Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Abele-O-Meter

Convene panel on long-term debt


"Will convene leaders from public and private companies to identify a long-term plan to tackle the County’s long-term debt program."


Updates

Panel held its first meeting in January

During his 2011 campaign for Milwaukee County executive, Chris Abele criticized the level of debt the county had amassed.

"For years, debt problems were allowed to accumulate while politicians bickered and kicked the can down the road,” he said in March 2011.

The solution? Abele promised to "convene leaders from public and private companies to identify a long-term plan to tackle the county"s long-term debt program."

The panel met for the first time in January 2012 to establish the agenda for the group"s discussions on the county's debt and other long-term liabilities, said Abele's spokesman, Brendan Conway.

The members: businessman-philanthropist Sheldon Lubar, who was part of Abele's transition team; retired Northwestern Mutual chief executive officer Ed Zore, a vocal supporter of Abele"s 2012 county budget; former county official Rob Henken, who is president of the Public Policy Forum government watchdog and research organization; Milwaukee Public Museum president and chief executive officer Jay Williams, a former Private Bank executive; and state Rep. Jason Fields, D-Milwaukee.

The panel's work is still to be done, but Abele's promise was to convene the panel.

We rate this a Promise Kept.

Sources:

Chris Abele campaign, "Chris Abele unveils one-year agenda to change Milwaukee County” news release, March 26, 2011  

Interview, Milwaukee County executive deputy chief of staff Jeff Bentoff, July 27, 2011

Email interview, Milwaukee County executive communications director Brendan Conway, March 20 and 21, 2012

A leader for the group has been identified

During his spring 2011 campaign for Milwaukee County executive, Chris Abele criticized the level of debt the county had amassed.

"For years, debt problems were allowed to accumulate while politicians bickered and kicked the can down the road,” he said in March 2011.

The solution? Abele promised to "convene leaders from public and private companies to identify a long-term plan to tackle the county"s long-term debt program."

Abele has been in office for only slightly more than three months. But he is serving only a one-year term. And this is the campaign promise among the 17 on our Abele-O-Meter that perhaps is the easiest to keep.

So, where do things stand?

There"s been a little movement.

Jeff Bentoff, Abele's deputy chief of staff, said the county executive has asked business leader-philanthropist Sheldon Lubar to head an advisory group, to be comprised mainly of private-sector business and financial leaders, that will act as a "sounding board” as Abele"s administration devises ways to tackle long-term debt.

Abele has also talked to other people about joining the group, Bentoff said.

Abele"s plan for addressing the debt will be contained in his 2012 budget proposal, which is due to be presented in September 2011, Bentoff said.

We rate this promise as being In the Works.

Sources:

Chris Abele campaign, "Chris Abele unveils one-year agenda to change Milwaukee County” news release, March 26, 2011  

Interview, Milwaukee County executive deputy chief of staff Jeff Bentoff, July 27, 2011