The day before a major public hearing that will help determine the fate of the Business Improvement District, Waukesha aldermen rescinded the BID’s operating plan’s special tax assessment.
More than 60 percent of the property owners within the district want to disband the 25-year-old organization that provides services like marketing, recruitment and retention and events in the downtown area via a special tax assessment. Differing opinions often clash downtown and the BID’s been in a state of controversy for years. The controversy increased in 2012 when then-Executive Director Meghan Sprager resigned, citing a hostile working environment.
“Should I stay out of it and let the BID die without compromise?” Alderman Roger Patton asked. “That is what some of my friends want. ... This is a last-minute effort to save the BID.”
While the aldermen voted 7-5 on Tuesday to rescind the BID’s special tax assessment, the motion effectively rescinds the BID’s operating plan. Still the BID can’t conduct business while the petition for the BID to dissolve is addressed.
“I want to save the BID, but I don’t know how to do it,” Patton told the aldermen.
Some aldermen were not in agreement with the plan, however, some like aldermen Duane Paulson and Paul Ybarra wanted to give the BID a chance.
“While it may not work, it is one last thing to try,” Ybarra said. “We are very interested in saving the BID.”