Abele takes county board’s veto overrides in stride

    Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele isn’t lashing out at the county board despite the overriding of budget vetoes meant to hold the line on taxes.
    "Well, obviously it won’t come as a surprise, I would have been happier with a zero tax increase, especially since we showed that was do-able," Abele said in a phone interview. "Still, we got through some of the reorganizations we wanted to get through, and I look forward to spending the rest of the year with (the board)."
    The board overrode 18 of the 23 budget vetoes from County Executive Chris Abele. Those changes resulted in an increase to the county’s property tax levy of $5.8 million, or 2.15 percent.
    That’s down slightly from the original $6.25 million increase, which Abele attempted to erase with his vetoes.
    Of the five vetoes the board failed to override, four had no impact on the levy. The only one that did was a $434,663 increase to pay for a wellness program for county employees, which fell one vote short of an override.
    County Board Chairman Lee Holloway praised the board for making “these responsible changes" and said that there was not a "nickel’s worth of difference" between Abele and former County Executive Scott Walker.
    Abele dismissed Holloway’s comments, citing previous measures such as extending county health benefits to include domestic partnerships as examples of the gap between himself and Walker.
    "I didn’t close community centers, and I didn’t close pools," Abele added. "People can always make comparisons about what things look like, but I don’t think fiscal responsibility is a partisan issue."
    – WisPolitics.com

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