No Laborfest 2014 in Mayor John Dickert’s Empty and Moribund Downtown Racine

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Empty, Empty Downtown Racine.

A Festival Hall paid for with taxpayer dollars – but closed and locked to the Public, on Labor Day 2014. Too expensive for Labor to rent, yet they pay the taxes that operate it 24/7.

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Just another episode in the Dickert Disaster on the way to Racine’s Bankruptcy, with a dead and moribund Downtown that has become The  Welfare Queen of Racine.

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Not a person to be seen in Downtown Racine, or at the empty and locked Festival Hall – on Labor Day 2014.

Festival Hall Racine WI

Not a word about Labor day 2014 in The JT either (or is it The John Dickert Times) – ODD……

Labor Day 2014

Instead, Labor Fest has moved to Franksville, which is outside of The City of Racine, and outside of the coverage of The JT. The torch has been passed to Racine County Eye. Is it any wonder why John Dickert and his misdirected policies and plans,  The City of Racine, and The JT are becoming increasingly less relevant with each passing day? Where is the voice of Labor? It’s NOT in Racine!

Racine County Eye

What: Racine County Labor Fest 2014

When: Monday September 1, 2014

Time: Noon – 5pm

Where: Caledonia Mt. Pleasant Memorial Park – 9416 Northwestern Avenue in Franksville, WI 

Details:

Non-perishable food donation entitles you to one food ticket and two beverage tickets.
(additional tickets available for $5 for food and $1 for beverage)

Voter Judged American Made Car & Motorcycle Show

Children’s Activities

Meet Our Local Representatives & Politicians

Awards Given to:
Mr. & Mrs. Solidarity
Retired Labor Person of the Year
Labor Person of the Year

Sponsored by Racine Area Labor Festivals, Inc.

But NOT a single celebration in Racine! The People of the City of Racine are dumb Cows to be milked. Period.

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The Truth is…

Unionized Labor is dead in Racine Mayor Dickert killed it

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TID 18 is on the way!

merry-christmas-christmas-Racine foreclosures

While The Dickert Disaster runs rampant!

Addendum: Met the Civic Center Commission Members:

Civic Center Commission

Who, according to the 2014 Budget, require an incredibly large Tax Levy of $326,750 (while Police, Garbage, and Streetlights are cut), $35,000 from Room Tax Revenues, and as additional $250,000 transferred in from fund 994.

2014 Budget 1

A NEVER talked about operational subsidy – which in 2014 was $270,000, or almost FOUR times the Management Fee of $71,750! While additional losses are merely written off as depreciation – to the tune of $278,000.

2014 Bidget 2

While they spend like drunk Sailors – on Tables, Booths, Chairs, Carpet, Drapes, Lighting, Dance Floors, HVAC, interior redesign, vinyl tent sides… etc. etc.

2014 Budget 3

And after all the bills come in, it is reported in the Audited Financial Statements that the losses are even greater than projected! From the 2012 Report: The Civic Center lost $705,528 AFTER taking $299,728 in depreciation – so the loss was actually $1,005,526!

2012 Civic Center AFS

Enjoy your Racine Kringle, HERE!

 

Are City of Racine BUS Pensions and OPEB Headed Towards Bankruptcy?

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On This Labor Day Weekend: While the City of Racine continues to play Real Estate Games and Failed Developer, there has been a quiet disaster building in the background – that of it’s seriously underfunded BUS Pensions and OPEB, which stands for Other Post Employment Benefits. These alarming financial facts come from the 2012 Audited Financial Statements, which can be found HERE.

On page 83 of the 2012 Audited  Financial Statements, it is revealed that the funding of BUS Pensions, in only three years, has fallen from 63.41% in 2010, to 53.9% in 2012. 80% is the generally accepted minimum funding for pension plans, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.  That alone indicates that The City of Racine is approaching severe financial distress and will likely be headed towards a future Bankruptcy, unless BUS Pensions are renegotiated and reduced, or funding monies suddenly become available. It is unlikely that any monies to properly fund the BUS Pensions will become available.

Click on image to enlargeBUS Pension Funding

It gets even worse when the Fair Market Value of the BUS Pension Assets are considered, which suffered a drop of $1,892,166,706 from 2010’s value of $19,542,042,104 to 2012’s new value of $17,649,875,398.

FMV of BUS Pensions

Meanwhile OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) costs continue to be severely under-funded and are growing out of control. Can the City of Racine really promise 100% healthcare costs to certain retirees and their dependents? Especially when the required contribution of City Employees is between 0% – 5%?

OPEB

From Page 10; OPEB costs exceeded contributions by $18.5 M. Remember that City Employees ONLY contribute between 0%-5% of OPEB costs! While healthcare costs exceeded revenues by $2.5M. But not to worry – because the Mayor found $2M from TIF’s so the City could continue to play real estate games and Failed Developer.

