics wrong by passing their locally-generated reform measures in a veto-proof majority of 15-3.

The three that voted against the bill were Supervisors John Weishan, Steve Taylor and Deanna Alexander.

Weishan voted against it because he doesn't believe in caving in before bullies.

Taylor voted against it, even though he was all for it on Monday, because he got bullied into it by Mark Belling.  Taylor proved himself to be both a snake and a coward.

Alexander voted against the bill because that is what Abele and GMC are paying her to do.  Her whiny press release (I thought she couldn't send those out!) only revealed her dishonesty and the fact that she has absolutely no clue on how government or democracy works.

The Board issued their own press release as well that lays it out quite nicely:

15-3 Vote Dramatically Cuts Board Budget, Staff, Supervisors’ Salaries

(MILWAUKEE) – The Milwaukee County Board approved a dramatic local reform package by a 15-3 vote on Thursday, meaning Board Supervisors’ salaries will be cut by 20 percent, staff will be cut by 50 percent and the Board’s budget will be cut by 50 percent.

Under the reform package, Supervisors’ terms would be also cut from four years to two beginning with the new term in 2016 if the state Legislature approves. The comprehensive package includes other measures such as the requirement of an efficiency audit for all levels of County government and use of a mediator to enforce those efficiencies.

“This is the kind of local reform our constituents have demanded,” said

Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic. “We listened to everyone – residents, state legislators and community leaders. This bold reform reflects the tone of local input.

“It’s been said that we would never reform the Board, that we would never cut our salaries, and that we would never cut staff. But we’ve done it. This is indeed a new day on the County Board, and we have shown leadership in approving this reform package.

“While the state is attempting to mandate Board change without local support, without even a hearing in Milwaukee County, we have accomplished meaningful reform by listening to the residents of Milwaukee County. Reform without local buy-in cannot work. This is true local reform.”

Dimitrijevic said the overwhelming support for the reform package was a reflection of the Board’s desire to create locally generated reform.

“We made the hard decisions,” she said. “But with local support this is one of the most dramatic changes to Milwaukee County governance in history.”
The Board's reform measures isn't all that different than the one written by the GMC. They both cut the supervisors' pay and staffing levels. The Board's version doesn't go as deeply as the GMC's, but with the county budget being well over a billion dollars, that amount of money is negligible in comparison.  Both measures also transfer more power to the executive's office as well, but as with the pay, the Board's version is a little less severe.  To squabble over these minor differences would be merely splitting hairs.

There are some bigger differences though:

  • The Board's version clearly describes the Board's role and the Executive's role in government.  This cuts back on Abele's power grab by eliminating his ability to make the rules as well as addresses Abele's false accusations that the Board is micromanaging the county.
  • Control stays local with the Board's version.  This means that when it's demonstrated that this isn't working because of Abele's incompetence, it won't takes years for an act of the state to rectify the problems that will come with it.
  • The Board's version calls for an audit for efficiency in ALL areas of the county, including the county executive's office and the top heavy departments. The GMC version only selects the Board, which is a drop in the bucket as far as cost goes.
Interestingly, Abele had no comment on the Board's measure and whether he will sign the bill.  I guess that this means we'll have to wait until Aaron Rodriguez' next blog post to see what Abele really thinks.

But now is the time for Abele to put up or shut up.

If Abele is really all about reforming the government, he will need to sign this resolution.  It gives him the pay and staffing cuts.  It gives him more power.  And it's much more comprehensive than the GMC bill.

If Abele vetoes it or just doesn't sign it, it shows that he wasn't interested in reform and that this was nothing but a power grab all along so that he and his plutocratic pals at GMC can divvy up the county's assets for themselves.

And it should be noted that he has only about two weeks to make up his mind.

And as he makes his decision, he'd best be aware that the people of Milwaukee County - the majority of which has been quite vocal in their opposition to the GMC version - will be watching.


  1. I did want to point out that I was surprised (actually brought it up at the office today) to see Deanna's press release come through the county (this one came both directly from her and from the county later). As I believe that all of her emailed press releases for quite some time now have not come through the county.

    1. Alexander's press release page would belie that statement. I've been getting her stuff all along. At least her public stuff. It is disturbing that she and Abele don't want to use the official venues. It's like they are trying to hide something. And the emails I am reviewing tend to confirm that.