Daily Bread for 11.24.23: A Development Director for Whitewater

 Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 30. Sunrise is 6:58 and sunset 4:24 for 9h 26m 18s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 90.1% of its visible disk illuminated.

  On this day in 1971, during a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (aka D. B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money. He has never been found.

Like most people, this libertarian blogger likes to listen to music. Much of my favorite music is jazz, and some of that jazz music is played on a piano. I, however, do not play the piano. (A cat walking across the keys would produce a more pleasing sound than any effort of mine.) 

And yet, and yet, like so many others who don’t play the piano, I can tell the difference between competent playing and… something less.

Now, I’m not a ‘development’ person (and have never claimed to be one). Instead, any critique of Whitewater’s traditional development approach offered at FREE WHITEWATER has rested on simple, fundamental analyses of economics, evidence of performance, logical reasoning, and good government.

On this last point: Whitewater’s development policy is meant to be a community development policy, not one captured against the public interest by a few. Who owns Whitewater? The proper answer — the answer suitable for a beautiful, well-ordered American town — is everyone and no one.

Soon, the City of Whitewater will have a new Economic Development Director. WhitewaterWise reports Berg hired as city’s economic development director:

The Whitewater Common Council Tuesday learned from City Manager John Weidl that Calli Berg has been hired as the city’s new economic development director.

According to her resume, Berg brings 25 years of experience in “all aspects of economic development, including business retention, attraction, and expansion,” along with other skill sets, including financial analysis and packaging, grant writing, administration, fund management, and tax increment and credit programs.

She is currently employed as the director of economic development, Milwaukee County, serving in that position since January of 2022. Prior to that, she worked as the director of economic development in the city of Franklin, between 2018 and 2022, and was the president and owner of BDM Services, a company, according to her resume, which provided consulting services to municipalities regarding economic development activities. The business began its operations in 2008.

Berg has additionally held such positions as business development manager with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and director of the Coloma-Watervliet Area Economic Development Corporation, in Berrien County, Mich.

She holds an undergraduate degree in business administration-marketing, and is certified by the International Economic Development Council as an economic developer. She is recognized by the National Development Council as an economic development finance professional and has been named by West Michigan Business Direct Weekly as a Business Leader Under 40, and has earned the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Michigan Economic Developers Association, according to her resume.

Ms. Berg has an impressive background in development policy.

This libertarian blogger is a tragic optimist, but the fundamental outlook of tragic optimism is, happily, optimism.  

While so very many in the city will be rooting for Calli Berg’s success, no one in Whitewater will be more hopeful than I’ll be. 

One wishes the very best for Ms. Berg in applying her experience and her insight to advance Whitewater’s community development on behalf of all our community.

James Webb Space Telescope captures stunning view of Milky Way’s heart:

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New attendee
7 months ago

The Grand Development Theater: A Satire in Four Acts

Act One: The Clumsy Machinations of Allen and the Lobbyist

The curtain rises on the bustling town of Whitewater, where Council President Allen and a wily Lobbyist take center stage. Far from the grace of masters, their movements are clunky and unwieldy, almost comical in their transparent attempts to seize control. With a heavy hand and over-the-top gestures, they engage in a clumsy dance of power, resorting to gaslighting and accusing others of the very conspiracies they themselves concoct. The audience can’t help but wonder who might be pulling their strings, as their bumbling efforts seem too misguided to be self-directed. It’s a spectacle of blunders and missteps, leaving the town both bemused and bemuddled.

Act Two: The Great Landlord’s Devious Plot
As we move into the second act, the stage is overtaken by the character of the Grand Landlord, a self-proclaimed noble, composed of clichés and avarice. He unveils his latest scheme, a masterplan to reroute taxpayer dollars for housing into his already brimming vaults. With each reveal of his plot, the audience is drawn deeper into a world where self-interest is disguised as public service. This landlord, with a flair for the verbose and self congratulatory, orchestrates his maneuvers with the precision of a puppeteer, yet there’s an unmistakable air of desperation in his actions. It’s a performance that epitomizes the age-old conflict between personal gain and community well-being, played out in the heart of Whitewater.