Racine Governmental Activities

From Page 7; The City of Racine’s assets, from 2011 to 2012 decreased by $18,000,639, capital assets increased by $4,422,084, the OPEB deficit  increased by $36,867,706, and the OPEB obligation increased by $21,380,085.

2012 Comments

These are the exact same sort of unfunded promises that led Detroit to Bankruptcy. It will be no different in Racine. This is Racine’s future:

Detroit Pensions

Detroit pension board endorses deal to cut benefits, eliminate COLA

A Detroit pension board on Wednesday unanimously endorsed a deal to cut monthly pension checks for thousands of the city’s general retirees by 4.5%, and a board member for the police and fire pension fund expects a similar approval today for that pension system.

In addition to the 4.5% cut, the deal also calls for the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments, or COLA, to retirement benefits.

The cuts are specific to civilian active and retired city workers and still must be approved by nearly 18,000 members of the General Retirement System. Ballots to vote on pension changes will be sent to all of the city’s active and retired workers later this month.

“Every retiree has their own unique circumstance,” said Michael VanOverbeke, the pension board’s general counsel. “I think it’s the best deal that we’ve been able to put together through the mediation process that represents the best scenario for the retirees.”

Unless funding for BUS Pensions and OPEB finds itself to be a recipient of a Miracle out of Nowhere. You just have to BELIEVE!

Happy-Labor-Day-Pictures-Quotes-2014

Followup from The Wisconsin State Journal and Chris Rickert:

Chris Rickert: City’s health insurance is at least one good reason for Act 10

Act 10, which basically stripped most public sector unions of their collective bargaining rights, was a mistake.

But if there’s an argument in favor of the controversial 2011 law, it may well be the out-of-this-world health insurance benefits the city of Madison has until recently been bestowing upon its employees.

Not only were they a bad deal for Madison taxpayers; they may have precluded better wellness care for employees and — in the unfortunate absence of universal health care — are the type of thing working against a sustainable American health care system.

Act 10 prohibited municipalities from bargaining with workers over anything but base wages and required municipal employees to start paying a portion of their health insurance premiums out of their own pockets.

In 2011 before the law passed and again in 2013 when it was held up in court, Madison city managers used these coming changes as leverage when the unions came to them asking to have their contracts extended so as to spare them from the act’s most drastic effects.

First the city started making workers pay some of their premiums; now it’s looking to force employees to cover even more of their health insurances costs by instituting co-insurance payments toward an annual deductible.

If this sounds hard-hearted, it’s worth noting that most in the private sector and plenty of those in public-sector jobs outside of Madison have long been doing both. On the whole, Madison’s elected leaders have been an extremely union-friendly lot.

The line among public-sector unions has been that they’ve opted for good health insurance and other benefits over the big salaries their members could be getting for doing similar jobs in the private sector.

There’s at least some truth to this. On the other hand, the lowest-paid full-time Madison employee with health insurance benefits makes $17.23 an hour, or $35,856 a year, working as a parking cashier, according to the city’s Human Resources Department — not exactly poverty wages. The highest Madison salary is that of the city attorney, who makes $73.47 an hour, or $148,055 a year.

 

 

Gateway Issues Another $3M in GO Bonds!

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Slowly but surely, and one GO (General Obligation) Bond at a time,  Bryan Albrecht and his unelected Board are making progress towards borrowing the $49M  requested by Gateway in a Referendum, and which the Taxpayers of the Gateway District rejected.

Ever since April 2, 2013, when District voters turned down Gateway’s referendum to borrow $49M, Bryan Albrecht and his unelected Board have been making steady progress to turn their failed referendum into a reality through back-door borrowing that goes unreported in local media channels.

Gateway Vote April  2, 2013

RACINE — On Tuesday, residents across three counties voted down a $49 million funding request from Gateway Technical College for a package of construction projects.

The $49 million package would have funded seven renovation and expansion projects at the college, including a $15.6 million public safety training facility and a $13.5 million expansion and renovation at the Elkhorn campus.

Albrecht said that the referendum’s defeat means those projects are no longer a reality for Gateway, which can only approve projects worth $1.5 million without placing an item in front of voters.

Since the defeat of Gateway’s $49M referendum on April 2, 2013, Bryan Albrecht’s “one piece at a time” strategy has managed to borrow $22.1M without District Taxpayers approval to fund equipment purchases and various construction projects. From Moody’s:

Gateway Borrowing

The latest $3M in borrowing will fund Remodeling and Construction Projects and brings the Districts GO Debt to $58.2M.

July 3 Gateway Bonds

August 12 Gateway GO Bonds

Meet the unelected, fiscally irresponsible, and arrogant  Gateway Board.

