Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Benefit Or Burden? Janesville's Economic Development Director Resigns
Here's a story from the Janesville Gazette about the City of Janesville's Economic Director (initials V.G.) resigning abruptly from his approximate $100,000/annual job.
It stirred my interest for several reasons. One among them is the fact that it was a same-day resignation/termination supposedly based on personal reasons. Unfortunately, that explanation can cover almost anything, but it's the rest of the twisting story that convinced me that there is more at play here than meets the eye.
The resignation takes on a politically motivated aspect with the "non-partisan" Janesville City Manager, Eric Levitt, sending what appears to be a bizarre memo that same day to the city council (JVL city council is majority FJ and RC5 tools) in defense of the city's work with the notorious Rock County 5.0 business cartel and the equally secretive inter-governmental agency, the Rock County Alliance. At that point, why Forward Janesville is NOT mentioned in this memo becomes a puzzling omission in the story.
Lastly, the city manager states that he might not want to replace V.G. with another economic development director anyways and suggests instead he may want to "contract" with outside organizations (no kidding), or spread the director's responsibilities among several others within the department. Apparently, all of this came bubbling up on the same day and because the Gazette is unwilling to ask the right questions or poke holes in the veneer, you can just about draw any conclusion your imagination allows out from the story.
So what's going on here?
Last week, I observed and wrote about a noticeable change in the area's "divide and conquer" philosophy for economic development as drawn from the Gazette's publicity story about the business cartel's annual lobby day in Madison.
As noted in the posting, for the first time in years, the Gazette made no mention or caption in their report identifying the private special interest groups' Rock County 5.0, Forward Janesville or their officials participation at the event. Instead, the newspaper wrote about teams and "civic leaders," included a caption of City Manager Levitt and named several area legislators as "united" in pushing the legislative agenda of the special interest group. I felt the group's dominating presence in the newspaper's previous lobby day articles compared to their obvious absence today was a significant change in their strategy, if not a new media direction.
Keep in mind that the right-wing engineers running the Rock County 5.0 believe Wisconsin's high standards of worker's rights, wages and government regulations are burdens that must be eliminated while they promote government collectivist hand-outs and tax credit legislation for themselves under the guise of job creation.
The resignation of the city's economic development director however brings an additional association. In this newspaper article from last year, V.G. was seen actively participating in Rock County's 2012 "Lobby Day" event along with officials of the Rock County 5.0 and Forward Janesville. For this year however, V.G. was not mentioned or captioned in the Gazette's Lobby Day story from two weeks ago. This, only to be followed by his resignation/dismissal and a defensive posture from the city manager. Is there any connection? I don't want to read too much into it except that it does follow an expected pattern.
It also confirms that recent movements occurring in their "divide and conquer" strategy show that they have battened down the hatches and are in full battle gear. What this means is Forward Janesville and the Rock County 5.0 are calling the shots and have acquired so much power that they have legislators and local public employees doing their bidding and lobby work and because they've successfully reversed the pursuit, folks working in local government appear to be in subservient fear of losing their jobs more now than ever.
There is little doubt that a major part of the business cartel's philosophy is the elimination of any perceived burdens on their self-interest economic development. If that perception has any merit and I think it does, the director's position of Janesville's economic development department may have been designated as one of those unnecessary burdens.
Note: As in the past, I've used only the initials of the resigning economic director as a courtesy to his privacy from name-searching web crawlers.
Rock Netroots - Economic Development Group Sees No Value In Economic Development Center (Nov. 2010)
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:04 AM