November 2, 2009

Stein: Environmental Advisory Board will attract businesses

Update: Geez, the comments have a way of beating people down. We reached Alderman Kelli Stein to talk about the Environmental Advisory Board she asked Mayor John Dickert to create. Surprise, surprise, negative bloggers, it's nothing like the bureaucratic-time-wasting-socialist-tree-hug fest imagined. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Stein's idea, modeled on several other cities around the country, is to create a strictly advisory board that would develop ideas to protect and promote the environment in Racine. Interestingly, Stein didn't recommend the board because she's a staunch environmentalist trying to save the world one solar panel at a time. She's doing it because it's an opportunity to lure new businesses to the city.

"I'm not a gung-ho crazy environmentalist," Stein said. "This could give Racine an additional selling point" to attract companies.

The seven-member board would bring together environmentally minded businesses, organizations and residents in one room and challenge them to build on Racine's existing green efforts through grants and other resources. That's important, Stein said, because environmentally conscious programs also can be fiscally responsible programs.

Case in point, she noted, is the recycling proposal in the mayor's budget. While environmentally friendly, the city can save money by getting more people and businesses to recycle.

There's also a marketing aspect to going green, Stein said. Cities like Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, N.C., are using green initiatives to attract businesses. Racine can do the same, she said, noting no other neighboring cities have a formal committee to explore and implement green programs.

The committee itself would meet monthly and only serve an advisory role (hence the name, "Environmental Advisory Board." It wouldn't add a layer of bureaucracy to the city because resolutions wouldn't be routed through the committee. The board would only make recommendations to the City Council and the existing committees, Stein said.

"I don't want another level of government," she said. "I wouldn't support fines for businesses, or anything like that."

But she added she expects the board to have a real impact.

"It's designed to look for solutions instead of wait for them," Stein said. "... It's just meant to be helpful."

Her idea won approval from a powerful ally Tuesday night. Mayor John Dickert, who has the power to create boards, said Stein didn't have to present her idea because he'd already decided to support it.

Dickert will appoint six community members and an alderman to the board. Stein said she would like to serve on the board, but the decision was up to the mayor. "If another alderman wants to serve, that's OK with me," she said.

Stein said it's critical for Racine to pursue green businesses and promote its environmental resources.

"I don't want Racine to fall behind," she said.

Stein already had two people express interest in serve on the board, and she hopes others will apply. She even encouraged people who are skeptical of the board to get involved and bring

If you're interested in the serving on the Environmental Advisory Board, contact the mayor's office at (262) 636-9111.

Original: New City Council Member Kelli Stein is ready to make her first mark on the city.

She's asking Mayor John Dickert to create a seven-member "Environmental Advisory Board" to: "find ways to adopt environmental objectives as a city with its businesses and citizens." The committee would include six residents and one alderman.

City Council President QA Shakoor II will introduce Stein's proposal at Tuesday's council meeting. The item will be referred to the mayor for consideration.


  1. The Translator11/02/2009 1:53 PM

    Three months on the job and her first new proposal is to add another bureaucratic environmental level. Nothing about jobs, crime, economic recovery, land value, attracting businesses, stabilizing neighborhoods, gangs or development? The best you could do for your district is a new green committee? Easy to tell Kelly was selected, not elected.

  2. How do you know this will not lead to improving some of those areas? Perhaps we should see where this leads before passing judgements?

  3. What exactly is this board responsible for doing. As part of this news release I would expect a little more detail around goals, objectives and tactics. If you're going to dedicate the time of 6 people then we should know what the plan is. Also if they will pursue solutions that require money. What is the point if we don't have money to spend.

    Sure it sounds fine but time is a precious commodity. If 6 people are working on this, then they're not working on something else.

    Not trying to be negative, just want more clarity before people vote on it.

  4. They're responsible for coming up with a 10-year plan for Racine to be more "environmentally conscious"

    Sorry... couldn't help myself...

  5. It's not easy being green - ribit.

  6. 10 year plan! 10 year plan! 10 year plan!

