County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.
Press Release

County Executive AWOL From Public Hearing on Future of the Domes

Abele Refuses to Listen to Community

By - Feb 24th, 2016 06:22 pm
The Domes. Photo by Dave Reid.

The Domes. Photo by Dave Reid.

Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., issued the following statement in response to County Executive Chris Abele’s no-show at today’s public hearing hosted by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors:

“Clearly, it is easier for Abele to travel to Madison and negotiate behind closed doors to hand over $80 million of the public’s money to the private Bucks arena than meet in the open with local residents about the future of the Domes, iconic park structures that belong to the public,” said Lipscomb.

“The County Executive has a pattern of failing to show-up for work,” Lipscomb said. “This time, Abele is refusing to provide an explanation of how administrative inaction led to the closure of all three Domes and is hiding from the public his vetoes of funding for parks repairs.”

Last year, the County Executive repeatedly violated the law by refusing to appear before the public during legislative deliberations on the annual budget to answer questions about his fiscal and policy recommendations. The Board authorized court action against the County Executive. The case is headed to the courts on Monday, February 29 at 9:30 a.m. before Judge William Sosnay.

Lipscomb said the Domes are the most self-evident example of the current effects of deferred maintenance on Milwaukee County Parks.

“This Administration and the prior one neglected our public parks, and now there are chunks of concrete falling from the Domes,” Lipscomb said.  “Our goal is to adopt at the next Board meeting a realistic plan that sets definitive deadlines for the Administration to reopen all three Domes and address the concerns we heard from the public tonight.”

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 17th at the County Courthouse.

The Board in July of 2015 authorized $5 million for parks repairs, and the County Executive vetoed the funding deeming the investment, “flippant and irresponsible.” The Board overrode that Executive veto, and in September unanimously voted to allocate $500,000 from that appropriation specifically to the Domes to install netting to ensure public safety. Even though the County Executive refused to sign that legislation, the Board’s action prevailed and this $500,000 in parks funding now is being used to reopen the Show Domes.

The Board’s Committee on Parks, Energy, and the Environment also will meet on Wednesday, March 8th to learn more about the County Executive’s “ballpark” calculations that rehab of the three Domes could cost $70 million.

The Domes

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2 thoughts on “County Executive AWOL From Public Hearing on Future of the Domes”

  1. Brian K says:

    Remove the Estabrook Park dam and we’ve got ~$3.5M banked for Dome repair.

  2. AG says:

    Brian, the initial outlays for the Estabrook dam are actually higher if you remove the dam. Maybe they should not rebuild the Lincoln park bridge or the band shell in Washington park and save a few million?

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