MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) -- The Milwaukee County Board on Wednesday, November 19th voted to override a number of Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele's 26 vetoes to the 2015 county budget.
County Executive Abele had hoped the Board would sustain the majority of his vetoes saying: "If the supervisors sustain my vetoes, the 2015 Adopted Budget will put Milwaukee County in a stronger and more sustainable position next year and in future years," as he announced his vetoes on Tuesday, November 18th.
"Supervisors put in 59 amendments and we left a lot of things in," County Executive Abele said.
Abele says his vetoes helped to lower taxes to $2.2 million, increase services and lower the County's debt.
Some Milwaukee County supervisors argued too much was at stake. They held a news conference at a Milwaukee-area homeless shelter before the County Board meeting to show support for protecting $300,000 in Shelter Task Force funding.
"Milwaukee-area shelters like many shelters across the nation took a hit on the federal level last year, so it was last year that the County Board decided that this funding was vital," Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy Romo West said.
Board members voted to override that veto -- and also, a veto that would have blocked a provision to decrease County employee health insurance premiums. The Board also voted to override a veto that dealt with free bus rides for seniors and the disabled -- a program Abele says has a $3 million pricetag.
"We vetoed the 'free rides' mostly because our director of aging said 'we don`t want this.' Our director of disabilities said 'we don`t want this,'" Abele said.
"The idea that the department wasn`t consulted, that others involved in Transit weren`t consulted is just flat out untrue. These numbers didn`t get developed on the back of a napkin," Milwaukee County Supervisor Theodore Lipscomb said.
Two other County Board overrides dealt with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. Eleven unfunded command staff positions and 15 unfunded deputy sheriff's positions were put back into the budget.
READ IT: County Board adopts 2015 budget.