October 4, 2009

Alderman McCarthy backs 12-month development option for proposed grocery store, gas station in West Racine

Alderman Terry McCarthy, one of three alderman whose districts include parts of West Racine, is giving tentative support to a plan to build a gas station, restaurant, bank and gas station at Washington Avenue and West Boulevard.

Here's the letter McCarthy wrote to City Development Director Brian O'Connell announcing his support of giving Tom Tousis a 12-month option on the vacant 1.5 acres of land owned by the city:
Members of the Redevelopment Authority:

As one of three Aldermen for West Racine and the Alderman for the 3100 block of Washington Avenue, I have great interest in its redevelopment. I have had much input about this site directly from my constituents. I have also learned a great deal about Mr. Tousis’ proposal by meeting with him and by visiting his Douglas Avenue location.

The proposal has elements that are almost universally desired throughout West Racine (restaurant, grocery). It also has elements that are controversial (gas station, rights to gambling machines if approved for a liquor license). This has led to much debate.

The right development on this corner could be very unifying for the West Racine community and beneficial for the neighboring businesses. I do not support all elements of the current proposal, but I believe that it has potential. Mr. Tousis has shown and continues to show flexibility based on the input of the community.

Granting Mr. Tousis his requested 12-month option on this property will allow continued community discussions and refinement of the proposal as part of the process. It does not mean that the current proposal (or for that matter, Mr. Tousis as the ultimate developer) is approved; rather it means that the first step has been taken. There are no other developers knocking on our doors at this time, nor would I anticipate any soon. Let’s work with Mr. Tousis during the time he has requested to try to make this the right development for West Racine. I support granting the option on this property.

Terry McCarthy
9th District Alderman
Racine, WI

McCarthy's letter, sent Sunday, came four days before the Redevelopment Authority is scheduled meet on Tousis' $5 million, 25,000-square-foot proposal. City staff is recommending the RDA, chaired by First Weber's John Crimmings, "receive and file" Tousis' application for the site. That, basically, means the city kill the proposal without further discussion.

McCarthy stands in opposition to that recommendation.


  1. Finally, an alderman with a brain. I was worried that there might not be such a thing.

  2. Finally, an alderman with a brain. I was worried that there might not be such a thing.

  3. I was at the meeting last Wednesday and was told that he had not made a decision as of yet, but it appears that he is one that listens to his constituants. Why won't my alderman follow suit and do the same!

  4. Ald McCarthy does very well for the people of the Ninth. He wants to explore this option further although does not rubber stamp it. He has listened to his constituants. I think this is the right approach.

  5. Terry McCarthy, to you I say "thanks"! The system by which we are governed is full of checks and balances and the laws we have created have do process. Simply put the witch hunt that Mr. O'Connel and Mr. Spangenberg started in July, are not only morally wrong but unconstitutional as well. Those that support this project are not looking for hand outs, but rather to be asked the same questions, and given the same opportunities as everyone else!

    Why have we not heard from the Aldeman of district 12 yet? Has the oppressive "Nazi Machine" AKA "Spanky" been threatening him as well?

    As Anon 6:37 stated it seems that Terry McCarthy has enough commonsense to at least explore this option, unlike others that have a hidden agenda!

  6. Alermen should grow a pair and stand up to Spangenberg. We need something in West Racine besides a gravel dump. As for the Farmer's Market, geesh, it has been at different places for years and years. It will survive no matter where it goes.

  7. I know Alderman McCarthey you are in a no win, however should you vote or keep backing this project, myself and others will do everything we can to remove you from office.
    Sir, with the most respect this is not good for the area. More then enough gas stations, a poor excuse for a "grocery store". Leadership is more then saying yes to men with money

  8. Spangenberg need to clean up his store and store front and upgrade that crap furniture - he is no one to listen to in regards to this development.

  9. BoysInTheHall10/05/2009 8:36 AM

    Jim Spangenberg said at one of his "secret meetings", that quote, "I don't care what the unions want". Now that sir makes you a liar! You said to us at the church that you are pro-union. When you spoke to us on the phone, you said that you are pro-union. Well a statement like that doesn't make you pro-union. You are a liar, a backstabber, a two-faced politician, and a poor excuse for a businessman. By the way you threw out the union from your store, so you could take advantage of your employees. You still thinking bout running for Mayor, Jimmy?

  10. V is for,
    I believe that Alderman McCarthy has not said that he supports the project in it's entirety, but rather believes that it should receive the same consideration as those that had been presented in the past.

    As to your threat that you will do whatever it takes to remove him from office, I say, to you, me and many others "WILL" do the same to see that he remains. Idol threats made by people that do not even have the "Balls" to sign their name to them are just that, "threats".

    I stand by Terry, for deciding to allow the process to continue and not stopping the process because of a personal dislike of the Developer. Terry simply has heard an overwhelming amount of support for this project and is doing what is right!

    You also say that this is a poor excuse for a "grocery store". How can you make a statement such as that without knowing the particulars of the "grocery store" or any part of this development. Seems that your negativly charged, uninformed, opinions need to be delt with. (maybe you should see a shrink and get a prescription for your many issues)It seems to me that you are not a constituant of Terry's but rather an angry member of some other aldermans "MOB".

    V is for, thank you for showing the readers of this blog, that once again, residents without common sense are to blame for the state of affairs that Racine is in and not the fault of council members that believe all Racinians should get a fair shake.

  11. Frankly, I think the headline to this article and some of the anti-mccarthy statements are misleading. Read it again - "I do not support all elements of the current proposal, but I believe that it has potential"

    Mr. Tousis' plan is not all bad - there are components of it that are undesirable by many, not all.

    That said - read more carefully and I would think the headline should've been created more thoughtfully.

  12. Out of 100 people polled who live in the area 90 want this and 10 do not. Watch the townhall and decide for yourself!

  13. I am shocked, shocked, and alderman would ask his constituents what they want, and then when the let him know he bases his decisions on that.

    Kudos to Alderman McCarthy.

  14. Urban Pioneer10/05/2009 10:50 AM

    Hey McCarthy glad you finally came out of the woodwork. Ignore those idle threats from "V" and others. I think you actually grew a set. I am sorry to hear that the committee is discussing the nuclear option, of "receive and file". There will NEVER be a proposal that will please 90% of the residents and V his anti everything attitude. This thing can a should go forward.

  15. FINALLY! Someone who got "off the fence", and made a decision. "YOU ARE MY HERO".

  16. I don't remember Spangenberg or O'connell "receiving & filing" anything when in came to the "low income 55 unit". When the neighborhood wants something the bureacrats and politicians are against it and when the neighborhood is against it the boneheads are for it.

  17. By the way Brian O'connell and RCEDC still want the low income 55 unit on this corner.

  18. 12:08

    As much as I dislike the gas station rather have that then a slum project. In fact lots of new info came my way today and I may be changing my mind

  19. I just heard! We have an alderman, an elected official with a brain! Can this be true? Lets see one brain, 13 possibles and one definate moron. Yep, sounds about right. For the record, the alderman west of Grove IS NOT one of the possibles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Wow. Brilliant strategy - insult the 15 people you need to approve your project.

  21. Insults are directed to only one idiot!