January 5, 2010

CAR25 getting attention - sometimes heated - from city officials

The city's cable-access TV station is getting some serious attention these days.

The City Council voted Tuesday night to use $30,000 set aside in the 2009 budget for a part-time employee that was never hired to help the cable-access channel move into a larger office in the City Hall Annex. (CAR25 is now in the Annex's basement.) The move is already underway.

The council unanimously passed the spending item, which had already been approved by committee, with no discussion.

But another $40,000 pegged for CAR25 led to heated discussion between Alderman Jeff Coe and Mayor John Dickert. The city's 2010 budget - approved by the City Council - designates the money for "professional services," which would likely be used to create programming for the channel.

Coe, who sits on the Cable Commission that oversees CAR25, raised a question Tuesday night about the $40,000. It led to a confusing, and heated, exchange that resulted in a vote against sending the item to the mayor's office and then for sending it to the City Council's Committee of the Whole and the Cable Commission for further review.

Dickert argued during the meeting it was a non-issue because the council and Cable Commission had already approved the money, and any contract to spend the $40K would need another round of council approval.

But the council disagreed - or at least wanted a closer look - and now the money is up for further scrutiny.

And, if all this wasn't enough, more money is tucked away in the city budget to help CAR25 broadcast on AT&T U-Verse cable service and to stream online. Those spending proposals should come up later this year, once CAR25 gets into its new offices.


  1. Mayor Dickert leave CAR 25 alone! No Cronyism no turning CAR 25 into the Mayor Dickert Channel.

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

  3. Tim the Shrubber1/06/2010 8:06 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. John Dickert = Rein Lang

  5. This channel is for the community! Stay out Dickert! From what was said last night, Dickert wants to pay his campaign video guy 40K for a year of unspecified video work! This is sickining! Dickert must go!

  6. Good for the council! and cheers for Jeff Coe for standing up!

  7. The biggest problem I see with CAR25 is that is continues to be run by a department and department head with no TV experience. It is part of the MIS department and the last two department heads are computer people not TV people. It is not the MIS management fault but a reality that CAR 25 needs someone with real TV experience to run the operation.

    It has really come down to do it right or don't do it at all.

  8. Never, never trust a realtor! Dickert has sold the tax payers out, his ego is only surpassed by his bad decisions and greed!

  9. Dickert's trolls go away. Dickets cronies go away. John " I am one call from Obama" Dickert please pleae with your lap dogs anr not CAR 25.

    Jeff Coe for Mayor!

  10. RFengineer551/06/2010 10:21 AM

    As someone who has worked in both aspects of television production and engineering for over 30 years, I have several questions regarding the entire situation:

    1. if the role of the "consultant" is to develop programming, what is the responsibility of the $30,000 PT position? Would this person be responsible for developing programming once the "consultant's" job was done?

    2. the article states that the PT position would be responsible for the CAR25 office move and that the move is already under way. Does this mean that the person has already been hired?

    3. shouldn't AT&T be responsible for the equipment necessary to complete the "hookup" to enable CARS25 to access their system? U-Verse franchises that my job required me to participate in, always had this requirement built into them.

    4. setting up a "streaming" environment for CARS25 could be done very economically. What is the actual amount of money budgeted for this purpose?

    Just some thoughts on the matter...

  11. The short, sad tenure of Mayor Dickert has been marked by nothing but payouts to his pals. What a traitor to the people of Racine.

  12. As far as I know the young man running CAR25 has many years of TV experience, Is a stand up guy and runs the channel with little to no resources at all. This is a community access channel and not a major news channel, they run this channel out of a closet with broken run down equipment.

  13. Who watches this anyway?

  14. Mr.Nelson (the man running CAR 25) has been doing great work on his own other then a few volunteers , with little equipment, only a short time a go was he even given a fill time status and benefits.
    For years CAR 25 has been the step child of the city.
    Yet Mr. Nelson been doing a yeoman job for the public.
    So now John "I love my Crony's" Dickert wants to IMHO destroy CAR 25 by putting yet another crony in charge of something. So everyone knows For the first years at CAR 25 the whole staff was not paid 40K a year.

    Car 25 is there as a tool fot the whole city of Racine not just to make John Dickert look good

  15. Give the job to Friedel. He's not doing anything anyway.

  16. It's obvious that Dickert's plan is to buy CAR-25's support to make him look good in the next election. I guess he doesn't yet realize that it would be a monumental task, and almost impossible, to pull off.

    I am absolutely shocked to hear that the city council is even questioning anything Dickert proposes. I mean, after supporting his recycle bin program (which 95% or more of the population does not want) and shoving it down our throats, it's time they reconsidered that and put the breaks on it. Save that $2 million dollars plus and put it to use elsewhere. Here's a novel idea: buy enough salt to get us through the winter. Nah, they'll never go for that.

