County Board set to adopt 2014 County budget on Tuesday
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Milwaukee County Board on Tuesday, November 12th is set to adopt the County’s 2014 budget.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele unveiled his budget proposal back in September — and it has stirred a bit of controversy — particularly between Abele and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
Abele’s 2014 budget is a $1.3 billion proposal.
“My proposed budget doesn`t include a tax increase or rely heavily on fee hikes,” Abele said.
Abele says the County’s deficit currently stands at $15 million — down from a projected $86 million three years ago. A significant portion of Abele’s budget concerns public safety. $72 million is allotted for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.
“Under this plan, the Sheriff`s Office will have the largest staff dedicated to freeway patrols since 2004,” Abele said.
The County will also fund a Milwaukee Police Department program known as ShotSpotter, to help detect gunfire on city streets. That is a sticking point with some County supervisors.
The budget also includes a two percent raise for workers, with increases in healthcare costs.
“No furloughs. I`d have to get back to you on what the overall staff change is. It`s not significant though,” Abele said.
Retirees like Kurt Zunker worry Abele’s plan means more money out of their pockets.
“We don`t get a two percent raise. When they raise our health insurance costs it comes out of our pockets. It forces many former employees into situations of poverty,” Zunker said.