I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.
MEDIA CLAMORS FOR RESPONSE FROM CUDAHY MAYOR
Wave and Continental Properties still hope to develop Cudahy Station
MILWAUKEE (May 9, 2008) -- Pressure is rising on the Cudahy Plan Commission to elaborate on its reasons for turning down the Cudahy Station mixed-use development on Tuesday night.
By a 4-3 vote, the panel rejected a 26-acre project that would bring the Milwaukee Wave Premier Training Academy, a Wal-Mart Supercenter and other shops to the empty and blighted Sportsites location. Mayor Ryan McCue cast the deciding “no” vote, and has yet to explain to his constituents why he does not want this one-of-a-kind development in his city.
In Thursday’s Journal Sentinel, business writer Tom Daykin led his piece this way: “Cudahy Mayor Ryan McCue cast the deciding vote against a proposed development anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter and an indoor soccer training facility this week, but he refuses to explain why.” Read the entire article here:
On The Jay Weber Show on WISN-AM this morning, the host strongly criticized the mayor for closing his mind and declining to explain his opposition to the Wave/Wal-Mart plan. Calling the plan a good one, he referred to the falling steel and empty land of the Iceport “a blight, good to no one.” Weber found many callers who agreed. Hear the entire segment here: Pod Cast Part 1 May 9: How hatred leads to stupid decision making. Relates to Cudahy's mayor letting his hate get the best of him.
Wendy Strong of The Business Journal also noted in her report on Thursday night on Fox 6 News that Mayor McCue or the panel members have not explained their reasoning:
Charlie Sykes of WTMJ-AM challenged the notion that Wal-Mart is the bogeyman on his Friday morning show, and posited that Wal-Mart is the solution to the bad economy, not the problem. Listen to parts 2 and 3 of his Friday show here:
Wave Chief Operating Officer Mike Lafferty said that the team and developer Continental Properties have not given up bringing the project to Cudahy.
“We were stunned by the vote, but we believe so strongly that this is a win for both the Wave and the city of Cudahy, that we’re going to continue to pursue this project, for this site, in this city,” Lafferty said. “It makes so much sense, and all we’re asking is for the panel to share with us what they felt was inadequate, so we can improve the plans.”
The Milwaukee Wave Premier Training Academy will be a 60,000-square foot building. It will have one full-size field for Wave training, and four futsal courts on about 40,000 square feet that can be converted into exposition center use. It will be devoted to training players of all levels, and has received the endorsement of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the charitable arm of U.S. Soccer.
Director of Public, Media and Community Relations
Milwaukee Wave professional indoor soccer
O: (414) 908-6352
C: (262) 227-0342
F: (414) 224-9290
Just plain no, the mayor reasoned
By Patrick McIlheran
Friday, May 9 2008, 02:17 PM
Cudahy Mayor Ryan McCue doesn't like Wal-Mart. He won't have one in his city, not if he can help it.
So badly does he not want it that this past week, he broke a tie on the city's plan commission to reject a proposal to put a Wal-Mart supercenter -- the kind with a grocery store inside -- where the rusting hulk of the failed Iceport sits along Nicholson Ave. The development would also have included a soccer training academy planned by the Milwaukee Wave, so no to that, too.
Why not? McCue won't say, reports the Journal Sentinel's Tom Daykin: "McCue on Thursday again declined to cite the factors in his decision. 'I don't have specific comments for that,' McCue said."
"McCue's refusal to explain his vote has frustrated and disappointed Wave executives, said Michael Lafferty, chief operating officer for the Major Indoor Soccer League team.
"'He won't say what's wrong with the plan,' Lafferty said."
Other city officials say it doesn't fit with their 1992 plan. According to CudahyNow, City engineer Craig Faucett "said he has seen positive growth in other cities following the construction of a Wal-Mart, but the downtown master plan does not recommend a large retail development at the former Iceport site.
"'As much as I'd like to see this go, I can't get past this downtown redevelopment master plan,' he said.
"The 1992 master plan recommends the site house a light industrial facility."
Not to quibble, but the Iceport hulk has been moldering for years now. Maybe light industry's not so keen on the site. And maybe a 16-year-old plan needs to adapt a bit.
Anyhow, McCue's having none of it. He won't say why, either. None of your business, I guess, even if you're one of the Journal Sentinel's valued readers in Cudahy. This isn't new: I wrote about this last November, before which I got hold of the mayor to ask him what his preferences for the site would be, whether another retailer might do the trick, why he specifically doesn't seem to like Wal-mart. He returned the call but wouldn't talk, saying on the record only that he didn't want to comment. In case you're wondering, he didn't say anything off the record, then, either.
