Earlier this year, we came down rather hard on Chris Abele as he was running for County Executive. In some of our editorials, we observed that Abele lacked private sector experience, had some legal issues, and appeared a bit too cozy with labor unions. Despite these observations, he balanced the county budget with a display of strong fiscal resolve.
Yes, Abele lacked experience, but Abele introduced a county budget that few reasonable people can decry. Some on the left criticized Abele's budgeting as "Walker-lite." Those on the right found themselves defending his hawkishness as responsible and necessary.
Partisanship aside, Abele froze property taxes, required more county worker givebacks, and took Sheriff Clark head on. Abele manned up and showed he could do the job as well as the predecessor before him. The real test, however, will come after the election when Abele has time to be himself. Will he be a friend and advocate for the taxpayer, or will he defer to Milwaukee's Democrat machine?