Waukesha BID Faces Significant Changes

The Business Improvement District's Board of Directors could drastically shrink and the BID may no longer plan downtown events – leaving the event organization to the local business owners.

The Waukesha Business Improvement District could see some drastic changes over the next few months as a revised operating plan being proposed could make a significant difference in the BID’s operations — including the operations and planning of events in downtown Waukesha.

The BID Board will meet for the first time in months at 4 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. After the former executive director resigned from her position citing bullying and a harassing work environment as the reason for her departure, the majority of the BID board resigned from their positions. After months of battling, the Common Council and the mayor finally came an agreement on appointment enough members to to restore the board.

And as the board begins to meet, its first task is to develop the 2013 budget, by-laws and operating plan. Significant proposed changes include:

  • Shrinking the board size from 13 members to seven;
  • Requiring the board to consist of three property owners and three business occupants or residents within the district;
  • Requiring the BID’s operating plan to be approved by the Common Council;
  • Removing standing committees but holding committee meetings as necessary; and 
  • “Assisting with funding” instead of “planning and sponsoring” events and festivals in downtown Waukesha.

The BID’s 2013 operation and goals are proposed “to provide financial support to organizations desiring to conduct activities and events within the Business Improvement District that support and enhance the goals of the BID. The BID shall collect funds from various sources and shall distribute those funds as are available to support downtown activities. The BID will not be the primary body for the development and administration of events and activities. There area a number of downtown organizations that currently sponsor and administer events and activities designed to improve the business climate within the BID,” states the draft operation plan.

The BID previously helped run downtown events such as the Farmers’ Market, Diva Day and Art Fest. Any expenditures by the BID board, under the draft operational plan, are to be used for:

  • Making the downtown more vibrant to enhance the business climate;
  • Administration and management;
  • Downtown development and to enhance the downtown image;
  • Promotions and advertising of the district businesses;
  • Physical appearance of the downtown; and
  • Promote vacant properties for appropriate occupancy.


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