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More BID Drama? Mayor's Board Appointments Ignore Council's Request

Waukesha Common Council members want an alderman to serve on Business Improvement District board, but Mayor Jeff Scrima's newest list of appointments excludes any aldermen.

Mayor Jeff Scrima’s recommending five new appointments to the Waukesha Business Improvement District’s Board of Directors, which if approved, would allow the board to begin to operate.

But the appointments going forward to the Waukesha Common Council at 7:30 p.m. Thursday ignore a key request the aldermen made the last time around: to appoint an alderman to the board.

He’s also recommending for appointment to the board People’s Park owner Jim Taylor and Allo Chocolat owner Roger Igielski, who both resigned earlier this year during tumultuous times in the BID. Council members had reservations at an Oct. 16 meeting about re-appointing the two business owners.

Also on the appointment list are Bill Huelsman, Phil Lee and Kevin Larson.

"Under the statutes and under our current BID operating agreement, we need a total of seven members for the board to resume operating,” Scrima said. “Had the council accepted Jim Taylor and Roger Igielski at the last council meeting, we would currently had an operating BID board. As far as appointing a council member, that is certainly something I am open to and will consider for future meetings.”

Scrima did not give a specific date for future appointments. The BID’s bylaws state the board is to have 13 members with at least 50 percent of the board comprised of people who own or occupy property within the BID. While the bylaws don’t specifically call for an alderman to be appointed to the board, it has been a longstanding practice to have a council member serve on it.

Alderman Duane Paulson was vocal at the last council meeting about his opposition to the appointments of Taylor and Igielski. Both men told the council in October they want to work to continue move the downtown forward.

“My, oh my, oh my – they resigned,” said Paulson on Friday when asked by Patch about the mayors appointments. “I don’t know how many different ways I have to say that.”

Eleven board members resigned from the 13-member board following a controversial resignation letter and a council woman's request to remove the entire board. The three are among seven appointments that Scrima is looking to bring before the Common Council on Tuesday to restore a portion of the board.

The controversy stems from a resignation that letter that former Executive Director Meghan Sprager submitted in August that cited hostile working conditions from two BID board members as the reason for her departure.

Properties in the downtown area are taxed a special assessment to fund services of the BID, such as marketing, special events and business recruitment and retention.

Mainstreet TheShaw November 02, 2012 at 11:58 PM
In my opinion, is anybody surprised about the incompetence of our current Mayor? It is, after all, Jeff Scrima's two faced dealings which exacerbated the initial drama with Megan S. having to leave because of Scrima's complete lack of leadership. Come on, when are we going to wake up and figure out the Mayor is not fit to be a council member much less the mayor. Watch the fiscal budget process we are having for our 2013. Is Jeff Scrima there, gosh no. Why would he be, he has no experience or education in budgetary matters. I am calling on Jeff Scrima to step aside and let the council fix the matters with regard to the downtown TIF district.
Alicia Rodriguez Silva November 03, 2012 at 02:47 AM
What happened to working together, united in purpose- to attract more businesses to downtown. The City Administrator puts the budget together with help from Accounting Dept. and the Finance committee reviews the budget, along with aldermen. Why is it a continual struggle to bring everyone in the BID to be on the same page? A leader must make decisions.
Rea L November 03, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Obviously the writer of this article framed to article to cause drama. Well blah, blah, blah... who would want to be in politics these days? Look at Madison and Washington... No matter what elected officials do some people will always be angry, and bloggers will play off of that anger.
the 'sha guy November 03, 2012 at 01:06 PM
If you are calling for the mayor to step aside you will have more credibility if you provide a real name and have direct correspondence with his office to voice your concerns. My guess is that he doesn't care much what anonymous posters comment about on Patch.
William November 08, 2012 at 07:53 PM
The Mayor’s appointees to the BID board are some of the most reputable, responsible and influential people in the downtown. If the Council doesn’t approve these appointments tonight, then the Council will be responsible for another delay, and the Council will be responsible for offending these people and thereby inadvertently magnifying these people’s (and their followers) support for the Mayor.
Christine VanderBloemen November 19, 2012 at 09:48 PM
No, it is the Mayor's fault for being bull headed and not listening to the requests of the Common Council. They want new people who have not served on the board in the last 2 years. The Mayor is causing this delay and no one else.

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