Friday, April 24, 2015

Chris Abele's Monkey Business At The Zoo

Last year, Milwaukee County Emperor Chris "Boss" Abele devised a budget which was rife with privatization schemes and giveaways to his wealthy friends, including the privatization of the concessions at the Milwaukee County Zoo.  The County Board wisely rejected this proposal.

The board's decision was well-founded as that the concessions are very profitable for the county.  Privatization of these services would lead to a reduction of services and sending millions and millions of taxpayer dollars out of state.

Abele was so upset of having his privatization schemes foiled, he stamped his silk-slippered little feet and got rid of his head hatchet man.

However, at last week's Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee meeting, it was found that Abele again ignored the will of the people and went ahead and signed a Memo of Understanding with Service Systems Associates (SSA), a Colorado-based private company to run the concessions, even though he did not have the authority to do so.

The committee meeting (Item #12) revealed that not only did Abele promise this group a contract, but had given them keys to the place and office on the zoo grounds.

This underhanded, Machiavellian stunt is reminiscent of his stunt to sneak through an expansion of the privatization of security guards throughout the county or the way he tried to give away the transit system to a for-profit company.

Because of the shadiness of Abele's maneuvering, instead of getting the 5-3 up vote they were expecting, Abele and SSA walked away with a 3-5 rejection.

When this matter appeared before the entire county board this past Thursday, it was sent back to the respective committees in light of Abele's manipulations.

I certainly hope that the supervisors remember their vote last year and why they voted that way to prevent Abele from further diminishing Milwaukee County by wiping out one of its main attractions.

I also would not be surprised if Abele takes another page from the playbook of his BFF, Scott Walker, and creating an artificial budget crisis that would allow him to complete this manipulative, detrimental scheme of giving away more of the county's assets and taxpayer money.

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