I just read Mayor Beckers state of the city speech at http://www.racinedemocrats.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1442&styleid=3 and thought I would offer a few comments.
First the good news. The city has eliminated 100 full time positions. Normally politicians don't list increased unemployment as an accomplishment, but I am with the mayor on this one. Has anyone noticed a decrease in services? I haven't.
The mayor is proud of the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team, noting that we now have only 12 boarded up buildings whereas before there were 50. Fewer boarded up buildings is good, of course, but how much did it cost us? Did it take six full time staff members at $80,000 per year for four years? Would it have been cheaper to condemn the properties, bulldoze them and then call it a rain garden?
The mayor acknowledges that the city is not growing and the major initiative to reverse that trend is the uptown artist initiative where they hope to have a thriving artist center. I am still waiting to hear from the mayor about the specifics here, but early indications are that it will cost a fortune. Would it be wiser to spend the money on more police officers or to lower the tax burden on the productive members of Racine?
But my basic problem with the speech is a philosophical one. Government can solve all our problems was the general theme. If that were true, the last fifty years of liberal rule in Racine would have resulted in a thriving and growing population with little crime and much employment. What we actually see is just the opposite. Look for more of the same.