By H. Nelson Goodson
September 18, 2014
Milwaukee, WI - As of Thursday, Board members previously serving on several non-profit organizations that share a building for office space at 1635 S. 8th Street have decided to serve on one Board to avoid any questions of "Conflict of Interest." Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) raised the question about a possible conflict of interest by Board members serving in both the Historic Mitchell Street Business Improvement District (BID#4) and the Historic Mitchell Street Preservation Corporation (HMSPC) after members of the BID#4 questioned the membership of some Board members in both organizations in June.
BID#4 on Thursday was notified during its monthly Board meeting that its Broad members no longer serve on the HMSPC Board. The BID#4 also approved for David A. Rotter, the Co-President/CEO of the National Ace Hardware to be a Board member after submitting his resume to the Board, Tony Garnica, the owner of Taso's Hairstyling shop in Historic Mitchell Street made a presentation to the Board, but his approval for the Board was placed on hold until the next meeting so, the Board can get a copy of his resume before getting approved to join the current Board.
The lease at 1635 S. 8th Street for BID#4 is up on January 21, and BID#4 initiated a Board discussion to relocate their offices to Historic Mitchell Street. BID#4 under a lease agreement have to provide a 120-day notice to the HMSPC to move and are seeking a month-to-month tenancy in order to determine a new location. The HMSPC owns the building where the BID#4 is currently located.
Alderman José Pérez from the 12th District was at the BID#4 Board meeting and HNNUSA attempted to get a comment from him about the issue of conflict of interest resolved by both organizations, Pérez refused to comment. Ald. Pérez has also refused to comment about his attempt to keep Reynas Events from getting a restaurant license and his influence to also hold a liquor license during the Licenses Committee hearing for Reynas Events. Reynas Event was led by Ald. Pérez to believe that he would support for Reynas Events to open a restaurant at the Esperanza Unida International Building at 611 W. National Ave. Alfonso Morales from Reynas Events said that he spent more than $30,000 at the location, which got an occupancy permit. Morales later discovered that Ald. Pérez had placed a hold on his restaurant license with the Milwaukee Department of Health.
Reyna Morales from Reynas Events says, she has attempted numerous times to contact Ald. Pérez by phone, leaving messages and e-mail concerning her business, but Ald. Pérez has not contacted her at all. Morales believes that Ald. Pérez is doing everything possible to make sure that no new businesses open at the Esperanza Unida building so, it can be foreclosed and not generate any revenues in rent.
Ald. Pérez before he was elected to the Common Council had offered to purchase the Esperanza Unida 611 building, but the Board and former executive director Robert Miranda refused to sell it to Pérez or his investors, who was at the time a partner at LRG.
The City of Milwaukee Treasurer's Office has filed a foreclosure against Esperanza Unida, Inc. for tax delinquency. Esperanza Unida has until November 19 to pay at least $110,000 (2011-12 delinquent taxes) to avoid foreclosure from the city. A Oshkosh developer has offered to buy the 611 building for $1.3M to invest $7M on a 55-apartment unit. The Esperanza Unida Board approved to accept the developer's offer.