Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Gaffey wants the BID dissolved

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Gerald Gaffey, husband of Waukesha’s controversial art gallery owner Lynn Gaffey, left this comment on one of my Facebook postings,

“Just think if you owned a property downtown, you might not have to pay a BID tax next year.”

Since Mayor Jeff Scrima has illegally declared the BID dissolved, my guess is that the mayor has no intention on appointing any new members to the BID Board. The comment by Gaffey seems to confirm that intention. That’s fine, but there is a process for dissolving the BID, something the mayor can’t just do on his own.

The Waukesha Common Council will have to force the mayor’s hand. That means Council President Joe Pieper might actually have to take a stand on something.

If the Common Council wants the BID to continue, then it needs to inform the mayor that he is obligated to appoint new members, and a timeframe for those appointments should be defined for him. If the mayor fails to adhere to that schedule, then the Council should remove the mayor.

If the Council would be happy to see the BID dissolved (which isn’t what I gathered from the comments at the last meeting) then the Council should put dissolving the BID on the agenda, including the disposition of the BID’s assets. That does not mean just giving the money in the account to the mayor and his friends to play with. It means giving the money back to the property owners first, and then the Council decides how the rest of the money should be handled. If the mayor and his friends are already raiding the BID funds, without approval, criminal charges should be brought against them and the mayor should be impeached.

Before the Council gets all weak in the knees at the suggestion, misappropriation of funds is something that the public would understand as reasonable grounds to remove the mayor. Failure to fulfill his responsibilities is also something the public would understand as reasonable grounds to remove a mayor. Maybe Scrima doesn’t understand that, but the Council needs to.

Meanwhile, the two remaining BID board members should demand all check books, keys and equipment be turned over to them immediately if they haven’t received those items already. They may have to call the police. They should also immediately change the locks on the BID office so that they maintain control over the BID assets until the Common Council acts.

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