This is the first of five questions the six mayoral candidates answered for Racine County Eye. We’ll have four more over the next few days. Their answers were submitted to Racine County Eye and lightly edited.
On Wednesday we highlighted their biographical information.
Name three long-term goals you have for the City and why you chose them:
Recycling of electronics, building a coalition of people to effect change and revitalization of our housing market. My job is to develop top talent for our community to thrive on.
Make supporting our local businesses first, develop a sustainable budget and work to increase the employment opportunities for our citizens.
I see it as vitally important that we return fiscal responsibility to our local government. Racine taxpayers are among the most heavily taxed in Wisconsin yet we have seen services reduced while our debt load has increased. We are on an unsustainable path and we must reduce spending on projects that should be funded by private investors and focus on the less glamorous but fundamentally necessary needs while we reduce our debt load.
We have a beautiful harbor, marina and festival site but they are all underutilized and require annual financial support. I will work with the civic center commission to create policies that allow more people and groups to afford these facilities and hopefully eliminate the need to subsidize them. Under the current management model, they are not stimulating downtown activity as effectively as they should.
We need to restructure the requirements necessary for small businesses to develop in our community. I have heard far too many stories of how people have attempted to open a business only to be saddled with legal start-up costs that consume too much of their capital and divert their time and energy to complying with regulations that do not guarantee public safety. I’ve also heard complaints of inequitable enforcement of our laws and ordinances. This not only discourages business growth, but it could expose the city to legal consequences.
Rebuilding Racine as a city with a thriving middle class. Our generation cannot and will not be the last to realize the American dream in Racine.
Regional cooperation: The greater Racine area is comprised of seven municipalities, and we have a shared future. We must find a way for us to work collaboratively to spur sustainable economic development for everyone. Partnerships are going to be so important to our success moving forward, we need to work together if we are going to succeed.
Better access to infrastructure and the region: In the Midwest, we are the largest city the furthest from an interstate. Connecting us to the interstate and/or using light rail to connect us to the jobs in our region continues to be one of the most important things the City must do.
Reducing the City’s carbon footprint: Climate change is real. Currently, we import all the fossil fuels we use for electricity. By increasing conservation and renewable energy use we can create green energy jobs, save money on energy, and save the planet.
The first goal would be to get as many people as possible in an apprenticeship skill trade program. Right now these jobs are in high demand and we will be pushing to get as many people enrolled in these programs.
The Second goal would be to fight for a prevailing wage here in the City of Racine. The people here have long struggled and usually, have two jobs to just keep afloat.
The third goal would be to committing to 100% renewable energies. We shouldn’t have to wait for Congress or the State. Racine will be moving forward.
The following are not necessarily long term but will take some time to establish and implement.
I truly believe we have to focus on our downtown and its revitalization, as well as our uptown and Douglas corridor to make these business areas more appealing to potential small business owners.
Another goal I would have is the development of a housing mechanism that would actively promote, engage, and implement more home ownership which will increase not only tax base but pride in neighborhoods.
If you’d like to submit a question for all six candidates to answer, please email email@example.com.
To learn more. a series of forums are being held: