WAUKESHA - The County Board on Tuesday approved a 2014
spending budget of $254.1 million, but voted down giving
the Waukesha County Museum an additional $47,000 for its
operating budget next year.
disappointed to be sure,” Interim Museum President and CEO
Dan Finley said about the board striking down the additional
money. “We knew it would be an uphill fight with the County
Board, so now we will move on.”
addition of $47,000 to the museum budget would have
increased the tax levy by that amount. The county’s budget,
however, does include $150,000 to finance museum operations
for next year from contingency funds also known as reserves,
not tax levy.
sought the additional money when an anonymous donor pledged
to give it $50,000, provided the county would match that
amount with another $50,000, Finley said.
Supervisor Duane Paulson introduced a budget amendment that
sought an additional $50,000 for the financially troubled
museum. Paulson’s amendment received a narrow recommendation
from the Finance Committee where the figure was reduced to
$47,000 to keep county spending below the state’s levy cap.
said after the meeting that he was unsure how the negative
vote would affect the $50,000 donation to the museum.
not spoken to them (donors) yet and they might not be
available today,” Finley said. “They are extraordinary
people, and we have high hopes they will give us the
would not identify the donors, who want to remain anonymous.
Board did approve museum-related budget legislation that
called for further dialogue.
Waukesha County will examine its relationship with the
(museum) and analyze if the county should continue funding
the museum and at what level,” the legislation says. The
budget amendment was introduced by Supervisor Patricia
measure will initiate discussion on the future financial
relationship between the museum and county, she said.
enthused about that,” Finley said of Haukohl’s amendment.
“That’s a big first step in what we’re going to do next.”
Board Chairman Tom Constable said the institution would
present a revised business plan to the County Board by
April. “Before I go, I intend to give the museum board a
comprehensive analysis and a set of recommendations,” Finley
temporarily filling in as an unpaid top executive for the
museum after Kirsten Lee Villegas left that post for another
said Tuesday he plans to stay on the job for another month
and then return to his home in California. He said it had
been quite some time since he’s had to scrap ice off the
windshield of his car.
has said he plans to have a new museum president and CEO
hired and in place by March 31.
approved budget contains a tax levy of $102.5 million, an
increase of about 1 percent over the previous budget. The
tax bill for a home of median value will be about $512,
which was the same as this year, according to county
was approved 18-3 with Supervisors Kathleen Cummings, Janel
Brandtjen and Jennifer Grant voting against it. The
amendment to increase the museum’s spending budget by
$47,000 was defeated 13 to 8.
told the board she supported the additional $47,000 and
would consider forging a future fiscal partnership between
the county and the museum.
David Swann asked where the Waukesha Common Council has been
during the discussion about the museum’s future.
to say to them ‘step up,’” Swann said.
Executive Dan Vrakas released this statement after the board
pleased with the County Board’s overwhelming support of the
2014 Budget. The budget freezes the county’s portion of the
property tax bill on a median valued home and ensures that
Waukesha County will retain its status as a low tax leader
in our state. “