Holloway ends tenure as board chairman, has harsh words for Abele

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MILWAUKEE -- Thursday, March 15th was Lee Holloway's last meeting as Milwaukee County Board Chairman. Holloway has never shied away from controversy, and Thursday, he had strong words for Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

At the end of the day Thursday, and the end of Holloway's eight-year tenure as the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors chairman, as well as 20 years on the board, Holloway got a standing ovation.

The sometimes controversial and usually outspoken board leader talked with the supervisors about several issues in his last speech, but some of his more burning comments were directed at County Executive Abele and his wealthy background.

"I said he comes from a different place and he does, and it's nothing wrong with him coming from a different place. He's got to learn how to relate to normal people. He has never been around the 'Average Joe' and he needs to learn to value the 'Average Joe' so he can relate and understand the 'Average Joe,'" Holloway said.

The response in a statement from Abele's office said: "It's unfortunate chairman Holloway chose to use his last day to make personal attacks. Especially when there are so many positive things in Milwaukee County to focus on. I wish him and all the other retiring members of the County Board the best as they begin a new chapter in their lives."

Holloway insists it was not an attack. "Basically, all he's done is run foundations. He needs to work with the 'Average Joe,' not with the guys who are on the executive office and executive boards. He needs to get more familiar with the 'Average Joe.' That's all I'm saying. It's not a criticism," Holloway said.

Holloway ran for Milwaukee County Executive and lost in the primary in February of last year. Abele went on to eventually win the position.