Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Park East Square project moves forward at special committee meeting today


I wrote this week for the MacIver Institute about how the Park East Square project was being delayed in a committee of the Milwaukee County Board. After objections were raised about one of the developers, Stewart Wangard, by SEIU because of a dispute over a janitorial service unrelated to the development, the Committee on Economic and Community Development voted 4-3 to delay for one month possible approval of the first phase of the development.

In a special meeting today, the Committee on Economic and Community Development voted 5-2 to approve the project (audio here). Supervisor Michael Mayo, who had previously voted to delay the project, reversed himself and made the motion to approve after he said he received assurances from the developer of jobs for people in his district.

Prior to the motion by Mayo, Peter Hanrahan, Vice President SEIU Local 1, claimed that his union had reached out to Wangard without success. Hanrahan said that they would soon be in negotiations at other buildings and he said they would be demanding the same concessions. Hanrahan asked the committee to either continue the delay to try to get Wangard to negotiate, or else find another developer for the project. He asked the committee, “Do not throw the janitors underneath the bus.”

Other local union leaders made brief statements in favor of the project:

Zoran Markovich, Business Representative, Carpenters Union
Ken Kraemer, Executive Director, Construction Labor Management Council Tom Millonzi, Principal Officer, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 200
Mike Gurich, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 200
Tom Benvenuto, Business Representative, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 200
Eric Strom, Business Representative, Carpenters Local #344
Chris Oleg, Laborers #113
Raul Hernandez, Business Agent, Carpenters Union

The vote was as follows:

Aye: David F Bowen, Michael Mayo Sr., James Schmitt,  Steve F Taylor, Patricia Jursik

No: Willie Johnson Jr.,  John Weishan


(Bruce Murphy of Urban Milwaukee also has an interesting article on the difficulties Milwaukee County and developers are having with Department of City Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux in developing the Park East corridor.)

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