April 18, 2010

City Notes: New council installed this week; Ethics policy gets a re-write; Chickens are coming!

Newly elected City Council members will be sworn into office on Tuesday.

Two new faces are joining the council. Dennis Wiser in the 10th District and Eric Marcus in the Second District will be seated. Wiser replaces Kelli Stein, who declined to run for election after being appointed to the council. Marcus replaces Bob Anderson, who declined to seek re-election.

Also Tuesday, the council will elect a new City Council president. It's looking like a two-horse race to replace Alderman Q.A. Shakoor II as the council's top officer. Aldermen Jeff Coe and Greg Helding are vying for the position. The vote has a little more meaning this year because of the city's new succession plan, which says the City Council president becomes mayor if something happens to the elected mayor.

The City Council is also meeting Monday night to take care of its regular business. Here's a look at Monday night's agenda:

Ethics Policy
The city's Ethics Policy is getting a re-write. The new policy, included on Monday's agenda, more concretely spells out the ethical expectations of city employees and officials. Among the changes: A policy that specifically says violating any portion of the city's "Computer Hardware and Software Policy" constitutes an ethical violation. No doubt that was spelled out after the former mayor was caught with compromising photos and Internet chats on his computers. You can read the new policy here. Scroll to the last item on the agenda.

Bike races back in Downtown Racine
The "Superweek" bike races will be back in Downtown Racine for the third consecutive year. Dave Blank, president and CEO of Real Racine, is seeking input from the city on the race course through Downtown. In his letter to the city, Blank said organizers had threatened to move the races to Roosevelt Park on the south side, but downtown merchants agreed to support the races.

Office space
The Root Pike Watershed Initiative hopes to rent office space in the City Hall Annex. The city offers discounted, or even free, office space to some groups in the Annex.

Dragon Boats
The Dragon Boat Races will be back this year. They're scheduled for July 9 and 10 at Meyers Beach just off of Pershing Park Drive. The races are organized by Racine's Rotary Clubs.

Cruz in for the Cause
The Redline Tavern is planning the eighth annual "Cruz in for the Cause" benefit to support Safe Haven of Racine. The event is scheduled for July 17 and will be held on North Wisconsin Street between Hamilton and Hubbard.

Urban chickens
The chickens are coming! Or, at least debate over chickens is coming. Alderman Greg Helding is requesting an ordinance that would allow city residents to keep up to four chickens in their yards for personal use. The ordinance will start at the Public Safety and Licensing Committee, but no doubt several committees will want a crack at this ordinance. A few of Helding's proposed restrictions: no roosters, no egg sales and no slaughtering chickens in the city. For more on the proposal, visit: Belle City Chickens.

Monument Square Art Fair
The Monument Square Art Fair is back. Organizers want to rent their customary lakefront space on June 12-13 this year.

Plant sale
Racine Neighborhood Watch hopes to use the City Annex parking lot for its plant sale fundraiser pickup on Saturday, May 15 from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday was the deadline to order plants from the nonprofit.

Parade routes
Prior to Monday's City Council meeting, there will be a Committee of the Whole meeting. The main legislative item on the agenda is Coe's request to waive fees for the St. Patrick's Day and holiday parades through Downtown Racine. In order to bring the city on as a sponsor, the City Council would need to amend an ordinances that currently restricts city sponsorship to the Fourth Fest and Memorial Day parades. Coe's idea got a chilly reception from the Finance and Personnel Committee.


  1. Apparently Greg Helding has never been woken up by a rooster every morning.... Maybe the ordinance needs to specifically state "hens".

  2. Whoops, I see it does prohibit roosters. Never mind.

  3. Who is going to enforce this new set of rules? If you want to live on a farm, move outside of the city limits and go for it. The rats and racoons in the city will kill off most of the foul, so this may be a moot point. Our money and time would be better spent on more important city issues.

  4. Anon 6:31:

    Couldn't the same be said for dogs? I don't think police will have to shoot any trained killer chickens, if this goes through. I like dogs, but they're a much bigger "nuisance" than chickens.

  5. Whats the issue with Egg sales? I know that KRM going to pave the streets with Gold, until then even a few bucks a month be nice for the many unemployed (Thanks Dickert) in Racine

  6. Rats, Mice, Smell, need I say more?

  7. You probably should say more, since you just described...

    1) what happens when you leave trash containers open

    2) what happens when you don't keep up your yard

    3) The outside of most restaurants

  8. Rodents are attracted to chicken FEED not the chickens. If you keep your chicken feed in a sealed container and store inside, and if you only feed your chickens as much as they are going to eat and not heaps of food, you don't attract rodents.

  9. Better stop the chickens now because the city will probably not do anything more about that noise than than they do about constantly barking dogs. The city has no problem telling a home owner to paint their house, but if there are too many dogs or too much uncontrolled barking the city seems to be powerless. When it comes to loud chickens they will probably just have egg on their face.

  10. In case no one has noticed, Helding is the problem that is holding Racine back from advancing. Making it hard on new business and NOT creating the proper conditions for this city to thrive. He is not only the problem but the emabrressment this city does not need!

  11. "emabrressment"

    Nice. What public school did you go to?

  12. anon 7:23 - I think allowing the sale of eggs by private citizens opens a whole new can of worms with regard to health department regulations; liability; needing seller's permits, etc.

  13. As long as its clean, there should be no more issue of rodents then any greasy restaurants garbage- in fact quite less. I've seen chickens kill/eat live mice.

  14. If they are going to waive the fees for downtown parades, then they should waive them for other areas also. The West Racine parade went away due to street closing fees.

  15. They aren't going to waive them.

  16. Tim the Shrubber4/19/2010 2:07 PM

    Yes, dogs are an often unchecked problem, but not really a relevant counter argument.

    If chickens are approved, then we will have both dogs and chickens as a problem instead of just dogs.

  17. Greg Helding is the last guy this city wants to be the stand-in mayor, and the only thing that 'might happen to the mayor' is a severe rash from Helding's head being so far up his rear.

  18. Jim the Irish Pubber4/20/2010 4:59 PM

    Tim the Shrubber, you are an ignorant fool.

    Ok, I've finally come out and said it publicly. I have been noticing the complete ignorance of Tim the Shrubber's posts for months now, and couldn't contain myself any longer.

  19. swell. this is two steps back to making racine a place to move into. people live in cities to not have to deal with chickens and farm animals. where exactly does this request begin? what is the origin of greg heldings constituency? how many votes does this represent? how much campaign money? this is as ludicrious as the special street lamps terry mc rammed thru for special representation.