Gateway Robber Barons

Gateway Board

It’s long past due for The State of Wisconsin to abolish the Gateway Technical College District and turn it over to the private sector. Let Bryan Albrect and his unelected Board stand on their merits, and not their questionably legal borrowing authority!

Get It On Racine!

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From The Journal Times:

Bars refile case against city

RACINE – The owners of five shuttered Racine taverns have filed an amended civil rights lawsuit in federal court.

In the amended complaint, dated Thursday, they maintain that Mayor John Dickert and other local leaders conspired to drive minority-owned bars out of the city.

The city and accused local officials have about three weeks to respond to the 115-page complaint.

We here at Racine Exposed eagerly await the replies. Meanwhile, there is an incident that has been unreported in The JT and which begs the question – Who was getting it on? And what is going on at Racine City Hall?

Former City of Racine Alderman and retired Racine police Officer Bob Mozol is named as a Defendant in the lawsuit…

Courtesy of The Journal Times:

Serious Allegations

However Bob Mozol found himself involved in  a situation that involved Mt. Pleasant Police in an after hours incident at Sanders Park.

Bob and Melissa

Now, Racine Exposed requested a copy of the supplemental report, however, the Mt. Pleasant police Department claimed that the referenced report did not exist.

What did the Officer Witness? It can only be left up to the imagination, absent the supplemental report. Hopefully the Officer wasn’t traumatized or forced to witness something like this!

Parked Car 1

Or this…

Parked car 3

And certainly, not this!

Parker Car 2

What would lead to a Divorce?

mozol divorce

Without the referenced Supplemental Report – Racine Residents will never know the answer.

 

But it’s Saturday Night! So Get It ON Racine!

 

Disclaimer: But not in Mt. Pleasant Parks after Closing Hours.

Meet The Defendants Part II

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN,

Case No.: 14-CV-208-JPS, Filed: August 21, 2014

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Read the Entire Complaint HERE

From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Racine tavern owners re-file discrimination suit

Just weeks after their first effort was thrown out of court, several minority bar owners have filed a new lawsuit that accuses Racine city officials and the tavern league of violating their civil rights by corruptly conspiring to run them out of business.

The new suit sharpens its accusations that white tavern owners bribed the Racine mayor to tilt the city’s enforcement efforts in their favor.

A federal judge just last month dismissed the plaintiffs’ first lawsuit, calling it so broad and vague as to be “virtually functionless.” But U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller said their underlying claims may have merit, and should be investigated further through the discovery process. He allowed them to amend, narrow and clarify their complaint.

At 119 pages, the new complaint would not appear much narrower or more focused, though it has fewer plaintiffs and fewer defendants. The length comes from the extra detail that purports to show a conspiracy among some Racine officials and area business owners to make it harder for minority-owned bars to make it in the city, including claimed cash bribes and false campaign finance reports.

The suit contends that since 2006, the city has “waged war” on downtown businesses owned or patronized by minorities, purportedly over crime issues, while turning a blind eye to similar conduct at white-owned and patronized bars. In notes that by the end of 2013, there were no minority-owned bars downtown.

Pattern Or Practice:

 

150 years ago, Racine, Wisconsin was an important stop on the Underground Railroad. But times change, and so do cities. This is the story of change for one upper Midwest town that took away the welcome mat and hung out the “no vacancy” sign for Blacks and Hispanics.

Pattern or Practice peels the veneer off that shoddy pretense and provides a stark view of what institutionalized racism looks like. Racine, Wisconsin, once a manufacturing powerhouse, is a backsliding, post-industrial community with a race problem so pervasive that disbelief is nearly always the observer’s first reaction. By the time the final credits are rolling, that disbelief is replaced by anger, disgust, perhaps shame and hopefully a desire for change.

 

Meet The Clowns of Racine’s Non-Stop Three Ring Circus – Mayor John Dickert and Alderman Greg Helding

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First up is Racine Mayor John Dickert – who says he is secretly recording conversations and has Alderman Sandy Weidner on tape negotiating with a Mound Avenue Property Owner.

From The Journal Times:

In an Aug. 1 radio interview on WRJN, Dickert said Weidner and other aldermen who raised concerns were “creating more problems than what the initial problem was … to the point where they were infusing their conversations into the negotiations, which could cost the taxpayers more money.”

The mayor said he recorded Alderman Sandy Weidner negotiating with a Mound Avenue property owner.

Alderman Sandy Weidner called out Mayor John Dickert and demanded he produce the tape. According to Alderman Weidner:

Weidner said she was not engaged in any negotiations and said the idea of Dickert secretly recording conversations should be a warning sign for other aldermen.

“All of the aldermen should be concerned that John Dickert is privately and secretly recording conversations,” she said.

Racine Exposed agrees. There is something terribly wrong with the behavior and actions of Mayor John Dickert. It was only a few years back when John Dickert claimed he fired an Embezzler! See the post, Racine Mayor John Dickert’s First Lie On WRJN.

