February 9, 2009

Mayor Friedel's first act ...

Mayor Tom Friedel has been on the job a couple of days now, and he looked good tonight at City Hall in his new role as Racine's chief executive. (Interesting discussion at the Personnel and Finance Committee meeting about Friedel's title. One alderman suggested it was Interim Mayor, but city staff corrected them. It's just mayor, no qualifier even though he'll be on the job for about three months).

So here's a little Racine trivia: What was Friedel's first act as mayor?

Answer: Shortly after being sworn in, witnesses tell us Friedel left the meeting and suggested the city swap a refrigerator full of plastic water bottles for a more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly, water cooler. He reportedly asked Assistant Public Works Director Tom Eeg to look into the best way to get water to City Council members and city staff.

Eeg said the mayor asked about a water fountain or possibly a water cooler.
"He was just looking for a more efficient means to get drinking water as opposed to using bottled water and not necessarily pushing for a water cooler if not needed for this or if it was not more cost effective," Eeg wrote in an email to RacinePost.

An alderman who witnessed Friedel's first act tells it this way:
"His (Friedel's) first, official, order was to tell Tom Eeg, asst DPW commissioner, to get rid of bottled water, and put a water cooler in the council chambers. San Francisco did this last year, to cut down on the mountains of recyclables that occur from this. This was just after we walked into the Mayor's office, at the end of the meeting, and he (Friedel) was giving a tour."

No word on if the change has yet been made.

17 comments:

  1. "and he looked good tonight at City Hall in his new role as Racine's chief executive" - What's that supposed to mean?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nothing much ... he just looked, well, mayoral walking around City Hall.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Doesn't the City have a water utility that produces water that city employees could drink? Think of all the money it would save! This looks like a waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

    (What the heck; may as well make this controversial...everything else is.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mayor Friedel How about looking into Ex Mayor Becker's travel on the city's dime. How it was spent who else went if he may owe the city money etc or will this get swept under the rug

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hat's off to you Mayor Friedel on your first official act as Mayor by changing to a more environmentally friendly way to get water to Racine's City Council Members.

    My Wife and I catered your daughter Allison's Wedding back in the late 1990's. At the time her request's for environmentally friendly products, local produce and others struck us as out of the a bit out of the ordinary, but we never forgot her requests.

    Today, we use only environmentally friendly disposable products, Local produce in the summer months, all natural foods and suggest organic products to our clients. This is due in part to your daughters requests for her Wedding.

    Until just recently, these products came at a greater cost, but I am happy to say the the cost of disposable tableware is now at or below the cost of foam and plastic products.

    Please know that this seemingly minor change can actually create a greater effect as your Daughters actions have had on us.
    Best of luck to you on your short term as Mayor of my home town.

    Matt and Annette Flynn
    www.sophisticatering.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Flynns - talk about spinning a story for shameless self promotion!

    Why can't they drink out of a fawcet like most everyone else? Is that water unsafe for some reason? If it is unsafe, shouldn't the rest of the city residents be made aware of that?

    Given this is what Friedel decided was important for his first act as Mayor, I'd have to say it may be a good thing he's only there for a short period.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous....

    Chlorine and Floride is most likley in the tap water. For some people this is indeed toxic. Small amounts of mercury is also present. With Oak Creek power plant to the north, Pleasant Prairie to the south, you are sandwiched between two Mercury depositers. Go to see for yourself at www.scorecard.org

    Good health to you my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous....

    Chlorine and Floride is most likley in the tap water. For some people this is indeed toxic. Small amounts of mercury is also present. With Oak Creek power plant to the north, Pleasant Prairie to the south, you are sandwiched between two Mercury depositers. Go to see for yourself at www.scorecard.org

    Good health to you my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Maybe he could do something useful like suggest a charter change and get rid of the strong mayor form of government. Its about time Racine get some professional municipal managers in place. None of us would hire amateurs to run our businesses why do we do it to run our city!?!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Urban Pioneer2/10/2009 12:36 PM

    I don't care that the decision was made for "Earth friendly" reasons. I like the fact the decision was made for economic reasons ("Taxpayer Friendly"). But let's take it one step further; Tap Water is what I drink, and If anyone has special needs for Fluoride or chlorine free Water..Then they can provide for their own bottled water, not at taxpayer expense. The city has things it MUST do, and things it would LIKE TO do. I'm all for the "Must". Not so much for the "Like to". SAVE THE TAX-Payers!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Doesn't the City have a water utility that produces water that city employees could drink?"

    Yes. It is some of the cleanest tap water available. That is what Mayor Friedel is proposing to provide INSTEAD of bottled water.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Maybe he could do something useful like suggest a charter change and get rid of the strong mayor form of government. Its about time Racine get some professional municipal managers in place. None of us would hire amateurs to run our businesses why do we do it to run our city!?!"

    Great idea. Let's have professional bureaucrats running everything. You think it is hard to fight city hall now!

    ReplyDelete
  13. In reference to "Let's have professional bureaucrats running everything," that's a great point. I think most of us are sick of the career politicians and their selfish motives. We need someone from the grass roots of the city that's been experiencing the problems and abuses of the mayor and city council levied on the citizens (i.e. over 30% tax increases in the past 6 years, the formation of UNIT and its unconstitutional "inspection fee" fines that can't be fought, the waste of funds KRM is going to cost for the few that will acutally use the system, and much more).

    Most folks think that government needs to be run (dare I say ruled) by bureaucrats, when in fact it needs to be "guided" by someone who understands economics, thrift and what it's like to be under the thumb of a mayor and city council that does nothing but tax, spend and run up the city's credit cards to tune of 250 million dollars worth of debt.

    In addition, it's time to stop the "all powerful rule" of the city council every time it wants to inact a new ordinance. Items that affect the majority of the citizens in Racine need to be put to a vote by the people, not by a select few that sit on the board. Moral issues, tax issues, spending issues, and ordinances need to be ratified by the people they are going to affect. And, if an item is passed and put into effect prior to a referendum, then it needs to show up on the next voting ballot to see if the people are willing to keep it or reject it.

    Oh, I'm sorry, that sounds a whole lot like government by the people and for the people. I know that is becoming a lost concept in this country, and particularly in this city.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Settle down, Jody.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just for the record, I'm not Jody.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Urban Pioneer2/11/2009 2:18 PM

    Jody or not Jody...much of it sounds like the kind of thing Jody is running for..Not sure about the repeated public balloting of ordinances, but otherwise the control of too much Govt. Common Sense and a bit more control over the Purse is a GREAT idea!!
    I hope there wasn't a contract for the new Water Cooler.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yeah, I probably sound like that because I've listened to her, visited her blog, and watched the video on her web site.

    ReplyDelete