Friday, November 21, 2014

On the Milwaukee streetcar, amen to Journal Sentinel's support

[Updated, 1:40 p.m.] The editorial gets it right. Let's get moving, as all the phony objections over utility costs raised by ideological Walkerites have been resolved.

And boo to political opportunist and perpetually-grouchy Ald. Bob Donovan for begging Republican State Rep. Dale Kooyenga, (R-Brookfield) to butt in and monkey-wrench part of the streetcar system's financing plan with a hurry-up, stick-it-to-Milwaukee-again rewrite of state Tax Incremental Financing law to disallow streetcars system to be built using some TIF dollars.

What's the difference between financing development  - - a big box complex or shopping mall or housing development in the suburbs with TIF funds (google Pabst Farms) - - and development in a city through construction of a development-supporting transportation system?

Didn't a big project in Kooyenga's suburban district just get the benefit of a whopping, expanded TIF district - - all to lure and subsidize the location of an upscale out-of-state department store?

Noted here also a while ago - - to make the point that right-wing politicians like Kooyenga regularly talk about smaller government and a free-market economy but are all to willing to back and benefit from big government's big development tools.

There's even yet another huge, TIF-financed project getting ready for launch in Kooyenga's backyard that will take the last green space off the Blue Mound Rd. corridor?

The right had blocked the streetcar project earlier by interfering in an internal Milwaukee development and transportation plan by applying a double-standard - - while routinely spreading the cost to all taxpayers when utility lines were rerouted in road projects, Walker's majority on the Wisconsin Public Service Commission intervened on behalf of a Bradley Foundation-supported petition and barred the spreading of utility rerouting lines for the Milwaukee streetcar to all utility ratepayers.

A variation on the right's 'Highways, yes, rail transit no' agenda that has mucked up Milwaukee transit options for almost 20 years to protect and enhance suburban growth, and is being continued by the Walker/Robin Vos attack on transit/more billions of borrowed and tax dollars for highways statewide.

So now the anti-city caucus wants a new double-standard: expanded TIF rules for suburban development, but irrational restrictions on TIF in Milwaukee.

This hypocrisy is blatant and infuriating, as it stunts development in a city already hemmed in geographically by a special state law that forbids Milwaukee from annexing a square-inch beyond borders landlocked since the mid-1950's.



Anonymous said...

Dale Kooyenga tours City of Brookfield schools each year, explaining to the students "how a bill becomes a law".

But he probably leaves out the part about how many of those bills are actually written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and quietly slipped into our legislative process.

Anonymous said...

Donovan only survives because of his bigoted appeals to the remaining white mouth breathing racists in his district that never met a negative minority stereotype they didn't treat like the gospel. You know, just like the burbs except they were too unskilled and stupid to afford to move. Good thing their days are numbered because he has zero appeal outside of this demographic.