Editor’s Note: The following letter was submitted to Patch by Waukesha Business Improvement District Board Member Chris VanderBloemen and her husband, Stephen.
As long time commercial property owners in the BID District and a past board member of the BID and officer for many years (Steve) and as a current BID board member (Christine), it is with deep sadness and disappointment that we hear of the resignation of yet another Executive Director of the Waukesha Business Improvement District. Unfortunately, Meghan Sprager is not the first victim of these tactics. Previous executive directors, and now Meghan, have tried unsuccessfully to deal professionally with eliminating these tactics. These same people have continued over the years to attempt to direct the operations of the BID for their personal gain, satisfaction and benefit.
The BID is supported by additional tax dollars assessed to the property owners (the stakeholders) for the sole purpose of building up the downtown and offering an environment to encourage new real estate development / renovation. Several of the business owners have made it their mission to take over the BID and implement their plans and use of the BID funds and organization. We agree with the concerns raised by Meagan in her letter of resignation that the Bid organization is now to the point that the property owners and residents appear to have little or NO VOICE in what goes on in the BID district. We believe that this situation is further exacerbated by recent appointments to the BID board with some of the appointments being non-property owners and non-residents.
It is now clear that the tactics of certain downtown business owners have succeeded in their attempts to drive another qualified director out of the BID. What surprises us more is that some of these business owners were on the committee who chose Meghan. Now that her resignation has been submitted the attacks against her have . Many anonymous comments have been posted stating, among other things, that she was overpaid and under committed. These issues about Megan’s compensation and alleged work commitment have never been presented to the BID Board. If these individuals had proof of these accusations they should have brought them to the attention of the BID Board. This never happened. It is clear to us that these postings are nothing more than an attempt to discredit Meghan and hurt her reputation.
As the Apostle of common sense, G. K. Chesterton stated: “Truth must necessarily be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it.”
Thank God that Meghan is a woman of honor and a true professional who refused to be bullied by them and made her decision to longer continue in this hostile work environment and to communicate her concerns to the BID stakeholders and the community.
We wish Meghan well in her new endeavor. She is a well-qualified individual whose talents where not appreciated by some BID directors and a few downtown business owners.
Stephen and Christine VanderBloemen
BID Property Owners and BID board member