Weidner said that while the city attorney’s office couldn’t find a recording, Dickert could have a private recording, which she said he should make public or “apologize to the citizens of Racine for lying.

So now it’s time for Racine Mayor John Dickert to Put Up or Shut Up! Name the Embezzler and play the recording! Racine Exposed advises against holding any breath!

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The Journal Times also stated:

Dickert said the council would discuss the issue in its meeting tonight and declined further comment.

Racine Exposed can imagine what the John Dickert will be like at the Council Meeting:

dickert-wideeyes 2

Meanwhile, Racine’s paranoid, delusional, armed, and potentially unstable Alderman Greg Helding believes that Residents are secretly plotting to “get him” and that they lie in wait to call the Police on him.

From The Journal Times:

In a letter to the commission, Helding said “extended family” sought his help after a situation they encountered after they returned from a camping trip late one afternoon in July. They intended to leave the camper parked overnight and unpack it the next morning. But city police received a complaint.

Responding officers were willing to allow Helding’s relatives to park the camper overnight. But when the complainant pursued the matter to the police shift commander, he ordered the camper moved. Helding said his understanding is that the complaint came from a person who has had his own code enforcement disputes with the city and that may have been the motivation for the complaint; it did not come from a neighbor, Helding said.

Can you imagine the NERVE of some taxpaying resident asshole who, after experiencing code enforcement disputes with the City, would expect the same standard be applied to Alderman Greg Helding and his extended family?

It wasn’t that long ago when Alderman Greg Helding, “explained at past meetings that elected officials could be easy targets for violence and that being allowed to carry concealed weapons in a city building could help them protect themselves.

While Alderman Jim Kaplan talked about ELIMINATING ISSUES….

See: City of Racine Officials Go NUTZ!

Has it come to this? That a Racine Alderman and his extended family are expected to obey City Ordinances? That Racine Residents spy on an Alderman, and report his every move to the Police? That Residents expect the Police to apply City Ordinances EQUALLY? It’s unbelievable! IT”S OUTRAGEOUS! What else can Alderman Helding do, except prepare to defend his-self!

balls of fury

WHOOPS! Sorry – Wrong Picture!

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WELCOME TO BEAUTIFUL RACINE, WISCONSIN!

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city-of-racine-terrorist-id-chart

 

 

Racine Mayor John Dickert cuts Police and Bus Service Yet Funds a Seasonal Lift Bridge for over $.5M

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The Dickert Disaster continues on in the City of Racine – which, for a City of it’s size,  doesn’t have a revenue problem, but instead a spending problem. In fact, many would argue that the City is taxing the residents out of their Homes, Businesses and Jobs, simply so that special interest wants can be funded over what is the legitimate function of government – to provide limited essential services to a Community at an affordable cost.

john hostage

The City of Racine, with a shrinking population under 78,700 has a massive and bloated 2014 budget of $81,628,921 yet claims it must cut Police and the BUS, because once again, Mayor Dickert says he is broke! So far, in a City with the highest unemployment rate in Wisconsin and a serious crime problem,  Mayor Dickert has reduced the Racine Police Department from 202 Sworn Officers to 194, with plans to cut 2 more.  Mayor Dickert continues on with his pattern of manipulating perception through deception while The Journal Times provided him with cover in this deceptively worded story:

Money for cops: City wants to fill vacancies

July 9, 2014: RACINE — With retirements looming and another tough budget year on the horizon, city officials are once again hoping to net a Community Oriented Policing Services grant to help them pay for new officers.

This time, however, they are hoping that if they are awarded the grant, officials with the Department of Justice will give them a little leeway when it comes to the grant’s requirements.

Speaking to the City Council, which approved the application at its meeting earlier this month, City Administrator Tom Friedel said that if and when they city learned it was approved for the grant it would be talking with DOJ officials.

“We are going to try to apply for a hardship provision and ask for some leniency,” Friedel said. “Given the nature of our fiscal situation, and we are going to ask for a dispensation in some of those areas the fourth year.”

Mayor John Dickert added that he had spoken with a national administrator for the COPS program, who said the city should “put in the application” and the department would see if they “can get the numbers to work.”

In addition to cutting the Racine Police Force, Mayor Dickert plans on cutting BUS service.

Bus service in peril, continued cuts likely

August 17,2014: RACINE Alderman Ray DeHahn didn’t mince words last week when he told his fellow Transit and Parking Commissioners that he couldn’t support any more cuts to city bus service.

“If you are going to have a city that survives economically, you have to have a viable bus system,” DeHahn said, backing a recommendation calling for zero service cuts and an increase in city funding.

