Abele, Stone exchange swipes at forum

    Milwaukee County executive candidate Chris Abele swiped Tuesday at Gov. Scott Walker’s mantra that “Wisconsin is open for business,” calling the concept “way too passive" and calling for a more coordinated, targeted approach.
    Meanwhile, Abele’s opponent, GOP state Rep. Jeff Stone, reiterated his support of Walker and the governor’s budget repair bill, adding that Abele’s criticism of Walker “just shows he cannot work with other leaders.”
    The two were part of a forum on Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee union organized by UWM, WUWM and WisPolitics.com.
    The candidates also disagreed on residency requirements for city workers, with Abele, a philanthropist, taking the side of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who wants to keep them, and Stone siding with Republicans who want to get rid of them.
    "You can’t force people to be part of a community," said Stone.
    Still, Stone said if elected, he’d likely choose “somebody with a Democratic background” and union experience as county human resources director, to forge positive relations with unhappy public sector workers.
    "We gotta be in this together," said Stone.
    Abele, a political newcomer, called for a “culture change" that would focus on the people who pay for and use county services and less on what he called competitive “silos” that pit county vs. city and municipalities against each other.
    “The biggest tools we have are coordination and consolidation,” Abele said, which would lead to cost-savings by eliminating duplication of services.
    See more coverage: http://www.wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=231640.
    – WisPolitics.com

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