October 26, 2009

The mayor's 10-year plan

The problem with a catchy campaign slogan is people remember it. The first President Bush learned this with his emphatic: "Read my lips, no new taxes." He raised taxes and lost re-election to Bill Clinton.

Mayor John Dickert emerged from a crowded primary field earlier this year based, in part, on his "10-year plan" to make Racine a "top 10" city. This post reviews the history of Dickert's 10-year plan and looks at whether a plan exists.


The earliest reference we can find to Dickert's 10-year plan is a March 24 Journal Times article that reported candidate responses to a question on redevelopment in the city. Here's Dickert's statement:
I am going to create a long-term plan for the entire City of Racine covering all five regions. Currently, Racine has five separate plans that are not coordinated and we need to create a 10-year city plan combining all five into one plan with benchmarks and measurable goals.
Dickert's first reference to a 10-year plan on RacinePost was during an April 20 forum. Here's all we reported:
Dickert brings up his "10-year plan" and says it's focused on jobs, crime and housing.
Denis Navratil at Free Racine briefly discussed Dickert's plan on April 20.
John Dickert has a plan. Like most people, I suspect, I don't know what it is nor am I inclined to find out. But I know it is a ten year plan.

If I were Bob Turner, I would immediately announce an eleven year plan. I would then denounce Dickerts short term strategies while stressing the importance and superiority of a long term vision for Racine.
Dickert gave arguably the clearest explanation of his 10-year plan at an April 23 mayor candidate forum with Bob Turner. Here's Pete's reporting on the forum:
Question: Dickert, what are the specifics of your 10-year plan?

Dickert: If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there. I'll get groups together to focus on the areas where we have the largest problems. I'll call it The Riverview area (instead of "Census Tracts 1-5.") I said Top 10 because if I said Top 250 nobody would be excited about it.

Question: Dickert, how does your plan work with other plans?

Dickert: There is no comprehensive, long-term plan. Just neighborhood plans. We don't have a comprehensive plan; the Workforce Development Plan is a good one ... but doesn't go far enough. We need to work with the city and the county to make it better.

Q: Dickert, define a Top 10 city.

Dickert: Quality of life, education, job force. They look at various criteria. They work off of something... a plan, or leadership. Cities don't make this by saying we want this... they're rated. Last time city was rated we were 283rd among cities of our size. Businesses ask: What's your long-range plan, infrastructure, crime, education?
Talk of Dickert's 10-year plan has picked up since he won the election. It's usually in the context of: Where is the plan? OrbsCorbs over at JT Irregulars has the clearest takedown of Dickert on this point. Orbs writes:
Well, the budget was presented yesterday and there's no mention of a 10 year plan. I do not understand. By saying that the ten year plan would be "in" the budget, does Mayor Dickert mean that taxes will be raised for the next ten years?

Am I the only person who is insulted when lied to? Why do we elect liars? Why do we let them get away with lying to us?
What's Dickert's 10-year plan?

The mayor has plans. Whether they're a "10-year plan" is up for debate. Here's what we know Dickert is working on:

1. Dickert said in putting together his budget he tried to get every city department to look 10 years into the future. The goal is, over the long term, to save money with long-range planning. The mayor said he saved $678,000 in this year's budget alone, though a big chunk of those savings came from zero percent salary increases for city workers. Presumably workers will get a raise in the future, but it's also likely the economy will recover (increasing city revenues); the state won't cut shared revenue every year.

2. The mayor is working on overhauling the city's housing ordinances, codes, departments and programs. Dickert hopes to renovate 20-30 homes in a specific area to maximize impact on a neighborhood.

3. Parks are important to Dickert. He wants to turn the city's parks system into one of the best n the nation. He'll do that with a long-range plan that incorporates every park in the city. His hope is to overhaul 1-2 parks per year.

4. Dickert says he wants to blend together the city's five neighborhood plans into one plan that gives the city a road map for rehabbing neighborhoods and cleaning up industrial sites. The parks plan fits into this unified neighborhood plan.

5. Dickert is working to open a clean beaches research center in Racine that will build on the city's success in cleaning up North Beach and Zoo Beach. He sees Lake Michigan as a key long-term resource for the city.

