County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.
Press Release

County Executive Refuses Once Again to Sign Domes Repair Resolution

Also Ethics Code and Sex Offender Resolutions

By - Mar 23rd, 2016 04:10 pm

Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. said today that County Executive Chris Abele refused to sign a resolution providing funding to repair and re-open the Mitchell Park Domes under an established timeline of May 1 (Show Dome), August 1 (Tropical Dome), and September 1 (Arid Dome).

The Board on March 17 authorized allocation of $500,000 toward additional anticipated costs of repair work needed at The Domes. Abele sent the measure back unsigned. This is similar to the County Executive’s inaction last year when he left an initial allocation of $500,000 for repair work unsigned. The Domes were later closed.

“The community shared their thoughts about the Domes when the Board held a public hearing (February 24), and the Executive failed to show up and listen or to share his own vision,” Lipscomb said. “Hundreds of people turned out at the hearing, and the Board heard them loudly and clearly: They want the Domes repaired.

“Refusing to sign a resolution that authorizes money for repair, which he has now done twice in six months, indicates that he still isn’t taking responsibility for the condition of the Domes. When will he support something more than netting to catch falling debris and listen to the people of Milwaukee County who want to save their Domes?”

Other measures sent back unsigned include:

  • Local independent redistricting reforms that could serve as model for other governments, including the State Legislature.
  • Strengthening of the Ethics Code to stop the revolving door of high-ranking officials walking out of the Courthouse with a County contract.
  • Notification by the Office of the Sheriff related to safety concerns over sex offenders being placed in Milwaukee County neighborhoods upon notification by the State Department of Corrections.
  • A policy to allow both the legislative and judicial branches of Milwaukee County to also issue e-mail communications, a purview currently exclusive to the County Executive.
  • A resolution and ordinance authorizing a legal action seeking judicial review of the County Executive’s unilateral actions to increase the salaries of political appointees and his unlawful refusal to appear before public meetings of the Board (including the public hearing on the future of the Domes).

“The Executive should have signed all of these resolutions,” Lipscomb said. “Instead he chose to duck his responsibility on these important issues.”

The Domes

Mentioned in This Press Release

One thought on “County Executive Refuses Once Again to Sign Domes Repair Resolution”

  1. Virginia Small says:

    Although Chris Abele has refused to sign allocations for Domes repairs, his office said he intends to use $30,000 of the original Domes repairs funding for Phase 1 of a three-part “community engagement” (PR) process to explore “all options” from repair and restoration to razing and replacing the Domes with something else.

    From a recent report:

    In response to questions from Urban Milwaukee, Abele spokesperson Melissa Baldauff revealed the hiring of Witzling, calling him “a nationally recognized planning and urban design professional.” Witzling, a principal at GRAEF and former UW-Milwaukee professor, has been involved with “community engagement on large scale projects such as the World Trade Center memorial.” Baldauf said. The process “will ultimately lead to a competitive process for design and construction,” she added, noting that the Abele administration “is preparing a not-to-exceed cost of $30k for this first phase of steering committee and public information meetings” and anticipates “finalizing this contract in the next week…The funding is available in the capital project budget for the domes as approved by the Board and County Executive.”

    Was there some other mechanism used by the executive to formally indicate his “approval” of this capital project budget?

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