County Board Committed to Honoring Veterans, Protecting Art
Last-minute change could be a deal breaker for two local treasures
A plan initiated by the Milwaukee County Board to help fund and support the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center and the Milwaukee Art Museum could be at risk just as the deal was getting done. The plan includes funding to not only improve both facilities but the services they provide. County Executive Chris Abele pulled some of the funding the groups agreed upon and voiced late opposition to the plan in general.
Supervisor Gerry Broderick, Chairman of the Parks Committee and former Art Museum Board member, is concerned about what this will mean for the future of the extremely popular museum.
“Failure to come together on this agreement puts the half-billion dollar publically-owned art collection at risk,” Broderick said. “The proposed privately-funded expansion of the museum itself could also be at stake.”
“This puts new services for veterans at the War Memorial in jeopardy,” Supervisor John Weishan, Jr. said. “As a veteran, I know we need more support to help the troops coming home now from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The County Board adopted a budget amendment to provide incentive funding for the War Memorial and Art Museum. The Board then brought in a mediator to help bring the two sides together on the agreement that is now up in the air.
“This last-minute change by the County Executive actually cuts funding for the War Memorial and Art Museum,” County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic said. “It throws a wrench in this historic agreement between two cultural pillars of our community.”
“As hundreds of thousands of Milwaukee County residents line the lakefront tonight next to these two icons, this is a great opportunity for us to think about properly honoring our veterans and the art community by investing in a long-term agreement.”
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