Three candidates will be on the ballot for the City of Racine 10th District Common Council seat during the primary election Feb. 20. The two people with the most votes will run against one another in the spring election on April 3.
Racine County Eye asked all three candidates to name three of the biggest challenges facing Racine, identify the long-term goals you have for the City and why you chose them.
Here’s how the candidates answered:
ADDRESS: 3333 Drexel Ave.
EVER HELD POLITICAL OFFICE BEFORE? No
Racine has become known as a crime-ridden, failing community. We must repair that image for the emotional well being of those who live here and to show others that Racine is a safe and welcoming community to locate to.
We desperately need to strengthen our financial footing. Immediately cease all major capital improvement projects until Racine’s debt is reduced by at least 25 percent. This will improve our bond rating and bring about much-needed tax relief.
City Hall is “top heavy” for a city the size of Racine. We have work to do to be more efficient for all citizens of Racine, evaluating and making adjustments to our hiring of department heads and how those current roles are being filled. We need to have priorities clearly aligned, as well as making fiscally responsible hiring decisions. Living and working within the city is an important aspect of one’s background. We need to strive to find people within our city who know and care for Racine’s needs. #LiveRacineToKnowRacine
What are the three biggest challenges Racine faces and how would you address them?
Too many citizens of Racine do not feel engaged with their community and feel like they are being governed rather than being represented. It’s very telling that most of our local festivals have abandoned Festival Park and youth sports leagues have relocated to outlining municipalities.
- We need to make a better effort to make Racine an inclusive community that our citizens can develop a sense of true ownership.
- Small businesses have been complaining about the heavy burden of regulations and preconditions that must be met prior to opening their doors to the public. They are an important part of Racine’s economy and need relief.
- No employers of significant size have located in Racine for a long time, even though there are several sites available to them. We need to explore the possibility of a waiver of some of the state regulations on internet service and make it available here if possible. It is a basic need for modern commerce.
ADDRESS: 2770 Chicory Road
EVER HELD POLITICAL OFFICE BEFORE? No
The first long-term goal should be to reduce the debt the city is in. This will allow for the second goal, which is a major infrastructure upgrade which includes repaved roads and traffic signal upgrades, streetlight upgrades, high-speed fiber optic installation, and lead pipe removal. The high-speed fiber optic installation would be a priority, in order to attract varied tech companies and other modern businesses which have enriched many other cities across the country. With the first and second goals being met, the third long-term goal would be to invest in more public services, such as a healthcare facility for the 53403 zip code.
Racine has many challenges and most, if not all, stem from unemployment and poverty. The leadership in Racine needs to overcome its fantasy that one big project will solve all of the issues that face the city. Multiple small, targeted projects in the areas of Racine that need it the most will begin the revitalization of the city. Couple that with infrastructure projects mentioned earlier, and that will attract people and businesses to come back to Racine.
ADDRESS: 2517 Pinehurst Ave.
EVER HELD POLITICAL OFFICE BEFORE? Yes
I would like to (1) attract more families and businesses to Racine, (2) broaden the tax base to lessen the burden on taxpayers, and (3) broaden the transportation options for accessing the city of Racine.
The three challenges are reflected in the previous response. To attract families and businesses we must (a) recycle housing, brownfields and business space to have available stock at all times, (b) do all we can to present Racine as a positive vibrant community, and (c) market the advantages we have over the neighboring communities. To broaden the tax base, we must again do all we can to draw families and businesses and send the message that they are welcome here. To broaden transportation options we need to partner with the state and county to develop road access beyond highways 11 and 20, and we also need to find well-resourced partners in the public and private sector to address rail needs between Chicago, Milwaukee, and Racine.