With State Sen. Chris Larson formally entering the race yesterday, the field is taking shape to replace Chris Abele as Milwaukee County executive.
And South Milwaukee should take notice. With almost a third of our land owned by the county, including key assets like Grant Park and Grobschmidt Pool, and three bus lines serving us, we’re as reliant on a strong Milwaukee County as any community. Who leads the county matters.
Here is my ask of him or her …
- Be executive of the whole county. All ZIP codes.
- Solve problems, together. Leaders unite. Unite, don’t divide. Lead.
- Develop and have a clear vision for where the county needs to be … and work deliberately to bring that vision to life.
- Encourage and get behind big, bold ideas. Build on the foundation Chris Abele leaves here. There are no sacred cows.
- Support cities and villages. This is where real change happens. Partner where possible. More often than not, get out of their way. Start by being a strong advocate for the sales tax legislation.
- Check the politics at the door. Leave partisanship, political games and overheated rhetoric to Madison and Washington. Tone matters.
- No political opportunism, please. Want this job because you want this job, not the next job. Chris Abele wanted this job and acted accordingly. His predecessor wanted the next job and acted accordingly. Be Chris Abele.
And I’ll add one more: Ask tough questions, not necessarily promising these things have to change, but to understand things like this …
- Why is Milwaukee County the only county in the state that patrols its own freeways?
- Why does Milwaukee County own an airport?
- Why is it the Milwaukee County Transit System, and not something more regional? And why doesn’t it include The Hop?
- Why is the “front line” of county government so inaccessible? Why should you have to fight parking downtown and then go through a metal detector simply to get a birth certificate (and access other basic county government functions)?
- Why does Milwaukee County own so much parkland, while also making it clear it can not adequately maintain it all, and make necessary investments in its infrastructure?
- Why is Milwaukee County not in the state pension system?
Good luck to all involved! You have a heck of a job ahead of you … and I look forward to partnering with you to lead Milwaukee County forward.
We are stronger, together.