Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Washington Nominated To City Plan Board

Town Bank VP Ranell Washington would replace his former coworker on commission.

By - Jun 27th, 2019 10:06 am
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Ranell Washington photo from Town Bank. Background photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Ranell Washington photo from Town Bank. Background photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Mayor Tom Barrett has nominated Town Bank vice president of business banking Ranell Washington to serve on the City Plan Commission.

Washington will replace his former coworker Joaquin Altoro on the commission. Altoro previously served on the commission and as vice president of commercial banking at Town Bank until being appointed to lead the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority in May by Governor Tony Evers.

“I am excited to serve the city of Milwaukee on the City Plan Commission to continue the service of past commissioners and bring a new perspective,” said Washington in a statement. “As a life-long resident and advocate of Milwaukee, I look forward to bringing 10+ years of commercial banking, community development and real estate experience to the CPC.”

The 37-year-old is a 2005 graduate of UW-Milwaukee and has worked at Town Bank since 2016 according to a resume submitted to the city.

Washington is a co-founder of young professional group Social X. He’s an active participant in the group’s weekly F.E.A.R. MKE (Forget Everything And Run) meetups.

He serves on the boards of the African American Chamber of Commerce, Domes Task Force, Milwaukee Excellence Charter School and Uptown Crossing business improvement district. Washington is also a loan committee member for Legacy Redevelopment Corp., serves on VISIT Milwaukee‘s diversity and inclusion committee and as development and membership coordinator for Milwaukee Film’s Black Lens programming series.

Washington resides in the city’s Arlington Heights neighborhood near N. Teutonia Ave. and W. Capitol Dr.

His nomination to the commission is pending alongside a nomination of Layton Boulevard West Neighbors executive director Brianna Sas-Pérez to serve on the commission.

The City Plan Commission performs design and zoning review for real estate development proposals that require zoning changes, including changes to the city’s zoning ordinances, street vacations and proposed city land sales. Its action on those matters are advisory to the Common Council.

It has final say over 43 overlay zone districts which have additional design criteria. Under a recently approved proposal sponsored by Alderman Robert Bauman, the Common Council will be able to hear appeals on any newly-created overlay zones. Bauman has been critical of the commission’s near-unanimous approval of recommendations from the Department of City Development.

Appointees serve two-year terms and are paid $3,000 annually.

Sas-Pérez and Washington would join a commission that has experienced a lot of turnover in the past two years. Architect Allyson Nemec and Riverworks business improvement district executive director Darryl Johnson have both joined the board in the past two years. Patricia Torres Najera chairs the commission, but is running for the council seat vacated by the recently-retired Terry Witkowski. Former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel architecture critic Whitney Gould and Wisconsin AFL-CIO president Stephanie Bloomingdale have served multiple terms.

Correction: A column on June 25th indicated Sas-Perez was appointed to replace Altoro. She is being appointed to a vacant position created by Preston Cole‘s resignation.

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Related Legislation: File 190368

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