  17. Storm Racine1/06/2010 11:58 AM

    What I know

    The Mayor wants to give a campaign for Mayor a NO-BID contract to consult for the City on CAR -25. To the best of my understanding she has little if any experience in TV or Community Access TV. At this time to the best of my understanding there is nothing in writing about duties of the job.
    Those in the know I have talked to believe is nothing more then a pay off to a campaign worker and a way to make CAR 25 the John Dickert show.
    More as I know it The Storm Racine Podcast Thursday 9:00 AM

  18. Is it just me or are other people confused as hell about what this is all about? I read the story and I don't get it.

  19. CAR25's 2010 budget includes $40,000 for "professional services." The mayor wants to use the money to develop programming for CAR25. Coe wants another look at how the money will be spent.

    Now, the Committee of the Whole and the Cable Commission will revisit the budget item - and determine how the money will be spent.

  20. Jeff Coe and the council are right to question the mayor's spending. I wonder if Dickert's 10 year plan is to put things on the plan after they are accomplished. Next election he will just reveal what is satisfactory and say that was his plan. Can no person get him to actually reveal it? What a jerk to say he has this plan and never let us common folk in on it.

  21. Storm Racine1/06/2010 12:31 PM

    Is it not true that the Mayor wants the 40K spend on a no bid contact for a consultant?

  22. Oh Christ, here we go. Bring on the debate over what "professional services" really means.

    Have we all lost our damn minds?

    Note to city officials - when creating a budget, please fill in THE EXACT GOD DAMN THING the money will be used for so we don't have to have 12 meetings to figure it out.

    And as a hint - if you can't adequately describe what the money is supposed to be used for THEN IT DOESN'T BELONG IN THE DAMN BUDGET!

  23. Please include John, what they did for your campaign to get the job too. Have someone consult for CAR 25 ith no TV background makes it look like well a crony being paid off

  24. Note to city officials - when creating a budget, please fill in THE EXACT GOD DAMN THING the money will be used for so we don't have to have 12 meetings to figure it out.

    They did explain it during budget meetings. Coe was there, he must have forgotten.

  25. I did not hear anything about 40K in a no bid contract for a Dickert Crony? Did you?
    I like how we can give 40K to "Consultants" without a background in the area they are consulting in.
    I guess you can not put on a resume
    Crony can you?
    Thank You Mr. Coe for not being a lap dog and speaking up.

  26. "They did explain it during budget meetings."

    Really? Then why doesn't anyone know what it is? Why are they just now trying to ask questions to figure it out? Welcome to never ending meetingville.

    You would think they knew what it was for, otherwise why just make it $40k. Why not $39K or $5K? There must (I hope) have been a process to arrive at the $40K with some justification behind it.

    But then again, that would require planning.

  27. Isn't the issue that Dickert wants to bypass the bidding process to give $40,000 to someone who helped on his campaign? It should be bid out, like everything else that the city would spend $40,000 on. It is not the actual service that is the problem, but the fact that the budget did not specify who it was to go to. That is why it has to be bid out.

    Of course Dickert does not want to have it bid out because then an actual professional would win the contract and not someone who helped on his campaign.

  28. Isn't this political corruption? I say investigate on a federal level and oust this waste of a mayor and his city admin. This is the type of business this city does NOT NEED! Especially after the debacle this city has been through with the previous mayor Becker. Let's stop this nonsense once and for all!!!

  29. CAR25 was meant to be a combination Government and Public Access channel split evenly. Reality is, the bulk of the funding for the channel is from the City of Racine budget and must go through the same scrutiny any other purchase / professional service must go through. Apply the same standard for this as any other contract for any other city department and be done with it. If those who want a professional TV channel or believe the Mayor should stay out of this, you will need much more than $80k per year in funding. Step up with some private sector funding and allow this to be a public access only channel.

  30. 4:57

    Sorry your wrong with the facts, but you knew that before you posted.
    The Dickert Trolls will tell any lie to help there guy.

    From an email to the Councle

    ...Historically, CAR25 has received 10% of the franchise fees paid by subscribers of local cable TV providers (Time Warner and AT&T), which provided an estimated $630,000 to the City of Racine, and an estimated $70,000 to CAR25 (which is difficult to run an entire TV station on with only one employee). CAR25 made a 2010 budget presentation to Common Council that outlined both short- and long-term goals for improving and expanding CAR25, including much needed equipment such as cameras, lighting, monitors, computers, microphones, software, storage and office equipment. These assets would serve both the public (CAR25 members and producers), as well as government (for filming and editing government and departmental projects). The Common Council subsequently approved an increase in the allocation of the Franchise Fee revenues to CAR25 from 10% to 15%. ...
    Not a penny comes from the City. it comes from cable fees. Again you knew that.
    The Mayor should expect more shows on CAR 25 You Tube and every other place one can post video to exposing to the world the fun and games he and his crones play.

  31. "Isn't this political corruption? I say investigate on a federal level and oust this waste of a mayor and his city admin."

    Hey, big talking anonymous a-hole - if you have something, call the US Attorney. They don't read the blogs, they spend time in the real world. If you want them to investigate, you have to talk to them.

    If you did that, you'd realize what an idiot you are, so go for it.

  32. 6:42 and other Dickert Trolls.

