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War memorial boards appointments take a back seat

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele’s four appointments to the Milwaukee County War Memorial Corporation Inc. Board of Trustees were postponed Thursday.

Abele nominated supervisors Deanna Alexander, Pat Jursik, Theo Lipscomb Sr. and Steve Taylor to seats on the board.

While the County Board of Supervisors did not voice an objection to those appointments, Supervisor Mark Borkowski, a current trustee, asked to lay over a vote until after negotiations between the county’s war memorial and art museum have concluded. Borkowski and other trustees are serving under expired terms, but he said he is concerned changing the makeup of the board before negotiations end could disrupt the talks.

The Milwaukee County War Memorial Center and Milwaukee Art Museum have been negotiating since May over which should control building maintenance and operations for space they share.

Negotiations reached an impasse in recent weeks, and the County Board appointed a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, Janine Geske, to mediate the dispute. Geske said she has been asked to mediate an agreement by Feb. 19 and bring that agreement to the County Board at the March 12 parks committee meeting.

In January, Borkowski delayed a vote on Abele’s nomination of Jim Duff, director of the county’s Veterans Service Office, to fill a citizen seat on that board for the same reason.

– Beth Kevit

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