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Letters: One year later, Wausau leadership still lacks accountability

in Opinion

Dear Editor,

On May 14th, 2018 I wrote this letter to the editor. It is about a year or so later, and I am left wondering what has changed.  We just saw this bit about Riverlife this week, and that makes the round robin of developers up to around 3.

I wonder what has changed. The Mayor has moved on from his first narrative about everyone getting along, to now “GOOD THINGS” are happening. I am sure good things are happening, but we have some remaining stand out unresolved bad things.

And here is a list, again (this should look familiar) …

  1. Thomas Street.
  2. Liberty Mutual.
  3. The Mall. (We must acknowledge the home furnishing store, but the rest?)
  4. The Movie Theatre/Sears.
  5. The Riverlife Project.
  6. Misdirection of Mall Grant funds to Riverlife Road Monies
  7. Lower Bond Rating
  8. Growing Long Term Debt
  9. The WEDC Grant (seems like it is not a big story, but I think it is a HUGE story)
  10. Continued Pseudo Transparency

I would add a few things at this point.

  1. Disconnect between Economic Development Boss and the Council. See Lisa Rasmussen comment to Sears proposal.
  2. Urban Street Bistro. This again points to a primary failure in the Economic Development boss.  A year ago, the closing was eminent.  A year later, nothing is closed. It would be worth noting that Economic Development Director Chris Shock has claimed a few times that the process was moving along.

I could rewrite what I wrote a year ago, but I will not.  A year has passed, and nothing has happened. No committee chairs have resigned, the Mayor has not articulated his vision to get through these issues, and the council and the City staff remain and intractable as ever. It is a failure to act, and no one has been held accountable.

Far be it from me to invoke the Bible, but someone offered this to me today:

Proverbs 29:18

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…”

It is my hope that the City will act and begin the long process of digging itself out from these mistakes. Mayor Mielke should take control of the Economic Development department and bring in a third party to do an audit of every project and every dollar.  He must actually be transparent and grow trust once again. The voters are a forgiving bunch, but no one knows for how long they will suffer this arrogant failure.

Sincerely,

Dino Corvino, Weston

Editor’s note: The views of our readers and guest columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email us at editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail letters to 500 N. Third St. Suite 208-8; Wausau, WI 54403.

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