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On Broadway Board backs leadership amid Walmart criticism

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GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - On Broadway Inc.'s Board of Directors responded to letters calling for the ouster of Executive Director Chris Naumann and President Greg Larsen.

During a meeting Thursday morning, the board gave a vote of confidence to both Naumann and Larsen.

Eighteen businesses in the Broadway district, calling themselves the Broadway Business Alliance, argue that On Broadway Inc. has done a poor job communicating with them on several issues, most recently the decision to enter into a bid contract with Wal-Mart for part of the old Larsen canning property.

"They (the board) also are at this point in favor of letting this process play out," says Naumann. "Specifically the Larsen governing board is the empowered entity that is responsible for development of the property."

Naumann believes the lack of communication problem is misguided by these business owners, since there hasn't been a formal proposal submitted by Wal-Mart officials.

"When it does come in front of us, the public will be invited into those discussions," says Naumann. "I think there's some frustration by some of the businesses that were taken by surprise at this news, and don't think they're being invited to the table early enough, and to be very honest, it's not time for that yet."

Green Bay City Council President Tom DeWane and Mayor Jim Schmitt have also spoken out in favor of replacing On Broadway Inc.'s leadership.

"I'm not sure if the Mayor's got something that he currently has as an alternative, if he does it wouldn't be a bad thing to mention that through the Larsen governing board processes," says Naumann. "Because we're in this contract, they can't even be considered until this contract expires, or unless Wal-Mart walks away."

Naumann added that if there was something, it, "certainly wasn't in front of us when we entered this contract."

On Broadway Inc. officials maintain that the city has worked with them to find a partner for this site, and have been involved in each step of the process.

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