County Board overrides nearly every single budget veto made by Abele

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Board on Wednesday, November 14th overrode nearly every single veto made by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele on Tuesday. 

Abele issued 25 vetoes on the Board's budget proposal, which he said would have meant the biggest savings to county taxpayers since 1994.

The veto with the greatest impact on taxpayers was a nearly $3.7 million investment in county employee flex spending accounts. There was no debate among the supervisors, but employees sat with signs in silent protest.

"In one move, just in that veto, it took away a tax cut. They put in a tax raise and what did taxpayers get for that? Nothing, except higher taxes," Abele said.

The other big vote was on Abele's plan to turn over the policing of Milwaukee County parks to municipalities, like MPD versus the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. Abele said this plan would save the county about $1.5, but supervisors worried about safety and tax fairness, and said they promised to hold Milwaukee County Sheriff's David Clarke accountable.

"I just did not get from the numbers, from the percentage of parks, etc. how this was a good proposal," Supervisor Patricia Jursik said.

"That's a horrible precedent for us to do -- to collect suburban tax dollars and give it to the biggest city that we have," Supervisor Steve Taylor said.

"Is this something that we should be looking at in the future? I think for most of us, the answer to that is -- it depends on what the Sheriff does with that this year," Supervisor Peggy Romo-West said.

"For the supervisors to say independently all these people, all the mayors, all the budget people who actually looked at the details -- they're all wrong and we are right, this seems a bit of a stretch," Abele said.

In a statement, Abele said: “My vetoes struck a number of strong compromises with Supervisors while lowering the property tax rate. It’s a shame the Board decided to throw that all away and continued their attack on me and taxpayers. As I’ve said all along, the Board should vet my proposed budget, but the undisciplined decisions they made today are putting Milwaukee County on a dangerous fiscal path.”

As a result of these overrides, the county tax levy will go up by around $3 million, instead of going down by $2.4 million. 

Meanwhile, Abele said he's still committed to his parks plan, and some supervisors seemed to leave the door open to the idea in the future.

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