A Facebook friend and loyal reader of mine contacted me recently and recommended I go back and review the early December 2022 meeting of the Milwaukee County Board’s Audit Committee as it related to Ballpark Commons in Franklin and the county park and pool in Hales Corners. My blog will focus on a proposed resolution on Ballpark Commons by Milwaukee County Supervisor Patti Logsdon.
I did watch the online video of the 12/7/23 Audit Committee meeting and it’s brutal listening to Logsdon struggling to defend her very own resolutions. Can’t talk her way out of a paper bag. Makes me wonder if her head coach and chief mentor Supervisor Deanna Alexander also winces whenever Logsdon turns on her microphone.
At issue was Logsdon’s call for an audit of a 2012 agreement between the county and Ballpark Commons with Logsdon claiming the agreement stipulated the development make payments to the county that they haven’t kept.
The county is in dire straits of funding Logsdon argued with the county parks having issues collecting money from various entities, including Ballpark Commons. Logsdon contends the development was required to make an annual $25,000 lease payment to the county, but has only made one in 2013 and nothing since. Missing are payments for youth sports programs throughout the county and percentages of concessions, billboards, the Umbrella Bar, etc.
The Director of Audits at the Milwaukee County Office of the Comptroller Jennifer Folliard told the Audit Committee an audit of Ballpark Commons was “not the highest and best use of audit resources.” She also noted the original agreement between the county and Ballpark (it’s been redone) was more than a decade ago, details are beyond time limits and record retention policies, and that gathering meaningful results, specifically the kind Logsdon is seeking would be difficult.
The committee narrowly approved Logsdon’s request for an audit and the matter was forwarded to the full county board and taken up at the December 15, 2022 board meeting. One of the county’s lawyers, Corporation Counsel Margaret Daun informed supervisors that a deal approved by the board in 2018 voided the 2012 agreement and cleared any further obligation on the part of Ballpark Commons to pay the county.
For Supervisors Logsdon, Alexander, and others I repeat. The 2012 agreement was voided removing any obligation on the part of Ballpark Commons to pay the county.
In an effort to wipe egg off her face Logsdon amended her resolution and instead of asking for a full blown audit she was now requesting a report to be published by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture, Office of Corporation Counsel, DAS-Procurement Division, Office of the Comptroller, or any combination thereof, for the purpose of providing the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and members of the public with a summary overview of the County’s relationship with the developers, service providers, and tangential related organizations under the same ownership.
In other words, what went wrong, what mistakes were made, and how could they be avoided in the future.
Supervisor Shawn Rolland voted against further review saying “some poor sap” on the “understaffed, underfunded” staff would have to do the work, “for what?”
Logsdon’s amendment was approved 14-6 with Supervisor Steve Taylor, the executive director of the ROC Foundation that is affiliated with Ballpark Commons abstaining.
Logsdon’s resolution as amended was then approved 10-6 with Taylor again abstaining.
And then she issued a challenge to the Ballpark Commons on the record. Make good faith payments to the county of various amounts totaling $280,000.
There’s a larger issue at play here and that’s Logsdon’s continued disdain for the highly popular Franklin destination that borders on harassment. She claims in an effort to save face that she has nothing against The Rock or Ballpark Commons. I’m not buying it.
From day one Logsdon has disliked the very idea of Ballpark Commons. I know this for a fact because she told me. Prior to her very first run for public office I had an in-person discussion with Logsdon where she made it very clear she opposed the project.
I’ve been told that at a public event attended by Franklin-area businesspeople, possibly more, that she badmouthed Ballpark Commons.
Constituents continue to complain to her about Ballpark Commons that is in her district. And they probably do. It’s the same bunch of naysayers that cry and moan the same crap at public meetings. But I bet there are plenty of folks who understand and appreciate the benefits of Ballpark Commons and should let Logsdon hear about it if they haven’t done so already.
In an October 30, 2021 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, Rock Sports Complex owner Mike Zimmerman said, “We have been over this time and time again with the county. We consider all of our previous obligations fulfilled and have demonstrated this previously.”
Zimmerman also told the newspaper, “Frankly, they would be better served trying to work with the development and the city of Franklin instead of against (us). Their efforts have resulted in countless Milwaukee County resources and taxpayer money being deployed on (a) witch hunt.”
Apparently and unconscionably Logsdon doesn’t grasp the common sense about her own district.
I suspect her negative attacks will continue.
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