6. Stimulus money will allow the city to hire three new community oriented police officers in the city. The mayor said this was a priority because COP officers save money by preventing problems, which saves police resources and focuses more attention on violent crimes.

7. Attracting small and medium-sized companies - focusing on green jobs - appears to be one of Dickert's priorities. It's also one of the early successes of his tenure. Dickert has announced in recent weeks at least three companies are expanding or moving to Racine, and he's reportedly talking with a handful of other companies (two from Atlanta interested in Racine's location near Lake Michigan) that could bring jobs to the city.

8. Dickert hasn't been shy in supporting KRM and regional transit. He sees buses running from Racine to Union Grove, Kenosha and Milwaukee. He also sees commuter rail spurring development on State Street. Dickert even backed a sales tax to pay for the upgrades, as long as the tax didn't fall solely on city residents. Commuter rail and expanded bus service appear to be part of Dickert's long-term plans for the city.

Going forward

The success of Dickert's 10-year plan, or at least the promise of a plan, is that it got him elected. The problem with the plan is people remember what he promised.

Right now, the 10-year plan doesn't exist anywhere other than the mayor's head. On a practical level, it's easy to understand. Sitting down to write out a long-term plan for Racine with any sort of meaningful content (goals, benchmarks, etc.) is no small undertaking. Since being elected, Dickert has been wrapped up in learning a new job and writing his first city budget. He may simply not have had time to write out everything he hopes to accomplish.

But Dickert hasn't helped himself. He said a few months ago he'd start to incorporate his 10-year plan into the city budget. Then he delivered the city budget without a clearly explained plan. The mayor is running the risk of being defined by what's lacking. He's having early success in attracting companies, cutting city spending and coming up with strong long-term ideas. But if he doesn't put out a 10-year plan soon, he'll be labeled the mayor who didn't follow through on his most memorable campaign promise.

As we all remember with the first President Bush, that tends not to work out well come re-election time.


  1. 10 year plan

    1) 2 years of Becker's term
    2) 2 four year terms for him
    3) find ways to get cronies $$$
    4) punish those who he dislikes
    5) remind Racine he is one call away from Obama
    6) protect companies/properties he has an interest in
    7) use Post/J.T. as promotion tools
    8) travel the county to get as much attention as possable
    9) keep guiding the Lilly
    10) blame Bush

  2. so in other words, he's making it up as he goes, he never had a 10 year plan when he was running he just had ideas in his head (don't we all about how we want this town). Dickert you aren't getting reelected. You lost my vote, the votes in my family and many of my friends are not voting for you again. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me and it's not going to happen. Shame on you for lying to the residents.

  3. What did you people expect from a Realtor? Truth? Realtors are salesman, and many will say anything to make that sale.

  4. Gone are the good old days when charlatans were given a tar and feather party and a ride out of town on a rail.

  5. Let’s keep something in mind about Bush, he was distracted from the Democratically dominant Congress by Desert Storm. While his back was turned the Democratic majority of Congress passed the tax hike with over a 2/3 majority which could not be vetoed. Ergo, Bush lost the following election because he wasn’t paying attention and let the Congress Dems roll right over him. That doesn’t look good in the eyes of the voting public and shows poor leadership. Dickert does not face anything of the kind. With the exception of a couple of aldermen who can think for themselves, the vast majority of the city council is lined up right behind him, just like they were with Becker. There is a bit of a difference here. Of course, the liberals in this town, and those who post on this blog, will never admit it.

    Dickert promised a 10 year plan, but could never expound on what doesn’t exist. He lied. He promised it would appear in the budget, but it doesn’t. He lied. He talks about saving the city $678,000 in the budget, but had hired his good buddy as city administrator for over $500,000 over six years when, during the campaign, told voters that the city could not afford a city administrator. He lied. He went to the city council to get Friedel $85,000 per year as the city administrator, then after getting the approval from the city council, upped the salary to $95,000 per year. He lied. What more proof do you need that Dickert is nothing but an unethical, deceitful, despicable liar?

    I don’t think the Racine Post should be “soft balling” this. We know he’s RP’s choice for mayor because he’s a liberal. But, if you’re going to call him a liar, call him a liar without making excuses for him. There is no excuse for Dickert. He lied, over and over again.