    You have not seen nothing yet:


  33. Monte had better hope no one calls the US Attorney to investigate the Dickert.

  34. http://www.sandypetrykowski.com/www.sandypetrykowski.com/Profile.html


    The consultants Web Page and her Linkedin page (used for job hunting ect)

    Do we think this person is good to get 40K in a NO BID contract or not?
    Do we not have many in Racine that can do the same work at less cost?

  35. Where is the 10 year plan?

  36. Jeannine Fay1/07/2010 8:40 PM

    She looks pretty darn good to me. I say it's about time someone help take CAR 25 out of the broom closet.

  37. Ms Fey

    Compared to AVA in Racine or Chase Henrix of Racine?
    Of course not. Ms. Fey please get better talking points from your master.

  38. Jeannine Fay1/07/2010 9:12 PM

    Mr (or is it Ms?) Anonymous,

    Are you implying I do not know my own mind? Well at least I know my own name.

    Come out of the shadow and own your opinions. You might find it forces you to THINK about what your opinion is. At the very least you will present it in a more civil manner.

  39. Gee are we upset tonight that Dickert could be stopped from giving former campaign workers 40K of City money in the form of a no bid contract?
    That more and more of us are standing up and speaking out on what we see as a Becker "lite" sitting in City Hall.
    There is a lot more going on in City Hall/CAR 25 then just this. It will come out The Mayor will not like it.
    Dickert's trolls can not stop it.

  40. I dunno about you guys but with all this city has wrong and messed up with it, don't you think Dickert should be worried about more pressing, important issues then OUR COMMUNITY ACCESS CHANNEL?!? I mean WTF? How out of touch can you be?! This is OUR cable access station, we really need to spend the money on something a bit more rational then some here today gone tomorrow consultant, I mean really, how stupid! That channel looks great and is just fine now, I lived in West Bend and this channel is much better. I think Dickert is as good as gone, packer yer bags buddy!

  41. John Dicker idea IMHO is to take the third channel Time Warner owes the City (we once had 96 I think and gave it back) and using the NO Bid contract to former campaign workers and money the City Counsel all ready passed for "Marketing" my guess more no bid contracts restart 96 he will probably find money from RCEDC to help and create "The John Dickert Channel" and tell the sheep its an outlit to let the world know how great Racine is, No Crime on unemployment schools are great the whole propaganda deal.
    Now if The Mayor would have said this from the beginning say in a 10 year plan many of us to include me would have been on board. He did not and the same folks that would have backed the idea are thinking what is going on that we do not know? How does this enrich the his friends?

  42. If she is so qualified for the consulting position then why not bid the contract out like the city is required to do anyway? If a Dickert campaign worker can win a $40,000 contract from the city when competing against other qualified people, then she should get the job. But I suspect she is not which is why Dickert tried to sneak this by the council and award $40,000 as a thank you for helping on his campaign.

    Who else is getting sweet deals from the city? What other Dickert crony has gotten taxpayer money?

  43. When will this end? Who will run and help get this guy out of office?

  44. Tick Tick Tick.

  45. Our recommendations are to reallocate a portion of the 2010 budget line item under Professional Services (currently set for $40,000, which is more than 1/3 of the total budget) to address the immediate equipment needs for the channel (estimated $15,000), to hire a part-time assistant to help with day-to-day duties that a contractor cannot legally fulfill (estimated $9.600), and to establish a clear outline of deliverables, responsibilities and timelines for any consulting or outside programming production (remaining amount). This will allow for more accountability and transparency, while serving both the public and government needs. Currently CAR25 handles all productions (within time and budget constraints) for the City and all departments from Police & Fire to Health & Human Services, however the consultant would allow for additional programming that would serve our city and its departments.

    Our only concerns are the lack of funding in the 2010 for the much-needed equipment (the additional 5% of the franchise fee was instead allocated to professional services), and for the disappointing results of a similar past outsourced project. As you may know, a couple of years ago, the City of Racine hired consultants to produce videos highlighting Racine. This money (approx $25,000) was not allocated from the CAR25 budget. The videos produced were barely used, and quickly became outdated. We want to make sure that any production developed by outside consultants has greater longevity than this past project, and fits within the budget and needs of CAR25. Any projects related to photography, film, and production must have clear inputs and outputs, and adhere to strict policies regarding rights to coding, content and intellectual property. Each project should have its own budget and timeline, and will need to be managed closely. We recommend a budget of $15,000-$20,000 for 2010 consulting/programming, broken up into several main projects, which one or more could be open to multiple bids, and if these projects are more successful than the past project, we can potentially allocate more to consulting & programming for ongoing projects in 2011 and beyond.

    Note the call for less spending on the cronies I mean consultants and the request that the work is bid out. (please note BID OUT vs a no bid .)and the call for a detailed list of what the city would get for the cash.

    If you like to support CAR 25 there is a facebook group that one can join at http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?id=505552937#/group.php?gid=241355297270

  46. Has Rielle Hunter come to Racine?

  47. The Whole World is (not) Watching1/14/2010 9:57 AM

    The DooWop Diner is worth much more than that alone!

  48. Holy Political Corruptness!! Mayor, you need to pack yer bags and leave office. We the Citizens deserve much better representatation.