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The Way I See It!

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.

Cudahy TIF District To Be Audited

Cudahy, Mayor, Money, TIF

You may remember the blog post I did titled “2010 Budget Time” where I stated, “I think someone should audit the time and money spent for TIF and find out how much time and money is being spent on non-TIF things!”, well it is being audited.

 

Mayor McCue has called for the audit.  It is costing $25,000 for the audit.  Too bad it is not a detailed audit that will show exactly where and to whom the money went to.

 

Example – It will not show something like this: John Q. Public has some land and the city buys the land from him and turns around cleans the land and sells it for a $1 to developer ABC.  The developer ABC builds something on it and turns around and rents it our.  We will not see the detail transactions.

 

Some people at City Hall call me “The Meddler”; others say I cause a ruckus.  Some say I give the city and its personnel heartburn!  I just want the truth and information to flow freely to the people, an honest government that isn’t self-serving and what is right for the city and its people.  I don’t think that is too much to ask for! 

 

After all, they work for us!!!

 

I want to share my emails to Cudahy's Director of Economic Development Lara Fritts and City Accountant Bruce Schuknecht.

 

These emails are based on my blog post “2010 Budget Time”.

 

 

From: Randy Hollenbeck

Sent: Thu 9/10/2009 5:52 PM

To: Lara Fritts; Bruce Schuknecht

 

Subject: Question concerning TIF use

 

Dear Mrs. Fritts,

 

Could you please tell me how does Intern Rachel Mosey who works for you in the Director of Economic Development department submit a PR release for Mayor Ryan McCue concerning "Town Hall Meetings on City Budget"? 

 

In the past, Mayor Ryan McCue did it himself.

 

See the problem is Rachel Mosey and your salaries are paid for with special half-mile radius TIF money!

 

How does this PR release for the Mayor work in the TIF qualify for the use of TIF funds?

 

Mayor McCue has a personal secretary that I am sure is fully capable to type up and submit a PR release for Mayor Ryan McCue!

 

Mr. Schuknecht, does the use of TIF funds allow for such actions?

 

Randy Hollenbeck

 

 

From: Lara Fritts

Sent: Thu 9/10/2009 7:44 PM

To: Randy Hollenbeck; Bruce Schuknecht

 

Subject: RE: Question concerning TIF use

 

Randy,

 

Rachel happened to be posting another story, "Key Small Business Issues to Be the Focus of Seminars Offered on the South Shore" that same day and as a result assisted by posting the Mayor's as well.  Public Relations for the City falls under Marketing in the Economic Development work plan that was approved by the CDA and presented to the Common Council. 

 

Lara L. Fritts

 

 

From: Randy Hollenbeck

Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:43 PM

To: Lara Fritts; Bruce Schuknecht

 

Subject: RE: Question concerning TIF use

 

Mrs. Fritts,

 

That might be fine that her job title of Public Relations for the City falls under Marketing in the Economic Development work plan that was approved by the CDA and presented to the Common Council, but does the state law for TIF funds allow for TIF money to be used in that manor?

 

As per Wisconsin Department of Revenue's City/Village Tax Incremental Finance Manual found at this link http://www.dor.state.wi.us/pubs/slf/tif/cvmanual.html, I do not find it.

 

Looking at the increased changes of the proposal would allow municipalities to spend TIF money on projects located up to a half mile away from the actual TIF district's borders.

 

Looking at the 2008 A Guide to Wisconsin's Tax Increment Law - Creating a District http://www.dor.state.wi.us/pubs/slf/tif/pe-207.pdf I didn't find it either.

 

Does City Hall even fall in the half mile away from the actual TIF district's borders in the first place?

 

Just because her job title is "Public Relations" doesn't necessarily mean the TIF money works when the work is for the Mayor's press release for his "Town Hall Meetings on City Budget".  Using that logic, the job of "Public Relations" dictation of letters, getting candy for parades that will be handed out to the community and any item that deals with the public would fit the description.  These are ALL jobs that the Mayor can do himself or have his assistant do.  Not something that TIF money is to be used for.

 

I know you understand the TIF money is not FREE.  TIF doesn't stand for "Taxes Is Free".  We need to show restraint and act smart on the valuable TIF dollars we have! 

 

Squandering them foolishly on tasks that the city already has people to do the work for shows that the most efficient use of those dollars is not happening.  Maybe this was an oversight and a mistake.

 

How does the "Town Hall Meetings on City Budget" post relate to marketing the city?

 

I am looking for clarification that this is indeed correct with state law of the intended use of TIF funds.

 

Randy Hollenbeck

 

 

 

From: Bruce Schuknecht

Sent: Fri 9/11/2009 8:51 AM

To: Randy Hollenbeck

 

Subject: RE: Question concerning TIF use

 

Mr. Hollenbeck, because you asked me a question with your initial e-mail I feel I need to respond (I developed this attribute while I was a Alderman for this great city)  Yes, city hall is not in the TIF District, let me assure you that no expenses relating to the daily operation of city hall is being expensed to the TIF.

 

As far as Ms. Mosey time being spent in the matter in which you have described.  The Mayor has directed Baker Tilley (formerly Virchow Krause) to audit TIF # 1 to see if the city is in compliance with the state statues.  The audit is from the period of 1994 to December 31, 2009, when completed Baker Tilley's report will describe the scope of there testing and the results of that testing will provide them with a opinion over our financial reporting in regards to TIF expenditures.  The report will be completed in early 2010 and I would be honored to supply you with a copy. 

 

Thank you

Bruce Schuknecht

City Accountant

 

PS Thank you for including me with your initial e-mail it's an honor serving this community.

 

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