Percheron Square; Russia in Georgia; no blogging mode

There’s a little of everything in this one. Hang on.

In Brookfield, the plan commission will kiss developer backside tonight and forever trash any plan for the corner of Calhoun and Bluemound. The last remaining prime parcel in our city is about to become office buildings (built by former plan commissioner Mike Faber), low income senior housing, and a hotel. Oh, there’s a little retail, but it won’t amount to much. And keep in mind! Those senior apartments generate taxes at the rental rate, which is low because of government subsidy, and not at the market rate. Plus, VK’s having trouble keeping the units he already has in Brookfield leased. (Good grief, why were we the community stuck with this guy?)

Mayor Jeff Speaker will forever prove his inability to manifest vision when he supports this plan tonight. It will be the cornerstone of his pathetic legacy of Brookfield development.

In the world view, I’m a little concerned about the invasion by Russia. I’m also concerned that the Kremlin and presidential hopeful Barack Obama had a group hug when Obama slammed his opponent John McCain. What’s happening here is extremely important to both the stability of the region and oil supply. If Russia is becoming aggressive again in order to dominate the supply of natural resources, Europe had better wake up and smell the coffee. (Fortunately, Russia only controls Europe’s energy supply. The coffee comes from someplace else.)

I woke up in no blogging mode. Who knows when it will end, but until then, it’s hit or miss. Try to behave in the comments.


  1. I think Europe is awake and well aware of the implications. It took our media a couple of days to catch up.

    The group hug/in sync with the Kremlin comments are a little over the top, but no match for the level of foolishness in the Obama campaign comment about the McCain staffer. That group needs some folks who speak cold war, or at least have played RISK. Sheesh.

    If I were concerned mainly about the Russians, I would favor McCain. If I were concerned mainly about the Middle East and developing nations I would favor Obama. If I were concerned mainly about China, well, I am stumped–maybe Obama because I think he could compete for the affections of those states with resources to sell to China, maybe McCain because he might recall the lessons (competition for resources) leading up to our WWII conflict with Japan.

  2. Kathryn, I think that Obama may be another Jimmy Carter. If you remember, it was Carter who was instrumental in bringing down the Shah of Iran. That has resulted in the mess we have in the Middle East. The only way to deal with power hungry thugs is to be powerful and they have to know you won’t take any crap from anyone. That keeps thugs in line! Any perceived weakness and they test your resolve. If you let them get away with anything at all, you are in for years of problems and eventual war.

  3. Kathryn, what are you concerned about?

  4. Oh, I forgot to mention that I think there was far more than “competition for resources” that led to war with Japan. Some serious reading might be in order here! If you doubt this, please advise what resources Korea had that Japan wanted…other than “comfort women”.

  5. Shawn Matson says:

    I think the conventional consensus is that the competition for resources was a huge part of Japan’s motivation. Japan, being an island nation with few natural resources, had to look to satellites for their resources.

    If i’m not mistaken, Korea had a sizable oil supply. Maybe i’m wrong. I know the Japanese needed timber and other land resources as well.

    But I also think that we’re missing a huge part of this ordeal (and of Japan’s motivation): Nationalism. Dare I say, maybe even Jingoism.

  6. Oh, Cindy, I worry about it all.

  7. Back to Percheron Square for a minute: what recourse do residents have? It seems that many things are decided before they get to any commission or council, much less a public hearing. People spending time and money planning a proposal ought to have access to officials, but not to the extent that it’s a done deal before the public has a voice.

    How does the system work, in layman’s terms?

  8. Shawn Matson says:

    In layman’s terms, kathryn, it doesn’t.

  9. Well, what happens tonight is the plan commission blesses the current drawings and sends them to public hearing. This hearing is held in front of the Common Council where such wunderkinds as Scott Berg belittle your attempt to care about local government. Then it goes back to the plan commission for final approval there, and back to the Common Council for rezoning.

    There’s only been one time a project like this was blocked. Renee Lowerr led the charge. She’s one of your Alderwomen now. I’d give her and Lisa Mellone a call if you are concerned with this plan.

    There are enough votes now to TIE a bad decision, but if the Mayor votes for it in PC, he’d probably vote in favor to break a tie. That knowledge could keep the 7 that care from sticking out there neck on something that’s not in their district.

  10. How are the members of the plan commission determined?

  11. Speaker is the chair as the mayor. He appoints 4 other members, 3 citizen: Wartman, Donze, and Wahlgren, and one of the 3 aldermen that serve. The council president (in this case Mark Nelson) appointed the other two aldermen. I think the way it worked this time is that the Mayor appointed Nelson, and Nelson appointed Mahkorn and Owen.

    It’s a very inside game, and the majority are appointed by the Mayor, who has absolute control.

    That’s why I put the entire blame for Brookfield’s terrible development mess on Speaker’s head. He’s the deity in charge.

  12. Wow. The mayor and the council president have a lot of power. Is this system governed by state law or local ordinance?

  13. Lucky Lady says:

    Oh Kathryn, you’re so perceptive! Guess whose back pocket all of the above reside in? If you don’t live in an area directly affected by all of this overblown development, you (and most of the city taxpayers) don’t care. With the awful traffic congestion, rise in crime, unlimited water usage, light and air pollution and rising taxes, now taxpayers are finally noticing what has happened while they weren’t paying attention. All of this development was supposed to keep our taxes down. Wait until the bill comes in for the I-94 bridges and Calhoun Road.

    If anyone cares, call all of the alderpeople, not just the 6th and 7th District ones. Oh, call the mayor too. By the way, this system is governed by the guy who puts the commissions and committees together. Yes, he has a LOT of power

  14. Some state law and tweaked by local ordinance.

  15. And do the master plans and neighborhood plans have any legal gravity, or are they just something fun to do?

  16. Yes, they have legal gravity. Except one has to incur the expense of suing the city to see that happen.

    Which means they are just something fun to do.