So here is my take on the Car 25 debacle. If I am wrong, have some facts skewed, have misunderstandings…all of which is very possible…feel free to let me know.
The Mayor and some on the City Council want to improve Car 25 and produce a more contemporary public access channel like they have in other cities. As it is now – it basically sucks. But it is still a necessary luxury – if that makes any sense. It’s a luxury in the way that it can be a beneficial asset to our city and image. And necessary in the way that the citizens can have access to civic meetings and hearings which they would otherwise miss.
But Car 25 could be made much better and be far more watchable. I think that they want to scoot the operations over to a company who is probably promising to make a better product – one that could enrich and improve our community.
I think that the person who runs it now just cannot do what it would take to make the improvements with the money he has to work with and because of the fact that it is only one guy and not a company who specializes in this industry. I can’t imagine how anyone would run a decent station on less than 100k a year. And I can’t imagine it being a one man operation if it is to compete and compare with contemporary public access channels nationwide. I don’t fault the person running it now, but I think the product that is desired is too much to ask of him.
Some people who are very quick to shoot loogies at the Mayor and anyone who supports him heard the word “privatize” and lost their damn activist minds. They see this company coming in and taking away a job from this guy who has been doing it for a long time. They are looking at this as a 99% v 1% thing. They see this as a cronyism thing (because they love to accuse the Mayor of that and they seem to get points every time they toss out that accusation).
One of Racine’s Aldermen is playing this up and using those typically well-intentioned (well, some of them) people in his battle to muster more hate for the Mayor and to win an election he has no business winning. He said all the right key words to get a few soldiers behind him in his ultimate goal in fucking over Mayor Dickert. This is the same Alderperson who (with others) is currently trying to raise funds for legal fees so they can sue the City of Racine (gee, who will pay for THAT lawsuit??) on baseless charges of racism.
There is a group of people in Racine who have dedicated their lives to getting revenge on the Mayor and his friends. They accuse him of racism and abuse of power. They fill the internet with their false and exaggerated claims. And they could very well win this war because City Hall has craptastic PR. No one is out there giving the answers and explanations which could very likely shut down much of this insanity.
So, basically, this Car 25 thing is an exaggerated, selfishly concocted battle in a drawn-out, schoolyard war. Like I said, this is just how I see it right now being in a position where I can get very few answers and from knowing what I already knew before this particular fight.
The money aspect needs to be explained in detail. The bidding process and entire procedure needs to be laid out before the public (even though most of us will probably understand little of it). And I am sure there is a middle ground which can be reached. But this city is filled will adolescent ego maniacs and all anyone seems to care about is winning. Meanwhile, we will all lose.
It should also be brought to the citizens’ attention that all services in this city are nearing death’s door. The Health Department has been cut to scary * SCARY * levels. Every damn corner is hurting because of these non-existent, bullshit TOOLS that Walker supposedly gave to the municipalities. Cities and Villages were left in a lurch and have been forced to cut everything and take the brunt from the public. Mayors and Administrators all over the state are being forced to be the bad guys while Walker skips and frolics and sings tunes of surplus.
And before anyone brings up the 400k bathroom remodel at City Hall…let me say this (also without having any concrete details)…it is a century old building – an appreciated landmark which should be taken care of to the best of our city’s ability. We should have pride in this building just as we do our Capitol. Renovating a bathroom in a typical home can run thousands and thousands of dollars depending on what needs to be repaired, rebuilt and replaced. A commercial sized bathroom in an old landmark is of course going to cost a ridiculous amount of cash.
Could the costs be brought down? I am guessing so. And perhaps there should be some lassoing in of some loose pockets. But from what I have been told, there is a completely separate fund for which this type of maintenance is allocated. And that this money is not being taken from other budgets. That funding wouldn’t/couldn’t be used for other purposes anyway.
Plus do you want to cheap out now on 4-6 bathrooms which aren’t ADA compliant and will have to be tackled again in 10 years? Or should they do a good job now so they can last 30 years?
So yea…our city is broke. But there is also need for improvement. A city cannot thrive when it is on the brink of falling apart. Sometimes money needs to be shelled out and I bet it is a pretty tough fucking job to figure out the risk/benefit for every spent penny in the city.
One year, our family was completely broke. Our furnace broke down and we obviously couldn’t survive without one. Instead of buying the cheapest thing available just to get us through, we purchased a reliable brand which will last a long time…because honestly, who knows if we will ever be anything other than broke. If you gotta spend the money…then spend it wisely and do the shit right whether it is a furnace, a bathroom or a TV station.
Trying to make everyone happy is futile. But I do wish the city would make more of an effort to tell its side of the story and let people know what they are truly dealing with. And I wish the naysayers would look at all sides and without massive, unfounded chips on their shoulders. Let’s get it together, people.