  7. Good thing it wasn't a 10 member board cause then Dickert wouldn't go for it.

  8. I think if there were more details I could take this more seriously.

    Right now, I think it will be 7 people getting together and talking over coffee about light bulbs and then writing it up to present to the city council so that it can be filed for consideration.

    Why 7 people? Where did the number come from? Are there people already in mind?

    Without some additional information this seems like a poorly organized waste of time based on an idea that might have some merit to it.

    I look foward to Stein's explanation of the vision she has for this board. That will tell you all you need to know about if this should be created and supported. If she can deliver then let's give her a chance. If she can't explain and provide some vision and details then scrap it.

  9. You can bet WE Energies and Johnson Wax will see that this "advisory board" has no influence! How about one member with a toxicology background!

  10. I agree wit if they want to sir around drink coffee and BS go for it. Part of City Government. No thanks

  11. Here is an idea, How about a 7 panel board to discuss ways to attract and keep local business and jobs intact. Make's a hell of alot more sense at this point!

  12. Makes me wonder how far left Stein is now.

  13. Well if she is anything like the other l greens she will talk and talk but never do anything.
    Talk is easy action is hard.
    Best part of the board for her be looks good on a resume.

  14. More time and energy well spent in Racine - NOT! When will people figure out that this environmental stuff is total bullcrap. Global-whatever-you're-calling-it-this-week is a lie.

  15. There is much more to living in the environment known as the City of Racine than environmental issues....

    I'm not being negative, just hoped that the "new blood" would focus on the more pertinent and immediate needs first.

  16. Other than invasive species in Lake Michigan and being part of a non-attainment zone via the EPA and DNR that's stifling manufacturing development - will someone please explain to me what environmental issues Racine is facing?

  17. I know I'm getting pretty sick and tired of hearing "green this" and "green that." There's nothing wrong with wanting to live in a non-polluted safe environment, but it is being taken overboard. There are numerous (probably too many, and too costly) regulations already in place to keep toxins out of the city's environment. But, there are so few things that politicians are not afraid to tackle because they are difficult to argue against, and "green" is one of them. But, even that is being taken to the point where every time a politico comes up with some new "green" thing, people just roll their eyes back and think, "Here we go again." Can you politicians say, "Over kill?"

    Anon 5:25, please get an education, or at least read what you wrote before you post it.

  18. Over-regulation and tort continue to do more damage to our nation that taxation ever will.

    We need to get back to understanding and accepting cause and effect- any and all of our varied actions may have an effect on what we do in the future and the outcome of those actions. If the reward(s) for good actions are not allowed those actions will cease because they are often not the easy or "fun" thing to do. If we put the social safety net so high as to not allow failure then failure becomes the "safe bet" and innovation of all types stagnates. Stagnation of thought leads to depression which leads to a victim mentality and one of no hope.

    Yes, I'm "stuck on" the safety net thing tonight but it is an "answer" to many of the issues that governments inject themselves into thinking they are "helping". It is the unintended(I hope!) effect of many little causes/actions because the government failed to look at(or care about?) the (future) big picture.

  19. The waste of taxpayer resources will be with the creation of this Environmental Advisory Board. If they'd like to do a service to Racine, it would be to scuttle this board.

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  21. I like the idea! If people with passion for making a difference are on the comittee they could collectively do some great things.

  22. I think people in this town are fed up with the same old stuff. If Stein produces a well thought out plan with some clear objectives, goals and structure then I say go for it and thanks for the leadership.

    But, if not then don't bother. Nobody needs another board that recommends things that will never get implemented - even if the idea itself was great. This happens time and time again without fail. How many studies have you seen governments pay for and then not implement?

    Buzz words like "green" and "environment" usually get a pretty good initial reaction because people care about those issues and want a cleaner environment.

    But you have to take the emotion out of it and evaluate these projects based on what makes them successful. First - you need to identify the issue. Once that is done then you identify Goals, plans, methods, structure, and establish authority to implement those changes.

    If these things are met, then go ahead and proceed. If not, then this is doomed to be another well intentioned project that ultimately does nothing. Nobody wants that. All we're asking for is the rigor around this project that it requires to ensure something gets done as a result of the work.

