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Monday, July 20, 2015

CITIZEN Oversight and Wake-up Call ask County Economic and Community Development to honor name and purpose

Call for Due Diligence and a Profile in Courage is asked today of the members of the Milwaukee County Economic and Community Development Committee in their meeting of historic value today.

Committee Purpose
It oversees the administration of federal, state and local housing programs in the county, including the Urban Community Development Block Grant Program. Matters pertaining to economic development of Milwaukee County, including the best disposition of county properties, are decided by this Committee. It also makes decisions on the Research Park and the Airport Business Park.

The Milwaukee County Economic and Community Development Committee is the decision making seven-member group that has the authority of decision regarding the 1, 2, 4 and 7 blocks of the Park East real estate.  More importantly, it is the elected committee responsibility to vet their decision with that of the People.  The 7-member body consist of:

Supervisor Patricia Jursik, Chair - District 8

Committee Members
Supervisor Martin Weddle, Vice Chair - District 5
Supervisor Jim "Luigi" Schmitt - District 6
Supervisor Willie Johnson, Jr. - District 13
Supervisor Steve F. Taylor  - District 9
Supervisor Khalif Rainey - District 2
Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde - District 10

Last Meeting  
Aye: 5 - Schmitt, Johnson Jr., Taylor, Moore Omokunde and Jursik 
No: 2 - Rainey and Weddle.

According to the Minutes, Supervisor Rainey called for the vote.  What information had he gotten from his constituents to make that call given the fact that he and his colleagues (county, state and local) had been left out of the design plan and decision-making of, It is Cheaper to Keep Them deal by County Executive Chris Abele, Governor Scott Walker and Mayor Tom Barrett on June 4, 2015.

It is crucial that the taxpayers of the city and county are at the table at this point.  They are the ones with the 30-year commitment tied to this deal.  They are the owners of the real estate, tax credits, bonds, resolutions, staff and personnel engagement.  Therefore, any component of the deal must factor in the overall benefits and profits to gain by the People - their constituents.

Based on the final vote, two members of the committee were prepared to "RUBBER STAMP" the deal.  They were:  
L-R:  Supervisor Martin Weddle, District 5 and Supervisor Khalif Rainey - District 2
  • Supervisor and Vice Chair Martin Weddle - District 5
  • Supervisor Khalif Rainey - District 2
This was disappointing since the two (2) African Americans represent districts NOT at the table in any of the NBA Bucks projects - Arena, Park East or otherwise.  So, what were/are they thinking?  It is disappointing because it shows a lack of due diligence and profile in courage at the table providing homework, leadership and stewardship in providing opportunity of INCLUSION and bringing to the table options of change, not RUBBER STAMPING and rolling over.

What forceful dialog was given by Supervisors Jursik, Rainey, Taylor, Schmitt, Omokunde, Weddle and Johnson to argue the merits of "HOLD" for further discussions, more documentations, conferring with their intergovernmental colleagues; and, most of all to confer with the People of their districts. 

Were they taking the War Memorial input and the power players before them, insiders under the thumbprint of Chris Abele (James Tarantino, Director of Economic Development, Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Scott Manske, Milwaukee County Comptroller Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic, Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors Paul Bargren, Corporation Counsel Teig Whaley-Smith, Director, DAS David Cullen, Milwaukee County Treasurer); or, Union heads (Josh Garner, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, and Rail Transportation Rick Parrent, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 Ricardo Gutierrez, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 494 Kurt Jante, IBEW Local 494 Joel Allen, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 7 Robert Weaver, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 Tim Krieg, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 Tom Dewar, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 Steve Buffalo, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 Mike Ervin, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 Robert Turner, IBEW Local 494 Todd Pauly, IBEW Local 494,  John W. Hawley, Laborers Union Local 113 Chris Oty, Laborers International Union of North America Robert K. Potter, Heat & Frost Insulators John Swan III, Laborers Union Local 113 Bernie Same, Laborers Union Local 113 Luis Guevara, Laborers Union Local 113 Tom Benevenuto, Teamsters Dale Powelait, Steamfitters Union Local 601, Greg West, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 Dan Bukiewicz, Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council), or, city of Milwaukee supporters, developers and NBA Bucks representatives (Peter Feigin, President, Milwaukee Bucks Michael Fascitelli, Minority Owner, Milwaukee Bucks, Lead Developer, Head of the Herd, LLC Rocky Marcoux, Commissioner, Department of City Development, City of Milwaukee, Tim Sheehy - MMAC) rather than asking and getting the  VOICE OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS?  

The ball is in your court and so are the game rules.  Walker signed off but the deal can be broken if the key elements are not there.  Did you not KNOW THIS?  This is your job to seek the solutions and leverage the court, the bargaining field.

DO NOT draft the "powers-to-be" dialog - going along to get along and to advance YOUR personal agendas?  This brand of leadership is for the People to "fire you".

It appears that there was the willingness to go the next mile in leadership and stewardship with not only dialog but vote by Chair Patricia Jursik.  It remains to be seen today what level of leadership, due diligence, behind-the-scene leveraging and persuasion has taken place since June 15, 2015 vote.

We ask all seven (7) of the Economic and Community Development to do everything within their power to NOT "Checkmate" Milwaukeeans, especially African American, other People of Color and the Work Challenge - not a smart move in Profile of Courage and Due Diligence politics of leadership and stewardship.

Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC
Citizen Oversight and Wake-up Call for NBA Mileaukee Bucks Projects

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