The BUS is facing a projected deficit of between $250,000 and $350,000. The main reason for that projected shortfall is a lack of revenue, Stanek has said. Although expenditures are down and ridership is up, the system simply isn’t generating as much revenue this year as was expected. With local costs continuing to rise, and local governments unable to raise taxes, one of the few ways to address such shortfalls is cutting service, Stanek has said. 

YET – not one word had been mentioned about cutting the funding for the unnecessary and seasonal Lift Bridge operation that the City funds for the benefit of a few pleasure boaters – 3 months out of the year!

With plenty of vacant space at the County’s ReefPoint Marina which has a vacancy rate of  58% , with additional space available in other privately owned marina’s – all outside the confines of Racine’s  Industrial Canal, formerly known as The Root River; and with enough clearance under the two Lift Bridges for the majority of regular motor boats – why does The City continue to fund a 3 month seasonal Lift Bridge operation at a yearly cost that exceeds $.5M Dollars?

From Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig’s 2014 Budget – ReefPoint Marina has a 58% Vacancy Rate. It’s no wonder that Skipper Bud’s cut it’s losses and fled Racine dumping Reefpoint Marina and Belle Harbor Marina into Jim Ladwig’s lap. Then Jim Ladwig overpaid. Where is Common Sense?

Reefpoint Marina

Let’s take a look at a budget item which is NEVER discussed at Racine City Hall by the Common Council or the Mayor. The Lift Bridge Operation.

From the 2014 City of Racine Budget:

Click on image for BIG2014 General Budget 1

The 2014 Budget shows Lift Bridge revenues of $650,000 with expenses budgeted at $518,919. Where did that $650,000 in revenue come from? It came from the General Fund, which is property taxes! That fund is deceptively labeled “Bridge Maintenance” – but the majority of the fund pays salaries, wages and benefits to the 3 month seasonal Bridge Tenders who open and close the Lift Bridges for a handful of Tall Ships that anchor on Racine’s Industrial Canal, while the Harbor, outside of the Industrial Canal, has ample vacant space!

Racine DPW Revenues

$650,000 from the General Fund  for “Bridge Maintenance” in fund 101.520.6970, pays for the the Lift Bridge expenses, which include $382,459 just for salaries and benefits to operate these unnecessary Lift Bridges for 3 months of the year for a small number of Tall Ships which could harbor outside of Racine’s Industrial Canal.

Drawbridge cost

With $48,000 for utilities? Wouldn’t that mainly be electricity? Electricity that was so expensive that Mayor Dickert cut over 500 streetlights because it was breaking the budget?

Budget Cut Leaves Racine Residents In Dark

City Cuts 500 Street Lights In Effort To Fill Budget Gap

RACINE, Wis. —The city of Racine will soon be seeing some dark times as leaders start to turn off the lights.

 

Nearly 500 street lights are being turned off in an effort to save dollars in a very tight budget.  Racine Mayor John Dickert said  reducing the number of street lights can help bridge that gap.

Turning off Residents streetlights continues to fund the 3 month seasonal Lift Bridge operations! When does Racine City Hall talk about that?

So why isn’t Mayor Dickert or the Common Council ending the operation of the seasonal Lift Bridges and re-directing the funds to BUS service and Police Personnel? Why is the priority of Racine’s government so misplaced?

And why does the City of Racine have both a Mayor and City Administrator whose duties overlap in the same office – at the outrageous cost of $389,333? Is Common Sense lacking at Racine’s Common Council? It certainly appears to be the case. And over $1M for the City Attorney’s Office? What sort of corrupt operation is the City of Racine running that would require a budget of that size? And over-budget to boot!

2014 General Budget Mayor and City Attorney

And The City of Kenosha, with nearly 30,000 more people, and a 2014 budget of only  $73,923,249 versus Racine’s bloated budget which is almost $10M higher, has multiple harbors and doesn’t operate Lift Bridges. Kenosha simply requires tall Ships to harbor outside of it’s Industrial Canal.

Kenosha

Racine – Where Common Sense and Fiscal Responsibility is missing!

Racine Marinas

Concerned Racine Residents should call their Alderman and ask why Police and Bus Service is being cut, while an unnecessary 3 month Seasonal Lift Bridge Operation is being funded at over $.5M annually.

City of Racine Aldermen

Guide to The Games Of Racine!

Flow-of-funds-5a

Sailing Ships!

Three Loose Cannons in Racine – John Dickert, Mark Gleason, and Marty DeFatte

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The roller-coaster ride for the overtaxed People of Racine County continues, as the Culture of Corruption rears it’s ugly head once again.

The TOP STORY goes to Racine Mayor John Dickert, who in an interview on WRJN, misrepresents Alderman Sandy Weidner’s position on Root Works, and then is called out, LIVE! and on the air  by Alderman Weidner as a liar!