  6. #6. Federal stimulus money for police... Does anyone remember? HE DIDN'T WANT THE MONEY SAID WE WOULD NOT BE FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE IF WE TOOK. Dickert what changed your mind? The fact that the US Attorney and FBI are saying that are streets are crime ridden full of drug dealing violent gang bangers? Dickert you are a day late and a dollar short.

  7. Sorry that was what he boasted about during his campaign. A 10 year plan, he should have had it clearly marked with the basics BEFORE he got elected. It could have been fine tuned after he was elected. To me this is out right BS. Well he is shortlived in city government

  8. Bottom line: John Dickert has no 10-year plan.

  9. The man couldn't plan a picnic for two!

  10. As long as we're struggling through an economic crisis, parks and beaches should be low priority items. I'm afraid our mayor lives in the back pocket of an elitist corporate crime family whose members want Racine to be a pretty city when in fact it's nothing but a moribund company town.

  11. What's more, we don't need the pulchritude police annoying low-income homeowners. If Mayor Dicket desires to do a good deed, he can disband UNIT. I know senior citizens who are terrified of being fined and driven out of their homes by that agency.

  12. In view of our city's high poverty rate and the present depression, our mayor ought to lower our housing code's standards and stop tormenting rank-and-file citizens. Neither peeling paint nor unattractive yards should subject citizens to nonsense from U.N.I.T.

  13. Frankly, Dickert ought to be glad that anybody continues to reside in this tax hell of a city. Getting rid of UNIT or curbing its power to harm our residents would be a good way for him to show his appreciation.

  14. Racine doesn't need to be a Top Ten City. As a run-down blue collar town in the Rust Belt, it has no business chasing pretentious ratings and titles. What our citizens need is decent basic services and low property taxes. If a certain arty corporate crime clan wants special frills, it can finance them.

  15. I've been told that there's a way to rescind or repeal the property tax exemption on Project Honor. I hope our Mayor will take on SCJ. Somebody has to do it--that company is out of control and acts as if it owns Racine.

  16. Racine doesn't need to be a Top Ten City. As a run-down blue collar town in the Rust Belt, it has no business chasing pretentious ratings and titles. What our citizens need is decent basic services and low property taxes. If a certain arty corporate crime clan wants special frills, it can finance them.

    Anon 2:18 - you nailed it.

  17. Anon 1:59 through 2:21, obviously all the same person, is exactly the reason why this "anonymous" crap should end on this site. I am posting that way to prove the point.

    If the UNIT doesn't get my neighbors to fix up their house, I would move away. Only when they started really getting tough with people around here did the slack-asses actually start to take care of things! People didn't make any effort in the 70s and 80s and now look what we got! Forget you anon 1:29 -- YOU and your faulty "poor me" thinking is why we are in the state we are in.

  18. The mayor campaigned on a 10-year plan and he should produce one.

    But to say he doesn't have one is a bit off the mark. Every indication is he's working on long-term plans and he's already delivered some success. For example, he cut $678,000 out of the city budget.

    That said, he promised a 10-year plan and he should deliver one.

    As for problems with UNIT, the city has taken a stance that homeowners should take care of their homes. It costs money, it's a pain in the butt and it's not always fair. But it's also improved neighborhoods and helped many people take care of nuisance properties. We'll work on another story about the UNIT and its impact on the city - bad and good.

    The comment on the "Top 10" city misses the point. It's about improving the city. Will it literally be "Top 10"? Probably not. But can Racine add jobs, redevelop rundown areas, reduce crime, etc? Of course it can.

  19. I’ve lived in 10 cities, and Racine’s near the top of that list. It’s been my observation that many people dissatisfied with their own lives have a tendency to run down their towns, often comparing them unfavorably to other places they’ve never been.

  20. I have lived in quite a few cities in my lifetime from very large to ones comparable in size to Racine. Sorry, in my eyes if Dickert is going to "talk the talk" then he should "walk the walk" don't say you have something and then cannot provide to the citizens even after he said he had one during his campaign and then he was going to submit it with the budget. To me that is bold face lying to the voting population of Racine

  21. Dustan

    How? High crime and poor schools? A lack of an educated workforce?
    High state taxes and higher to come?

