Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Outside Government Actions Drain Milwaukee Economy

Economic development in Milwaukee is being willfully undermined by other government officials and public bodies.

* Gov. Scott Walker killed the rail line between Milwaukee and Madison, thus wiping out the train assembly portion at a manufacturing plant opened by Talgo, Inc., in Milwaukee's economically-depressed 30th St. corridor. Talgo announced it will move its assembly business to a more rail-friendly state in 2102 to serve a growing US market for high-speed trains.

* The Eaton Corp, a long-time presence in the 30th St. Corridor, is said to be considering relocating to the Milwaukee County Research Park on the County Grounds in Wauwatosa. That would move 145 jobs to the suburbs and blow another hole in central city development.

Updated information shows this moving closer to happening.

Remember that the 30th St. Corridor was to be on the light rail line for passengers and the location for the system's maintenance shops - - but opposition from then-Gov. Tommy Thompson, then-Assembly Majority Leader Scott Jensen and then-Waukesha County Executive Dan Finley - - all out-of-Milwaukee Republicans - - killed light rail within the city.

And we will see more of Milwaukee's economy pulled away from the city if UW-M is allowed to build its new engineering school on the County Grounds - - a deal facilitated by Milwaukee County's interest in selling land and Wauwatosa's use of public TIF loan dollars to help induce the construction of a business incubator to accompany the engineering school.

* Walker is also proposing severe siting and permitting restrictions for wind turbines, jeopardizing $500 million of investment statewide, and hurting probable turbine sales by Ingeteam, a wind turbine manufacturer building a plant in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley.

Walker is doing this to please real estate interests out-state who want to market rural home sites without a turbine anywhere on the horizon - - regardless of job losses in Milwaukee, implications for air quality, or creating a more balanced energy mix statewide.

None of these developments with negative consequences for Milwaukee come through the mythical unseen hand of the marketplace. This is government of, by and for special interests - - engineered by the Governor,  Milwaukee County, the City of Wauwatosa and UWM.

It would be nice to hear from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce on these issues, but it helped pay for pro-Walker campaign ads, stood mute when the train was killed and has long tolerated crushing unemployment in Milwaukee's central city.


Anonymous said...

Here’s a video from a homeowner 1600 feet from a wind turbine. Definitely some decibel issues.


here’s the website dedicated to Wisconsin wind farms.


Walkers plan is looking more and more sensible to me.

Anonymous said...

Here’s what wind turbines sound like with a 700 meter (approx 2300 feet) setback, or 500 feet farther than the Walker proposal. It would seem that if anything is placing a pleasant, livable environment in peril, it is most likely these things.


Anonymous said...

But wasn't it refreshing to hear Gov Walker state that his mother's 50 year friendship with a black woman meant more to him than anything that his Baptist minister father ever said from the pulpit? Not really.

Did anyone else notice that Walker completely failed to say exactly what it was that was important to him about that long term relationship he witnessed as he stumbled through the ending of his pointless remarks closing the MLK ceremonies at the state capitol yesterday?

With Walker and his state house wrecking crew seemingly bent on preventing job creation, enabling destruction of environmental regulations and promoting instituting further and continued repression of minorities and the poor with voter ID and doing away with same day voter registration, I was struck following the speech by author and Professor Michelle Alexander, who after quoting from the theme of her book The New Jim Crow, reciting the litany of repressive and negative measures perpetrated on black men during the last 30 years, I was simply and immediately struck at just how hypocritical and disingenuous Walker's appearance at the MLK day ceremonies really was.

A truly sad affair for our state.


Anonymous said...

I listened to the youtube video, and you can hear wind from the guy's porch. The horror! The horror! What a crybaby. It would be a lot louder if you lived 1600 feet from a coal-fired power plant, or 1600 feet from a mountain-top removal coal mine, or even a road that has cars and trucks on it. I have spent a lot of time working near wind turbines, and they are just not very loud.