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County Board overrides Abele's budget veto

Posted: 7:23 PM, Nov 18, 2015
Updated: 2015-11-19 01:23:26Z

MILWAUKEE -- The battle over the county budget may be over, but controversy is still brewing over the vote.

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors overrode two of County Executive Chris Abele's budget recommendations. The first issue is the Estabrook Dam.  Abele opposed adding $750,000 to repair the dam. Instead, he said it should come down. 

"The dam should not be in front of us at all period," voiced Supervisor Michael Mayo, District 7.

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The second issue is the sheriff's budget.  Abele vetoed $4 million to the sheriff because of recent comments the sheriff made.

"We didn't give the sherriff a blank check, we put in four responsibly,"  said Supervisor Jim Schmitt, District 6.

The board voted 15-1-1.  Gerry Broderick of District 2 abstained to vote and Supervisor Patricia Jursik of the District 8 voted with the county executive. 

"I would like to have supported the sheriff's budget and public safety, but by combing those votes I was forced into a corner."

Jursik says today is a dark day for the board. 

"I can tell you there is very strong support countywide on that dam removal, to remove the dam and this board basically ignored all the constituents across this county in continuing this path of repairing the Estabrook Dam," explained Jursik.

Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb responds to today's vote in a statement:  “A reversal of this Executive veto will ensure transparency and that Milwaukee County residents can pick up a copy of the annual County budget and see how their tax dollars are being diverted to the Milwaukee Bucks sports arena over the next 20 years."

Sheriff David Clarke put out the following statement following today's vote:  “The County Board did what they could to make a dent in the almost $10 million structural deficit that Abele built into his budget.  The $4 million they restored will help close some of that deficit.  The supervisors saw through the politics being played with public safety by County Executive Abele."