  22. If the plan is in his head. Where's his head?

  23. Dustin, with all do respect, if he say's he has/had one the entire time... SHOW IT. Doesn't matter what long term plans he's currently working on. Alot of residents were swayed toward him because they believed he was looking into the future to make Racine a better place than it is now by his "10 year plan" and now nothing. He said it, didn't provide it, and he's actually just going a job a Mayor should be doing. Nothing above and beyond. He wrote a budget and cut some costs. In this day and age, every family and person has to do that to live

  24. You know, most of these comments are petty commentaries. Big deal on the 10 years. How can we plan ahead when we don't know exactly what will happen by next budget. Everyone stand down and take a breath. Seems to Jody forces and the pajama brigade in mom's basement computer is at it. I don't mind he doesn't have any 10 year plan, these days, 6 months will be good.

    Look at Caledonia, now there is where there should have been some plan, any plan. They will implode any week now.

    Sorry Dickert haters, most people aren't into your game of words. I like what he is doing and he makes sense.

  25. We should have a contest and let each high school come up with a 10 year plan.

  26. 4:10

    The Dickert web posters please note:
    The gig is up. The public knows that your boy is all smoke and mirrors.
    We know he lied about having a city administrator, he talks about having 9 of the 14 BIDs failing, yet the man who overseas them still has a job with the city.
    One one hand he said we must city owned land because we need the money, yet gives away city land in what looks like to me is a behind the door sweetheart deal.

    I do hope that someone with courage runs a campaign to end this reign. The only person I would NOT for for that ran be Dave Maack

  27. bjoffe@carthage.edu10/26/2009 4:54 PM

    Sometimes -- more often than not -- I read these comments and wonder why we ever moved here 18 months ago. Politics is politics and a certain amount of "shuffling" is to be expected from any politician. Yet the majority of these comments so far seem to denigrate John Dickert as mayor ... while denying there's any valid reason to give him the benefit of the doubt, acknowledge that he's been a good "cheerleader" for or city or take pride, ourselves, in Racine. Sorry, folks. Guess I'm just an outsider who sees some of the glitter after the rust is removed here. Perhaps if more people took a "Yes, We Can" attitude instead of continuously putting everyone and everything here down, we might take succeed in taking some steps in the right direction. If not, I guess it's time for us to pack it up and move on to somewhere else where people aren't so dismal, depressed, and down on where they live!

  28. bjoffe worry about the LGBT Center and not how us Conservative view the mayor!

  29. bjoffe said: If not, I guess it's time for us to pack it up and move on to somewhere else where people aren't so dismal, depressed, and down on where they live! --- I would suggest getting some boxes and start packing as nobody will ever change.

  30. I understand that some will want to just let the mayor slide on this because they like him personally or they see some progress or even potential.

    And then there are the rest of us that actually listened to the man and were inspired by what we thought was his vision and expected him to deliver and will not be satisfied until he does. Key to that vision is the development of something that is actually needed - a long term vision or in his words "a Top 10 City in 10 year plan."

    There are no excuses at this point. None. I defy anyone to post on here why it is acceptable for Dickert to campaign on this idea and not deliver. Because Treasures expanded? Because he renamed an area to Riverview? Because he supports regional transit?

    All unacceptable as excuses, I'm sorry.

    And you cannot develop a plan after the results start coming in. That's beyond insane. My 10 year plan was to create 88 jobs this year. I reached the goal! Yes! Sure glad I announced my benchmark after the game was played!

    C'mon mayor....get it done. Yes, we understand it is difficult, but it is needed and you're the one that promised it. Where are the benchmarks? Where are the goals? What is a top city?

    The reality is he promised it, found out it was pretty hard to do and then quit - hoping to pass off the budget as a plan and that nobody would notice so he wouldn't have to follow through. We know the game - divert attention away from your failure by pointing to a couple of accomplishments. Case in point - Here's what you might here next out of his mouth:

    To Dickert: Can you tell me about the 10 year plan?

    Dickert: I think what is important here is that jobs are being created and crime is decreasing. I helped bring 88 jobs to Racine hiring people in Racine that need it the most. 41 gangsters are now off the streets and our citizens are safer for it with the drug busts. That's what I measure myself by and how the city measures success.

    Yawn....sounds great, thanks. We've all been had.

  31. I see the Jody hater is at it again. What an idiot. If we're lucky, Jody will run again, if for no other reason than to piss off the Jody hater.

