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Is The War Memorial Center In Jeopardy?

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on October 30, 2010

From Milwaukee County First:

The War Memorial Center is under fire from some County Supervisors, according to this article from Milwaukee News Buzz:

Can a veterans memorial be a source of controversy? It can if it’s the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center, a non-profit with gets considerable county funding and also houses most of the Milwaukee Art Museum’s galleries. A new county audit was ordered to investigate concerns that deferred maintenance could threaten the museum’s artworks. Meanwhile, supervisors are arguing over what the audit could mean for the War Memorial’s future.

The county board approved a resolution (introduced by Supervisor Pat Jursik) ordering the audit by a 15-3 vote on September 30. Auditors are asked to look into the “many maintenance challenges and changing space needs” of the center and art museum, which uses the lower levels of the building as gallery space. The resolution says such a review is warranted “as all groups are attempting to maximize revenues and reduce expenses given the current economy.”

Not all the Supervisors agree.  Supervisor John Weishan, who is a proud veteran himself, and has been involved in fund raising for the center, questions the motivation behind the audit, and is concerned that this is a thinly veiled attempt at defunding the institution.

In this time of economic strife, and facing a bleak future thanks to Scott Walker’s inability to put together a responsible budget, it is hard to justify providing tax payer money to support a private agency.  On the other hand, we have to decide where we will draw the line on how much culture and education we are willing to sacrifice because we have a county executive who only cares about his personal political aspirations.


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