March 13, 2009

Helding calls for demolition of Jacato Drive apartments

Alderman Greg Helding, one of 11 candidates for mayor in the April 7 primary, today called for the demolition of the "infamous" Jacato Drive apartment buildings.

Helding said in a press release:
“It is high time to solve this problem once and for all. The law allows the city to proceed against the buildings as a public nuisance.

“Buildings on Jacato Drive average more than two police calls a day. We have had three officers hurt in three days. This simply cannot continue. The state of these apartments has become a threat to public safety.

“Our neighborhoods need help. When police are forced to spend so much time in these trouble spots, there is less time for the rest of the city. We all suffer. It is time to eliminate these trouble spots.

“This is not only about crime – it is about taxes, too,” said Helding. “We spend more than half of our budget on public safety. The Jacato Drive apartment buildings are draining our city budget dry.”

Helding has released a campaign video on his website where he proposes innovative ideas and bold leadership in the fight on crime. “Our police work hard to fight crime – City Hall must work beside them.” said Helding.

43 comments:

  1. Greg Helding clearly hasn't studied community safety aspects of development. When the Jacato Drive apartments are torn down, the problem will just move to a different neighborhood. Tearing down neighborhoods is never the answer. It is simply an easy solution that seems dramatic but actually hurts the city in the end.

    Does he realize what the city will have to spend to seize the properties, bulldoze them, and then redevelop them? And he says this would be a cost-saving measure? Sounds like another red-faced loud mouthed who thinks you can save money by cutting taxes and launching a war effort...but that's off topic.

    The answer on Jacato Drive is quite simple: find and arrest the people who are engaging in criminal activity, and get services and intervention to the young people who might soon be caught up in criminal enterprise as well.

    Moving the problem doesn't solve anything.

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  2. It is very obvious that he is doing this just to get votes.

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  3. Actually Greg appears to be taking a lesson from other big cities. High density housing developments with similar problems have been torn down in some large cities with very positive results. Many studies over the years have shown human behavior in dense housing situations is far worse than in less dense housing locations.

    Even large university dorms have more problems than smaller dorms.

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  4. Maybe Helding should get his good buddy Kurt Wahlen to do his job and actually enforce the law in this community! Wahlen thinks putting non-functioning cameras around the city will solve the crime problems.

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  5. People have been talking about the problems on Jacato for years and no one has stepped up with any real solutions.

    Somethings the answer is easy - it just takes courage to do it.

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  6. You guys go up there with candles and support groups - I am for the bulldozers!

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  7. West Side Willy3/13/2009 6:52 PM

    And where will Greg relocate the residents of those apartments? Does he know that the relocation will be at teh City's expense? How much more can we take. It is far more cost effective to solve the problems rather than take on another liability. In order to tear them down the City would have to own them. Does Greg want to sit there each day and manage them? This guy is misinformed and too immature and inexperienced to be mayor. Come on Greg, think a little

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  8. If tearing down the apartments would make the problem renters go away, I'd be all for it. However, those people are going to go somewhere and bring their problems wherever they go.

    The problem isn't the apartment complex, it's the people in them.

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  9. If Helding was serious about crime, he would ask Wahlen to resign. That's the real problem in Racine.

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  10. Lummox Helding should tear down his own cesspool of a neighborhood. That area is no different than Jacato Drive.

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  11. Instead of kicking everyone out why not arrest the trouble makers....go room to room. Make everything in each apartment legal and kick out the wrong doers. Where are they supposed to go (the regular folks) and god forbid where are the trouble makers going to go. Think about that. Start getting legal with them.

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  12. Every city has their worse neighborhood. We have to deal with it and CLEAN IT UP. NOW. Go apartment to apartment with officers and child protection staff. See who is living with who and how many children also live there. Get legal!

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  13. Helding rocks on this issue! We should also stop "Developers" from becoming Mayor.

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  14. If you believe "Helding Rocks" you know nothing about crime prevention and deterence. Being a former cop, you are not solving the problem just moving it to other parts of the city, maybe your neighborhood anon. In this election I am undecided. I personally like many of the candidates. Anon...I helieve that having development in a city is better than a city dying a slow painful death.

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  15. It does not take a Einstein to have a bumper sticker mentality to problems. Real solutions take time and thought. Helding...well another say anything to be elected pol...if I wanted that I would vote for Plache or Turner.

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  16. It surprised me the types of people that we are entrusting to govern our city. I would believe that any person who calls himself an christian, an aldermen and is seeking the highest position in city government would be compassionate about all the citizens of this community.

    I view Greg Helding suggestion as no more than grandstanding and posturing for the voters that appeal to fear. You would think that Mr. Helding is suggesting that all the residents of that area is crumbles and should be driven out and bulldozer's move be in to clean up the area.