    Just my opinion. Don't evaluate projects based on emotion, evaluate them on the ability to deliver and solve a problem.

  23. How about prove a need for the City to have such a thing vs a citizen based group that would then go to the City with ideas vs MORE Government speaking on high.

  24. Dufus Dickert would rather blow a million so his lady friend can have a clean beach lab!

  25. I can see some people don't want to see Stein win the seat legitimatly in April.

  26. I don't care a rats ass about green - it's just the flavor of the day.

  27. Stein is not going to win anything. We have far too much government now.

  28. We do really need to have some guidance/coordination in this area. This is the wave of the future. Businesses are headed this way. Racine needs to be informed if we are to attract these businesses.

    Are we in the dark ages? We do accept technology and electricity don't we. Well this is just more of where the world is headed. Cereal has whole wheat choices and businesses will be more environmentally conscious.

  29. 12:17

    I understand that is will act more like Department of Development then a Green anything. If this is so why in the name of God do we need yet one more step for a business to deal with before opening? Are we looking to help Kenosha?

  30. Incorporating environmental ideas in a city plan is here to stay. It doesn't matter if you are conservative, red, blue, liberal or whatever. I know how great the current economic plan is going for everyone in the City, but now it is time to subscribe to the knowledge-based green economy...or be left behind. Even Texas is on board.

    We are thirty years behind manufacturing cities that began making changes in the 70s. Sustainability has three parts: economy, environment, social equity. Please help make Racine move forward rather than push it down.

    Kelli is trying to help. She has done more for Racine in the last few months than most people have in there entire life. If this "comments" section is just a place for people that are miserable to take out their frustrations, then the Post should call it a "complaints" section.

  31. 1:10

    If you're so in love with this idea then maybe you can explain it because nobody else can. Doing things the same old way doesn't cut it anymore.

    Just because someone said environment doesn't mean we should do it. Prove to me that this will have some use and measurable impact. That is a fair expectation.

  32. "Incorporating environmental ideas in a city plan is here to stay"

    Would not Zoning do this does not the Department of Development do this?
    Does not the DNR do this?

    Do we not have enough government now in Racine? Will we face yet more bureaucrats tell us how to live what to drive maybe what we can eat?

    Is this just a way for Mr. 10 year plan to get more fees out of us all.
    I know a water fee if you use "too much" water
    A grass fee if you have a lawn larger then you need.
    A fee to have a garden a fee if you do not have the right type of garden. A wheel tax for driving low MPG cars.

    See more leave Racine See more businesses leave Racine see Racine be the next Detroit

  33. Anon 1:23, do you read? Sounds to me like this proposal is going to be discussed and explained at the council meeting??

    Perhaps everyone complaining should attend the meeting and hear the issues before condemning it?

  34. 1:35

    Yes, I do read. Unfortunately there isn't anything to read on this and your argument consisted of "everyone else is doing it so we should to".

    At the same time you offer nothing tangible to back up your claims.

  35. No, my argument is hear the facts before passing judgement.

    "Prove to me that this will have some use and measurable impact", perhaps it will, wont know until it is discussed, which sounds like it will happen at the meeting.

  36. Do you people realize that there are 35 comments concerning an issue that hasn't been proposed yet??

  37. I think the point is that there needs to be more accountability.

    Stein deserves a fair chance at this, but all that is being asked is that it isn't another useless effort that we have seen time and time again. I'm skeptical because this reaks of a resume building, pre-election stunt.

    The way to prove that notion wrong is with solid planning, goals, objectives, etc, etc. Let's find out how serious she is about this and how much effort she has put in or if this is a feel good, great on paper project.

    You know the council will do a terrible job of questioning, so we as citizens have to pick up their slack. They'll all agree and send it along to Dickert without much question.

    And the beat goes on......prove me wrong Stein!

  38. The energy wasting fancy lights on Lathrop ave ??
    The tire recycling co.??
    How will these be handled ??

  39. 2:51
    By people who know what is best for us.
    Lets us not question them we might be accused of not understanding

  40. I'm glad she's putting together this task force. I think their first task should be to find ways to limit the amount of lead we have flying through the air around here. Lead is a huge environmental concern, isn't it?

