March 10, 2010

Update: Participants at Shields' community forum may not have known meeting was recorded

There's been some confusion this week over video taken at the community forum Alderman Mike Shields organized last Saturday.

Shields brought together 25 community leaders behind closed doors - media wasn't allowed to attend - along with a camera man from CAR 25 to record the meeting, presumably to show on the city's cable-access TV station.

But now it appears Shields is bottling up the video. Paul Ancona, the city's director of information systems, who oversees the city's TV station, said Shields requested that CAR 25 not broadcast the video recorded by CAR 25 coordinator Scott Nelson.

"It was requested we not put the video on the air," Ancona said. "Alderman Shields made the request."

Ancona said it was Shields' call on whether to broadcast the video because he organized the event and asked CAR 25 to attend.

"He's the one who requested we video tape it," Ancona said of Shields. "It would be his call if we broadcast it."

Shields' decision to close the meeting to the media and now to withhold the video raises questions about what happened at the meeting. One source said Shields doesn't want to release the video because he doesn't want it used for a negative purpose.

But another source who was at the meeting said nothing particularly controversial happened.

The JT interviewed people coming out of the meeting who said main topics were racial profiling and discrimination and the need for jobs and job training.

Ancona said it was not unusual for CAR 25 to video record community events for possible broadcast on the station. Any group can request a video camera at their event, he said.

"If it has some community interest we'll try to accommodate it," Ancona said.

Private meeting?

On a side note, it's questionable whether Shields had the right to prevent the media from attending the community hearing in the City Council chambers. While the city makes the chambers available for public use, they are not available for private use. (For example, a business couldn't rent out the City Council chambers for a board meeting.)

While no local media pushed Shields to attend the meeting, it's likely he could not have stopped a reporter from attending.

Update: Participants at the meeting may not have known they were being recorded. Here's an email we received from someone who was there:
I was at the meeting, but I'm not aware of anyone announcing it was being recorded for CAR25. Something might have been said about recording audio.
One guy got up to speak at the mic and pointed up at the camera to see if it was being recorded. People chuckled after that and I got the impression that it was not being video recorded.
Anyhow, the reason that they don't want that tape out is that some folks were pretty vocal and called people out by name. I don't think anyone that spoke would necessarily be uncomfortable with what they said being public (with some exceptions), but without knowing they were taped....that wouldn't be right.
Most comments weren't a big deal.....same issues that have been reported on Post and JT. Police discrimination, Becker arrest, State Street development, hiring practices, racism, etc.
The meeting being closed was news to me when I got there. That wasn't announced in advance. If they did plan on it being CAR25, then I don't know why they didn't just open it up.
And ...
Scott (Nelson) was there, but it only seemed like he was fixing a problem with powerpoint. He only came after Shields called him because he couldn't get the presentation to work and the meeting was running late. Nothing was said about CAR 25 at that point or putting this meeting on the airwaves.
Update 2: Activist Alphonso Gardner, who was at the meeting, said he was unaware the meeting was being recorded. Gardner said he had no problem with his comments being recorded and made public, but he didn't know if any video was taken at the meeting.

"I'd like to know in the future if I'm being recorded," Gardner said.


  1. A Mouse said that Dicker did not want this on Car 25 until he saw it first. Perhaps there was a fear that The tape would have been "lost"

  2. And why should Shields have the right to block airing of the tape? It was city money that was used to make it -- not Shields'.

  3. Yes The show should go on. WITHOUT the Mayor seeing it first

  4. Dickert approves all programing on CAR25 before it airs. He has a standing weekly meeting with the guy who runs programming.

  5. 7:00 That's BS You think the Mayor would let George Meyer have a show on CAR 25 if he could stop it?

  6. Listen folks, This is a community access channel, everyone has access to do a show on whatever they wish. I agree though, this production should see the airwaves regardless of who approves or doesn't. What's to hide Shields?

  7. Who cares? Dickert will be doing the same event twice for the public coming up later in the month. This is just stupid. I heard the meeting was really quite tame with no bashing or anything really noteworthy anyhow.

  8. Who does Shields think he is? Only Mayor Dickert can keep things secret and do backroom deals. Bust his but Mayor Dickert. Let him know his place.

  9. Shields has an illegal meeting, using city funds and yet some people blame Dickert. Dickert was not there. Dickert is not covering it up, Shields is.

    Wonder if the Insider will care?

  10. Something don't smell right up in here! Now I want to see the video to know what was really going on. If Mike Shields has nothing to hide he will air it.

    This meeting was in City Hall and my taxes pay for that place so I want to see the video.

  11. Colt has been hounding Dickert this whole time for purposefully blocking the video only to now find out that Mike Shields is the one blocking the video.

    I wonder what Colt will have to say now that his buddy has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar? Plus, wasn't Colt supposed to podcast this thing too? What happened to that? Did Shields snuff that out too?

