County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.
Press Release

Supervisors Limit Excessive Pay for Top Political Appointees

Move Requires Implementation of Executive Pay Caps Adopted in 2013

By - Jul 27th, 2017 11:28 am

MILWAUKEE – The Board of Supervisors took action today, on a vote of 16-1, requiring the Abele administration to apply previously adopted salary limits to highly compensated political appointees and return the directors of five major County departments to their approved pay grades.

The move could save the county about $100,000 a year and eliminate an additional $750,000 annually in potential salary expense, if fully implemented.

For nearly four years County Executive Abele has ignored the County’s executive pay policy that limits excessive salaries for top department heads and instead awarded several illegal pay increases, now totaling nearly $100,000 a year. Recently, Abele moved his appointees into a higher pay grade, opening the door for him to unilaterally increase their salaries to nearly $300,000 each.

“County Executive Abele has refused to implement the pay limits that were approved in the 2014 budget and later upheld as legal by the courts,” said County Board Chairman Theo Lipscomb, Sr.

“When Abele awarded an unauthorized $50,000 raise to one of his appointees it was absurd, and the court agreed with us that it was improper. The County Executive has circumvented the legislative and judicial branches of this government and set up a situation where he could unilaterally award even more obscene raises and more than double the pay of several of his top political appointees to nearly $300,000.”

The County Board capped the salaries of the top five department heads at just over $120,000 as part of the 2014 budget, using salaries of comparable state department heads as a guide.  The Abele administration refused to implement that policy, and instead created a shadow pay structure that ballooned to include more than two dozen highly compensated employees.

On April 24, 2017, a Milwaukee County Circuit Court upheld the Board’s authority to adopt the executive pay provisions in the 2014 budget, concluding in part that “The Board’s request for a declaration that it has statutory authority to provide for, fix, or change the compensation of unclassified County employees, including department heads, is GRANTED.”

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.

Lipscomb Proposes Bus Route to Link 1,300 Workers to Foxconn

Invites Racine and State of Wisconsin to Collaborate with Milwaukee County

Lipscomb Reaffirms Wisconsin’s Good Government Values

Asks Legislators to Reject Bill that Would Undo Checks and Balances

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Questions Abele's Transit Cuts in Light of $2.75 Million Transit Surplus

2 thoughts on “Supervisors Limit Excessive Pay for Top Political Appointees”

  1. Bob says:

    Simply amazing how this abele could award these ridiculous pay raises to his cronies at the taxpayers expense knowing full well how screwed up the county pension system already is. Where will you extract the money to pay for the pension system gone wrong abele? This guy needs to go!

  2. Jeff says:

    Another point of view could be to have quality talent you need to pay a fair wage.

    Do you see the story where one of Abele’s department heads have already left to take a higher paying job after his pay was cut?

    I wonder if this is part of Lipscomb not being able to have the Estabrook Dam rebuilt. This would have resulted in millions of county tax dollars being spent that an overwhelming majority believe would be unnecessary. I’m not sure if it is a coincidence that it would benefit a couple handfuls of Lipscomb’s constituents at the whole county’s expense.

    This proposed project ($4.1 million to rebuild vs. $1.7 million to demolish) makes $100k look pretty paltry.

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