Thursday, September 24, 2009

Union Power

A month or so ago, would-be developer Tom Toussis announced that he would hire union workers to build his proposed West Racine grocery store/restaurant/gas station complex.

Hmmmm. Is he buying something more than skilled craftsmanship? There is speculation that unions are behind the oh so controversial mailings sent out to West racine residents. See post below and Racine Post link.

Tom Toussis knew, I suspect, that there would be opposition to his plan. So now he has the unions on his side, willing to fight for his plan and their work. Smart move.

So it has come to this folks. If you want to start a business, create jobs etc... in Racine, you better start thinking about how you can influence politicians increasingly hostile to development ideas other than their own. The rules have been set up by the politicians for the politicians. You can play nice like the Chun family on 6th Street and see where that gets you. Or you can try to muscle your idea through with the help of unions. This should be interesting.

The only way out of this mess is to elect new alderman that welcome and assist entrepreneurial activity.


Real Debate said...

Racine suffers from banana syndrome.

Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.

TT said...

Thanks for understanding.

twon said...

Dennis, What are your thoughts on the cowboy bar at the former Century Market, and their quick approval for a liquor license after the Chun refusal?

colt said...

Understanding what? A lot of money is being spent on this issue I wonder why? Is it the cash cows of the slot machines? IMHO it is. I was at the market this morning those who use that space are ready for a fight and should they lose that fight are prepared to boycott and walk a picket line. With respect I think the rage over this has been under estimated.

Someone Has Reading Comprehension Problems said...

Colt- The Farmer's Market will be allowed to stay at that location. In fact, they will be giving permanent signage and access to electricity.

I do not know what Spangenberg told you to make you not believe the project would do that, but it is part of the agreement with the city and is in the proposal that was submitted to the city council. You can see it on the city's website.

A lot of money is being spent on this project because:

1. It is good for the city.

2. People are tired of a vacant lot adding to the cost year after year. Every year that property is vacant the taxes are rolled into the TIF. It is worse than a vacant lot.

3. Racine needs development and it needs it quickly.

4. This project is 100 construction jobs (unemployment in the building trades is over 40%) and 50 permanent jobs.

5. It is a $5 million project. How many of those have been created in the city.

6. West Racine wants its grocery store back and a restaurant.

7. People are tired of the secrecy and their aldermen blocking development in Racine.

Denis Navratil said...

twon, I don't know what to make of the quick approval other than it certainly points out the idiocy of Racine's policies with respect to alcohol. There are more legal hurdles involved with opening a grocery store with packaged liquor than there are in opening a bar. Does this make sense? Of course not, but let us not forget that this bit of idiocy was endorsed by the Racine Tavern League. All that said, I am in favor of Spodick and Karas's new venture and I wish them well.

Denis Navratil said...

Colt, I haven't measured the rage over this issue. Maybe some of the enraged should get together and buy the property and develop what they think is a better idea. If they can't or won't then they should stop fighting it as it fits within the zoning laws. As for the slot machines, are they legal?

Anonymous said...

Colt, felons should not be allowed to blog. Especially when it comes to money and the felony is theft. You know what I mean.

Insider said...

Jimmy has a deal cooking on that property? It has to do with a residential development and it has more than its share of stinky dealings. That's all I'll say about it, check it out.