December 15, 2009

Alderman wants closer look at American Tire and Recycling

Update: Alderman Shields was the only council member to vote against the American Tire and Recycling proposal Tuesday night. The full council approved the $39,600 incentive for the company.

Original post: Alderman Michael Shields wants the City Council to hold off on approving a deal that would help American Tire and Recycling, based in Niagara, Wis., to open a plant at a trucking depot in Racine.

Shields said he wants to ask more questions about the company, which plans to recycle tires into fuel for power plants and surfaces for playgrounds. The plant/distribution site is expected to create as many as 88 jobs at 2301 S. Memorial Drive.

The City Council's Finance and Personnel Committee voted last week to pay American Tire and Recycling's rent for its first 18 months in Racine. The incentive amounts to $39,600; in exchange, the company has agreed to give Racine residents preference for the jobs.

Shields said he wants Keary Ecklund, owner of American Tire & Recycling, to answer the same questions local developers have had to answer about their projects. Ecklund has yet to appear before a city committee.

"Everybody should be treated and evaluated the same way," Shields said, adding about Ecklund: "I think it's very strange he hasn't shown up."

Shields said he had questions about Ecklund's background, which includes a handful of court cases. Ecklund was the owner of a failed indoor football league and had a tax warrant filed against him by the state in 2005. The last court case involving Ecklund was filed in 2007, according to state records.

Shields handed out a packet of information at the meeting detailing court cases

The City Council will consider the incentive for American Tire and Recycling at its meeting tonight.


  1. Alderman Shields gets an A+ on this one. It seems some get treated better than others, just look at what happened on 6th. St..

  2. Sheilds is no lap dog! Go get em!

  3. If the city is going to provide capitol, cash to expand his business, he should at the very least visit Racine. I mean it is our money.

  4. 3:19

    Your wrong its The Mayor's money

  5. Mike Shields is my hero. The rest of you for lack of a better word SUCK!!!

  6. Mike Shields for Mayor!
    He's looking out for us!

  7. Anon 4:10 I like that, maybe we found something!

  8. I hope that there was a credit bureau report pulled on this guy's business. I also hope a qualified underwriter then looked at it to determine the viability and financial health of the firm before we hand over $40,000.

    If he isn't good enough for a bank, then he shouldn't be good enough for the Racine taxpayer.

  9. Mayor Sheilds has a nice ring to it.

  10. Another one for Dickertheads Resume. John when will you come to the realization that you were to dumb to make as a Realtor, and far from qualified to run a city. If I may say so you are not even qualified to run a "Hot Dog Stand"!

  11. Mike for Mayor.

    M4M = Mike's Bumpersticker Mayoral Ad

    M4M M4M M4M M4M M4M M4M M4M M4M

  12. I actually went and attended this meeting, I was shocked at the way Shields was received when he suggested benching this thing for three weeks so we the people could get a face to face with the man and company getting our tax dollars. Seems like a good business practice to me. I was most disapointed in Dickert's response's and the over all way he handled things, I was almost embaressed for misguided and poor judgement all the way around. Thank You Shields!

  13. Mike Sheilds for Mayor! Dickert crony of the the People's Republic of China has got to go!

  14. Has anyone seen a business plan yet? You do realize that an entrepreneur wouldn't get a penny without one, but our glorious City is giving this company our money anyway.

  15. 7:36

    IMHO its because someone/Good Old boys are making bank on this.
    Its City Government by the rich for the rich and of the rich. As more wake up to this and leave the City how will the rich find new pockets to pick?
    I know from all the new low wage workers! Yes those $8 hr jobs that buy up the foreclosed homes, invest in property, and spend so much in Downtown!

  16. How is this different than giving $250,000 to the Tousis West Racine project?

  17. Shields normally supports only issues that are black associated whether it is a good idea or not.

  18. The mayor of Racine and the the city council = a bunch of tax and spend baffoons.

    Thanks for shoving the recycle barrels down our throats, and for appointing a city administrator that we don't need and can't afford, and for raising property taxes AGAIN, and most of all for your inept leadership.

  19. There are obviously a lot of questions about this company and the company has failed to provide even the most basic information. Why not just hold off on giving them our money until they can provide financial information, a clear plan, etc.

    If they guy who is presenting this to the Council does not even know what the company does, we need to look at the deal in more detail. What is so wrong with making sure we get this right?

  20. 10:00

    We cant wait if we did maybe some good old boy crony would not get paid! IMHO Racine is far more corrupt then ever Youngstown OH was in the good old days.

  21. I'd like to see an article from the Racine Post that explains how evaluations are done for these projects.

    What kind of dilligence is performed? Credit checks? Background checks? Interviews? Business plans required?

    I'm an average person and really have no idea how it all works but I think it would be beneficial to understand this better....especially if we are going to continue to spend significant amounts of money for these companies.

    It might just be me, but I think people would like to know this stuff.

    Getting some more detail about how all of this works is consistent with the Racine Post's goal of keeping this all "in the sunshine".

