June 22, 2009

Silence on KRM

Short of our story on the Senate budget endangering KRM, no one's covered this angle of the budget. Why is that?

The Senate passed the budget 17-16 with Sen. John Lehman voting for a budget that likely will kill the prospect of commuter rail through Racine. State Rep. Cory Mason and Kerry Thomas, of Transit NOW, are both concerned about the Senate budget's impact on KRM, yet the JT, The Journal-Sentinel and the Kenosha News have ignored this issue.

Maybe they're waiting for the outcome of the conference committee between the Senate and the Assembly, where a budget will emerge for Gov. Jim Doyle to sign. But now is the time to examine why one Racine legislator seems to be working to save KRM and another seems OK with killing it, albeit subtly.


  1. Come on - its John Lehman - nobody can be surprised. He is not who he used to be.

  2. John Lehman is interested in two things only, getting re-elected and not doing anything to endanger the democrats control of the legislature

  3. StopthemadnessNOW6/23/2009 6:29 AM

    It all comes down to an abysmal lack of leadership here in SE Wisconsin.

    In order for regional transit to come to fruition, we needed leadership, cooperation and vision on behalf of the delegations from Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha and Milwaukee counties. (BTW: This doesn't mean voting in lockstep or idealogical purity; it means developing a workable plan that would treat mass transit of all forms as a key, regional infrastructure like the power grid, water/sewer and yes, roads.)

    Sadly, we don't have the required leadership, cooperation or vision in Racine, Milwaukee or anyplace else in this region. BTW, Sen. Lehman is no better or worse than the collective delegations (there's plenty of blame to go around.)

    So, let's face it. Regional transportation (RTA) and KRM just aren't going to happen. Not now and probably not ever. SE Wisconsin is going to be poorer for it - for a long, long, time.


    Note I am sure that the 50 million in bonds will be raised and spent.
    Consultants will make money. Somehow I feel that RCEDC will get their hands on some perhaps for another no bid web page

  5. Colt - give me some examples of RCEDC mishandling of funds. You are very sladerous of both RCEDC and RAMAC - but let's have specifics. And do you ever have anything positive to say about anything? You sound like one very unhappy person.

  6. And I was looking forward to those late Saturday afternoon rides to Chicago for a nice dinner.

  7. 9:13

    The easy one. The no bid contract for the web page for the uptown art project. 10K might be legal, no bid for that amount IMHO are wrong. That was a RCEDC deal.
    Also you must not read all my post I am very happy with not only the new Mayor but with this whole Urban Gardens effort and what groups like Racine Urban Garden Network and Eat Right Racine are doing in a grass roots effort with no government funds.
    That is fantasic.
    The old school groups IMHO like RCEDC (are why did they not go to Wind Power 09?) and RAMAC just no idea IMHO on what to do.
    Racine is dieing and dieing fast The Uptown Art Project nor KRM is going to fix it.
    Thinking the new Mayor has a few ideas that will be new and worth trying.

  8. Colt - so all your complaints about RCEDC are about $10,000. I'd almost be willing to give that to you if that would releieve your pain. Unbelievable - and then you say you don't know what RAMAC does. So how can you complain when you don't know what they do. I know - you just like to whine.

  9. "so all your complaints about RCEDC are about $10,000"

    But, the city spending 10k to subsidize a blogger is no problem for colt.

  10. Colt and his silly comments is not the problem. Lack of adequate mass transit in our area is. Why can't we get this done? It's a no brainer!

  11. We can't get the train done because the plan is flawed. It is not leadership that is failing getting a choo choo. It is all the debt this state already has. It is all the fringe benefits we cannot afford already that are killing the train. It is the money silly. Who will be left to pay for it? Build jobs, attract employers, reduce debt, handle welfare fraud, get unions under control and then get choo choo easily.

  12. You cant get this dome because KRM SUCKS!
    Few will ride fewer want to pay MORE taxes for it.
    Get your pals at Johnson's Wax to pay for it after all they have 1 BILLION and then some. Oh yes Twin Disk .. That's right lay offs I know CASE no lay offs there too.
    Like to see how bent you get over just Colt, if I was the only one in the way you would have your toy, but it's far more then old Colt.
    Wait soon Colt will be running ads to help everyone know what a silly thing KRM is.

  13. Colt - it's SC Johnson, CNH and Twin Disc. You are so in tune with the city, I would think you would at least know the names of the major companies that have been in business for 100's of years.

  14. and two out of the three can not afford to help pay for KRM and J Wax finds ways to avoid taxes!
    I will not bend over for KRM
    The way it looks KRM is dead dead dead. Yet the 50 Million in bonds will be raised and spent. Hope I am wrong do not think so

  15. "I would think you would at least know the names of the major companies that have been in business for 100's of years."

    100s of years? Since 1809 or longer?

  16. CNH alone is over 150 years since it's inception. Your point is?

  17. I am sure that Case will be writing a check real soon to help out the KRM, not like they ave laid anyone off or received millions from the feds.

  18. Case does not exist as a company so I guess I'd agree with you we'd be hard pressed to get any money from them. Colt give it a rest.

  19. Lehman = FAIL

    Give Mason credit, he came to the table with a solution and then VOTED for it. He might have come out with a bad plan to begin with, but he went back and got the information he needed and made up for it. That's leadership in my opinion. You won't always be right but you can always give it your all on issues you believe in.

