Monday vote shows long-running battle between Chris Abele and the county board

CREATED May 6, 2013 - UPDATED: May 6, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee County Board overrode County Executive Chris Abele's veto of the board's reform plan Monday. That resolution would reduce supervisors' pay. The state legislature also has a plan to cut even more of the board's power.

Monday's vote is just the latest move in a long-running battle between the county board and the county executive. And now a new group is joining the fight.

Milwaukee County supervisors aren't giving up their fight for control over the cuts being made to their board. Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic says voters put them in charge.

"I think people need to ask themselves should people from the rest of the state be deciding how Milwaukee County government is structured and how we are governed or should we go with a local plan," Dimitrijevic said.

But county executive Chris Abele says parts of the board's bill are flat-out illegal, and he believes a decision at the state level is not only OK, it's what's supposed to happen.

"It's not going to start raining frogs, there won't be earthquakes, it's not the end of democracy," Abele said. "They'll still be checks and balances and things will run efficiently."

And the battle is being fought on another front. A group called Citizens for Responsible Government held a rally Monday night in support of the state plan.

We feel that the county board can't be trusted," said Chris Kliesmet with CRG.

And this is all playing out as five members of the board want Dimitrijevic to step down as chairwoman, which is something she has no plans to do.

"I'm ready to move forward," she said.

The bill is scheduled for another vote this week. If it eventually becomes law at the state level, that overrides anything the board can do.