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From Racine Community Media:

RACINE- ALDERWOMAN SANDY WEIDNER STANDS TALL AND CALLS OUT RACINE MAYOR JOHN DICKERT FOR LYING TO THE PUBLIC ON LOCAL RADIO STATION WRJN,  ALD. WEIDNER ASKS THE MAYOR, “HOW MUCH HAVE YOUR LIES COST THE RESIDENTS OF RACINE THUS FAR????!!!!”

ALDERWOMAN WEIDNER ECHOES THE THOUGHTS AND CONCERNS OF OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS AND MANY RACINE FAMILIES AND RESIDENTS, IN REGARDS TO QUESTIONABLE PRACTICES WITH MAYOR DICKERT AND OTHERS AT CITY HALL.  QUESTIONS REGARDING MONEY, STAFFING AND SOME OF THE PROCESSES USED TO OBTAIN CITY CONTRACTS, REMAIN UNANSWERED AND SOME DOLLARS MIGHT NOT BE ADDING UP. THINGS SUCH AS,  ROOTWORKS, CAR25, PORTERS, CITY HALL REAL ESTATE DEALS, ETC.

RESIDENTS AND ALDERMEN HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR INFORMATION AND REQUESTING OPEN RECORDS REGARDING THE PRACTICES AND METHODS USED BY MAYOR DICKERT AND CITY HALL, AND HAVING TREMENDOUS DIFFICULTY GETTING ANSWERS TO SIMPLE QUESTIONS. ALDERWOMAN SANDY WEIDNER HAS HAD ENOUGH.

ALSO, CLAIMS OF CITY HALL TAKING MONTHS TO DEAL WITH THE MOST SIMPLE OF REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION ON BEHALF OF RESIDENTS, CONTINUES, AND A FEW ALDERMEN HAVE PUBLICLY CLAIMED THEIR FRUSTRATIONS WITH THE MAYOR AND CITY HALL, WITH PROVIDING INFORMATION THAT THEY HAVE REQUESTED.

LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND LACK OF INFORMATION FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS AND RESIDENTS ALIKE, SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED. ALDERMEN AND RESIDENTS ARE STANDING UP AND SAYING ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. STAND TOGETHER & SAVE RACINE!

YOU CAN LISTEN TO A BRIEF CLIP FROM THE WRJN RADIO SHOW AT THE LINK PROVIDED BELOW. ENJOY & SAVE RACINE!

http://podcast.wrjn.com/wrjn2/4501047.mp3

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Coming in at second position is Mount Pleasant Village President Mark Gleason, whose ethics are questionable at best, and chooses to make decisions without the Village Board’s approval.

From the Root River Siren:

Did Mark Gleason Screw The Pooch On Mt. Pleasant Land Deal?

King Mark Gleason

Mark Gleason fancies himself to be “King of Mount Pleasant” and he answers to no one.

Taxes? He don’t pay no stinking taxes!

Allowing the public to ask questions during board meetings? Not Gleason, even if it is a village ordinance. Silencio!

Gleason’s royal ways have ticked off a whole bunch of people – he doesn’t care.

However HRH may have just screwed the pooch on a land swap deal with Sturtevant for water and sewer for a development just west of UNFI.

See, Sturtevant held official meetings on the deal. Jim Ladwig and RCEDC had blessed the deal and there is some speculation a developer may have been in the wings.

So what’s wrong?

Well, Mark Gleason apparently doesn’t think he needs to meet or consult with the rest of the Mount Pleasant board of trustees – because he, Whalen, Sturtevant, RCEDC and Jim Ladwig all sat down and Gleason said he had no deal, it was dead.

This “news” to Sturtevant (and the county) who had been meeting on the deal for months was a real kick in the can. Not to mention putting the development in jeopardy.

Not so much of a surprise for anyone who knows Gleason and his sidekick, Kurt Whalen, who pretty much do what they want. Whalen was quick to comment to the Racine County Eye:

“The Sturtevant Village Board voted and approved an agreement that the Village of Mt. Pleasant considered a work in progress,”

Sturtevant Trustee, Chris Wright, is having none of it. He quickly posted a comment which read:

“With all due respect to Mr. Wahlen, we would not have voted on something that was considered a “work in progress”. It was communicated to us by Mr. Wahlen and Mr. Gleason that the terms in the agreement that we approved were the ones Mt Pleasant agreed to also. These negotiations have been going on for months and our board has been updated after every meeting by our Administrator, President, and legal counsel. If that has not been happening in Mt. Pleasant it is not our fault.”

It seems that is news to Mount Pleasant Village trustees who can’t recall meeting, not to mention voting, on the deal. Whoopsie, that’s kind of a problem.

It seems almost impossible to imagine the previous Mount Pleasant administration, with its sex scandals and crazy cast of oddball characters was actually a step up from Gleason’s regime – but the Siren would take that lot back in second.

Naturally, Gleason is not answering his phone. Wonder how long that will last?

