Milwaukee County

Milwaukee County supervisors are not holding regular office hours the way they did in the past. A new state law took effect nearly a year ago; it cut supervisors’ salaries in half, eliminated their health care benefits and reduced their terms from four years to two. WUWM spoke with some board members about how they’re adjusting to part-time status.

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The finance committee of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing earlier this week on County Executive Chris Abele’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.

Michelle Maternowski

For the past eight years, people who live in Milwaukee have been paying an additional $20 to register their vehicles. Now, Milwaukee County residents may have to cough up an additional $60. That’s what County Executive Chris Abele will formally introduce in his 2017 budget proposal Monday. He says the so-called wheel tax is necessary in order to plug a hole in the transit budget. An increasing number of local governments across Wisconsin are considering the option.

A vehicle registration fee is Milwaukee County's only option for raising new revenue to sustain transit, according to County Executive Chris Abele, because no state approval is needed. Gov. Walker has opposed any increase in the sales or income tax. Abele estimates a $60 annual fee charged to people who own vehicles here would raise $27 million a year to help pay for the transit system and to fund annual bus replacements, as well as to repairs to county highways, parkways and bridges.

S Bence

Many Milwaukee County residents who attended a hearing Wednesday night at the Washington Park Senior Center don't like the thought of having to pay to park along the lakefront or a wheel tax, in order to help plug a $56 million budget shortfall.

Marti Mikkelson

Major structural changes take effect Monday for the Milwaukee County Board – right after supervisors take the oath of office. A new state law will cut their salaries in half, eliminate their health care benefits and reduce their terms from four years to two.

State Republicans initiated those changes after hearing complaints about board members micro-managing the county and the high cost of a full-time board. Voters agreed.

WUWM talks with a few supervisors about how they plan to adjust.

domes
S Bence

On Tuesday, a Milwaukee County board committee approved spending another $500,000 to help move along repairs to the Mitchell Park Domes. Projected expenses are mounting county-wide for deferred maintenance projects. The cost of saving the domes could run $75 million. And recent estimates put the cost of replacing the aging county safety building at $190 million. While the county faces important choices, there is one option to help government’s lower costs.

LaToya Dennis

The relationship between Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee County Board is contentious. Abele scored a slight victory on Monday after a judge dismissed the case Milwaukee County Board Chair Theodore Lipscomb’s brought against Abele.   

Back in October of 2015, Lipscomb sued Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. Lipscomb says two issues are at the heart of the lawsuit.

Justin Hofmann, flickr

We will soon learn how many people are interested in serving on the Milwaukee County Board – now that it’s becoming a part-time job. Candidates can begin circulating nomination papers today, Dec. 1.

The state has imposed structural changes on the board. The one that will kick in, following April’s election, is that the job of supervisor will become half-time – in terms of salary and benefits.

Milwaukee County

Previously on Lake Effect, County Executive Chris Abele commented on the county’s budget for the coming fiscal year.  The County Board passed an amended version that restores cuts to the budget for the Sheriff’s office, and includes an increase in the county’s tax levy.

County Executive Chris Abele / facebook.com

The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors this week passed an amended budget for the coming fiscal year.  The changes were made to what was proposed by County Executive Chris Abele. 

The new document has some key similarities to what Abele proposed but also some major differences.  Abele is expected to make vetoes of parts in the coming days, and the County Board will follow with a meeting at which the vetoes can be overridden.

Jenni Konrad, flickr

Milwaukee County supervisors anticipate a packed house at the Mitchell Park Domes Monday night as they hold their annual public hearing on the budget. Supervisors are considering a $1.3 billion spending plan for 2016.

Board member Pat Jursik says many topics stir passion among county residents and bring them to the full board's public hearing each year. Topics including parks and transit.

Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb on Thursday filed a lawsuit against County Executive Chris Abele.  Lipscomb says he has serious concerns over extent of the County

frankieleon / Flickr

The budgeting process has begun for the coming fiscal year for both the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County.  The Common Council and Board of Supervisors, respectively, will consider the budgets proposed by the Mayor and the County Executive.

Urban Milwaukee

While we’re still more than a year away from the presidential election, we’re a little closer to another race that is shaping up to be an interesting one. The election for Milwaukee County Executive happens in April, and thus far pits incumbent Chris Abele against State Senator Chris Larson.

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