  41. You DO mean lead as in bullets, right?????????????? :)

  42. Sounds like another "feel good" pile of nonsense. This city needs JOBS...real jobs, the kind of jobs that can support families. We have no business chasing butterflies and picking daisies, when the streets aren't safe,thousands of kids aren't graduating from high school, and the most prominent lawn ornament in town is the "For Sale" sign.

    "Good Grief Charlie Brown!"

  43. I think we the people need to say NO! If City Hall wants to ignore us lets fire them.

  44. Curious to see an update on this story. What happened last night?

    I expect this was thoroughly discussed and that Stein had information to pass out regarding her plans. Hopefully the Racine Post can get a hold of that and shed some light on this new board idea.

  45. We're trying to get more info.

  46. 8:12

    Thinking you know what happened, please share so we know what Aldermen have to be fired. We know the first to go must be Ms. Stein

  47. Man, this site is becoming a joke because of people who post here just to complain. Do any of you who complain actually go out and try to make a difference in the community?

  48. Do I know Kelli, yes. I also know that the one of the main purposes of her initiative is to try to attract new businesses to Racine by emphasizing a "green culture" as a potential selling point. If you people spent half the time doing something about the issues you see as you do complaining about them, perhaps things could be accomplished.

    There are also little things that can be done, like not having city trucks running idle while work is being done. These are things that could discussed and action taken by this committee which could not only help the environment, but also save money.

    Then again, I guess it's easier to complain than it is to go out and make the effort to do something about the problems you see.

  49. It isn't about complaining - it is about demanding our politicians raise the bar on their performance.

    If we as citizens do not have high expectations, then we will get nowhere. We already saw this with the mayor and his failure to deliver a 10 year plan. It happened because the citizens and media have let him slide. It would be one thing if it was a minor promise that he mentioned once. People for the most part can understand that, but not this. The plan was what he talked about all the time.

    In today's world failure has to be unacceptable. We need progress and people that put effort behind it. We don't need projects just because they sound nice. Prove there is value and people will support it. I know that catches people off guard because they think, "well what's wrong with an environmental board - who doesn't like the environment?". We all like the environment, but that's not what this is about. It is about using time and resources wisely. It is about thinking things through and planning them out and putting some effort and vision behind what you're doing.

    If I proposed this at work, these would be the same questions asked of me - and we need to do a better job of demanding the same from these politicans.

  50. Anon 10:17, i'm not disagreeing with you, but most people were posting on here yesterday, prior to the initiative even being proposed.

    We should ask questions, I fully agree, and it is an Alderman's responsibility to answer those questions. All i'm saying is lets give her a chance to answer these questions before jumping on here and posting (in some cases pretty rude) comments.

    Those are the people I am directing this towards. The people who constantly complain, but do nothing about it.

  51. I agree that we should give her a shot. But we should also agree that it is ok to say no if this doesn't have some basic criteria met. I really think that is all people want. Some will complain regardless of what happens, but many others are truly frustrated and if we're going to spend time on this issue with so many other things needing attention, then I as a voter want a really good understanding of what exactly they plan on accomplishing and what issue they are intending to solve. I wants plans. I want goals. I want to know who is accountable for results.

  52. I agree, lets hear the facts and her ideas and then make our conclusions based on those facts. Most posts on this thread are there to simply put her down and are not even interested in the facts, since there are none posted in the story.

    I think the owners of this site could have done a better job reporting on this story. The story on goes into much more detail concerning the proposal. The vaugeness of this story helped fuel most of the comments in my opinion.

  53. Other fines from this attempt to micro mange the City of Racine:
    1) Tires under inflated
    2) Hot water heaters set too high
    3) Not right R values in homes
    4) Stores selling Soda

    Help the City gain lots of new fees and save the Earth too!