    It is quite disturbing to believe that any elected offical would advocate kicking families out on the street because of the inability of our police department rid the city of a bad guys that they themselves has admitted they know who they are.

    It seems that the only good idea that our city officials and the police department can come up with to curb crime is to building another cop house. Maybe that's what Mr. Helding and his colleagues can suggest to end crime in the Jacato drive area.

    Before I am cast as being some type of bleeding heart liberal, lets look at the facts. There are many housing complex in that area. There are families living in the area that are good people. They spend money that keeps our local economy stabilized. They go to church. They believe in God. They believe that they should be treated the same as any other resident in the city.

    Why is it people like Greg Helding and so many others feel that we should cast out those that are less fortunate than ourselves. Being of faith, I often wonder what has happened to our compassion for one another. Not being a Bible scholar, I often ask congregations to ask themselves, "Am I my brother's keeper."

    During tough economic times, we sometimes show the worse of ourselves. However, to share the words of Aldermen Jim Kaplan, "We may have come over on different ships but we are in the same boat together."

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  17. Could someone from the city, police department, anyone that knows these answers please respond: (1) what are the authorities actively doing to rid the city of these criminals? (2) what are the laws in regards to razing buildings? (3) where would the honest people who live in these areas be moved to if the buildings were demolished? (4) where will these criminals move to if these buildings are demolished? (5) what is the exact cost of demolishing buildings? (6) what are the problems the police face when dealing with these criminals? (7) what laws need to be changed, or what new laws need to be enacted to help out with this problem? (8) what can we, the citizens, do to help out? I would like specific information, please. Thank you.

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  18. Helding is 100% right knock them down drive the those who deal drugs etc out of the city.
    Like rats in the sunlight

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  19. I believe Greg Helding only said this to get votes. I haven't heard or seen his entire plan for this endeavor. It's easy to say something but much harder to actually see the process through. There are many angles to this, and many consequences in demolishing these buildings. This has been an ongoing problem on Jacato, but there are also many areas of the city that have problems. Alderman Helding, I haven't heard or seen anything saying you were for doing this before you were a candidate for Mayor. I went to your website and I see no specifics on any of your issues. Only talking points. The citizens of Racine deserve specifics from ALL of our mayoral candidates on the issues. I've lost faith in our politicians. They will say and do anything for a vote. Greg, I've seen you in action and I've heard you talk. You are a pompous you-know-what. You believe you are above us "little people." I don't trust you and you don't get my vote. By the way, Greg, how much pull do you have with Wahlen and exactly how did your brother become a police officer?

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  20. At least Greg is taking a specific position on an issue. Let it be known that I do not agree with him, but I respect that he IS saying something.

    It is interesting how this campaign is playing out. Only Greg and Pete Karas are actually saying anything of substance. The others are just doing this touchy-feely play-it-safe political talk.

    I would really like to see these two make it to the general election. Then, we would have a real choice.

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  21. His brother tried out many times for RPD and failed. Once Helding became Alderman his brother "mysteriously" was hired as an officer almost overnight. Helding is as corrupt as Wahlen.

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  22. Greg Helding is A-1 and would be a great Mayor should he get in office.
    So many running are mini Becker or
    Hacks owned by the Democratic Party!

    My chooses in no order are

    Pete
    Helding
    Q.A
    Jim S

    Please vote!

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  23. Colt, I'm sick of the party stuff. I also disagree with you on Helding. I don't care the mayoral candidate's party affiliation, I just want someone who will step up to the plate, take the bull by the horns, use innovative ideas, work with people to solve the problems. Racine is dying and we need to breathe new life in it. No matter who is elected Mayor, I'll bet money the job isn't as easy as they think. You can have "great" ideas, but there are many factors involved in getting these ideas to actually work. The new mayor will soon find out how hard the job is and things don't always work the way you want them to work. Where were all these candidates during the last mayoral election? Why didn't they have the balls to run then?

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  24. Someone should tear down Greg Helding and put up an alderman.

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  25. 9:32 yes where where all these before other then Pete most where saying Yes Mr Mayor may I have another?

    However 9:32 The Democratic party be it under Doyle or Obama is going to raise your taxes far beyond what you ever thought possible.

    Even though I do not agree with lots of what Pete thinks he will hold the line on taxes
    So would Helding and the others.

    With Kim or Turner taxes would go up up up and owner occupied homes go down down down

    Dickert other then wanting to pave the city and in love with The true foes of Racine IMHO The DRC and RCEDC do I trust him...

