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Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Top Ten Stories In Janesville 2021

#10 The influential lobby Forward Janesville, who previously endorsed every local tax hike imaginable, shut down a city proposal for a new transportation utility tax for streets when they discovered their membership businesses, religious orgs and non-profits were not exempt.

#9 SHINE dropped "Medical" from its name, became an affiliate of pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps Koch Network, picked up a $35M Federal grant, announced expanding in the Netherlands and caught the attention of Propublica.

#8 The hole left on the city's southside grows deeper as the owner/developer of the former GM site auctions off the property. The southside becomes the portrait of the city's recovery efforts after a top official calls the move "cut and run."

#7 For Sale signs soon popped up on several longtime properties in the banquet and convention industry after the city signaled taxpayer funds to remodel the privately owned Uptown Mall. More collateral losses are expected in 2022.

#6 A private equity firm buys a 100 year old manufacturer in former union town Janesville then moves production to Mexico leaving 160 employees out in the cold.

#5 Unsportsmanlike conduct at area high schools goes beyond the game field as teens mock opposing cities with veiled racist and classist memes. Adults on social media say it's all in fun. But when the score is run up ...outrage!

#4 With every attempt by the city to catalyze growth for wealthy north side and downtown elites, disenfranchised south side residents take to social media asking for basics are ignored.

#3 The suggestion by the Jets owner to use COVID-19 relief money on a new ice arena was headline news in Janesville. But instead of outright rejection and shame, 6 of 7 city council members embraced the idea and earmarked $2M for designer plans.

#2 Residents see rocketing quarterly utility bills and the vehicle tax doubled yet again as the city shifts more property tax obligations to utility billing while maintaining and increasing the levy draw.

#1 Janesville continues to flounder without an elected mayor and city council representative of its neighborhoods.

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