Sunday, June 1, 2014

Milwaukee Police District 2 Captain Patrols The Mitchell Street Sun Fair

Alfonso Morales and Juan Lopez

The Mitchell Street Business Improvement District 4th Annual Sun Fair in jeopardy.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 1, 2014

Milwaukee, WI - On Sunday, Police Captain Alfonso Morales and Milwaukee Police Officer Juan Lopez walked along W. Historic Mitchell Street 4th Annual Sun Fair and stopping with merchants to greet them. Captain Morales is the Milwaukee Police District 2 Station Captain.
Ron Giguere, former Board president of the Mitchell Street Business Improvement District (BID) #4  told Morales, that no major incidents had occured during Friday or Saturday, but that a man had been taken into custody for an oustanding warrant. Captain Morales confirmed, that only two armed robberies were reported in the South side on Saturday and no other major incidents had happened compared to other police districts in the city.
Giguere resigned abruptly last October as Board president of BID 4 and Rudy Gutiérrez, the Bank Manager and Assistant Vice-President from US Bank was selected as the new BID Board president.
Giguere was helping out as a volunteer this year because of a year by year contract with the Rainbow Valley Rides Inc. (RVR), which runs the carnival at Sun Fair. Sun Fair ends on Sunday.
The building at 1635 S. 8th St. where the BID 4 is housed, is owned by the Historic Mitchell Street Preservation Corporation, which Giguere is a member. The BID 4 rents the first floor. It's current BID 4 director, Nancy Bush was reported to earn more than 65,000 per year including benefits, but Bush says she does not make that much in a e-mail response to Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA). She wouldn't confirm how much her salary was and doesn't believe it was public information.
In this year's proposed operating budget, the BID was allocated $8,000 for professional services and $63,500 for personnel, but it was not clear, if Bush's salary was included in this amount.
There are 30 BID's in the City of Milwaukee, not all have the same assessment formula. The BID #4's is $4.00 per $1,000 of assessed commercial property value, not to exceed $2,500, Bush confirmed.
Also affiliated with the BID #4, is the Mitchell Street Development Corp., which buys buildings in the area and restores them for development, according to an article by the Business Journal (BJ) dated April 16, 2013. Giguere was reported as the Chairman of the preservation group, according to the BJ article.
Gutiérrez is expected to propose for the board to establish a Mitchell Street Days twice per month to attract potential shoppers and investors to the area. Last year, the BID made just enough revenue to pay for the Sun Fair costs and in 2012, the Sun Fair carnival made more than $250,000 in revenue within three days, Giguere told the BJ. By the end of this year, the contract with RVR's expires, according to Bush. The Sun Fair's future is uncertain and its future on Mitchell Street depends on the revenue generated during the 3-day event.
Bush contradicted Giguere's estimate to the BJ that the BID #4 made more than $250,000 during Sun Fair 2012. Bush wrote, "In 2012, the Sun Fair did not make "more than $250,000," it made $2,562.49. Last year, in 2013, the event made $911.26. In 2011, its first year, the event made $1,296.16." If Giguere was correct in his quote to BJ in 2013, then what happened to the remaining $247,437.51? HNNUSA reviewed the BJ archives for April 2013 and found that Giguere's estimate of $250K in the BJ was never changed indicating it was credible enough for the BJ to report.
Bush also wrote that, "The Mitchell Street Development Corp." is not affiliated with BID #4."
The Board has three vacancies open and 12 current Broad members, according to Bush.
In the 2014 proposed operating plan, BID #4 received under $119,000, with the following projected expenses, $8,000 for marketing & promotion, $17,500 for rent, $4,000 for utilities, $8,000 for professional services and $63,500 for personnel.
The BID #4 projected to raise about $118,000 in assessments, which the 2014 budget exceeded BID assessments for 2014.

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