Yesterday Mayor Dickert was sworn in for his second term and a chance to hone his vision for 4 years. Mayor John has been a well known personality in Racine his entire adult life, and his family name is well know for over a century. Hizhonor the Mayor and I have had been on opposite sides of several issues since his swearing in after the vanquished Mayor Becker left the scene. Mayor John also came into office just as the TEA Party movement was building steam..and drawing more folks into the understanding that Govt. is too big and enough is enough. The new mayor to his credit did attempt to get some spending under control and avoid a large tax increase in his first 2 budgets. I have criticized that he still spent 2 million per year from the reserve fund, and he still increased taxes in both years. It was for those reasons that I and others tried to find a candidate to run against the mayor and every possible Alder-person who was afraid to get spending under control. Remember during this time the City rec'd a bit of "stimulus Money", and put off the need for stronger cuts in those first 2 budgets. I spoke before the council and warned of the coming storm when those funds ran out. I asked the Mayor and the Council to not renew any Union Contracts until after Walkers was sworn in and look at the new "deal" that would be available to us the tax-payers after the Spring elections would be held. For instance today Ald. Fair, Becker, and Morganroth are bound by a bad deal signed a month ago..for their entire 2 year term. It would've been prudent to wait until now to make those votes..and we could even postpone them a few more weeks when the Judge Sumi case is settled. The savings potential for the tax-payers and the ability to save jobs, and not raise taxes might have been missed. It is also reported today that our City's unemployment rate has dropped from a year ago, (We may need to explore if our workforce has grown or not). I did want to salute Mayor John for volunteer effort to clean up the Root River Parkway...and it seems he has finally moved away from the KRM Train idea. I also admire his idea for a great city in his "Ten Year Plan"..despite it's lack of clarity.
Now i have been advised by some friends to watch for the John Dickert 2.0 which was launched yesterday at the swearing in. We are to see a more diligent cost-cutter and more understanding that even the "left" tilting City of Racine is looking for more responsible govt. spending as the new rule. I have printed my own copy of the 2011 Budget, and hope to work with the Mayor and the new Council to make Racine a better, lower taxed, more efficient city for all of us. So Mayor John you have 4 more years, let's make your time well spent. Teh TEA Party is not your enemy..we are looking to see Racine the City folow the direction of the County and all of the surrounding communities. We can either leave Racine a high taxed place or make it lower taxed "Island"...Which will bring more businesses, and middle and upper income residents? I think we all know the answer..let's build a place they will want to call home. In case you weren't listening the Tax increase Referendum went down 60%, the people are not in favor of higher taxes..keep that in mind.
Disclaimer: I placed a bet, (which I almost never do), the bet was a nickel and a 300 page blog of positive commentary of Mayor Dickert. I lost! (Marcus needed at least 40%). So the above is a honest assessment of the first partial term of Mayor Dickert, to fulfill my obligation. But I wanted to be sincere.