I'll be pretty honest here. I have very little respect for politicans of any stripe any more, and it really doesn't matter what level of government they represent. While Congress taxes us to death, and Presidents increase our debt to record levels, local governments seem to think they have right to micro manage every business within the city limits.
Thankfully, Wauwatosa seems to be getting better, if not slowly. The Community Development Committee justed voted yesterday to recommend granting a conditional use permit to Aldi to build in the area of 124th and Burleigh. This is great news, as two previous attempts were blocked by earlier councils. The reason it was blocked earlier, was that people were afraid that it would attract too many "poor people", and that the city should "bring in upscale grocery stores like Trader Joe's."
First of all, it is not up to the city to call up business and say "hey, we have a block of land we'd like you to use". Land owners sell to potential buyers who want to try to run a successful business... whatever that business may be. And while I think we can agree that there is a place for restricting certain types of businesses that clearly cause problems, a low priced grocery store should not be considered one of them. And the reality is, you won't attract any upscale businesses if they look at the actions of the city council, and decide that the Wauwatosa government is more trouble to deal with than its worth.
With all this in mind, it is extremely important that the full council acts on the Community Development Committee's recommendation and grant the permit to Aldi's. Give them a chance to succeed or fail, based on the merits of their business, not because of the whims of a city council.
One a related side note, Brookfield has decided that they don't like the idea of Wisconsin Memorial Park being allowed to rent its Family Center for things other than memorial services. Apparently, the park would like to also cater to wedding receptions, baptisms and other private parties:
Ald. Mark Nelson said he understood cemetery uses can change. But he worried about a "slippery slope," where the grounds would be rented for inappropriate uses.
"Pretty soon you have polka bands and kegs of beer."
He also said allowing people who have relatives buried there to rent the Family Center for wedding receptions "wouldn't be appropriate."
Nelson did praise the cemetery at 13235 W. Capitol Drive for being a "good community citizen and a good neighbor."
Polka bands and beer? In Wisconsin? We better put a stop to that before it starts! First of all, the city council should have absolutely no say in this whatsoever. If the cemetary would like to try to rent out the space for activities that any other business would be able to rent out for, then they should be able to.
Secondly, nobody is suggesting that wedding dances would take place on people's graves. In fact, anyone who knows the cemetary, knows that the Family Center is on the far outskirts of the land, and almost looks like a seperate property. The idea that anyone would think that having a reception in that building would be inappropriate to the dead is just plain dumb.
Even more dumb, is that they city is penalizing the cemetary, when they admit they are a good community citizen and a good neighbor. Why are they worried about a slipperly slope, if they have such a good history with the city?
Smarten up Brookfield! In this type of economy, governments need to get out of the way of businesses, so they can find new ways to grow, and provide us all with what we are looking for.