Then came along Chris Abele, the boy prince, who duped people into thinking he was progressive and would work to repair the damages done by Walker's neglect. In reality, he was an acolyte to austerity and only made things worse, causing the crown jewel of the parks system to fall into disarray:
The bloom is fading at the historic Boerner Botanical Gardens in Whitnall Park, where reduced care in recent years has resulted in a "tired" and "weak" appearance within the 40 acres of gardens.The real kicker is that Abele has been boasting of having a surplus of tens of millions of dollars over the last few years, meaning that this neglect is willful and could have easily been avoided.
That's the conclusion of an audit report requested by the Milwaukee County Board after concerns were raised about leadership and communication at the oldest publicly owned formal gardens in the Great Lakes region.
Acclaimed and treasured for its collections of flowering plants, herbs and shrubs and a hybrid rose trial garden, the gardens have suffered over time, the audit says.
A growing burden of inadequate maintenance must be reversed for the gardens to achieve their core mission: to serve as a "living museum" of plants and an outdoor classroom for visitors; and to inform the public of native and exotic plants suitable for landscape use in the Milwaukee area, the audit concludes.
Limited staff perform "triage gardening" to go after the most visible or critical problems while pruning and weed control in the remainder of the gardens is put off year after year, according to the report of Milwaukee County audit director Jerome Heer.
Among the results: nuisance invasive plants overrun some areas of the gardens; an untamed shrub covers a bench and prevent its use; and unpruned rose bushes overrun a decorative wall.
Some signs intended to help visitors identify and learn about flowers, herbs and shrubs at Milwaukee County's "living museum" are damaged or missing.
The other concern is that if the money isn't going to services - which it obviously isn't - and it's not going to the workers, what is Abele doing with all that money?
Perhaps he's giving it away to his wealthy cronies like he's doing with other county assets?