    Let me be 100% clear here. AS a group of neiboors gathering to talk about the issues and going back to The City with idea 100% right on. AS The City Government doing this and MANDATING anything, sorry no. We have way too much Goverment now we need no more.
    As a City we have far too many other issues to worry about.
    No Jobs
    Sweetheart deals illegal Violation of Open Meeting laws

    Can't wait until the first company leaves Racine so they do not have to deal with more anti-business BS

  54. If companies and organizations around here want to go green - great! Let them! But we don't need another government entity pushing this idea down their throats.

    Green initiatives will hardly be the one big selling point to pull business into town. Hardly. Racine has way bigger problems that need to be fixed before outside business is gonna want to start rolling in. I recognize that green initiatives are perhaps part of a multi-pronged approach to solving problems. OK, fine. But I don't see alotm of money or action being expended on the more important parts of that approach.

    Learn from Kenosha.

  55. There are multiple problems in this day and age. If you are against this proposal because it isn't going to solve ALL problems, then you'll be against it.

    It sounds like a start to me, and perhaps it creates a domino effect into other areas which help recovery. I don't know as of today.

    I'm willing to listen to the proposals and make my own opinions.

  56. But why does the City need to do this vs gather a group of like minds to educate on the issues and foster debate? Perhaps since more and more understand that Global Warming is NOT happening/Man Made this group wants to use the power of Government to force ideas on us?

  57. Anon 11:04 - I think that is what she's trying to do, assemble a group to look at issues and help the city grow.

    I also disagree to an extent that Global Warming is not happening, certainly not the extent that people like Al Gore claim, but there are effects, look at the Polar ice caps.

    I personally think we're still not able to fully understand what effects it will have on future generations. I certainly disagree with the "doom and gloom" people like Gore, which I think has had an effect on people's perceptions of the impact of global warming.

  58. 11:13

    Great but why as part of the City? A group of citizens could do this as well and educate on topics vs the power of Government.

    Ice caps

  59. We could debate this endlessly and find websites to back up any claim we have.

    I think we all agree that there are problems in this city and we need to find solutions as citizens. I'm willing to see where this initiative goes and make a decision on whether I support it or not once I know the facts.

  60. I really don't think this advisory board is about regulating current businesses or our residents. I think it is about future development and forward progress. We need to know what these leading edge businesses are looking for and whether they can find that here in Racine.

  61. This is hilarious. Does anyone actually know what this is supposed to be about or do?

    Get info for leading edge business???? If that is the case, then just do it. You don't need a board. Find out who these companies are and ask the question. Report back during the council meeting. Done.

  62. RCEDC looks for leading edge companies all the time all we get are things like The Uptown Art Project.

  63. I get the feeling that someone on the council told Stein that elections are coming up in April and if she wanted to run for the seat this time it would be a good idea to chair a committee or lead a board so she could get some exposure and have something to promote.

    She went safe with environment because that's a fairly universal subject.

    With her fresh perspective on things I think I expected more. She was an outsider but this is a very insider thing to do.

    The fact that nobody can explain it makes it seem even more fake. I wonder where this idea originated from?

  64. It seems fitting that Captain No Plan agreed to this without even understanding what it was or how it would be implemented.

    I eagerly await the first recommendation from this group as one of our alderman designates his or her time to this instead of jobs, crime, and education.

    Is the whole council tone deaf?

  65. "The seven-member board would bring together environmentally minded businesses, organizations and residents in one room and challenge them to build on Racine's existing green efforts through grants and other resources. That's important, Stein said, because environmentally conscious programs also can be fiscally responsible programs."

    Realy? Read the Post see how the City deals with those who want to do something new or not one of the Good Old Boys.

    This also will do NOTHING To bring in new business.

    "While environmentally friendly, the city can save money by getting more people and businesses to recycle."

    Your first job contact them see how they can come to Racine do the recycling and pay The City and us too. That will not happen The Mayor wants his $10. and the Bin Contract to one of his cronies

  66. StopTheMadness11/04/2009 5:09 PM

    Every plan that I have heard so far sucks. You want to bring business to Racine, lower taxes, lower regulation from departments like City Development and treat businessmen with respect not like slaves to supply money to every stupid idea that good for nothing bureaucrats come up with. Want to see a balanced budget, give it to a businessman not a politician.