    In fact, after registering to run against Becker in August of '08, Jody tried to show the city council where they could cut over 4 million dollars in pork right off the top of the budget, but they wouldn't even listen to her. Then the fairy in the clown suit got up to talk about the LGBT and they were all ears. THAT is the city council this town has.

    Now we have a mayor that has been fired from a real estate job because of ethics violations. What makes you people think he's any more ethical now than he was then? Dickert is a slick, smooth-talking, lying, egotistical politician that is only in it for what he can get out of it. His only "10 year plan" is to get elected and re-elected for 10 years. Wake up and smell the coffee for heaven's sake. Dickert has lied to us time and time again. He is condescending and mean to his constituents and vindictive to those who oppose him. He only works and plays well with other if they'll kiss is arse.

    Maybe next time this town will wake up and elect a conservative for mayor and get rid of the liberal idiots on the city council. Maybe we'll even get someone with enough balls to admit that U.N.I.T. is unconstitutional and disband it. Think about that for a moment; U.N.I.T.'s employee's paychecks are dependent upon writing citations. If they don't write enough citations, they don't get paid. If you get a letter from them you can be charged an inspection fee of $50, with no recourse! You can't fight it! And if you don't pay it, they add it on to your property taxes. Elect Jody the next time around and give her some reasonable aldermen, instead of the likes of Spangenberg (yuck!) and she'll get rid of U.N.I.T. and a bunch of other pork and special interest projects that are killing this town with taxes. It's time for the conservatives in this town to put the liberals out of work.

  32. I don't blame Dickert at all for not handing out 10 year plan documents.
    He's in the rock and hard place on this one.
    If he hands out something, anything, it's going to be criticized so heavily by his detractors that going forward with it would be a much harder thing to do.
    If he hands something out that isn't chock full o' details people are going to blame him for not having enough t's crossed and dotted i's.
    If it's in depth and long it's going to get parts quoted out of context and anything that fails is going to go on a list of things to use against him in the next election.
    I think people forget that things like fixing up a neighborhood isn't something that pays off over night. But, when it does pay off it's a big payoff.
    What you shouldn't want, as Racine residents, is to force the Mayor to come up with anything just to appease you at this time.

  33. Graham, the U.N.I.T actually saves resources and tax dollars if you'd check into it. It is the consolidation of several departments.

    I have to wonder what 10 cities have you lived in that you feel Racine is great, makes me wonder. I've lived in many cities too and Racine is at the bottom of the list in all honesty.

  34. Where are all the Dickert hacks now?? The honeymoon must be over. LMAO!

  35. I am not a democrat or republican, I'm not for Jody or against Dickert, I'm just someone who wants to make informed choices about my city. It wasn't crucial to me that a new mayor have a ten year plan for our city. But the man I voted for said he had one and promised it to our city. It is not there.

    I am so tired of being lied to by politicians. So, so tired of it. How do we begin to deal with all of our problems if we don't even tell each other the truth?

    This is not being "down" on Racine - this is being "up" on truth. Just stop lying to us. Please.

  36. "Jody tried to show the city council where they could cut over 4 million dollars in pork right off the top of the budget"

    That was great, except for the part where she was wrong and didn't understand the budget.

  37. Dickert do us all a favor "Resign"!

  38. Kay, your argument doesn't hold water. If that's the case, then no politician should ever submit any kind of recommendation because they are ALL going to scrutinized by the opposition and by the voters. The fact is, the man promised the 10 year plan and ran on it to get votes. Now we see that he lied to us and that it doesn't exist. The problem isn't that he doesn't have the 10 year plan, the problem is that he lied to us. If he lied to us about that, what else did lie to us about? You can start with his campaign rhetoric not to hire a city administrator because, in his own words, "Racine can't afford one." Then he sets up his buddy with a half-million dollar, six year term for the very job he said he wouldn't create and we couldn't afford. And so far, I haven't seen ANY big payoff on anything he's done. Where is the city's assault on crime that he promised? Is he creating jobs? Yes, at city hall. Is he putting unnecessary projects on hold (i.e. the $550,000 bike trail, the $330,000 beach project, etc.) and putting that money to work where it's really needed? No. Dickert's a loser. Take off the rose colored glasses and see him for what he really is.

