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This is the fifth of five questions the six mayoral candidates answered for Racine County Eye. We’ll have a round up and voter guide Friday.
The primary election will be held Sept. 19. The two candidates with the most votes will then be on the ballot for the special election on Oct. 17.
Their answers were submitted to Racine County Eye and lightly edited. Last week we highlighted their biographical information.
What is your stance on the hotel and convention center and why?
Some candidates lukewarm on hotel, event cent project
As of now, the only thing that has happened is several million (dollars) spent on Machinery Row, that we may or may not recoup, our state tax credits for that project we are in jeopardy of losing, the event center right now has a price tag of $55 Million dollars with no guarantee that it will be a sustainable venture. Could it be a good idea, maybe but not at this time.
If they demonstrate through a referendum that they strongly support pushing public debt to what I consider an economically dangerous level, I will do my best to implement their wishes. But people should clearly understand that I do not endorse that strategy and they may prefer to vote for some candidate who does. If there are private developers who are willing to commit their own money to this project, I will be happy to work with them. Until they identify themselves, there are much more important issues I intend to address.
Overall, I oppose it. Still I respect the citizens voice and they should vote on it. The citizens should also understand how much debt the city is in and the impact of this convention center.
As a pastor when I am faced with the thought of building to expand our worship center there has to be a necessity for the expansion and the resources to pay for it without incurring more debt than what can be paid down. I considered expanding once before and the formula I used to expand our worship center was first we had to fill the sanctuary 3 times a Sunday for at least three Sundays a month for three consecutive years and the income had to exceed our expenses and we had to be debt free.
We have not built yet because that hasn’t happened. The city does not fill up the Festival Hall, nor the Memorial Hall and they have been underutilized and our budget is already tight and we still are paying off the debt from these facilities and they have operated in the red more times than them breaking even or profiting.