Today is

Friday, May 26, 2017

Janesville Just Borrowed $18.7M To Pretend Like "It's Working"

I can understand some folks thinking that Janesville, like most other medium sized urban centers in Wisconsin, is defying Gov. Scott Walker's cuts in state aid and his restrictions on local budgets by borrowing more and spending more than they need ...and they think they're winning.

Problem is; IT IS precisely the opposite. Walker is winning this battle. Easily.

This week the seven-member Janesville city council with only one council member dissenting, approved borrowing almost $19 million. The debt note, the second largest amount in the past 10 years - is just in time for the 2018 election cycle.

So over the course of the next 12 months, Janesville will look busy tearing out the Monterey Dam, building river terraces, installing downtown water fountains, filling potholes and fixing curbs ...and the stories out of the Janesville Gazette will be how things are looking up and how we have Gov. Scott Walker and his reforms to thank. In fact, the Gazette wasted no time in a recent editorial describing how downtown's turnaround is starting to feel real.

According to the city's memorandum on the borrowing note, the largest portion – more than $4 million will be used for street repairs. Keep in mind that Janesville's streets are in "Forward Janesville" condition. Forward Janesville led a campaign to shift major state dollars away from local roads. They also happen to be Scott Walker's local booster club.

Another $800K will be spent on Janesville Jets ice arena "updates." Unfortunately, everything seems to be updated for the Jets, but their rent ...and $1.9M toward Forward Janesville's downtown ARISE gimmick. All non-essentials and spending beyond the city's means.

So Janesville is borrowing big to make it look like it's working. It's an old trick for re-election prime time.

Will Wisconsin's urban communities ever catch on they're being played? I doubt it.

No comments:

Post a Comment