I can't believe it! What a sucky week/month/year it's been for Wisconsin tradition. First, Brett Favre retires--which, if you believe the almost 24-hour news coverage of a choked up Brett Favre tearfully telling his fans he just doesn't have the heart to keep on playing, Wisconsinites have been plunged into a deep dark depression--a cold, grey, athletic, nuclear winter. Thankfully, TV land has plenty of psychiatrists to help us all through our grief counseling. But no sooner did we get past the denial stage in our Green Bay grieving process did we get hit with a double loss: Bowling is leaving Milwaukee. That's right, folks, the United States Bowling Congress is picking up and moving to Arlington Texas to cozy up with a bowling owner's association. The USBC leaving Milwaukee is no different than other near or actual catastrophes to hit the region: Midwest Airlines leaving Milwaukee (sort of), Gen Con leaving Milwaukee (and yes, it still hurts the geek in me) or Miller leaving Milwaukee.
What's that? Miller's leaving Milwaukee? OK, so that hasn't happened QUITE yet, but I'm very pessimistic about the outlook. After all, Milwaukee isn't the brewing hub it once was. Of course, Milwaukee isn't quite the job hub it was, either. Milwaukee has seen a steady stream of companies close, reduce labor forces, or otherwise run for the border over the last few decades. In any event, Miller's headquarters is almost certainly to move to some "neutral turf", and unless someone gets their tail in gear, the chances of keeping their production here seems similarly ill-fated.
County Executive: You know, this time around I briefly considered voting for Walker. I know, I'm shocked, too. Let me explain what was going on in my head, because there were several things. In no particular order, first, I think his pseudo-revolution has come, pun intended, full-circle, and the Board of Supervisors has finally regained its sense of balance and independence. That means that our elected supervisors are back to doing what they need to be doing--working on the County Budget and finding real solutions to our problems. No one likes paying more in taxes, but Walker's anti-tax-increase position stand doesn't have nearly the force (morally, politically, or economically) that it once did. Increasingly, he is becoming a relic. The fallout of the scandal that saw his rise has been fading away. Thus, I think that the Supervisors can--and are--standing up to him. That's a good sign. Also, Walker's perceived right-of-center views on a bunch of issues certainly turn me off. But so what? Being a county executive means, literally, being an executive--an enforcer. Most of those policies I'd fear, in my opinion, are not able to see the light of day because his job is not a policy job like most political jobs. It is a non-partisan, largely managerial position. And heck, there's really nothing evil about someone who just wants to save money, right? I mean, that's a laudable goal. That means that we should be able to give someone a bit of a break and look to see what the job is that he's doing. Plus he's got several years of experience under his belt. So why, then, NOT vote for Walker, if I could hypothetically overlook his perceived shortcomings? For me it's simple. Lena Taylor to me appears to be bright, passionate, and motivated. She's also seen the effects of the policies that Walker has implemented, and rightly fears the continual decline or elimination of county services or involvement in transit, parks, the House of Correction and Community Correctional Center. She may be the least experienced, and might not have the executive experience that Walker has, but I think that it's time to try someone new on for size. Let's vote for Lena.
Next on my list? County Supervisor. And for that I pick: Theo Lipscomb. Theo Lipscomb is a bright, upstart guy who already has experience in real estate and community development. He has local roots in Glendale. And he's a nice guy. But most importantly, he's pretty sharp, too. The supervisor election is an important one because no incumbent will appear on the ballot. Including the incumbent. The incumbent for the district that encompasses most of Glendale going South is James White. I have to say, he appears to be an intelligent fellow with experience. But he has never represented the people of Glendale. In fact, he only did after the districts were redrawn a few years ago and he got a big chunk of our community. When he went out collecting signatures, he had a significant number thrown out--almost a third, if I recall, because he went to people that weren't in his district anymore for their nomination. That tells me he's out of touch with our community. Lipscomb is wise (and, I think it's fair to say, a bit ballsy), because he took on the challenge of running a massive write-in campaign after White was not allowed to be placed on the ballot. I think that freshness of perspective and smarts merits a vote.
Well, duh! Who did you think I'd endorse? You know, I think I've done a good job of keeping my political activities out of my blog, but I feel that now is the time to step forward and tell you guys why I feel I am the better candidate.
Let me preface that with a few brief thoughts. Although people are not always happy with how their government performs regardless of which level of government, overwhelmingly I hear praise about Glendale. And I share in that praise. Our fellow residents love the city and the 4th District, and our schools. Glendale shares a strong communal identity unparalleled in other North Shore areas. However, many residents see the need for improvement in some areas, and feel that they are either dissuaded from being able to fully express their concerns or their concerns are overlooked and the status quo is maintained. The common threat is that people want to see a bit more common sense in their leadership. They want the community to be brought together, not torn apart. And they want to feel they are being heard.