The War Memorial Board and the Milwaukee Art Museum have been negotiating control over and responsibility for repairs to the 1957 Eero Saarinen designed Memorial Center and the 1972 Kahler addition for over a year. Although an agreement seemed to be within reach near the end of last year, negotiations apparently reached a stalemate in January and the Milwaukee Art Museum approached Milwaukee County for help in mediating the differences.
So this past week, County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic and County Supervisor Gerry Broderick announced that former state Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske would act as mediator in the dispute. Ms. Geske is handling the mediation on a volunteer basis. Hopefully this will be solved within a reasonable time now.
So this is a great move on the part of the county board…resolving an issue between two of it’s very prominent tenants and protects the integrity of landmark buildings at the lake front. But will the opponents of an active and vital board accuse them of ‘micromanaging’? If they do, it’s a ridiculous position to hold and the county board is right in working this out as quickly as possible.
But the big question is…where the heck was County Executive Chris Abele in all of this? Was he too busy to be bothered by just a minor tiff between county tenants? Nary a word from his office. I thought he was a big proponent of supporting Milwaukee county and Milwaukee county arts and cultural groups? Seems exactly like something that a county executive should have handled!