County Executive

County Executive Chris Abele

Pursuing Excellence

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Pursuing Excellence 

It’s a big goal, but it’s one we’ve made significant progress toward achieving: We want Milwaukee County to be a model government that employs the best ideas, the best practices and the best employees.

A lot of what that entails is looking at the way we manage our resources and deliver our services. One of our successes has been in working to right-size county government. Since County Executive Abele took office, the County has shed over 1 million square feet in owned real estate that was no longer needed. We’ve realigned divisions, looked at department performance and aimed to make decisions based on what’s best for the County and its people.

Many of our departments are meeting the challenge and finding creative, innovative ways to operate. From our great parks beer gardens to creating our Office of Emergency Management, we’ve brought new ideas to the table.

We believe the people of Milwaukee County are the best. And we’re working to be the best in serving you.

Creating a Culture of Excellence  

County Executive Chris Abele has instituted a formal Performance Management program, for which the County has adopted the nationally-recognized Baldrige Excellence Framework. Designed to spread performance improvements organization-wide, Baldrige brings together leaders from traditionally siloed departments to evaluate how the County broadly is carrying out its mission and vision, and what we can do to improve.

County leaders see the value of using data to inform decisions and manage performance. Following the Baldrige strategy, departments set and report on transformational goals that aim to adopt best practices, address deficits, or develop innovative approaches to improve service delivery. The County has leveraged this platform to increase its outreach efforts to Veterans, reduce countywide energy use, ensure needed child support payments for families in high-need zip codes, and boast an internationally ranked Fleet Management division.

Baldrige efforts undertaken by Milwaukee County’s Department of Administrative Services and the Department of Health and Human Services have already been recognized by the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence, and their experience has laid the groundwork for the organization to approach continuous quality improvement as One County.

A Balancing Act

We have become all too familiar with the difficult decisions necessary to balance the budget in Milwaukee County, and this year is no different. With a projected $28 million gap in the 2020 budget, we have launched Balancing Act as another way to gain insight directly from our residents on how to best direct our limited resources.

In addition to seeking input on the upcoming budget, this tool is about building a more sustainable future. We have opened all revenue generating options – both currently available and those that would require a change in state law – this year. I am working with the County Board and other state and local leaders to address the funding imbalance long-term. And we need your input.

Balancing Act is expected to take less than 30 minutes to complete. Please take the time to weigh in, and share with all community groups, stakeholders and residents who may be interested in participating.

Balance the Budget


(414) 278-4211 | fax: (414) 223-1375
Milwaukee County Courthouse, Room 306
901 N. 9th Street | Milwaukee, WI 53233

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