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Milwaukee county supervisors at odds over new proposal to sell O'Donnell Park

A prime piece of lakefront property is once again the center of controversy for the Milwaukee County board of supervisors: O'Donnell Park and the parking structure.

The proposal is to give special consideration to the Milwaukee Art Museum to buy or long-term lease the property. Art museum officials would be able give their ideas before the process is open to other interested parties.

But county supervisors against this new proposal argue having a single source vying for the property is why the board rejected selling it to Northwestern Mutual.

However, those with the art museum say they see the O'Donnell property differently than developers.

Community members who agree liken the plan to an ideal marriage partner. Others with a stake in the negotiations want to make sure they're needs aren't left out.

\"I urge you to take the plunge and forget about the other fish in the sea,\" said Pat Small, supporter. \"If you spurn this offer or keep playing the field, you'll be left adrift.\"

\"I'm not sure who to support in this,\" said David Marcus, president of the Betty Brinn Children's Museum. \"It seems like a highly political process. I find that highly upsetting to me because I do just want a resolution.\"

O'Donnell Park has millions of dollars worth of deferred maintenance and millions more in debt. It is up to the county to maintain the property.

At its meeting Thursday, county supervisors took no action on the measure. Instead, they'll discuss it again in April.

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