  67. If for every comment about how stupid this idea was, there was a productive (read: "not whiney") suggestion to improve the community, we could solve the world's problems. Everyone has something negative to say, but no suggestions. Racine's worst quality is it's negative attitude. If you expect everything to be crap, it will be crap...your wish is granted.
    What is the percentage of people on this blog that have actually, or even considered either running for public office or have joined a community board of any type? I challenge you that.

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  69. Sorry for my last post a little hot about what is going on will repost when I am a bit calmer

    I have asked the POst to remove it

  70. Anon 9:58 (and the same person Anon 10:14), please quit complaining.

    Anon 10:43, you're pretty close to the mark here. But, I see "green" as a potential red flag for incoming business. As an industry looking to relocate, the term "green" for me would mean more regulation and cost. The less I hear out of an area about "green," the more likely I'd be to relocate to that town. Not that I don't agree with industry cleaning up its act and conducting themselves responsibly, it's just that the more I hear of them pushing the issue, the less inclined I would be to relocate there.

    Hey guys, let's get it right! Because over 31,000 scientists world-wide have come out and debunked global warming, the new buzz word (for the same crap) is now called "climate change." By the way, there is such a thing as climate change; it's been going on for billions of years. But, it has nothing to do with the insignificant microbes crawling the planet called human beings.

    "I really don't think this advisory board is about regulating current businesses or our residents."
    Anon 12:08, just wait until they find someone doing something they don't like.

    Anon 5:09, you hit the nail on the head.

    Anon 5:19, what board are you on? What public office have you run for? Why aren't you out there doing exactly what you're telling everyone else to do? It's so much easier this way, isn't it? Get over it, some plans are just dumb, some are counterproductive and some are just too costly. Here we have one that is neither well explained nor thought out.

    Why not an interview with Kelli?

  71. I am very troubled that only Government can act on this issue and not a grassroots group.
    I am furthered troubled that this issue gets caught up in politics vs education. I do not want anything as critical as this to be part of a political campaign for anyone.
    The City at large should be talking about what actions if any to take and not a small elite group.
    There are many groups now in Racine that are talking about how we can protect the Earth (Just because I do not believe in Global Warming does not mean I do not want clean water/air) Why not let them come to the City with ideas?
    Why does everything need to come from government?
    I strongly feel that the City needs to get out of the way and let green efforts take root, from allowing more use of City unused land for Gardens to see if efforts to create a City composting site ran for profit with no city resources needed will happen.

  72. I think even the tree huggers would be insulted by how stupid this is.

  73. Wow lots of comments. I think it isn't explained well enough to decide yet but I agree that things should be getting done if they do it.

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  75. The board may work, it may not. But at least Alderman Stein is trying something, which is far more than anonymous critics can claim.

    What's odd about this proposal is it's entirely non-controversial. It costs no money, is only advisory and is focused on environmental issues and bringing jobs to Racine. How could anyone find fault here?

    Please, don't answer that.

  76. Ok, we all know this won't do jack-sh-it to create jobs, and if you think it will, then it just shows how out of touch you are with what the people of this community really want. No disrespect to Stein, but can't you put your efforts into something that really matters? Improve the quality of life for your constituants! please?

  77. Dustin,

    This is the difference between the attitude we have and the one we need to get to.

    Just trying things without thinking it through first is stupid. Doing things because other people are doing it (and not providing success stories, etc) is stupid.

    In other words, make the case why we should be doing this at all and detail out what other places are doing and where they are and are not being successful. Maybe even contact those other boards and give a report out.

    And of course that is assuming there is an issue to begin with! If you are going to dedicate the time of 7 people then you probably have a good idea of things that are currently broken. Well, then tell us!

    Next, put some basic goals in place about what you are hoping to accomplish with this board. If you think it will bring business into Racine, then tell us why you think that! Is this too much to ask for crying out loud!

    Identify the criteria you are looking for with respect to people serving on this board.

    Without some of these details, how is anyone supposed to take this seriously. I'm not against the idea, I'm against waisting time. If you do this, then do it right! Is this how Leadership Racine approaches a project?

