Make no mistake. Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Patti Logsdon who represents part of Franklin HATES The Rock complex in Franklin, one of the most popular destinations in Milwaukee County.
A comment she made to the contrary at a meeting of the County Board’s Audit Committee was completely disingenuous. More on that in a bit.
The Audit Committee met online Wednesday as county auditors presented a review of the three main agreements between the county and the Rock. The audit is here and it’s nowhere near sexy reading. If you’d prefer your brain not bleed suffice to say the review found “the county’s monitoring of the agreements” needs improvement and the Rock needs to do a better job of keeping records about their community benefits goals. Hardly scandalous findings.
At the committee meeting, Logsdon who is not a member of the committee opened her remarks complaining she was “appalled” that a committee she sits on that has data on this issue should have received the audit to discuss and not just the Audit Committee. Not exactly going for the jugular.
Logsdon then said that if the Rock has financial obligations and owes the county money, then the Rock is liable. She quoted a figure of $1 million not being collected that could be used for county purposes. Other than mentioning “youth sports” Logsdon failed to specify what kind of government spending and specific programs could/would be the recipients.
The Rock’s popular The Hill Has Eyes sold so many tickets in 2020 that the Rock had no reason it couldn’t fulfill their county obligations, Logsdon asserted as she mentioned a total of more than $600,000 in sales. But the self-proclaimed 35-year accountant didn’t take into account expenses.
Oh this is a good one. The audit title: “Between The Rock and a Hard Place.” Logsdon said that was an insult to people in the community. If this was an argument when I was a kid in elementary school someone would bring out “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” At least Logson didn’t say she was “appalled.”
Logsdon wasn’t through. Her pleas to have the audit referred to her own committee were falling on deaf ears and she knew it.
“We (she and other members of the Economic and Community Development) aren’t doing this against anything with the Rock. We’re happy they’re a successful entity. What we’re doing is if they have monies owed to Milwaukee County we want to rightfully collect our monies. We need this money.
“My district had to close one of my pools down because of lack of funds.”
That’s the Hales Corners Pool. One of Logsdon’s vocal opponents, former Supervisor Steve Taylor who she defeated in 2018 has been applying the heat because the pool was a popular project when he represented the district. Logsdon has done little, if anything to resurrect the pool, and is now trying to scapegoat the Rock for her lack of success.
“We (she and other members of the Economic and Community Development) aren’t doing this against anything with the Rock. We’re happy they’re a successful entity.”
That’s a crock. Logsdon has always opposed the Rock.
From my blog of March 30, 2018 when Logsdon ran against Taylor:
Two years ago I endorsed Patti Logsdon in her race against Taylor. At that time we did talk about the project and she was not all that thrilled about it.
A few weeks ago on March 15 (2018) in an e-mail to Logsdon I asked about her position.
When we had our lengthy discussion the last time you ran you said you’d have an open mind. I’ve heard that you are vehemently opposed. To be fair I’ve not written anything about this issue as it pertains to the race but I might. So, did you oppose the project while it was being deliberated? Did you voice opposition in any discussions or meetings with neighbors who are opposed? Now that’s it been approved what are your feelings about the project?
Kevin, I have an open mind about the project, which, as you note, is already approved. Any opposition you heard that I held for the project is directly related to the dissatisfaction that the residents living near to it have shared: they feel like elected officials are not listening to them and their quality of life is affected in the end. It is easy to support economic development, but a division has been caused in our community that I think could have been largely avoided if those closest to the project had earnestly worked to appease many of the concerns raised by the citizens. Instead, they feel run over and I have compassion for that. I have spoken up, specifically at Steve Taylor’s town hall meeting. I respectfully asked a question about why other options proposed by John Weishan in a county board meeting were not considered, and Taylor’s response was to attack me publicly, saying that I was being a liberal and was against the project. I didn’t attack the project, I asked a question; and Steve Taylor doesn’t know the difference.
I wrote back.
Thank you, but you didn’t answer my questions.
On March 22 I offered Logsdon another opportunity to respond and have not heard from her.
Finally this from the 66-page audit on the Rock released this week:
One unfortunate byproduct of the Ballpark Commons project has been the outsized influence of a handful of individuals who protested the project from the beginning who have transferred their protest to any other project that Parks seeks to accomplish in this area such as rebuilding our roads or operating our trail system. Parks needs to continue to provide services in this area and the complaints that have been generated from some constituents are beginning to impair our ability to do so…and while receiving and responding to complaints is a necessary part of providing good customer service, we must also use judgment in assessing complaints and make decisions that positively impact the most people.
As of May 2021, we had received directly or forwarded from another County entity, 63 complaints regarding the Rock. Those complaints were from 12 individuals in total with one individual being responsible for 34 emails alone.
The Audit Committee voted to refer the audit back to the committee next month for further discussion.