    Anon 3:27, the only way U.N.I.T. saves resources is because it is not funded in the city's budget. There is something inherently wrong with any government organization that depends solely on writing citations or charging fees (for nothing in return) to fund itself. If they feel they aren’t making enough money, what stops them from charging as many people as they want with $50 inspection fees that can not be contested and has no recourse for the party being fined? And by the way, I never said I lived in 10 cities and that Racine is great. That was someone else. I have lived in more than 10 cities and Racine is at the bottom of the barrel.

    Anon 6:06, you make a statement based on no information whatsoever. Jody has been a corporate C.P.A. for 22 years and is expert at going in and reorganizing multi-million dollar companies to save them money, make them more productive, eliminate waste, do more with less and, in some cases, avert bankruptcy. In fact, she was even elevated by one of the companies to C.E.O. Also, you have no idea what she would have cited concerning the budget because she wasn't allowed to speak on it. So who are you say that she was "wrong" about anything or to know what she does or doesn't understand? You are a perfect example of someone just running off at the mouth trying to impress people with something you THINK you know, when you don't know squat.

  39. Kay

    I do blame him, not because I want to take cheap shots at the mayor, but because it was what he promised to deliver.

    I think some are misplacing the outrage. People are mad because they realize that a 10 year plan is actually a good thing! Let's put some of these goals on paper so they can be shared and distributed. Is it risky? Yes, of course but at least we all know the direction and what we're trying to become.

    Here's another practical reason why this is a good idea. Put yourself into a position where you're trying to attract business into Racine. With any minimal amount of research, this prospect could find that we have a lot of challenges here related to the school system, crime, etc.

    If this prospective business knew this about Racine, then you would have to admit that is an obstacle.

    How do you combat that perception issue? By proving you're doing something about it and have a long term vision for the city. Hence, the 10 year plan. Look organized and motivated! Point to successes that relate back to the goals. Show progress. Show you care! We might be down, but this is how we're getting out. Jump into Racine now while you can get in cheap because we're changing things around here for the better. And here's how we're doing that and what we want to be.

    A business would be much more likely to locate here and tolerate some of the negative aspects in that case. If it is perceived that they are taking a risk by coming here, then mitigate that risk and inspire some confidence with a 10 year plan.

    Without some type of plan or vision, then we're just doing things that all seem uncoordinated. They might be great things, don't get me wrong, but they would look even better in the context of a direction.

    But you can't reach goals when you don't even know what they are. You can't strive for benchmarks when you don't have any. In the meantime we're all drifting into the future.

    The mayor is in a position to bring it all together and really lead by developing this plan. That's what most voted for, in my opinion - and that is why it is so disappointing now. He has potential, but does he have the will to get this done? Even if the plan isn't perfect (and none rarely are on the first pass), at least it is something that can be worked on and improved. That's forward progress and that's what we need right now.

  40. If any one comment gets relayed to the mayor's team, it should be this one from Anon 8:55 -

    "I do blame him, not because I want to take cheap shots at the mayor, but because it was what he promised to deliver.

    I think some are misplacing the outrage. People are mad because they realize that a 10 year plan is actually a good thing! Let's put some of these goals on paper so they can be shared and distributed. Is it risky? Yes, of course but at least we all know the direction and what we're trying to become."

  41. Dear 3:53 P.M., Don't you wish there were just one person telling the truth about Mayor Dickert and this toadish town! There are several of us who've agreed to go online at certain times. What we want is practical help for our citizens, low property taxes and officials with the guts to fight the House of Wax.

  42. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  43. Why remove my comment about Jody - it is the truth.

  44. I am really getting tired of this nonsense about the UNIT. The claims of unconstitutionality remind me of the people who say you don't have to file your taxes because of the 5th Amendment or because compliance with the tax code is "voluntary".

