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Milwaukee County Board Votes to Override Abele's Vetoes

Milwaukee County Board voted 15 to 1 to override vetoes from County Executive Chris Abele during the County Board Meeting.

Due to the override, Milwaukee County Sheriff will receive $4 million from the budget.

Funding for the Estabrook Dam will not be pulled from the budget.

Board voted early in meeting to combine the vote on these vetoes into one vote. 

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele sat down exclusively for a live interview on the CBS 58 News at 4 p.m.

"Most counties have four or five amendments each year. Sometimes none," Abele told CBS 58's Michele McCormack.

He says every year he's been County Executive there have been anywhere from 50 to 75 amendments made by the board to his budget.

"Every year I accept the vast majority of them. I take their proposals and compromise all over the place. This year 68 amendments. I accepted 66 of them. The only two I vetoed were an increase in your taxes to make more expensive the repair of the Estabrook dam and the increase in your taxes to give an extra four million dollars to the Sheriff's Department."

Abele says it was not personal feelings that motivated his vetoes.

He insists that the doom and gloom predictions about property values dropping without the restoration of the dam have never happened in similar situations in the past.

"There's enormous consensus on removing dams in general. Cleaner water, more land, higher property values and about 40 news varieties of fish and saves money."  

He also maintains that there was too much redundancy in law enforcement services, given that local police departments handle violent crime calls.

The two were combined into one veto Wednesday at the board meeting.

"The difference between the budget I proposed is that one didn't raise your taxes. That one continued having departments setting all time records in the services they deliver. Didn't raise bus fares. Didn't cut routes. Had the best bump for employees we've ever had. No increase in healthcare. We're ending chronic homelessness ahead of schedule and in three years if we do that in the county it will be the fastest in the country. Now, we're going to have a five million dollar increase in taxes. It's our process."

Abele says he doesn't expect folks to agree all the time.

"Dissent's an important part of the process. I think it's a way we express it. there's plenty of folks I disagree with but I don't feel compelled to hate anybody. I don't spend a lot of time looking for fights and enemies. I look for partners and solutions."  

 His entire interview is attached to this text. 

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