Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Preview Of Life In Abele's Plutocracy

As the gentle reader is surely aware, Milwaukee County Emperor Executive Chris Abele wants to turn Milwaukee County into a plutocrat's playground.

What the gentle reader might not be aware of is that we have already can discern
Emperor wannabe
Chris Abele
what life would be like if his usurpation bill is passed.

The first clue comes from a press release from Supervisor David Bowen:

Supervisor David Bowen issued the following statement regarding the sudden retirement of Paula Lucey Administrator of the Behavioral Health Division, the departure of Jim Burton, Director of Facilities, and the pattern of high turnover in the County Executive’s administration:
"I and numerous others who are concerned about the future direction of mental health services in Milwaukee County question the sudden retirement of the Administrator of BHD, Paula Lucey. It was only about six months ago that Lucey was brought to the Health and Human Needs Committee for approval, with her confirmation passing the County Board shortly afterward. I look forward to hearing directly from the County Executive's administration on how this resignation came about at the next Health and Human Needs Committee Meeting on April 17th.

“Unfortunately, this resignation highlights a bigger problem and pattern in the Abele administration. Why can't the County Executive retain members of his Administration? Many experienced public servants including Sue Black, Frank Busalacchi, Lucey and just as of three days ago Jim Burton, Director of Facilities, are gone with little to no details as to why.

"Since Abele started partnering with outside wealthy corporate interests like the Greater Milwaukee Committee on an effort to tip the scales of power in his favor, he has been unable to retain the very people he hired to run his administration. Meanwhile, he is actively lobbying for passage of Assembly Bill 85. This bill will allow the state to overreach into Milwaukee County and cut jobs in a single department, the County Board.
Facilities and BHD were two key points of his State of the County address, yet he is running his own administration through interim positions and vacancies while attacking the Board.

“Abele should spend his time running his administration rather than trying to cut into the Board’s ability to govern effectively. The Board has dedicated staff members who work tirelessly for the 53,000 constituents in each supervisory district. We on the Board represent nearly one million people in the county as a whole. Staff helps us research, create legislation, pass an annual budget and oversee the County Executive administration. AB 85 has affected Board staff morale. It is my hope that the committed public servants working for the Board stay with us as long as possible to help the people of Milwaukee County get the level of service they deserve. I'll never give up fighting for the Board to maintain its prominence as servants of the people, not special interest business groups. In the meantime, Abele should be worried about running his own administration, not the Board’s staff.
As noted in the release, the firing of Burton is just the most recent of many sudden and mysterious departures of Abele's staff including Sue Black, Frank Busalacchi, Paula Lucey, Patrick Farley and numerous others.

Not only has Abele had a revolving door on his staff, but he is extremely hush-mouthed about why he keeps firing these people.

This is significant because he expects that the Milwaukee County Board to approve his various proposals even though there is no one to explain the rationale behind the proposal, the costs of it or how it will be implemented.

Then again, it's not really clear if it would make a difference if the staff member was there, because Abele has gotten his people trained to reveal as little as possible when offering their proposals.

Case in point, in March, Abele wanted to submit a proposal to seek RFPs (asking for bids) on a contract related to the mental health complex.  When the committee members asked for a copy of the RFP they were denied, saying they would get a copy of the RFP proposal after they approved it.  Just how are they to vote on something that they aren't allowed to see?*

On another occasion, Abele wanted them to vote on an RFP that had not even been written yet!

When challenged on this preposterous request, Abele's staffed simply replied, "You'll just have to trust us."

Friends, this is the way corruption starts.

If Abele's bill were to be passed, I certainly would expect by supervisor to vote no on each and every proposal unless all the facts are up front and clear and verified.  And if that slows things down, well, Abele has no one to blame but himself.  This is what the fool wanted.

*On a side note which is equally humorous and frightening, the board voted to lay the matter over until the next month, in the hopes that more information would be forthcoming.  Abele's staff immediately went into a panic trying to figure out what "laying a matter over" meant.

How is Abele going to be emperor if he can't handle the job he's got now?


  1. 1) What is an RFP?
    2) Why is he not held accountable to anyone or is the boards "laying a matter over" part of the checks and balances?
    3) Sue Black must have gotten a kick ass severance. I've never been fired from a public service job only to be able to purchase a sports franchise. Any thoughts?

    1. 1)RFP = Request for proposals. As I explained, it's the bidding process for a contract.
      2)As I also explained, laying a matter over was so they could try to get some information on it.
      3)Don't forget that Abele gave her a huge, and I mean HUGE, raise.

  2. I would like to rephrase the last question. How can someone fired from the county parks system be able to purchase a sports franchise?

  3. 1)RFP = Request for proposals. As I explained, it's the bidding process for a contract. Your explanation isn't very clear as it doesn't explain the letters R F P. Thanks for the clarification.
    2)As I also explained, laying a matter over was so they could try to get some information on it. I get that, But you didn't answer my question. Is this a "check and balance" to stop or override Abele's power grab? Who has final say, the board or Abele?
    3)Can you elaborate a little on her raise and dismissal. So, she was fired but given gobs or $$ first and no one notices or cares and then she buys a sports franchise. This seems worse than the pension scandal in some ways.

    1. 2) It's a common practice in government. It's just a practice used to get more information before casting a vote on a resolution.
      3)No one knows. Abele isn't telling anyone anything about her departure.

  4. This whole thing is reeking of unaccountable misconduct. We're back to the 1890s in Milwaukee.