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.