From which his citizens can infer that the mayor simply has no good, articulable reason to not want Wal-Mart in town. He had previously said when running for mayor that he was against Wal-Mart, that Cudahy has an image problem and that Wal-Mart would worsen it. Which is nonsense: Most Wal-Mart supercenters around here are in more upscale places than Cudahy.
The bad, inarticulable reason McCue doesn't want a Wal-Mart is, I'm guessing, because the store is now competing in groceries, which puts it up against grocers that employ union labor. Unions don't like competition, which is why they've managed to
Wal-Mart's plans to open up in Chicago. The chain has quietly given up on trying to open a supercenter in an otherwise desolate spot on Chicago's south side, the Tribune reported the other day:
"Wal-Mart got the word from city officials last month that Mayor Richard Daley doesn't want to risk a messy showdown with unions over Wal-Mart—like the big-box store battle of 2006—while Chicago is still in the running as a host city for the 2016 Olympics, according to people familiar with the matter."
And, as the Tribune's editorialists pointed out, that means Chicago's "food desert" -- a stretch of town without any decent grocery stores -- will go unrelieved, all to prevent a non-union grocer from showing up.
Yes, heaven forfend that a store starts selling low-priced produce, either in Chicago or in Cudahy, where the brownfield will go on being brown.
Cudahy Mayor Ryan McCue cast the deciding vote against a proposed development anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter and an indoor soccer training facility this week, but he refuses to explain why.
McCue on Thursday again declined to cite the factors in his decision. "I don't have specific comments for that," McCue said.
McCue's refusal to explain his vote has frustrated and disappointed Wave executives, said Michael Lafferty, chief operating officer for the Major Indoor Soccer League team.
"He won't say what's wrong with the plan," Lafferty said.
Of course, he was silent and is silent that is his MO people. Lack of communication to the people. That is what I have been saying all a long!!!
He is not a leader, he governs by personal reasons, that is why he doesn’t want to say anything. He doesn’t want to admit it. I think he feels if he doesn’t say it we will not believe of own eyes and ears.
Lisa Flowers – Public Post
I am appalled and ashamed at the lack of foresight that the Cudahy city planners, and especially Mayor McCue, showed on May 5. Instead of a vibrant shopping center complete with a soccer venue that would draw throughout a large portion of the Midwest, we are stuck yet again with a rusting pile of steel on contaminated land, sucking up our tax dollars. As for driving out competitors, what competitors? We have a overpriced Kmart that people can't afford to shop at and is a mess besides, and an overpriced Pick-N-Save - they could use some competition. And the numerous senior citizens of Cudahy, who now drive out to 27th Street to get generic prescriptions at a price they can afford rather than Walgreen's prices, could instead not drive as far. My mother is one of them, and she'd far sooner shop locally rather than have her money go to Franklin. Wal-Mart has agreed to help pay for the environmental cleanup of that site, which none of the small shop retailers that Mayor McCue hopes to attract would.
The city planners say that Wal-Mart does not fit with their downtown city plan, and had quibbles about it blending into the area. Well, in that case they should make it look like a huge collection of taverns, because that's what the downtown is. For all the talk I heard when I first moved here about not allowing any new liquor licenses, new taverns seem to pop up all the time. All this talk of Cudahy being the new near-eastside is ludicrous; Cudahy is a working town, always has been. And I CHOSE to purchase my house in Cudahy for specifically that reason - it was a nice, working class town without any airs or pretensions. I had the option of Bayview, or the north side, or downtown closer to work, but Cudahy, with its solid working class core was by far the best choice and I'm very glad to be here.
Mayor McCue's vision apparently includes numerous little trendy shops like out in Brookfield that nobody in Cudahy would have the money to patronize, and would probably fold shortly because of the economy. If you notice, the Gallerias out in Brookfield are sitting empty, while, GOSH, Wal-Mart just lumbers on. And they can afford to pay their property taxes, which is something that is getting harder and harder for us little people to do - maybe having a big retailer here on vacant, city-owned and city-improved land might help us poor schmucks. All in all, while not a perfect solution, it certainly is the best that has come around in YEARS and we should thank our lucky stars that it did and hope that there's some way to rectify the errors of May 5th. Maybe a recall election?