    Call up Colt and see what he is hiding. He was probably there helping Shields out.

  12. Colt was working and thinks the program should be on ASAP.
    You can catch the great Storm Racine podcast at 9:00 AM Thursday/ Cold unlike so many in Racine know how to use free tools on line to get his message out. Colt loves the fact that each week many hear his thoughts perhaps more then hear WRJN or pays attention to Mr. Racine

  13. Mike isn't about photo ops like our Mayor. Dickert wants everyone to see him do something. Mike just wants to do something just as he has for years. There was clergy members there, does Dickert include clergy in his meetings. Or does he avoid clergy because of the deep guilt that he has because of his sins. Maybe his recent health problems are payment for his crimes and he knows exactly what kinds of crimes we are talking about.

  14. Why does the NAACP get access to use the CAR 25 guy on a Saturday? If the taxpayers paid for that service then it should be broadcast. The NAACP asks to record the event and then change their minds? They just wasted our money and the CAR 25 guy's time!

    Who do these people think they are?

  15. Dustin,

    I would like to dispute Mike Shields claim as owner of this video. Since he requested it be recorded with taxpayer owned equipment, a taxpayer funded employee, and at a taxpayer funded building....that tape belongs to the taxpayers. Mike Shields already gave permission for it to air since he asked it be recorded in the first place. His request was honored and it was recorded at taxpayer expense. That tape now belongs to the taxpayers and not Shields.

    I think I'm right on this.

  16. When Shields becomes mayor, he will hire the CAR25 guy to make a documentary about his life and he will be repaid for recording the video.

  17. 8:46 I think you are too

  18. City Hall Insider3/10/2010 9:18 PM

    Sources in city hall indicate a number of aldermen expressed concern regarding this closed meeting and the use of city resources.

  19. I'm surprised nobody has put this together yet. Here's the story:

    Mike Shields has been using his power as the President of the NAACP over the past few weeks to publically challenge the mayor in city hall meetings and in the newspaper. He is either trying to fight for the citizens of Racine, or he is grandstanding for a future run for mayor. Maybe a little of both - I'll let the readers decide. It is not to say Dickert is an angel because he has certainly made some mistakes that Mike Shields is all too willing to exploit.

    Here's where it goes too far.

    Mike Shields then decides to up the game by publically calling for a Community Forum and saying the mayor is invited. He says this and puts out a press release before securing the mayor's attendence. He makes the invite public in hopes of pressuring Dickert to attend.

    Mike Shield's intention isn't primarily to discuss minority issues. His primary objective is to humiliate the mayor and throw all of his mistakes in his face. It isn't good enough to do it in a private meeting though. That's when Shields decides to invite CAR 25. Shields doesn't want this opportunity to humiliate the mayor go to waste, so he wants it broadcast for all to see.

    It demonstrates that he is willing to take on the mayor, that he is sticking up for the minority community, and that he can pull together leaders from across the city.

    Worst of all, he uses his position as President of the NAACP as leverage to make this happen.

    The problem arises when the mayor decides not to show up. This is where Shields makes three critical mistakes:

    1. He doesn't cancel the coverage with CAR 25. They still show up to record the event on a Saturday at City Hall.

    2. He decides that since the mayor is not there, he is going to make the meeting private and closed to the uninvited public and media. With the mayor not attending there really isn't any value in having the meeting open and broadcast since he doesn't get the media circus that he wanted. At that point there is no value in broadcasting but since all of these people were invited anyway he decides to have the meeting.

    3. He thinks nobody will notice.

    Those three mistakes combined lead to what was described earlier. A taxpayer funded meeting from the equipment to the location to the crew. All taxpayer funded.

    If CAR25 had the ability to have live broadcasts, this would have been shown live. Mike Shields used taxpayer money for his mayor bashing setup and the taxpayers own the tape.

    The real travesty is the people that will have to pay the price for all of this. I'm talking about the community people that showed up in good faith because they thought this was a genuine effort and the people at the NAACP that have let Mike Shields as their President, run their organization to the ground and do serious damage to their reputation in the city.

    Good people work there and they do not deserve what Mike Shields is giving them. I hope they see the self interest that Mike Shields is promoting and take the appropriate actions to seek his removal in that capacity. He is clearly not fit to serve.

    At the end of the day, this meeting was all for show, just like Dickert's meeting are in the next couple of weeks. Racine is witnessing a pissing contest.

    I have advice for Mayor Dickert and Mike Shields. Resolve your differences like real men - do it man to man and keep it out of the public eye. Neither of you are doing any justice to the positions you hold and to the city you serve. It is time to end the stupidity of this one-upsmanship and get to work.

    There are times for campaigns and this ain't it. Start acting like grownups, please.

