Opposes proposed Bay View BID $300,000 loan
July 2, 2012
Author’s Note: In the past, I have been urged to keep my comments to myself because my wife Joyce Parker is on the Business Improvement District #44 board of directors. But the proposed $600,000 loan is just too much to bear. It will guarantee an increase in the assessed percentage we as property owners in the BID. My wife has her opinions on the matter. These are my own.
Members of the Milwaukee Business Improvement District #44 (Bay View) are considering large and expensive “ streetscape improvements” to be made in the district—”improvements” that the district cannot afford and for which the district has no need.
The board is considering taking a loan of $300,000, equal to over more than six times the annual income of the BID to pay for these “improvements.” Where, but in the government, can an entity making only $45,000 per year get a loan for $300,000?
When that loan is being repaid, there will be less money on hand for the day-to-day expenses of the BID. This reduction of available cash would almost certainly require an increase in the tax levy imposed on property owners in the BID.
At the time the BID was established, accountability was ensured by the stipulation that the board members all be business property owners. This meant they could provide a tax key by which they could prove that they were contributing to the money being so freely spent by the board. In June 2011, the accountability was removed by a “clarification” (actually a redraft) of the BID by-laws. Presently, there is no longer a requirement that the board members be property owners within the district, a dramatic loss of accountability.
On Monday, July 9, at 6pm, you will have a chance to see for yourself this disgusting display of self-serving, runaway government. The BID meeting will be held at the meeting hall of Joyce Parker Productions, 2685 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. It’s your money—come to the meeting and kiss it goodbye.
In the past, the BID has given us such “improvements” as security cameras in what the Milwaukee Police Department has described as one of the safest of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods, and thousands of dollars for a website that is still not live after more than a year of design work.
It is important to keep in mind, as the BID board goes merrily along wanting to spend $600,000 on street improvement. Kinnickinnic Avenue is already a paved street and at night, it is lit by streetlights. Lack of necessity has never stopped the BID spending in the past
Gary A. Guetzlaff
BID #44 taxpayer
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