Thursday, December 8th, 2016

What the City Attorney saw

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Waukesha City Attorney Curt Meitz answered some of my questions about the current status of the Business Improvement District (BID) and the decision by the City Administrator Ed Henschel to allow Ron Lostetter to continue managing the BID’s finances:

Mr. Wigderson:

In response to your inquiry, our office has not written an opinion on the subject that “the BID Board is dissolved.” Any statement that the BID Board is dissolved is not an accurate characterization. State law is clear and unequivocal and states that the Board must have at least five members – sec. 66.1109(3)(a) Wis. Stats. As the number of members is now down to two, by operation of the law, there is no functioning BID Board. It cannot convene a meeting, it cannot take action.

On the other hand, the Business Improvement District has not been dissolved. This can only happen by the affirmative action of the Common Council or if a petition is filed by the statutory qualifying property owners with the Plan Commission seeking termination.

Likewise, as the Business Improvement District is still an operating entity, it has an obligation to meet its ongoing administrative day to day obligations. The circumstances in this case are exigent and unusual in nature. Not only is there not a functioning BID Board, but more important as it relates to administrating the day-to-day operations, the two full time staff persons and the BID intern have resigned.

Therefore, the actions of the City Administrator are practical, necessary and reasonable. Requesting that the person who was responsible for writing checks and meeting the day to day financial obligations of BID (Mr. Lostetter) to continue in that capacity until the Board has enough members to lawfully convene and give someone else that authority, is not prohibited by any law this office is aware of.

Curt Meitz  (by Sandee Policello)

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