    This is our one true chance to change Racine and get it out of the good old boys hands

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  26. Orbs Corbs:

    I'm not saying I agree with your statement, but I have to admit that is was very witty! =) lol

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  27. Colt, the Republican Party hasn't been so great at helping us out, like they want you to believe. I'm an independent. Greg Helding is a good 'ole boy. I have seen him in "action" and in "inaction" on various issues. I have also heard him say he never knew there were problems with Becker and at the City. I also know for a fact various people who have talked to Greg about these problems. He was kissing Becker's a$$ when he was the mayor, and he was quick to turn the cheek when Becker went down. Don't vote for Helding.

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  28. Knock them down! Finally something that makes since. If that can't happen hold the landlords accountable. Don't rent to losers.

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  29. Colt Malt Liquor3/14/2009 1:21 PM

    At least Helding is putting forth some ideas. It is a proven fact that places the apartments on Jacato Drive and Cabrini Green in Chicago breed trouble. There are probably four bloogers on here blogging multiple times but if you talk to people in the community, they are saying yes that is a good idea. Bulldoze the apartments and put in single family homes and encourage home ownership. Orbs Corbs-you are just an idiot. You are the most negative person I have ever met. Get a life! And Colt, you are all over the board-you have no clue whatsoever. Karas would be a tax and spend liberal and he would take away your guns, add dpw employees to appease the unions and spend money researching muni power which wont go anywhere because it will be too expensive to buy out WE Energies. AND Robert, were you one of the cops that slept during 3rd shift? If you break up the gang and they disperse, the problems wont be as bad as when it is concentrated.

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  30. CML

    Nice to know my thoughts have you so bent out of shape.
    Helding is not perfect but far better then any Dem running to include John D who now I am being told is more a Republican day by day.
    To me he is THE BECKER CLONE

    I do not care who you might vote for but please vote.

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  31. It isn't a matter of candies, flowers and support groups, it is about kicking the people who are causing the problems OUT of the these homes, rebuilding what we already have and moving forward to making a better environment.

    "Jabba the Helding" cannot understand this line of thinking, because he has no experience dealing with diversity, ADVERSITY, or severe economic challenges. If he would spit out that silver spoon and have a taste of reality, he may see how immature and off base his ideas really are.

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  32. Six buildings on Jacato Dr. are currently on the market for sale at just over $5.5 Million. Total of 161 units, relocation cost a minimum $3k per unit, another $500k, demolition//site remediation $500k to $1M, loss of property taxes, currently around $90k per year, over the next 3 years while the real estate market adjusts, $270k.

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  33. Herr Helding has an ego that won't quit and thinks he's above everyone. He likes the spotlight on him. He thinks he's a big player because he's on various city committees. Truth be told, he's laughed at. Greggy boy, you will not get my vote.

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  34. "Jabba the Helding" - that's cute anon. I like it. It describes him perfectly, his whole attitude and his wishy washy slothiness.

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  35. In my eyes, Helding is trying to fan the fire considering Jacato, his idea to clean up the area is one that has to be done, but he doesn't have a complete program behind it. You knock the buildings down, the trouble will move elsewhere. Landlords have to be held accountable, tenants breaking the law need to be arrested and held accountable for their actions. CCAP on people can be run free of charge and landlords can run perspective tenants BEFORE renting to them. Maybe all landlords should really start looking at who they rent to and clean up their properties or face fines. They could also probably be given some tax incentive for cleaning it up and renting to people who care.

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  36. Start with Jacato, then the apartments at 3 Mile between Main and Erie...

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  37. Why is Helding's people attacking Dickert?

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  38. Helding was quoted as saying "We have had three officers hurt in three days." Was one of the officers injured his brother? If so, is that the only reason he is taking this issue to heart?

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  39. RacineInsider.blogspot.com

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  40. Helding is a mess. An alderman or a mayor is not in a position to just order the demolition of an entire block of buildings. We have all sorts of departments in this city we are paying very well for. Why not figure out what they are doing?
    You cannot just go door to door with protective services and police. That sort of mentality is really scary. Either someone is breaking the law or they are not. We are protected in this country against unlawful search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment.
    Interesting.... the brother finding a job on the force.

    Landlords cannot tell by looking at someone if they are a loser. They do not wear signs saying I am a drug dealer or a squatter. There are laws against discrimination. What does a bad tennant look like? They already do criminal and credit checks. All a criminal has to do is get someone else to rent it in their name. It takes time to know who is causing trouble and get them evicted.

    Further more this city better start working on relationships with landlords. We are in a real housing crisis and there are going to be renters and rental properties. Figure out how to work together. Landlords are not criminals. Nice paint does not make a nice tennant or neigbor.

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  41. If the Jacato Drive apartments were full of white people Helding would not want to knock it down.

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  42. Whoever becomes Mayor, I hope they fire Kurt Wahlen and put someone like Al Days in as Chief.

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  43. The former cop blogging in here was a lazy useless cop who cheated on his wife.

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