The Milwaukee Common Council this morning voted in favor of a new four year term for Richard “Rocky” Marcoux as the commissioner of the Department of City Development (DCD).
Aldermen voted 10-4 to retain Marcoux. Aldermen Robert Bauman, Nik Kovac, Jose Perez and Tony Zielinski voted not to reappoint Marcoux.
Some aldermen have opposed Marcoux’s reappointment and some members of the business community have quietly complained about his leadership of the DCD. Bauman and Kovac were perhaps Marcoux’s loudest critics on the Common Council.
Frustration rose after the city’s failed attempt to convince Kohl’s Corp. to build a new corporate headquarters in downtown Milwaukee. Some criticized Marcoux for authorizing a purchase of the Sydney Hih buildings, without notifying the public, in the Park East corridor to help assemble the site for the Kohl’s project. Later the Common Council approved plans to demolish the Sydney Hih complex, despite the objection of some preservationists.
Ald. Nic Kovac has raised concerns that DCD funds from the Historic Survey Publication Trust Account were misspent under Marcoux’s watch. Ald. Robert Donovan asked the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office to look into the matter. Assistant District Attorney David Feiss issued an opinion recently that there was “no evidence to suggest any criminal conduct in connection with the expenditure of funds from the Historic Survey Publication Trust Account.”
Marcoux said he took responsibility for the misuse of the funds and said the practice stopped after DCD was notified by the city comptroller’s office.
Kovac also has raised concerns about DCD negotiations with Mandel Group Inc. over a city loan for the second phase of the North End apartment development along the Milwaukee River in downtown Milwaukee. Marcoux said he had a disagreement with Mandel Group about the terms of the loan. Ultimately the Common Council approved a $4.6 million city loan for the project.