My first foray into local politics began a few years back when the Racine County Board was wrangling over the issue of building an indoor ice skating rink. Needless to say, I opposed the idea. I felt that, at the very least, Racine County residents should be able to decide this issue via referendum. Yet, the supervisors who supported the rink idea were adamantly opposed to allowing voters to decide the issue directly. I thought that was ridiculous. I thought that a new ordinance could address this problem. I worked with my county supervisor Ken Vetrovec, who introduced an ordinance proposal which would have required expensive "quality of life" projects to be approved by direct citizen vote. The measure was going nowhere and I was getting more than a little irritated. Eventually, the measure came to a vote in the executive committee and was soundly defeated. Robin Vos offered a nonsense rationale for voting against the measure, and it was suggested to me at the time that he was doing the bidding of County Exec Bill McReynolds who was opposed to my proposal. So why is this relevant now?
Because if my proposed ordinance had passed, the funding for "quality of life" projects would be decided on a per project basis by Racine County voters. But now a task force, initiated by Bill McReynolds, has proposed a 1/2% sales tax increase for the purpose of funding "quality of life" projects. If it passes, voters will have much less say about which "quality of life" projects to approve. So if we support the proposed $69 million tax increase, it is likely that we will end up paying for a whole lot of expensive projects that we don't really want.
And I could have put and end to this nonsense two years ago, were it not for the opposition from our two most noted conservatives, Robin Vos and Bill McReynolds.