Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele told the Waukesha Rotary
Monday that Milwaukee and Waukesha county collaborations are
likely to continue because of the mutual benefits.
county executive in 2011, was the keynote speaker at the Rotary
luncheon. In an interview after his talk, Abele expanded on his
message of county partnerships.
surprised when people are surprised that I get along with
(Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas). “We’re doing a (shared
emergency) radio system together and that’s been easy.
“Dan is a
pragmatic guy who likes solutions. These (cooperative efforts)
happen a lot more than people know, and there are very real
benefits to it. I love Waukesha and I’m really proud to have
Waukesha as our neighbor.”
partnerships are developed through establishing relationships
with other county officials and understanding that counties
share the same issues, such as budgeting tax dollars and
“When we look
for allies, we can do anything,” Abele said. “I spent a lot of
time developing relationships with Dan and other county
executives, probably because we’re all managing similar budgets.
“I like to kid
Dan that Milwaukee County for this year had a zero budget
increase, and Waukesha County had a one percent increase.”
where Milwaukee County once was fiscally gives Abele some
bragging rights, he said.
when I came to Milwaukee County, I used to say it would be like
the Titanic hitting the Hindenburg, but worse,” he said.
Policy Forum, a Milwaukee-based think tank, had predicted
Milwaukee County would suffer a structural deficit of $86
million for this year. Abele said he it kept to $14 million.
reduced liabilities and debt,” he said.
Abele said he
enjoys speaking to Rotarians because they are part of “the most
priceless and beautiful and exquisite ethic of America, its
charitable impulse. We do it right.
organization has done it as long and on as large a scale as
address the Waukesha County Business Alliance in its One on One
with Public Officials program on Friday at 7:30 a.m. The
Alliance is at
2717 N Grandview Blvd., Suite 300.