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In Third Position is retired Racine Police Officer, Shorewest Realtor, and Root River Council Board Member, Marty DeFatte, who makes the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s list of Delinquent Taxpayers - currently owing the State $5,318.73 in Income Taxes.

Marty Defatte Shorewest

From the Wisconsin DOR:

Click on image to enlarge:WI DOR

Looks like Racine Mayor John Dickert better hurry up with that Root Works/mound Avenue Bluff purchase, as Marty needs the $$$.

1251 Mound Avenue

The Culture of Corruption is alive and well in Racine County!

lying john 2

 

Miracle on Racine’s Sixth and Water Streets Part II

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Who knew what and when. It’s always the key to making a killing on Real Estate through an Insider Knowledge deal. Is there a small group of Racine City Hall Insiders who have managed to score a few buys of the century? Who had Insider knowledge of future projects that would greatly increase their sales price and commissions? Why else did Mayor John Dickert and the Redevelopment Authority violate numerous Ordinances, make deals in secret, and maintain silence behind the scenes, only to suddenly spring the results on the Common Council and Residents AFTER the Grants and Loans had been approved?  Then, when honest and decent Aldermen pointed out that the process was in violation of Democratic principles as well as the law, certain other Aldermen demanded that the project go ahead anyways, AND in a rush!

Strangely enough, in the City of Racine 2014 CIP, which was adopted on November 19, 2013, there is an entry for TID 18, Machinery Row.  Yet TID 18 does not officially exist, and a TID is not something which is casually approved with just a vote from the Common Council. The creation of a TID requires certain Notices being sent, the creation of a Joint Review Board, Public Hearings, an approved Project Plan, a specific Timeline, and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue must determine certain property assessment values. While Racine Exposed has heard from various sources making claims that the TID is in the approval process, that is NOT what the Wisconsin Department of Revenue claims. In fact, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue has no knowledge of ANY current activities involving the City of Racine in creating TID 18. Neither does Racine County or RUSD. So why is TID 18 there, and was placing this item in the CIP and projecting future budgeting for the TID even legal? And under what Authority was that done? Is this part of the continuing pattern, or practice of Racine City Hall ignoring proper procedures, violating due process, and exceeding the limits of authority to act? Has Racine City Hall been turned into a Realty Office? Is speculation and blowing realty bubbles the name of the game? Only time will tell.

Proposed TIDs

It is the Wisconsin Department of Revenue that administers and regulates TIF’s, aka TID’s. For those who want more information on how TIF’s work, there is an entire WI DOR  webpage devoted to the issue. Click HERE to access the webpage and find answers to your questions. A current list of active TID’s from the WI. DOR may be accessed by clicking HERE.

Reproduced below is page 30 of the 2014 CIP, showing an entry for TID 18:

Click on image to Enlarge2014 CIP

The Wisconsin DOR has no current knowledge of a TID 18 in Racine, WI.

TID 18 Request

Which really brings into question the purpose and motive of suddenly announcing a $65M project on a rushed time table, and, according to Jim Bowman, direct involvement from Governor Scott Walker in approving  WEDC tax credits.  From the Milwaukee Business Journal:

Machinery Row Story

And not everyone understands the importance and value of the Historic Tax Credits – As Jim Bowman succinctly stated, “Without the tax credits, it would have been marginally economically viable at best”; and from WEDC:

Historic Tax Credits-bmp

Of course, with the sudden announcement of a potential $65M development and the approval of Historic Tax Credits, many properties that were previously undesirable and that had been on and off  the market for a long period of time suddenly became salable.  Some of those properties were discussed in the post, Miracle on Racine’s Water and Sixth Street. Are other long time property owners looking to sell? It appears to be so.

Retired RPD Police Officer, Shore West Realtor and Root River Council INC. Board Member Marty DeFatte is looking for $$ Top Dollar $$ for 1251 Mound Avenue, which also, coincidentally, is the business address of fellow Root River Council INC. Registered Agent and Racine County Supervisor Monte Osterman. Currently assessed by The City of Racine at $150,000, Civic Minded Marty DeFatte is only asking a premium of nearly $40,000 for the property.

1251 Mound Ave-bmp

Meanwhile, with only 31 days on the market, 1336 Mound Avenue is quite the bargain! Assessed at $90,000 by The City of Racine, the ad does admit that the property needs a fair amount of work and that no repairs or warranties are offered with the purchase. The Root River Project is just down the street!

1336 Mound Ave-bmp

Another price cut on 1101 Mound Avenue.  Assessed by The City of Racine at $585,000 and with only the third floor fully leased, this property can be bought for $798,000 – was $850,000.

