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:
"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,
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.
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!
Won't change the fact that I won't vote for the muppet.
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...
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
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.
Show me the other Talkback
6 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published May 4, 2017
There are many people in Milwaukee who lead very public lives. One of them, surely, is David Stearns, the general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. We sat down with him to see what makes him tick.
Published May 2, 2017
With a May 8 deadline looming, the war of words over a proposed strip club Downtown is escalating. A coalition of powerful business interests remain opposed, with the mayor and members of the Common Council on the other side, using Minneapolis as an example.
Published April 30, 2017
Let us all agree about what Junie B. Jones is not. She is not a crook. She is not a nutball. She is not in love with Handsome Warren. What she is, though, is the center of a wonderfully funny story, "Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook."
Published April 29, 2017
Theater can make you feel a lot of things, most of them wondrous, but on rare occasion it can make me feel like a dummy. And that's what I felt like after seeing "Jane Eyre," the final show of the season at The Rep, which opened Friday night.
Published April 27, 2017
It's impossible to stop thinking about the production of "Carnival" currently being staged at In Tandem Theatre, which I reviewed on opening night last week and is a fascinating example of what can happen when you stretch yourself and dream big dreams.
Published April 25, 2017
Start with a girl, beautiful and rich. Then add in her uncle and guardian who wants to marry her so he can get the money and toss in a high-born stranger who also wants the girl's hand in marriage. What you have is Florentine's "Barber of Seville."
Published April 22, 2017
For 15 years, under the guidance of art therapist Lori Vance, ExYoMKE has gone one-on-one with some of the most disaffected children in Milwaukee, children of all races and genders, and tried to help them see the world through the eyes of an artist.
Published April 22, 2017
One of the most wonderful evenings at a theater is when the show starts on a high note and just keeps getting better and better until you get to an ending where your heart is lying on the floor and your eyes are clouded with tears. That's "Carnival."
Published April 21, 2017
"The Fantasticks" is a simple little musical, the longest running in history, about a boy and a girl and being in love. The problem in the Off the Wall Theatre production is that the boy can't hold up his end of the deal, and the whole production suffers.
Published April 20, 2017
When I'm moved, I write, and fortunately, with OnMilwaukee, I have a place for that writing. The series of Uber tales from the road have run intermittently, but this story, more than anything else, proved that words and social media have the power to spark action, to make a real difference.