  22. All Nic Noblique had to do to get 40,000 of our dollars was smoke a jay with the pedo. Why are we making it so hard on this guy, because he's not an artist?

  23. Orbs

    I think a more critical look in general is needed...artist, business, or whatever. People are more aware now than in the past and that's not a bad thing.

    This stuff adds up after all.

  24. Consistency, that is all the taxpayers are asking for.

  25. Anon 10:00am said "There are obviously a lot of questions about this company and the company has failed to provide even the most basic information."

    What are those questions?!? Do you, or does someone else here, have information that the city should know about?!? Other than generalized hate (Graham), no one here seems to know anything about anything!

    I called the City Development office yesterday at 4pm. I talked to the manager (Brad?) OConnell (forgot his first name.) I asked if they had checked the background of this American Tire company. He explained all the steps they went through. He also told me about how the Wisconsin commerce department has their info. Basically, he answered some of the "questions" you people typed here -- and (gasp!) it turns out you all don't know jack and assume that because you don't know, then the City must be lying. If the city listened to you, a new start up company would not come to Racine and then you would all continue screaming about how we need jobs.

    Well done anonymous boneheads -- you are the voice of modern America. God save us.

  26. So glad to know that we are not to worry that Dickert and his good old boys know best.
    Thank God we have so many low paying jobs coming to Racine! God know we do not need better paying jobs. New math proves that an $8.00 job is better then say a $15 job.
    So happy that we are giving away 150K in land for more low income jobs too. Yes Mayor Dickert + Trolls please do not even try for companies that pay well.Let us stay economically destroyed like other great Midwest Cities like Detroit and Rockford.
    Just think how many foreclosed homes can be torn down for all the new low income housing that will be needed.
    Mayor Shields sounds better and better

  27. Unemployed Exec.12/16/2009 11:53 AM

    Good job Mayor Dickert! We need jobs and you have delivered and quickly. American Tire, the West Racine grocery store and the book distributor may not be executive paying jobs, but the are jobs and in this area we don't have many executives. Keep it up and bring us more jobs. You are on a roll.

  28. "We need jobs and you have delivered and quickly. American Tire, the West Racine grocery store and the book distributor"
    Unemployed Exec. try living on an $8.00 job

    Those are jobs, but since RCEDC does not go to events like the Windpower 09 held in Chicago nor most companies want to move to high crime/poor school type cities guess we will not be seeing that in Racine.
    No, I think we will see more failing schools more crime and more leave Racine leaving only a few white men held up in City Hall trying to find ways to loot the city of Racine as the City burns around them.

  29. Anon 11:39- You are obviously a city employee or granite salesman.

    First of all, Brian O'Connell does not answer the phones on the city development office, nor does he talk to average citizens. Second, did you not read the article? There are a number of questions and incomplete information about this company. In every single article about American Tire, alderman are asking Brian O'Connell why there is not more information, why was financial information not provided, and why did he tell them it was recycled material for playgrounds and not what it really was, fuel for paper plants.

    These are legitimate questions, especially since Racine is giving them tax money. This could be a great idea and something great for the city, but Racine could also be left holding the bag. The key is that we do not know, and that is why it should have been sent back for further review.

  30. While not a city resident, this thing is scary. It is starting to look like the Simpson's episode when the city hires a shill to build a monorail.
    There has been less review of this than to get a liquor license.

  31. 1:15

    Thats because he is not Korean

  32. " From The J-T "The council voted Tuesday to pay Corporate Images, 417 Sixth St. up to $29,920 to develop a public education campaign. The company will create advertising copy, brochures, a promotional Internet package and automated phone calls, Public Works Commissioner Richard Jones said. But it will also cost the city another $75,000 to mail the brochures, pay for billboards, and run newspaper and radio ads, Jones said."

    Thank God we have more min wage jobs coming to help pay for all this!

  33. 12:23 PWNED 11:39

    Major pwnage...poof

  34. Some unemployed people are low skilled, low wage earners. While $8/hr may not be acceptable to some of us, don't we need low skilled people to be employed too? It may not solve all our problems, but how are more jobs bad? The Mayor doesn't seem to be resting on his laurels with these deals. Maybe no home run yet, but doesn't it start with a single some times?

  35. "Well, the world needs ditch diggers too"
    -Judge Smails

  36. Who would have guessed that Mike Shields would be the smart alderman? I applaud his questions. I also want to know why we are not first offering this sweetheart deal to a Racine entrepreneur. This should definitely have resident strings attached.


    125 Jobs
    Well paying
    no backdoor deals

    Oh that's right not in Racine.

  38. Anon 11:51, you’re on the money with this one, except that it’s 250K for the land to bring in the low-income jobs.

    Anon 11:39, stick in you ear. It's obvious you don't have a clue and are an outright liar.

  39. It will bring in a mixture of jobs. Butchers, chefs, other specialized grocery jobs actually pay quite well. Just as there would be with any business there are some lower paying jobs, but as someone who used to work for the Tousis family they pay above the normal rate in order to keep their good employees.