Chris Abele delivers 2014 State of the County address

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele delivered his third State of the County address on Monday, March 24th. He says the county is on the "up and up," figuratively and literally.

Abele began and ended his speech talking about ideology instead of policy.

"The amount of time that goes into starting with the premise that we are all Americans, we all live in a country dedicated to that great idea and we get things done a lot more effectively when we look for solutions does not get enough attention," said Abele.

It's why Abele invited Vice Admiral Dirk Debbink to introduce him. Debbink worked with Abele, commissioning the USS Milwaukee.

"One of the things the County Executive and I share together was that we believe that if you approach people you'll find that most of us agree on not 50 percent or 60 percent. We probably agree on 85 or 90 percent on a core of an issue," said Debbink.

The body of Abele's 30-minute speech was void of any shortcomings. Running through a list of accomplishments, starting with reducing the county's debt to $14 million.

"It is no reason to rest easy, it is however undeniably, absolutely $71 million dollars better than what was predicted just three years ago," said Abele.

From debt, Abele turned to development -- specifically the Lakefront Gateway Project, which will lead to the construction of a downtown high rise.

"Creating thousands of jobs, adding millions to the property tax role and providing a stunning addition to the Milwaukee skyline, the Couture represents what can happen when enough of us work together," said Abele.

Other mentions included improvements in veteran services and changes in mental healthcare in the city and state.