Milwaukee’s next county executive is the first in at least 100 years to start his tenure in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.
Coronavirus is further pushing the normal motivation for Milwaukee County Executive-Elect David Crowley to start fast with action.
“We have to hit the ground running,” said Crowley to WTMJ’s Steve Scaffidi on Wednesday. Crowley begins his teanure in May.
“Right now, we have to focus on moving things forward.”
Crowley said his first focus is fortifying the health of county residents in the battle against coronavirus and to aid people’s recovery, as well as the economy.
He also said he is working on starting his transition with outgoing County Executive Chris Abele “immediately…transitioning with the current administration…finding out what’s working, what’s not.”
Long term, he knows one key he has is to be able to work across aisles. Crowley, currently a state representative, touted his skill in working with Republicans and his fellow Democrats during the campaign which he won by a small margin over State Senator Chris Larson.
“County Executive Abele has been able to work with many Republicans. I had the same,” said Crowley who received support from politicians of both parties during his campaign.
“That’s why I had the support of many Republican colleagues.”
Bipartisan support was a major aspect of the just-approved coronavirus relief package Crowley’s fellow Assembly members approved by a 97-2 margin on Tuesday. He didn’t believe the package did all that the current situation requires.
“I don’t think it does quite everything that we needed to do,” he said.
“I would have loved for us to do a little bit more for our emergency responders…but we had to do something quickly. We waited until the ninth hour, (so) we had to get something done.”
But Crowley also intimated that the perfect cannot be the enemy of a necessary good for a population in need.
“We can’t make a perfect deal at this moment when it comes down to the COVID-19 crisis. What we can do is make incremental steps,” said Crowley.
“We know this is going to make a major financial burden on state resources and local resources as well.”