!!!ALERT!!!

We need your emails TODAY to stop the Chris Abele
power grab over County decision making. 

State legislators are considering SB 777 and AB923 that would give Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele unprecedented control over major financial decisions, most County lands and all aspects of County employment. This power far exceeds the authority of any other County Executive in Wisconsin.

These bills take power away from the elected County Board making them incapable of providing the checks and balances necessary in democratic government.

Please Email both:
Rep.Hutton@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep. Hutton is the Chairperson of the Assembly Committee in Government Accountability and Oversight which already held a public hearing in Madison on the Assembly version of the bill on Wednesday, February 14.


Sen. Stroebel is Chairperson of the Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection Committee which is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the Senate version in Madison this coming Wednesday -- February 21.

Tell Rep. Hutton and Sen. Stroebel that Milwaukee County taxpayers want them to STOP this disastrous bill from moving forward.As taxpayers and citizens, we believe that the County Board members, elected to represent our various communities, should not be disempowered. They ensure that the public has a role in key decisions. If they lose their authority in County policy-making, we as constituents lose our voice in local government.

This can't wait! Do this today! And please share widely. Thank you!

News about the Hearing in Madison
regarding Assembly Bill 923

LPS celebrated Valentine’s Day by attending a public hearing by the Wisconsin State Assembly Committee for Government Oversight and Accountability. The bill (AB923) written by Rep. Kooyenga (who receives substantial campaign contributions from County Executive Abele) would give Milwaukee’s County Executive sole power over a range of many critical decisions that currently require County Board confirmation. In a nutshell - “To the extent that a conflict exists between county board action and county executive, the bill provides that the action of the executive or administrator shall prevail.  The bill also allows a county executive of a populous county (over 750,000 people, i.e. Milwaukee) to exercise some of the authority that would otherwise be exercised by the county board.” This aspect of the bill only applies to Milwaukee. See * below.
 
Testimony for the bill was limited, including Rep. Kooyenga, County Executive Abele and a lobbyist from the MMAC who said businesses prefer working with systems where there is a clear line of authority and centralized control.
 
Testimony against the bill was extensive including; the Wisconsin Counties Assn., The League of Women Voters, League of Progressive Seniors, County Supervisors representing the full Milwaukee Board of Supervisors, Representatives of Milwaukee Common Council, the League of Municipalities and many others. Compelling testimony came from the elected Comptroller of Milwaukee County – Scott Manske. Comptroller Manske recounted the financially disastrous decision on County pensions orchestrated by the County Executive at the time. Manske stated that he was deeply committed to ensuring that there was strong structural oversight of financial choices so no person in the future had the power to make destructive decision without checks and balances. He expressed concerns that the reduction in adequate checks and balances in the bill could impact the County’s bond rating.
 
Assembly Representatives on the Committee were attentive to the importance of the Bill and questioned officials carefully. After many hours, there seemed to be a consensus that the proposal was too complex to move it through the legislature in the coming two weeks. In addition, there was discussion about the need for serious efforts to reduce the clear distrust between County Executive and County Board Supervisors so they work together more cooperatively. The County Executive left the hearing before any citizen input began.
 
Groups have requested that if the State Senate schedules a hearing, it be held in Milwaukee at a time when many more taxpayers can attend. It is important that taxpayers voice their concerns and opinions about such a significant change in the decision-making process for Milwaukee County.

In the meantime, you can read the legislative analysis of the AB923 ( Click Here - the analysis begins on page two ) and contact your state legislators to express your opinion.   

*
Powers given over to County Executive
  • Sole Power over all aspects of procurement and contracts (purchase of services, purchase of supplies, sale, lease or purchase of real property) as well as contracts for construction and public works.

  • Power to purchase, sell or lease all county land except land zoned as parks (after July 2015) without approval of the County Board for any decision. 

  • Sole power over all Airport operations

  • Sole power over mental health functions, programs, and services.

  • Complete control over administrative operations, staffing and pay levels.

Abele’s Power Grab Assembly Bill – Not Ready for Prime Time

Opportunities Coming up to Make Your Voice Heard!

Public Input Session
Wednesday, February 28
9:00 - 10:30 AM
Washington Park Senior Center
4420 West Vliet Street


Milwaukee County Department on Aging is creating their 2019-2021 Area Plan. This plan will define the Department on Aging’s goals for the next three years. Your input is important. Help direct the work we do serving older adults.

We need people to attend this meeting and talk about senior centers, home delivered meals and senior advocacy.



They want to hear from us!