1101 Mound Avenue-bmp

Meanwhile, scuttlebutt around City Hall says that an unnamed person has been hired for $15,000 to facilitate the purchase of the 1287 Mound Avenue property, whose owners may be reluctant to sell. The City has even talked about using eminent domain to take the property from the owners. That is NOT the story that Matt Sadowski told the DNR in his UNAUTHORIZED application for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grant. Did Matt Sadowski just get caught lying on an application to the DNR?

1287 Mound Avenue:

1287 Mound Avenue

From The Journal Times:

The Council will not be asked to approve the acquisition and relocation plan for the five properties, Assistant Director of City Development Matt Sadowski explained Monday. By voting to support the redevelopment plan, aldermen will be voting to give the city or Redevelopment Authority permission to either purchase the properties or, if necessary, acquire them by eminent domain.

Sadowski said if the city could not come to a purchase agreement with any of the property owners, it would decide then whether to use eminent domain — based on how crucial to the overall redevelopment the property was. If the city did use eminent domain to acquire any of the parcels, Sadowski said, it couldn’t use the DNR grant money to pay for the acquisition of that particular parcel.

Why is Matt Sadowski, in a Journal Times article, threatening a potentially reluctant property owner into selling with the claim that he may use eminent domain to take what won’t be willingly sold? Why is The City of Racine allegedly employing a Negotiator for $15,000? For a bike trail? To remove 5 properties from the tax roles and shift almost $13,000 in taxes to other homeowners? Here is what Matt Sadowski told the DNR:

Mound Avenue ProblemsMatt Sadowski Statement

*UPDATED* Did Matt Sadowski also lie when he told the DNR, on his unauthorized application that the properties have been primarily residential, except for 1251 Mound Avenue? Did Matt Sadowski actually investigate the area or check the City of Racine property records?

Matt Sadowskis Claim

Property Zoning

There is also scuttlebutt around Racine City Hall that the owners of certain properties had been approached, potentially illegally, with questions about selling their properties, or if they would sell to certain individuals, prior to the announcement of the awarding of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant. It was told to Racine Exposed that City of Racine Attorney Rob Weber may have advised certain individuals  not to approach the owners – but they chose to do so anyway. If true, this demands an investigation.

When the evidence is examined, Root Works has the appearance of an ill-conceived and rushed plan, lacking proper planning and based upon speculation and lies. Announcements and plans are discussed, yet they have not been properly imnplemented or approved. Mayor Dickert seems to be attempting to blow a huge real estate bubble without any substance backing the plan. Lies and baseless speculation have been the foundation. The taxpayers need to watch out as the profits will be privatized while the taxpayers will pay all the costs along with the losses. There is no solid evidence anywhere that Root Works is nothing more than  SCAM-O-RAMA Racine!

Root Works Ripping Off The Taxpayer Again

When reviewing the many questionable actions that have been EXPOSED in this real estate scheme, the Reader should keep in mind that many of the government officials involved in Root Works are also currently involved in a RICO lawsuit which alleges that the Defendants engaged in:

• Extortion in violation of the federal extortion statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1951(b);
• Extortion in violation of the Wisconsin extortion statute, Wis. Stat. 943.30;
• Bribery in violation of the federal bribery statute, 18 U.S.C. § 201(b);
• Bribery in violation of the Wisconsin bribery statute, Wis. Stat. 946.10;
• Receiving an unlawful gratuity in violation of federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 201(c);
• Receiving an unlawful gratuity in violation of Wisconsin law, Wis. Stat. 11.25(1);
• Official misconduct in violation of Wisconsin law, Wis. Stat. 946.12;
• False swearing in violation of Wisconsin law, Wis. Stat. 946.32(1)(a);
• Honest services fraud in violation of federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 1346; and
• Money laundering in violation of federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i)

Further, Racine County Supervisor Monte Osterman is facing a Complaint that he, as The Registered Agent for the Root River Council INC. has fraudulently claimed it to be a Non-Profit Organization, failed to disclose his economic interests as required by law, and committed Misconduct In Office by misusing his position and authority in lobbying for Root Works and the Mound Avenue Bluff purchase.

In their Links to Other Partners and Programs, the Wisconsin Coastal Management does NOT list the Root River Council, INC. So where are the funds coming from? Below is a partial list, but Root River Council, INC. never appears on the list!

List of Non-Profits

Who knew what and when? Why it is the Root River Council INC. that has employed Vanderwalle and Associates since 2012!

Root Works Background

And did Mayor Dickert use his position to steer funds from the Costal Zone Management Act Grant #NA12NOS4190091 to Monte Osterman’s Root River Council INC., to retain Vanderwalle and Associates? From: Wisconsin Coastal Management Program:

2014 Management Council Listing

And if the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program doesn’t recognize the Root River Council INC. as  Partner or a Program that they administer, where is Monte Osterman getting the funds to retain Vanderwalle and Associates? Are Root River Council INC. employees and Board Members being paid? Where are the funds coming from?

 

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