|Image courtesy of Sup. Jason Haas|
The only issue where there was any disagreement with the speakers was regarding whether the Estabrook dam should be torn down or fixed up. I don't really understand why this is still an issue since it was resolved in 2011 to repair the dam. However, Boss Abele didn't feel that the people needed to be listened to and never executed the budget as it was laid out.
The rest of the issues were pretty much unanimous.
No one argued that the county board should uphold Abele's plan to sell county assets for a fraction of their worth.
No one argued that the county board should uphold Abele's plan to repeat Scott Walker's expensive fiasco of privatizing the security guards.
No one argued that the county board should uphold Abele's plan to stick it to the worker's yet again, even though they are already paying more than state workers or city workers.
No one argued that the county board should uphold Abele's plan to cut services and privatize as much as he could.
Based on the number of people in attendance at the hearing and on their comments, it sure doesn't seem that Boss Abele was representing too many people in Milwaukee County.
On the other hand, many people expressed support for the various amendments that have been offered by various county supervisors. Many of the people thanked the board members for their hard work and for listening to them, the people. Some even apologized for how bad Abele's budget was and how hard they had to work to find ways to try to salvage something positive out of it.
More than once, it was also brought up that Act 10 and Act 14 had the same purpose for Boss Abele - a means to quash any opposing voices.
Boss Abele's debacle of a budget shows exactly why we even have to reconsider what for of government we should have in Milwaukee County. Just like his predecessors, Tom Ament and Scott Walker, Boss Abele has repeatedly shown that he isn't interested in representing the wishes of his constituents, but just those of his wealthy friends.
A county administrator, if the people even choose to have one, would be held more accountable and would need to be more responsive to the people, knowing that he or she could just buy their way out of a mess.
Boss Abele's budget is just one more reason why we need to vote to restore democracy to Milwaukee County.