    And yes - this tape should be made public. Mike Shields has to pay the price and learn a lesson. I'm sure there must be something damaging on there otherwise he wouldn't be hiding it.

  20. I guess it didn't turn out like Sheelds wanted, huh?

  21. If you are interested in hearing about this meeting call Mike Shields instead of all of the innuedo. I am sure he has nothing to hide and I do not believe that is the reason the video is not being aired. There were at least four pastors in the meeting so stop your speculating. I heard people speak about all people living in Census Tracts 1-5 and why the grant's money allocated to these areas keeps getting diverted to other areas within the city. There was alot more discussed than what the JT reporter chose to write. Journalists have a way of sensationalizing a story otherwise why would the JT still have a readership at all? I think after all of your suggestions I will take a trip downtown when the bars are closing and I will ask the Mayor to go with me. Thank you all for the suggestion.

  22. File an FOI request.

  23. 10:04

    Members of the public where there.

  24. I was there and the meeting was not bashing the mayor or bashing anyone for that matter. Ald. Kaplan and Donnie Snow were in attendance as was Morris Reece. I think it would be very informative for the public to see this. It really was not what alot of you think it was.

  25. Jeff Van Koningsfeld was in attendnace as well as that Ryan kid from community for change

  26. "The NAACP said that besides the mayor it has contacted fifty community leaders representing all races, cultural and social-economic classes within the city."

    That quote came from the NAACP press release for the event. Sure doesn't sound open to the public to me.

  27. To assume that because inner city clergy attended Shields' meeting that nothing nefarious happened is naive.

    Many have their own turf to protect and vested interests to manage. Just because a guy has his collar turned backwards doesn't mean he's a paragon of virtue.

  28. This is stupid.....Attend the real issues in this city

  29. 10:35

    Any other Alderman there? So far we have Shields and Kaplan.

  30. Wasn't this the March 6th meeting where Mike Sheilds was supposed to deliver some big plan or something?

    Let's see the tape! I want to see what Mike Shields came up with for solutions.

  31. "Scott (Nelson) was there, but it only seemed like he was fixing a problem with powerpoint. He only came after Shields called him because he couldn't get the presentation to work and the meeting was running late. Nothing was said about CAR 25 at that point or putting this meeting on the airwaves."

    True BS from who ever said that. Scott was there to tape. Many many knew that. Sheilds arranged everything days in advance. THere were more then one phone call made about the taping and would it go on just CAR 25 or on other web pages as well.
    I very munch want to see this tape that my tax money paid for. That Dickert does not want us to see and now it looks like Shields does not want us to see. This is getting more interesting by the day
    I wounder if an open record request would get us the tape?

  32. If the city (taxpayers) paid for this meeting to be video taped - then the taxpayers should have a right to see it.

  33. This has become a major issue in this community because Mike Shields made it a big issue. He stated he had all the answers and now he will not share it.

    Shields has lied to the people of this community for long enough.

    This has nothing to do with Dickert - this was a Shields production.

  34. Do you guys have any idea how many internal CAR25 videos are taped that you NEVER see? Police, Fire, Health Dept. videos are all taped for internal use only and never gets aired. This is no big deal folks! Focus on some import issues within the community and drop this dumb sh-it!

  35. Hey Shields - How dare you raise a stink about getting only your black people jobs when there are people of ALL colors, many with years of work experience and actual HS or college degrees looking for work?

    Many of your constatuants need swift kicks in the as* and stop asking for handouts becuase they are black. It's really angering many people in this town. Call off the NAACP and grow up you big baby. We are ALL in this together.

  36. technicalstress3/11/2010 9:58 AM

    IMO - Every meeting held by elected officials should he taped if requested since they all answer to we the voters who pay thier salaries with our tax dollar. These tapes should be logged in a repository and available as public record.

  37. I don't buy for one minute that anyone in the meeting didn't realize it was being video taped, except for possibly a blind person. Don't tell me you couldn't see the cameraman operating the device.

    As far as airing it, if any meeting is being held in any city owned facility and the people conducting the meeting are city representatives/administrators, etcetera, then the meeting should most definitely be aired. These facilities, personnel and equipment are all being paid for by taxpayer dollars and should thereby be required to be accessible to the general public.

    Any time there is a city represented gathering of any type, the citizens should not be omitted from it. Enough with the secretive backroom dealing. We are tired of our politicians proclaiming open and transparent government and then excluding us from closed door sessions. They're all a bunch of hypocrites and liars and every last one of them should be voted out and replaced.

  38. Pure race carding

  39. I was waiting for Shields and his friends to play the race card. Must be nice to have a place to hide.

  40. "I don't buy for one minute that anyone in the meeting didn't realize it was being video taped, except for possibly a blind person. Don't tell me you couldn't see the cameraman operating the device."