    Lehman was just the opposite. His Senate vote was a vote against KRM. Many would argue his rental car tax was against KRM as well since it put the funding in serious jeopardy.

    He's playing politics with a project that has the potential for significant economic impact in this area. Nothing else in the budget has the amount of upside for Racine that KRM has. That's not leadership. That's not even following - it's much worse. He got ran over by his own party.

    The one thing he has that he can use is his vote and he handed it over to Senate Democrats instead of the citizens of Racine. How did the Senate Democrats repay him? Well, they let another Democrat take a pass and vote "No" to the budget. Why? Because he was in a district that might be up for grabs.

    Why not let John vote no? It is because the Democratic Pary has no respect for the voters in Racine. They think we don't care and John Lehman is bullet proof.

    We have to send a message if this goes down and vote out Senator Lehman on principle. Lots of people like him, but too bad. This is the only way we can send a message to Madison that Racine is not some place to just push around and we will not be taken for granted.

    This is bigger than Lehman now - it comes down to them respecting us and apparantly the only way they will do that is if they think there is a threat. How sad. This isn't the Democratic Party that I voted for and believe in.

    If KRM goes, then so must Lehman.

  20. Is the Journal Times trying to cover for Lehman?

    They write editorials asking for KRM but then won't write an article on a decision that could doom KRM? What?

    Even if you are one of those against KRM, that is a pretty strange choice for the Journal Times to make.

    Then again, maybe they didn't even know!

  21. Urban Pioneer6/23/2009 5:00 PM

    Madness and Anon 3:38
    "He's playing politics with a project that has the potential for significant economic impact in this area."

    Yeah this would have an economic impact, driving AWAY even more over-taxed citizens. By NOT installing KRM we can continue to market Racine County as the Lowest taxed County in SE Wisconsin. Especially after the Stadium Tax retires. If we convince Dickert and the Council to be responsible with our tax dollars and the RUSD can live within it's budget..we can continue down the low tax path. Pretty soon we'll have so many more mid-upper income people DRIVING into our City we'll be the most prosperous place in Wisconsin. I'm glad Lehmann recognizes this!! Go John!!

  22. Urban

    The proposal on the table is for rental car tax, not sales tax. I think you are confused.

    If our tax rate is so great, then according to your theory we'd be rolling like Beverly Hills right now.

    Taxes are only part of the equation.

  23. We cannot afford the train. Subsidizing a train is a luxury item. We would need to give up something. Why hasn't a private company come fourth to build and run this money making train? If a private company cannot see a solid business plan then how can the tax payers trust it?

  24. The coach bus goes to Milwaukee and Kenosha. It has huge comfortable seats, a bathroom (much nicer than the trains)and air conditioning. It is really very simple and cheap to jump on the Coach bus. We are not stuck in the middle of nowhere dependent on cars.

  25. People are acting like teens. You have to have the latest gadget. Pay your bills and save up for it. Meanwhile deal with what you have.

  26. Neither of these guys have Racine's best interest at heart. Both proposals make no sense, and Mason's solution of a wheel tax for Racine and Kenosha is ridiculous.

  27. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Storm-Racine/2009/06/25/KRM-

    8:30 AM Thursday

  28. We can't afford it? We can't afford a rental car tax? How many cars do you rent?

    What are you people talking about?

  29. "we can continue to market Racine County as the Lowest taxed County in SE Wisconsin. Especially after the Stadium Tax retires."

    The stadium tax is so small it couldn't be more irrelevant. Business will not flock here after getting rid of .1%.

    The people that are opposed to KRM just don't like trains, it is that simple. Just say train and they will say no. Under no circumstances will they support regional transportation - no matter how it was funded.

    KRM could be installed by a private donor and colt and the rest of the complainers would still be against it.

  30. Urban Pioner6/24/2009 5:34 PM

    Dear Anon 5:32 there is also a sales tax under consideration, which doesn't effect Racine county YET. But it will after a short time, when we realize the KRM will get nowhere near the number of riders expected. As for my point that LOWER taxes in Racine County will be better for luring businesses and residents and shoppers to our community it is irrefutable.

  31. Oh, it is most certainly refutable.

    You will not attract business into a city because of taxes alone. There are other factors such as quality of life, government, infrastructure, the labor pool, etc, etc.

    Your world view of business is far too simplistic. What's worse, it is simply convienient. It is much easier to complain about taxes and government than it is to actually fix the problems and tackle our issues.

    This is the same mentality that promotes caring about your own yard and nothing else. It is impossible to have a vision of the city when you can't see past your own property.

    And what sales tax are you talking about? Right now, there are two proposals that need to be worked out and both are funded with rental car tax.

  32. Downtown Denizen6/25/2009 9:14 AM

    If the KRM showed any potential for profit, the Metro line that ends in Kenosha would have extended to Milwaukee. But, those that run the Metro did consider this some time ago and saw no value in it.

    Also, when are some of you people going to take your blinders off; KRM WILL NOT RUN TO CHICAGO!!!! It will only take you Kenosha (note the "K"RM is for KENOSHA). In Kenosha you will have to change to the Metro to get down to Chicago. Also, the ticket you buy in Milwaukee or Racine will ONLY GET YOU TO KENOSHA. In Kenosha you will have to purchase a separate round-trip ticket to ride the Metro. So, now your $6 KRM ticket to get you to Chicago and back will now run roughly $14 or more. What's the point? I can drive there and back for that in 1/3 the time.