Then along comes Supervisor Deanna Alexander - who doesn't even know where her own district is - introducing a last minute resolution to ask for the state to do an audit of the County Board.
In a move that surprised even me, Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic took that proposal and used it in an amazing feat of political judo, calling for an audit of not just the board, but the entire county:
The measure approved by the board calls for requesting the Legislature to order an audit of Milwaukee County government and to also authorize County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic to hire a private firm to do the audit.Needless to say, Abele had another tantrum over this. But this time, I suspect that his tantrum comes more from fear than anger.
The private firm is considered the likely alternative to be pursued. The co-chairman of the legislative panel overseeing state audits has said a request for a Milwaukee County audit wasn't likely to get a high priority.
Dimitrijevic said she'll seek a local, independent firm that can do the review and conduct it as soon as possible. She emphasized the study would be comprehensive in scope and not just a look at the County Board.
"We want to make sure it's someone objective, independent," she said. The cost will come from the board's $6.5 million 2013 budget.
That is because the County Executive's Office has been the one overlooked for years and is the source of the greatest waste.
Many departments in the county is very top heavy, with people - usually cronies of the county executive - taking up space and money in made up administrative positions. The Parks Department alone has a dozen people earning executive grade pay but no one is sure what half of them do.
But the county executive's office itself really needs a closer look than it has had.
Well, to be accurate, it has had a pretty close look over the past three years. And the name of the "auditor" taking that close look is John Doe.
We have learned over the past three years that then County Executive Scott Walker had almost everyone in his office doing campaign work for himself and Brett Davis, his first choice as Lieutenant Governor. The staffers that we know who have been doing political work on county time include his Chief of Staff (Tom Nardelli); two different Deputy Chiefs of Staff (Tim Russell and Kelly Rindfleisch); his spokeswoman (Fran McLaughlin); his Director of Constituent Affairs (Darlene Wink); and his Director of Administration (Cindy Archer). And this doesn't include the staff that he was using to strong arm vendors to donate to his Operation Freedom campaign/veterans fund. Nor does it include the inordinate amount of time that Walker spent campaigning for governor over the course of years.
Abele has shown himself to be not much better. He and his staff seem to have a lot of free time to go to Madison to schmooze politicians for his comptroller and now asking for them to put a hit on the County Board. Abele has also used his Director of Administration, Patrick Farley, in an effort to frame former Supervisor Johnny Thomas. He then used his staff to campaign to get Farley reconfirmed as Chief of Staff.
To make matters worse, besides already being already overstaffed, Abele had proposed in his last budget to add two more positions - including one for a "policy initiative analyst" which would have been paid more than $100,000. Likewise, he wanted to jack up his budget by some 25%. So much for his claims of not wanting to waste taxpayer dollars and desire for efficiency. I wonder which crony he had in mind for that made up spot.
It's pretty obvious that whether it's Walker or Abele, the county executive has too much free time and has too many staff if they can constantly use them for things other than county business.
Is it any wonder that Abele doesn't want people to take a look at the whole county government? His hypocrisy will be laid bare for all to see.