LETTER: Ald. Gasper right to question hasty Newport TIF funds vote

To Ozaukee Press:

Thank you, Ald. Michael Gasper, for speaking up at last week’s Port Washington Common Council meeting and asking for more time to review the TIF request for the Newport Shores project. I strongly believe the developer’s pushback on you was out of line and unprofessional. When you suggested tabling the matter until you could review the paperwork submitted to you at 11 a.m. the day of this very important vote, the developer questioned why you would even need to review the documents supporting the request for TIF funding.  

It is both your right and your responsibility as my representative to review these sorts of things. It is also your right and responsibility to see that question and answer periods occur in full public view.  (Ald. Sigwart just sort of waved his hand dismissively, assuring the public he spoke privately with the  developer.)  

This is too important a project to push through the way city officials and the developer have. There should have been some substantive discussion regarding the TIF paperwork that was submitted at the last minute. Any vote should have been delayed until the public and its representatives had the time to digest the information presented. Thank you, Ald. Gasper, for trying to make that happen.

Shame on City Administrator Mark Grams and the developer’s representative for acting like any questions were a waste of their valuable time. Shame on the City Attorney Eric Eberhardt for acting like English was his second language and repeatedly saying, “I don’t understand your question.”

I am not against the NewPort project. I actually like the design. I’m not even fully against the use of TIF to help it happen.  But I am completely against the corrupt process that got the City of Port where it is now, and I’m against continuing to feed into this broken process.  

TIF requests should not continue to be approved simply at the request of developers and at the expense of the public’s right to weigh in on the use of their money and land.

I wonder often who the city administrator actually works for. It doesn’t seem to be the citizens of Port.

Kay Kasun
Port Washington

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494
 

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