Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Chris Abele

Abele Wants to Tear House Down

It’s his house. He owns it. He can do what he wants with it and all of these other folks can butt the heck out.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has always been one to do his own thing.

And he’s doing it again with his plans to tear down a historic mansion at 3534 N. Lake Drive in Shorewood — over the objections of the family that sold him the house late last year for $2.6 million.

“This was not shared with us in any way,” said Sarah Hambrook, whose parents, George W. and J. Ann Hambrook, moved out Dec. 31 after Abele purchased the 9,762-square-foot home on a 2.5-acre site along Lake Michigan.


Robert Dean, head of the Shorewood Historical Society, said the house is considered an extremely important residence in his community. The property was advertised last year as having eight bedrooms, five full bathrooms and a four-car garage

“This is a bombshell,” Dean said of the demolition permit application. “I don’t think this is going to fly well in Shorewood.”

Milwaukee County Executive Proposes $27.1 Million Tax Increase

Ouch. That’ll teach the poor folks in Milwaukee County that cars are only for rich people like Abele.

A $60 vehicle registration fee, or wheel tax, is needed beginning in 2017 to help pay for Milwaukee County’s bus transit system and costs of repairing county highways and parkways, County Executive Chris Abele said Thursday.

The new fee would be a dedicated source of funding for transportation and generate around $27.1 million a year, Abele told reporters at the courthouse.

The county fee would be paid on top of the state’s $75 registration fee for vehicle owners, for a total of $135. City of Milwaukee vehicle owners already pay a separate wheel tax of $20 so the total for city owners would become $155.

After several good years of Abele governing mostly like a fiscal conservative despite being a liberal, he appears to be pivoting rather strongly to the left. Remember that he was challenged from the Left in his last election and the Democratic Party insiders really dislike him. I suspect that he is trying to shore up support from the liberal base of the Democratic Party before running for governor in 2018.

Sheriff and County Executive Fight over Sherman Park

Add this to the list of public fights between the County Executive and the Sheriff.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher issued a temporary restraining order on Sunday blocking Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. from closing Sherman Park early, and he ordered the removal of bright orange snow fencing that has lined the park for all but a few hours since rioting broke out in the surrounding neighborhood over a two-day period last month.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele had sought the injunction on Sunday after he reinstated the county park’s normal operating hours and had the fencing removed — only to have Clarke reinstall the fencing and threaten to arrest anyone, including Abele, who refused to leave the park after 6 p.m.

In issuing the temporary restraining order, Hansher said there have been no incidents in the park for weeks, that the riots and vandalism that erupted after a police shooting took place outside of the park, and that maintaining the shorter hours served no public interest.

Hansher ordered sheriff’s deputies not to impede public access to the park “in the absence of any genuine, bona fide reason related to maintaining law and order and preserving the peace.”

It’s actually an interesting question. While the County Board and County Executive certainly have the authority to set the hours for county parks, does the Sheriff have the authority to override those hours in the name of public safety? It appears that the answer is “yes” because he did so for the past few weeks and nobody complained. But now the County Executive disagrees with the Sheriff’s assessment of the necessity of such a measure, does the County Executive have the authority to overrule the Sheriff? Abele and one county judge seems to think so. Obviously, the Sheriff disagrees. So separate from whether one agrees with Abele or Clarke, the legal clarification of the lines of authority will have an impact for some time.

Abele Hires Tate


Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele appears to be getting serious about his political future.

Abele recently hired ex-Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate as a political consultant. Tate is working for Abele’s campaign for six weeks, a contract that runs through the end of this month.

Tate said Friday that he is providing campaign advice in advance of Abele’s 2016 re-election campaign. Tate added that the two have been good friends for a while and that he respects the job Abele is doing in Milwaukee County.

Of all of the Democrats in Wisconsin, Abele is the strongest one with a viable chance of winning the governorship in 2018 if he decides to run (he’s widely believed to be positioning himself for just that). The fact that he is hiring people with such a deplorable record in getting Democrats elected bodes well for Republicans. May he please take every bit of Tate’s advice…



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