Whitewater has been a mess since long before the lockdowns. I watched during the lockdowns as our city leadership hid from the public (via online meetings) for as long as they possibly could. I watched them as they locked down our city. They masked our children. While the ANTIFA riots were going on, the city (led by former City Chair Lynn Binnie and Brienne Brown) entertained the political agendas of the ANTIFA and BLM leaders. I watched a special meeting called in order to attempt to prevent college kids from gathering in their yards.
There has been some reprieve. Cameron Clapper and Lynn Binnie are out at the city. This is addition by subtraction and can be the start of profound change in Whitewater.
Interim City Administrator John Weidl clearly has been given a goal of getting the November referendum passed. Is this action by Weidl in the interests of the citizens of Whitewater? I do not believe it is. I find it quite disappointing that his first actions as city administrator is to kowtow to those on the side of higher taxes.
The city is paying an outside firm ~$40,000 (if the city wants to give me the exact number I will post it here) to “inform” voters about the referendum. There is language they cannot use, but in my humble opinion, they are more or less promoting the referendum. With one of the fancy presentations (I assume created by the PR firm), Weidl claims that taxes will go down even if both referendums (school and city) pass. Some questions:
- Is Weidl claiming that EVERY SINGLE RESIDENCE in Whitewater will receive a reduction in city taxes even if this referendum passes? (This appears to be his claim.)
- Is this a one year reprieve in twenty years worth of tax increases? That would be my guess.
Again, I am pretty disappointed in Weidl. To come off so aggressive and be so divisive right away… ugh.
- The city wasted so much time and money with lockdown politics. The ridiculous discussions over restrictions and masks cost the city plenty of money.
- Was Police Chief Aaron Raap fired (at least in part) because he wrote no tickets for the silly city mask mandate? Was his firing (at least in part) due to the sympathies of Brown and Binnie to the Defund the Police Movement?
- Was there truly a need to spend millions of dollars on new fire trucks? Why did the city not do a study of the cost benefit of maintaining the existing equipment? Was it a quid pro quo for EMS leadership?
- Our city has committed millions of dollars to add to the library. I have heard a “need” for additional conference room space. Apparently no one gave them the memo that we have a university with hundreds of rooms right here in Whitewater.
- How can we take seriously a city that screwed up Cravath and Trippe Lakes so badly?
So my take is this referendum is a referendum on the leadership of Whitewater. I cannot see a situation in which I vote for this referendum. So after it fails in November, let’s vote out more of the progressives in the spring.
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Have a great day!