O'Donnell: What is not included in the sales agreement with NML

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Legal Analysis of the current sales agreement between the County and NML:

Before the Milwaukee County Board decides whether to approve County Executive Chris Abele’s proposed sale of O’Donnell Park to Northwestern Mutual, County Supervisors and the public should know precisely what role, if any, the County will have in respect to the property’s future. Sale of a County park to a private corporation is no small matter. It would be a radical departure from this community’s commitment to keeping public parks for the benefit of all our residents and visitors.

Before such a momentous decision is made, its consequences should be clearly understood. At its November 6th meeting, the County Board delayed consideration of the proposed sale by a vote of 14-3. The Board expressed uncertainty about the County’s role regarding future use of the property by requesting a legal opinion from County Corporation Counsel on that matter. They did so with good reason. There is much confusion about the legal consequences of the proposed sale. The big question is whether the public will have any legally enforceable right to public use and enjoyment of O’Donnell Park or any of its facilities.

In short, the agreement provides for almost none. If the County Board approves this sale, O’Donnell Park will no longer be a public park. It will be fully the buyer’s private property, The County Executive is proposing sale of the entire park complex--all of its land, structures and facilities. This is a proposed sale, not what some have characterized as a “public-private partnership.” When you sell your house you do not become a partner with the buyer.

Read the rest on Preserve Our Parks site at the link below:

Preserve Our Parks, a nonprofit watchdog group, battles to keep Milwaukee area parks open and green, resists incursions for non-park uses, and fights for funds to properly maintain one of the County’s greatest treasures, its parks system.