    Maybe those of us that have been around the block a few times just have a different perspective. Years in the business world teaches you some things.

    If I went into the office of my boss and wanted to start working on a project that I had an idea for, he would tell me to write it up, schedule a meeting, make the pitch, and we would review to see if it is worth allocating the time and resources.

    That is normal, and was not done here. Dickert's role in this is just absurd. Without discussion, he approves this thing to move forward. To the best of anyone else's knowledge all that was discussed was the idea. It had no structure, timing, goals, etc, etc, etc, etc....and he said OK. What? What happened to evaluating a project based on merit and prep work before approving it?

    I would have expected the mayor to ask Stein to write up her proposal and present it for discussion at the city council meeting. Then people could ask the (obvious) questions. Dickert knew she wasn't prepared to do that, so he just approved it on the side to give Stein some cover so she wouldn't have to face the questions.

    Again, this isn't about the idea - it is about execution and getting things done.

    At least she is trying is a sorry excuse for laziness. Stein is going in the right direction but put some more meat on the bone before serving it up. Doing this is smart because it increases your odds of success. People buy into things much easier if they seem well thought out (dare I say planned)

    Dickert should use this as an opportunity to raise expectations. No feel good proposals anymore. If you're going to pitch something, have a basic set of criteria that is required and make it required that it is reviewed by the council. Let's put more effort behind these things to make sure we don't have a "it might work, it might not" and change that conversation to "it will work and here's why".

    Nothing against Stein personally. All of them need to be held to a higher standard.

  78. Anon 6:30 - Were your comments really necessary? People like you are part of the problem in this city. The attacks on here because an "advisory board" has been proposed are mind-boggling.

    And to the people who relate this to "what would my boss do" as the owner of a business here in Racine, if I put down my employees before even hearing or giving their proposals a chance, I certainly wouldn't consider myself a good manager, so lets stop trying to compare the two.

    People like Anon 6:30 should be ashamed of themselves. Treat people like you want to be treated.

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  80. Jeez Kelli, do you have people outside your house with pitchforks yet?

  81. Anon 9:25

    Perhaps you should run for an elected position? What ideas do you have? Yeah, I didn't think so.


  83. The mayor is in an interesting situation now. How can he dare ask anyone for a plan on a proposal when he himself failed to deliver his 10 year plan for the city?

  84. This is a golden opportunity for conservatives to have more of a voice in Racine. The mayor just gave you a golden ticket. Think about it. This board will have the ear of the council and can make proposals that have to be considered. Imagine if enough conservatives were on the board. They could propose deregulation so that business would have more operating capital to invest in cleaner technology or whatever. The best part is that the counsil would have to go on the record explaining their choices.

    Conservatives could have an open mic on issues they care about most!

    The mayor's lack of planning just opened the door to this great opportunity for conservatives, if they are smart and take it.

  85. I see Navratil is ready. These people that say the complainers don't do anything might just want to be careful what they wish for.

    This board can be used to push a less government and lower taxes agenda. I'm sure there are ways to relate both of those to the environment somehow. What's more environment friendly than reducing waste!

  86. Kelli thanks for coming up with a bright idea. Racine is not as bad off as other places I have visited recently.

    Those other places have given up. You can yell about deregulation but no one is listening because you are yelling.

    You also don't get your ideas implemented by jumping all over someone else for trying to get together an advisory board. This is the way things are done.

    There are grants for starting businesses. There are companies looking to expand into this new area. Whether you agree with the scientists or not. I say let them all come to Racine to open and operate their businesses.

  87. Good catch Anon 10:25 AM!!!!!

  88. I'm really impressed by how passionate the people who live in Racine are. You all seem so have such strong opinions what is good for the city and where the focus should be. My question for you is, did you put your name in the ring for that alderman spot that Stein now holds? How about the alderman seat in your area. It seems to me that people on this blog want to complain and rant that ANY idea is a waste of time without even knowing about it. Good for Stein for making a recommendation. She is a concerned community member that is at least attempting to make a difference. Yes, job creation and crime are topics that she also receive focus, but lets give this idea some creation time before you make your anti-everything goverment foot stomp on it.

