I called Mayor Dickert a month or so ago, shortly after he took office. I had hoped to speak with the mayor about a range of issues, mostly relating to economic development. The mayor was out of town, I was told, attending conferences etc... and he would get back to me. Fine, I thought, we have a new mayor, everyone wants his ear, he is busy. A few weeks later I left a message asking if I might be able to set up an appointment with the mayor. A week or so passed when I received a call from a gentleman from the mayors office who apologized and chalked up the mistake to inexperience. The mayor was out of town with family and he would get back to me soon. A few more weeks have now passed and I have yet to hear from the mayor or his office. I could call again but then I would feel like a stalker.
I am not all that keen on private meetings with public officials anyway, so I will share with readers some of what I had hoped to discuss. There was a businessman interested in purchasing a prominent (and empty) downtown building. He wanted to renovate it and had talked to me several times about my own experiences in rehabbing a downtown building. Like any sensible person risking his own money, he was exploring said risks, some of which involve the city and their approach/attitude toward development. I thought it might be wise for him to meet with Mayor Dickert. Of course no meeting with Mayor Dickert took place, the building was not purchased, I haven't heard from the businessman and I now wonder what might have been. Presently I am trying to help another family start their business in downtown but the game is rigged such that his venture is now entirely dependent on approval by our politicians. I am referring to the Chun family who hope to move to Racine and open a convenient store that also sells beer.
Meanwhile, news is that the mayor is busy attending conferences and hoping to bring businesses to Racine. That is all well and good I suppose, so long as some time remains, to return calls from the businesses that already exist, and to meet with folks eager to open businesses in Racine.