Friday, March 31, 2017
Strong Field Of Status Quo Council Candidates Guarantee Same Old Janesville
Even a broken clock is right twice a day and the Janesville Gazette got one thing right for a change in their editorial about the nine candidates running for four slots on the Janesville City Council - you can't go wrong voting any one of them in to keep the status quo strong in Janesville.
I don't mean to be a buzz kill for those Janesville voters who are enthusiastically under the impression they can vote out the old and vote in the new to bring change to the city council - but that won't be happening electing anyone from this group.
The only consolation prize, if I may call it that, is Janesville voters will have a chance on Tuesday to dump two incumbents and elect four different faces. But from the interviews I have seen, each one of them is just another brick in the wall. They're just more of the same old.
Why I claim that is because when I look back at the council votes on all the major issues over the past two years, not one of these folks would do anything different. Sure, maybe ...maybe one candidate would vote differently on one major issue out of five or six major issues, but they're facing a deep-seated rubber stamp majority on that issue like Council Member Jens Jorgensen faced on the Monterey Dam.
Don't take my word for it, just ask any of the challengers on which important issues over the past two years would they have voted differently than the outcome of the council's decision - and why. If they need help on which issues, they could start with some of these:
✦ The city's wheel tax.
✦ Bill McCoy's referendum (not the question proposed on the referendum, but allowing his petition to merely go to referendum)
✦ The $2.3M hike in municipal fees to balance a $950K deficit.
✦ The Downtown TIF District (confiscating $1M annually from future property tax growth for the next 27 years.
✦ Any one of Jens Jorgensen's three amendments proposed for the Monterey Dam decision.
✦ The final vote on the Monterey Dam.
After that, they could explain their personal philosophy regarding trickledown economics and how or if it relates to economic development "incentives" and whether they support corporate welfare as a means of creating jobs; or whether they agree with Forward Janesville that Janesville faces an economic "death spiral" if residents don't accept increased tax obligations.
The questions may sound like a lot to ask, but in reality it's simply related to finding the foundational core a candidate holds when making decisions on budgeting and public policy.
Again, from their answers to some questions that barely touched on the above, there was little difference from candidate to candidate.
Even if we were crazy lucky to elect three or four candidates willing to move the needle enough to bring about change, it's still an uphill climb because A.) the at-large council/manager system is designed to defeat the people, B.) the city administration is not only a department to run city operations and public works, it also uses professional resources to campaign for council votes, oftentimes against the will of the people who pay their salaries, C.) loyalty to the "master plan" demands conformity and obedience from all council members, and D.) those who ask the tough questions and ALSO question again the answers in search for truth are viewed as non-conforming rabble rousers, malcontents or duped "poster boys" for the opposition.
The above is nothing new in Janesville, it's been going on for decades. I'm used to it and the local kleptocracy and their city hall tools love it!
So regardless who wins or loses a city council seat on Election Day, if you hear an unusual but faint yawn in the background of your thoughts at bedtime Tuesday night...that'll be me.
Posted by Lou Kaye at 12:01 AM