More on the County Grounds debacle from Chris Liebenthal; one of his postings shows this was more than benign neglect.
Can you say, "recall framing?"
When Scott Walker was swept into the office of Milwaukee County Executive, ironically as a result of a recall election, he had also promised to preserve these treasures, saying that if he were to do anything, it would be to work at having the area designated as a state park.But as is all too often the case with Walker, what he says and what he does are two vastly different things.
Instead of filling positions in the important Economic Development Division with competent people that would be able to attract businesses to Milwaukee County, he instead filled it with campaign staffers like Robert Dennik and Tim Russell. (Yes, that is the same Tim Russell that has been arrested and charged as a result of the ongoing Walkergate investigations.)
One of the many bad things that happened from Walker’s poor decision making is that as businesses and agencies moved out of the county grounds, none moved in to take their place.
By 2006, the buildings stood empty.
The empty buildings quickly started succumbing to the weather, aided by the fact that Walker’s austerity measures prevented from the county from taking any preservation or preventative measures, or even allowing the utilities to stay on. He refused even in the face of a letter written my then Wauwatosa Mayor Theresa Estness, which reminded him of his promise to split the cost of sealing the buildings in an effort to preserve them.
You can see pictures of the damage from the weather, the neglect and vandalism that has occurred over the years here and here.
Then, not satisfied with intentional neglect, and with a new conservative mayor in Wauwatosa, Jill Didier, Walker decided to break his promise completely and started courting the necessary authorities to allow the grounds to be sold to land developers.