    I don't know how they set this one up, but city hall chambers has built in cameras. There might not have been someone running around with a hand-held. It is possible if they didn't have a cameraman that people didn't know they were being filmed.

  41. Meetings in City Hall must be requested and approved ahead of time. I would like to see a dated copy of that request Pete and Dustin.

  42. Oh yeah, wasn't there a big stink made during the mayoral race by Bob Turner regarding use of city hall? Thought they needed insurance, etc from now on.

  43. This whole thing sounds strange. Has Mike Shields or the NAACP been contacted for comment?

  44. So Shields goes around complaining about back door deals and then holds a private meeting behind closed doors on taxpayer time and refuses to turn over the tape? Is any of this even legal?

  45. Gardner PLEASE you are smarter then that

  46. Mike Shields is the new Richard Nixon I guess. He wire-tapped his own guests.

  47. Where is the outrage and allegations from Storm Racine and George Meyers?

    They have been promiting Shields for weeks.

  48. Storm Racine has been getting cozy to Shields. IMHO it is because Wayne Clingman wants Shields to become mayor and appoint him to lead CAR 25.

  49. Wayne Clingman3/11/2010 6:18 PM

    That's great needed the giggle. I am far too busy making content for CAR 25 to be ob the Cable Commission again. Oh the full list of my running podcast would be

    Indy Film Wisconsin: when ever I can get one in
    Green Racine Podcast and TV show we look at why/how Milwaukee is doing so much more then Racine with Urban Gardens and Season by Season Farm
    Storm Racine with George Meyers Thursday or Friday at 9:00 AM

    More Car 25 Show like Small Business Racine

  50. Oh one last thing and the PIO should take notes. You can make your own content for CAR 25, You Tube, Pod casts and other very cool ways to get your message out for FREE its called the internet.
    Many free easy to use tools but of course that would mean PIO you would need a clue on how media works today vs thinking that its still the 50's. Good luck with that

  51. Well it should be pretty obvious that "Graham" has never set foot in the Council Chambers or perhaps City Hall. Graham, if you think that "cameramen" are running around filming people, you need to join the 21st (or maybe even the 20th) Century. I've always wondered about your "intelligence". Please keep blogging to remove all doubt!

  52. Shields held a close door meeting in a very public building-he excluded the press and other public officials. So much for being inclusive, Shields should resign from Coming Together Racine because he is trying to polarize the races for his own gain. Isn't this sunshine week? The media should request that Shields release the tape of the meeting! If Shields used city resources and city staff and refuses to release the tape, the DA should charge him with malfeasence in office and he can join hizzoner in Waupon.

  53. But we can't see it. I am really more than annoyed at the audacity of Shields. Closed meetings in our city hall. He needs to hold them somewhere else and we need to stop tip toeing around this jerk. He has played the race card and I am bored with it and he is the little boy who cried wolf. I doubt more than a handful of people of color would want this guy as their leader.

  54. There are far too many black leaders in Racine attempting to own dual, sometimes conflicting, roles of leadership. Generally, this is the result of one person seeking more power, rather than genuinely attempting to find solutions for this community. What you end up with is just a few blacks "representing" the overall community. I wish some of these folks would step aside on at least one role and allow other leaders to emerge.

    The only person I've ever seen capable of handling dual roles is QA Shakoor. A couple for whom it hasnt worked so well - Shields (attempting to balance NAACP leadership and aldermanic duties) and James Wilson (balances operating Parks & Rec, but also sits on the committee that funds it). Ken Lumpkin also tried to jump in the dual role game when he attempted to have a seat as both an alderman and a county supervisor.

    Why is there such a need for dual roles? Don't these guys trust up and coming leaders? In the end, with the exception of Shakoor, this is hurting the community much more than it is helping it.

    I mean, look at Shields, he can't find the line between his two roles.

  55. * My apologies..that should be Donnie Snow as head of Parks and Rec, not James Wilson. Mr. Wilson is a fine individual who has been working diligently and passionately on behalf of the community for years and I regret accidentally indicating his name in such a negative post.

  56. Shields needs to hire a PIO person so he can respond to these comments. I think his friend Wayne Clingman is available.

  57. "Do you guys have any idea how many internal CAR25 videos are taped that you NEVER see? Police, Fire, Health Dept. videos are all taped for internal use only and never gets aired. This is no big deal folks!"

    Last I checked, evertything you mentioned is a government entity. The NAACP (of which I am a member,) is not.

  58. Anon 8:30, you just showed us your low level of intelligence. The reason I made my remark is because the several times that I've been to the city council meetings I have SEEN the camera and operator standing off to the left side of the room doing the filming. Maybe you should attend a meeting before spouting off about something you apparently know nothing about.

  59. I've seen that cameraman too. The built in cameras in city hall, that I'm aware of, are only security cameras and not for CAR-25 use.