Two Truths of Whitewater’s Economy

  There are two truths of Whitewater’s economy, each fundamental and each a refutation to the last generation’s myth-making. For today, it’s enough to list the two fundamental truths.   Large Public Projects Haven’t Overcome Weak Household-Income Levels in Whitewater. This is true both in aggregate, and for age brackets (children, adults 35-64) not representative […]

Owner-Occupied Housing in the Whitewater Area

During these years I have written, and long before, one has heard from local officials and residents that the City of Whitewater needs more single-family housing. Single-family housing is a kind of owner-occupied housing (e.g., one owner, two adult owners, a single-family). Indeed, one hears that the City of Whitewater needs more single-family housing the […]

Foxconn Deal Even Worse Than Most State Capitalism

Over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jason Stein reports Foxconn package cost Wisconsin eight times as much per job as similar 2017 state jobs deals: To land the massive Foxconn factory, Gov. Scott Walker has committed the state to paying more than eight times as much per job as Wisconsin will provide under similar job creation deals struck […]

What a Print Advertiser Means (and Doesn’t Mean)

So, if one lives in Whitewater, he or she may find a shopper-advertiser in the mailbox, with ads from (mostly) out-of-city advertisers. Even if one omits the publisher’s own ads, and public service announcements, the ratio of out-of-city to Whitewater ads is something like 3 to 1. Indeed, the largest ad, on the front page, […]

The Planning of the Planning Commission’s Subcommittee

Whitewater’s Planning Commission Subcommittee on Housing recently met on 1.17.18. They had single-family homes and rental properties on their minds.  (The discussion is embedded below, and the city’s file is online.) One could have had this same housing discussion ten or fifteen years ago, and yet, and yet – here we are, ten or fifteen […]

A Second Empire Bed & Breakfast

Near the middle of college-town Whitewater, there’s a large Second Empire bed & breakfast that the owners are looking to sell. Whitewater’s Planning Commission, on 1.8.18 in the video clip above, had numerous questions for the prospective buyers. The request afterward met with rejection as a change in zoning & conditional use at  Whitewater’s Planning […]

A Sign for Whitewater High School

Whitewater Planning Commission – A High School Sign from John Adams on Vimeo. Anyone who thinks that small town politics is simple hasn’t watched small town politics. In the video above, the Whitewater Planning Commission took 28 minutes to approve conditions for the local high school to place an electronic sign on school property. (Whitewater […]

Daylight (Part 3 in a Series)

One finds oneself with a question, when there are gaps in a public record, when there are easily-avoidable deficiencies of open government: What will one do about it? A good method in this matter is deliberate, dispassionate, and diligent. A few thoughts: 1. Foundation. One looks at state and local provisions for public records and […]

Midnight (Part 2 in a Series)

Open government is right both in itself and in consequence: a free society confers political power only for limited & enumerated purposes. Those who confer this power have a right of oversight and a sensible obligation to assure that power’s exercise remains limited & enumerated. The right derives both naturally and by positive law. In […]

Amendments, Canaries, Coal Mines

                    Embed from Getty Images I wrote yesterday about two proposed amendments to Whitewater’s Landmarks Commission ordinances (Items O-1 and O-2 on the 10.3.17 Council agenda). See Amendments Concerning the Landmarks Commission. Last night, Council unanimously passed O-1, and amendment O-2 died for lack of a […]

Amendments Concerning the Landmarks Commission

Even during the most difficult national conditions, there are likely to be local conflicts. A dispute in Whitewater over the powers of the city’s Landmarks Commission is one such conflict: a purely local matter. Proposed changes to Whitewater’s Municipal Code, Title 17, Landmarks Commission, are before Common Council tonight. See Whitewater, Wisconsin, Municipal Code § […]

One City, Two Presentations of the Same Regulation

Small towns are meant to be (or at least are depicted in Hollywood as) simple, unassuming places. That’s not always true, to be sure — the same information can be presented in more than one way. There’s a place for look and feel, for style and manner, for how a town presents itself to its […]

Lindsey Graham and Jennifer Rubin are Right About Healthcare

There’s a difference between disliking – strongly – a federal intrusion into the marketplace like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the policy & politics of a replacement (if any). Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham outlines the policy problem with changes to the ACA: “Once you say that everybody should be covered, can’t be […]

Institute for Justice Fights Anti-Competitive Ban on Baked Goods

Wisconsin is lousy with anti-competitive statutes, designed to protect incumbents from free-market competition. One would prefer that private parties did not have to file lawsuits to protect their economic rights.  Unfortunately, some laws (and some official actions) compel private citizens to seek redress from the courts to protect their liberties.  Fortunately, the Institute for Justice […]