  89. Some people are truly anti-anything government. Other people are anti-setup for failure proposals.

    The fact that this is getting attention and is being criticized will ultimately lead to a better outcome because it increases the expectations (which were basically none).

    Too many good ideas fail for a lack of preparation. Our own mayor, at least during the campaign, spoke to the need for future looking proposals, benchmarks, goals, and so forth. The reason he talked about it is because there is solid reasoning behind planning for success vs just hoping it happens.

    This board might turn out to be awesome in the end. But in order for it to get to that level then you have to have expectations and plans in place.

    The mayor has since given up on planning. Maybe he thinks it is a dumb concept after all, or that it only applies to everyone else except himself. That's his problem. I think what people want more than anything are results. They want people to have to work as hard as they do and when you see these proposals with nothing behind them offered, then people get pissed off. Especially when there are some other really significant problems going on!

    You can't just say this will attract business. That's not good enough anymore. You have to explain the why before anyone should invest time into this. Put some more leg work in on this and then present it.

    Mayor "Fly by the seat our pants" Dickert has given a dangerous precedent here. Blind approval. Now, any jackass with a crazy idea should expect the mayor to just agree without discussion.

  90. One more thing.

    What is the criteria to setup a board now? Is it just that one has to exist somewhere else? After this approval, it certainly seems that way. I cannot point to anything else that was given as a reason.

    It really is unbelievable when you think about it.

  91. You know what I like about news articles is that they give you a full play by play of everything that is said and happened. Come on people. Stop jumping on Stein and this idea because this article didn't give every bit of information about the idea. People need to stop producing an opinion before they actually know what they are talking about.

  92. Great Idea Stein! Racine is far behind in the green idea and the power of attracting others to come to Racine. Creating an environmental advisory brd is a good thing. Why do people need to see negative in everything that the government does? I believe that Stein's initiative is in the right direction and has Racine's goals and future in mind.

    Yes, there are many issues to address, but if even if Stein discussed a "certain topic" that you were for, people would still find something to complain about. And these people need to put themselves in check. I think it's a good start to making Green Racine more attractive for outside businesses, agencies and possible future events.

  93. I like the idea Stein. It's nice to see that people are thinking about our earth, our future and our city. Many people disagree with global warming or that the environment doesn't matter. I challenge those people to pick up any science book and view the differnce from years ago to now. People stay educated on your earth and your city. This is a way overdue idea and I'm glad that someone finally is "doing" something about our future and our earth. "Thank you."

  94. This will attract business. It's worth a try.... what have we got to loose? Plus it's good for the city.... yes, there are other areas to be concerned with and I hope they will be addressed sometime. I think this is a great start too. Give it a shot people... stop being so negative and appreciate the good people are doing.

  95. I understand people's concerns, but it's worth a shot to see what can change. We can all agree that the city needs a change. And well folks, this is a change. People should maybe have some optimism behind this idea and stop bashing it... people that just write on the wall and bash ideas or Stein - just to bash something-are lame... look at it differently and maybe look at your own life differently and stop being so negative about everything with Racine. Racine has potential to be great and it appears that Stein sees that. Kudos to the idea and the passion for a environmental change in Racine.

  96. Contrary to some 'snarky' commenters, the 'new normal' post-recession economy will be a lot greener than the 'old' one, and the faster we can get there, the better for Racine and Wisconsin.

    Last month Magnetek, Menomonee Falls, won another contract for windmill components []. A firm in Pleasant Prairie is _expanding_ to handle orders for a significantly more energy efficient device.

    If an Environmental Advisory Board can introduce a visiting, or resident, company to a number of rational 'tree-huggers' in our community, then we can all go toward full Green easier and faster.

    That's gotta be a good thing for the companies, and for us.

  97. Stein really is all about resume building. She just is not articulate. If her work on the committee or council is anything like her results at her job, you won't be able to pin her down on anything. And don't you think she's doing this on Wheaton's time? Come on.It's called being weak and lazy. She just wants to see her name in the paper folks.