Teig Whaley-Smith is Public Official of the Year
By: Melanie Mager
It has been an exceptional year in economic development planning in Milwaukee, and a large part of that is thanks to Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services Director Teig Whaley-Smith. He’s been hard to miss, attending countless City and County meetings and public hearings to present his department’s plans to build up our currently under-utilized lakefront and vacant Park East land, among other projects.
His recent victories include significant projects like the new Milwaukee Bucks’ arena and the Couture, both of which came after long battles at the state and local levels.
In his two years working for Milwaukee County, first as the Director of Economic Development, and now the Director of the Department of Administrative Services, Whaley-Smith has been hugely successful in helping many of the largest project proposals become realized. As far as the lakefront redevelopment efforts go, he contributes much of that to the legislative work the County did with the state to make the necessary statute changes to allow for building – the first stage of which could begin as early as next year, with the demolition of the obsolete bus depot on the site of the future Couture apartments, retail, and transit connector space.
This is just the beginning of all that Whaley-Smith has been working toward with Milwaukee County; he oversees the entire development process through the Department of Administrative Services, which encompasses the offices of Budget, Economic Development, Architecture and Engineering, and Community Business Development Partners, along with others, that are integral in creating his development strategies for the County. He is excited about the tremendous potential for Park East development after the state approval of funding for the new Bucks’ arena. Whaley-Smith emphasizes that this is a great opportunity to get land that has been sitting vacant for many years back onto our tax rolls, and that it’s these taxes collected by the city and county that provide funding for many essential services provided to residents. Eventually, these planned private developments will help to fund things like parks and education in Milwaukee County.
It’s hard not to be optimistic about the future of Milwaukee after hearing a presentation from Teig Whaley-Smith, and we are lucky to have such a great public leader advocating for our community.