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County Executive Chris Abele offers a counterpoint to Begel's blog about the firing of Sue Black.
County Executive Chris Abele offers a counterpoint to Begel's blog about the firing of Sue Black.

Abele responds

This week I wrote about County Executive Chris Abele and the abrupt firing of Parks Director Sue Black.

I wrote that I was disappointed in Abele for the firing since it smacked of the usual kind of political head hunting and I had hopes that he was above all of that.

I heard back from him via a message on my Facebook page. Here's his message:

"Hey, David.

"Last time you wrote about me I recall having an opportunity to chat, which is always enjoyable, and whether or not you agreed with me, at least you'd know what my point of view was. I apologize for whatever behavior warranted the revocation of that privilege.

"If I wrote an article about your article without asking you about it, I might say, 'Despite a long history of voluntary support for numerous environmental causes and specifically Milwaukee County Parks, despite a long friendship with Sue Black, despite a habit of making thoughtful and deliberated decisions (in the last year, despite inheriting from Walker a $55 MM defecit (sic) yet still balancing a budget while ADDING funding for improving services at the Behavioral Health Division, restoring funding for transit, ADDING funding for Universal Screening (at the DA's long request), ending furlough days, adding domestic partner benefits, and specifically saying that the decision with Sue was neither easy or quickly made and based on performance and not wanting to share details [all of which might lead an outsider to think of a County Exec who had generally done exactly what he said he would and had a long history of supporting parks probably had a pretty good reason, and asking him about it probably wouldn't lead to much harm], Begel chose to publish his judgement (sic) that Abele could not possibly have had any reason to do this that the author would have found adequate.' But I like you and I'd give you a call to hear your thoughts first.

"I'm hoping that when I don't hand the parks over to Haliburton (sic) management, when I don't slash the Parks budget, and when the staff at Parks (who, incidentally, were a lot more supportive of this decision that I'm guessing you might expect) continue to do the great work that they do, that I might have my 'hearing my side of the story before publishing' privileges reinstated. : )

"Hope you're well,

Chris"

That's the message. From start to finish. His point about calling him for comment is well taken, but this isn't my first rodeo. He wasn't about to tell me anything that he already hadn't said a hundred times already.

As I said, I think Abele is a good county executive. I supported him before and I support him now. But, as my sainted grandmother used to say, "Everybody makes mistakes; just don't make too many."

I still believe firing Black was a mistake. The idea that she was a maverick doesn't rise to the level of a firing offense. If it's something else, something much more serious, tell us and we'll move on. If not, let's just let this go and make sure that he continues to fulfill the great promise he's already shown in this job.

And Chris, I hope you and your family are well, as well.

Dave

Talkbacks

Jfkfc | Aug. 30, 2012 at 3:48 p.m. (report)

Good job Chris - calling a spade a spade. The original article was much more harsh and critical than the first few sentences of this article suggest. What should have happened, front the start, was the author getting Chris's side of the story before printing an obviously reactive, knee-jerk article based on assumptions and hearsay. Again, good job Chris!

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InTheView | Aug. 27, 2012 at 11:57 a.m. (report)

Won't change the fact that I won't vote for the muppet.

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DanY | Aug. 24, 2012 at 9:42 p.m. (report)

I don't know anything about the reasons, or politics. I don't have an opinion either way. I do know a lot of Parks employees. I do know that most of them are happy to see her go...

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einstein | Aug. 24, 2012 at 3:16 p.m. (report)

Abele owes us what we were told nothing more. All you salacious gossip mongers are exactly why we can't get good people in office. He's the boss, she did not perform to his expectations in some areas , nobody seems to be complaining at the parks dept. Leave it alone. As for the "garbage" person, don't crap where you eat hot shot and try getting a life. Kiss Kiss Jerk off

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AndrewJ | Aug. 24, 2012 at 1:53 p.m. (report)

36464 Holy cow... That is the longest sentence I have ever seen in my life. I am beyond impressed that he was able to continually stroke himself for that long. Which would mark the first time I've been impressed by anything Chris Abele has done. Although, technically, I suppose he can claim "I only wrote one sentence about myself". Never mind the fact it was 196 words long.

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