Mayor John Dickert has released his ten year plan for the city of Racine. You can read it here. Clearly Mayor Dickert has confidence that he and our local government can dramatically transform Racine for the better. I don't share his confidence that government will lead Racine's transformation.
So I got to thinking what my plan for Racine would be. It would not be anything like Mayor Dickerts.
For starters, my plan would reflect my pessimism about centralized planning by elites and my optimism in free people acting in accordance with their own interests. In other words, Racine government should do the basics, namely police, fire, courts and little else. The role of government is not to create a wonderful city but rather to ensure the conditions that make the spontaneous creation of a wonderful city possible.
So the city government must be small and focussed. Canceling whole departments like the development department, UNIT, and the Fair Housing Department would be a good place to start. Put all non-essential city owned properties for sale and vow to get out and stay out of the housing/real estate business. Use the money to lower property taxes.
Don't pay too much for labor. Privatize trash, snow plowing, parks and as many other operations as possible. This will result in private sector jobs and will decrease the looming and crippling health care and retirement obligations. Yes, the unions will fight this with everything they have. Explain to voters that ensuring lifetime labor for union members is not part of the city's mission.
To spur investment, place a tax increase moratorium on investment in Racine. Presently, there is almost zero investment in Racine because investors know they will get slammed with tax increases. If the city would wait 5 or 10 years before they cash in on someone else's efforts, we will get more entrepreneurialism and hence more jobs. This might require law changes at the state level, so lobby the state loudly and often.
These are just a few examples of what needs to be done in Racine. It will never happen if we keep electing people with an unshakeable faith in government. Feel free to offer your own ideas and or your reaction to mine.