Friday, October 5, 2007

Officials Who Approved Mall Interchange Funding Have Some Explaining To Do

What did they know and when did they know it?

There's no way that officials at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Waukesha County Board and County Executive's Office, and in the City of Oconomowoc hadn't heard the rumors about the possible collapse of the Pabst Farm mall plan while they went ahead and cut the deal to spend $25 million to build an interstate interchange to the now-scrubbed mall.

Officials are telling the Daily Reporter that they continue to support the interchange spending, either betting on the come that a mall substitute will materialize, or to service Big Box stores instead.

But the right questions to ask are: were you pitching this plan to the Waukesha County Board's executive committee earlier this week in favor of approving the county's $1.75 million share knowing the mall plan was shaky or dead?

And the same question needs to be answered by WisDOT.

I know that the legislature is consumed with budget deliberations, but this is certainly a matter for the Joint Committee on Finance to address, or perhaps the audit committee, too, because this entire fiasco raises fundamental questions about the way that a state agency finds and commits big dollars.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is almost a political no-brainer in Waukesha County. Bailing out the well to do and especially real estate interests is simply going along to get along. Check out the business interests that dominate Waukesh county at all levels of government.
Further, Varkas and other county officials can rightly claim that they can build this interchange without raising taxes. The secret; their own little slush fund, aka. accumulated capital surplus.