    My neighbors and I don't think Racine is a toadish town, a pauper town, or the worst place we have ever lived. We are not looking for the first opportunity to leave. We are looking to make a nice home here. When careless, selfish, or malicious property owners impact our property values and our quality of life, we turn to the UNIT for help. As an alderman, I have received countless calls that require me to contact the UNIT to get a problem corrected. I have received a handful of calls complaining. One complained about the tone of the letter they received, which is admittedly stern. A couple of others needed some extra time to take care of their situations because of illness or finances and were granted extensions (a common practice). One person who called me in five years said they were not actually in violation - which was true, the invoice was sent to the wrong house by mistake and the mistake was corrected by UNIT staff before I could even call in about it.
    The inspection fee system is constitutional. All laws are presumed constitutional until ruled otherwise by a court. Milwaukee uses the same inspection fee system and they were challenged. A circuit court ruled in favor of the city and the appellate court upheld the circuit court decision.

    As for the claim that there is no appeal, that is just plain FALSE. The building maintenance ordinance provides a process for appealing “any notice or order issued”. During the time given for correction, any person affected can request an informal review by the Chief Building Inspector. This request must be granted. If the person is not satisfied with the results of the review, they can request a hearing before the Health and Sanitation Appeal Board, in writing to the Chief Building Inspector within ten days of the outcome of the informal review.
    If a property owner receives orders he feels are incorrect (there is no garbage on his property, the porch is not falling apart, the address is wrong, etc), he can appeal the orders to the Chief Building Inspector. Beyond that, he can request a hearing of his appeal with the Health and Sanitation Review Board. There are two levels of appeal.

  45. Folks, listen to Alderman Helding on the unit. He knows this inside and out.

    Anon 9:49 - We've been over this. It's done with. Move on.

  46. Dustin - it is never done. If you have a candidate that runs her campaign on company time - that is no different than someone in office has their staff work on their campaign on the tax payers dime. It is against the law. Quit covering for her. The voters need to know the truth on all candidates.

  47. The problem is that this b*tch that keeps slamming Jody has a personal axe to grind for some reason. As Dustin has cited, posting unsubstantiated rumors and lies about someone long after it is no longer an issues just stupid and senseless. If you think she did something wrong, get off your fat butt, crawl out of your cubicle and go talk to her boss about it. Or better yet, face Jody yourself and quit hiding behind your Anonymous cloak, coward. We already know who you are, why not be a real woman and face the one you're accusing and quit splattering these totally unrelated blog article with your hate.

  48. Dustin you need to remove Dick's comment for using a "bad" word and Dick you've got the wrong person because I am a b*stard not a b*tch - come clean you know she did campaign on company time. Is she going to be one of the CNH Xmas casualties?

  49. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/tax_refugees_staging_escape_from_qb4pItQ71UXIc0i6cd3UpK

    See this happen in Racine.

    Why is Helding in panic mode?

    BTW you all should take the time to hear Storm Racine its a great podcast.

  50. One could hardly classify my post as "panic mode". I am not panicked about the false allegations regarding the UNIT. Perturbed and bewildered, but hardly panicked.

    I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that there are readers who visit the site who don't comment and who are not as "plugged in" as some of the commenters appear to be. I feel like I owe it to them to explain some of these things from time to time.

  51. "Now we have a mayor that has been fired from a real estate job because of ethics violations" quote anon...
    If this is true,then racine deserves it's low esteem,high unemployment,and empty headed elites. If racine is one of the better burgs, comparatively speaking. Then we are already a third world country, i guess what comes around goes around....

  52. "Now we have a mayor that has been fired from a real estate job because of ethics violations."

    From where? By whom? When?

    Put up or shut up.

  53. Coldwell Banker
    There is still an ethics complaint against his realtor's license.

  54. Kind of reminds me of another politician; someone who promised hope and change...but has yet to deliver on anything hopeful or make any notable changes.
    Be careful what you ask for...you just might get it!!

  55. Anon 6:27, it was only about three years ago, I believe, when Mr. & Mrs. Jossart wanted to sell their home. They gave Dickert all the necessary information to post their property on the internet's multiple listing. What Dickert did was to put the listing up, but when you clicked on the link to look at the Jossart's property you were instead directed to a property that Dickert himself had for sale. That is the ethics violation that got him fired. I'm not sure which real estate firm he was working for when that happened, but it did, nevertheless, happen.

  56. The complaint against his license is in relation to Point Blue.

  57. When someone campaigns and cannot mention enough that they are the only candidate with a 10 year plan I think they should produce it upon election.

    By the way he was talking he had it already written.

    This really calls his character into question for me.

  58. Character? I don't think Dickert has any character.