Joe Davis, Sr.
Press Release

Mayor’s indecisiveness on the Downtown Arena project may cost the City of Milwaukee taxpayers millions!

Statement from Alderman Joe Davis, Sr. April 3, 2015

By - Apr 3rd, 2015 12:41 pm
Ald. Joe Davis.

Ald. Joe Davis.

Yesterday the Mayor of the City of Milwaukee announced that he would support $50 million of combined city-county support for a proposed new arena. Really? Didn’t a Black guy recently do a press conference (with a Milwaukee Bucks hat on) pledging the same financial support?! Look, I understand good ideas coming from this administration are at a minimum in this town, but I have to tell you — this is embarrassing.

To blast your potential state funding partner (the Governor’s announcement of a $220 million proposed funding package for the arena) and then wait to announce the City of Milwaukee’s contribution was irresponsible. And now the Mayor says he supports Governor Walker’s plan over Senator Fitzgerald’s proposal of $150 million, yet he is complaining about the $70 million difference in the two state proposals.

Mr. Mayor, this isn’t “Dialing for Dollars.”

Our Mayor should have stood shoulder to shoulder with Governor Walker and pledged my proposed $50 million package when the Governor announced his support of $220 million (like I did) to send a clear message to the members of our state Legislature that the City of Milwaukee is serious, committed, and all in. But now the Mayor is acting like he holds all the cards, with a whining Chief of Staff making more ill-advised comments after the leaders of the State of Wisconsin’s Legislature criticized their Downtown Choo Choo Train. These antics are absolutely unacceptable.

We must get this deal done by negotiating with the mindset of how the new arena development can bring tremendous and potential long-term economic growth for this city. I know the Bucks owners have plans for the entire City of Milwaukee, which they have publicly stated, and we should focus on and acknowledge their commitment to a long-term partnership, not their wealth.

For it is with these policies – and a consistent pattern of indecisiveness – that the current administration is costing the taxpayers potentially millions of dollars to close this deal.

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One thought on “Mayor’s indecisiveness on the Downtown Arena project may cost the City of Milwaukee taxpayers millions!”

  1. M says:

    Ald. Davis, please provide specifics on your $50 million planned giveway to the Bucks. Other than some temporary construction jobs, how will giving public money and other assets to this private project help Milwaukee’s economy? If new arena deal is like the current one, they will pay no property tax, including on ancillary businesses and no rent on the facility. Taxpayers will also likely pay for maintenance. Businesses in the area may be hurt by arena restaurants outcompeting them.

    If you really want to help Milwaukee’s economy, insist that any public-private partnership provides a direct return to city coffers of profits from that deal.

    Does your plan, like Mayor Barrett’s, include giving up a lucrative taxpayer-owned parking facility, and all future revenue (possibly for decades)? Development is supposed to add to city coffers, not deplete them.

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