Ald. Nik Kovac and City Budget Director Mark Nicolini will discuss the City of Milwaukee budget and how decisions are made to allocate funds to specific areas, at our 7 p.m. Wednesday April 6, 2016, meeting.
Kovac serves as chairman of the Common Council’s Finance and Budget Committee. which leads legislative analysis and action on the mayor’s annual city budget. He represents Milwaukee’s East Side (including the Historic Water Tower Neighborhood), Riverwest and Brady Street neighborhoods.
As part of their talk, Kovac and Nicolini will discuss how the city chooses the amount to spend on various services, such as public safety, streets and sidewalks, sewer and water pipes, economic development, libraries and public health. Kovac and Nicolini will also take questions from attendees.
The talk will be part of HWTN’s monthly meeting and is free and open to the public. It takes place in the Marcia Coles Community Room of the Lake Park Pavilion, beneath Lake Park Bistro. Cookies and coffee, courtesy of Lake Park Bistro, will be available starting at 6:45 p.m.
Ald. Kovac has been alderman for Milwaukee’s 3rd District, which includes the East Side, Riverwest and North Downtown neighborhoods, since April 2008. He serves as chair of the Common Council’s Finance & Personnel Committee and is a member of the Zoning and Neighborhood Development and Capital Improvements Committees.
Kovac’s work extends outside City Hall and throughout his district as chair of the East Side Architectural Review Board and member of the Milwaukee Arts Board, the Milwaukee Public Library Board of Trustees, the Milwaukee County Federated Library Board, the Park East Advisory Committee, the Lakefront Development Advisory Commission and the Riverside University High School Foundation Board of Directors.
Kovac was born and raised on Milwaukee’s East Side in the HWTN area. He attended Milwaukee Public Schools—from McDowell Montessori School to Golda Meir Elementary School, and Jackie Robinson Middle School through Riverside High School. While at Riverside, he earned more than 20 college credits from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Attending Harvard University and graduating cum laude with a degree in mathematics, Kovac became a beat reporter and then a newspaper editor in New York City. He returned to Milwaukee to work for the Shepherd Express and Riverwest Currents.
City Budget Director Mark Nicolini has more than 30 years of budgeting and strategic planning experience from executive, legislative and departmental perspectives at the state, regional, and city levels of government. Nicolini has served as the City of Milwaukee’s Budget & Management Director since August, 2004, during the entire tenure of Mayor Tom Barrett. During this time, Nicolini and his staff have implemented the Accountability in Management (AIM) program, funded major improvements in core infrastructure replacement cycles, maintained key service levels, and developed community-responsive budget initiatives. This has taken place in the context of declines to state financial assistance and the need to accommodate substantial increases to employer pension contributions.
During his tenure in the Wisconsin State Budget Office, Mr. Nicolini designed new statewide funding initiatives for adult literacy and economic development-focused technical college programs. He also served as Governor Tommy Thompson’s lead advisor for Wisconsin Retirement System benefit and finance issues.
Nicolini earned an A.B. degree from Wabash College, where he graduated summa cum laude and was awarded an NCAA post-graduate fellowship for outstanding achievements in scholarship and athletics. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy & Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.