Using a loophole in the Miller Park lease that forces us suckers, er, taxpayers to pay for anything related to the stadium the Brewers ask for if at least 75% of the other stadiums has, the stadium district finance board approved by a 4-1 vote spending $3.25 million to put up ribbon video boards on the club-level facade and replace the left-field out-of-town scoreboard with a video board. This $3.25 million comes from the $5 million set aside in a reserve fund (funded 65% by taxpayers) to replace the scoreboard in 2008 (which, in itself, is an outrage; that scoreboard is less than 6 years old). The primary purpose of these ribbon video boards is for advertising, with the proceeds apparently going solely to the Brewers.
The 4 who want to stick it to us are the district board of directors chair Jay Williams (Doyle appointee), David Spano (Doyle appointee), Perfecto Rivera (Walker appointee who appeared to have defied Walker) and Karen Makoutz (Washington County rep). To his credit, finance board chair Doug Stansil (Racine County appointee) listened to Racine County Executive William McReynolds and voted against this. While the Doyle appointees have limits to their terms, the county appointees serve at the pleasure of the county leaders. Scott, it’s time to send Rivera packing.
Mark Belling has a cynical view of this tapping of the reserve fund; it is designed to drain the fund so that the 0.1% sales tax we are saddled with here down in southeast Wisconsin will never end. Can’t say I disagree with him.
Revisions/extensions – WISN-AM is now reporting that Walker is asking for a reopening of the lease agreement. That’s a great long-term solution, but what about Rivera?