Act Three: The Smear Campaign

In this pivotal act, the focus shifts to Council President Allen and the Lobbyist, who now engage in a devious smear campaign. They attempt to use the Community Development Authority and other public forums to tarnish the reputation of the city manager, who has achieved more in a year than they have in their entire careers. As their plot unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that Allen is besieged with complaints, and Knight’s understanding of economic development is laughably inadequate. This act lays bare their desperation and incompetence, as they grapple with the reality of being outshone by a more capable leader.

Act Four: The Squawk of Desperation and the Rise of Competence

The fourth act opens with Council President Allen, Mr. Knight, and a figure suggestive of the Great Landlord’s influence, all ensconced within the Community Development Authority. They squawk about power and control, their words echoing greed and self-interest. Despite their posturing, it’s evident they have not used their power wisely to benefit the city. Enter the city manager, introducing Whitewater’s new Economic Development Director – a symbol of progress and acumen. Their arrival marks a stark contrast to the CDA’s self-promoting ineffectual noise, signaling a new era of strategic and inclusive growth for Whitewater. The old guard’s relevance fades, overshadowed by the promise of a brighter future under competent leadership. As the curtain falls, Whitewater stands on the brink of transformative change.

John Jay
Reply to  New attendee
7 months ago

Witnessing the unfolding events in Whitewater has prompted a deep reflection on my part. The community’s voices of concern and calls for accountability resonate with the values upon which our nation was founded. In response, I have adopted the moniker of John Jay, a figure emblematic of integrity and commitment to justice. My aim is not to echo prevailing sentiments, but to provide a balanced, factual account of the issues at hand, particularly in matters of governance and public service using available public records and

Investigative Report: Uncovering Councilman Allen’s Actions Against Whitewater’s Public Interest

In Whitewater, a community that cherishes individual liberty and community welfare, the conduct of Councilman Allen has necessitated a thorough and impartial review. This report aims to present a fact-based analysis of his tenure on the Whitewater Common Council, revealing a series of actions and decisions that significantly deviate from the standards of ethical governance and public interest.

Questionable Decisions and Actions

1. Legal Counsel Hiring: The advocacy by Allen for hiring a third attorney for the council was characterized by shifting, problematic, and unclear justifications, from personnel matters to performance evaluations to “discretion.” This inconsistency raises questions about transparency and hints at a potential hidden agenda, misaligned with both the city’s and its residents’ interests.

2. False Denial Incident: Allen’s denial of his request to include the term “termination” in a council agenda, later contradicted by verifiable public records, stands out as a significant concern. This incident challenges his integrity and respect for democratic processes. Verified instances of bypassing transparency and public meetings process compounds this concern.

3. Treatment of City Staff: Documented complaints and public records from more than one staff indicate problematic interactions of Allen, particularly during sensitive periods and during public meetings. His conduct has disrupted city administration and established a concerning precedent.

Evidence of Manipulating Housing Policy for Special Interests

A critical instance of Allen’s concerning conduct is his attempt to redirect Whitewater’s $1.9 million housing fund, intended for owner-occupied housing, towards landlords and non-occupant investors. This action neglects the community’s expressed needs and priorities. Allen again arrived to a public CDA meeting with documents not entered into the public record, unseen by the taxpayers and with a specific agenda.

1. Documented Proposal: The proposal’s draft edits reveal the removal of requirements for owner-occupied housing, favoring landlords and investors.
2. Circumvention of Public Meeting Requirements: The proposal also aimed to bypass the requirement for public meeting participation, reducing transparency and public accountability.
3. Community’s Response: The proposal has faced widespread disapproval from residents, indicative of a community that values owner-occupied housing over further rental property development.

The Larger Context: Serving Special Interests Over Public Service

Allen’s cumulative actions suggest a pattern of prioritizing personal or select group interests over those of the broader community. His approach to legal counsel, misrepresentation of facts, and manipulation of public funds diverge from ethical governance principles.

Call for Accountability and Change

The findings of this investigation present a compelling case for a critical reassessment of Allen’s role as Council President and his suitability for continued service on the council. It underscores the necessity to adhere to principles of transparency, integrity, and accountability in local governance.

In conclusion, Whitewater’s leadership should align with the public interest, uphold ethical standards, and provide transparent service. The evidence concerning Allen’s conduct necessitates immediate scrutiny and potential changes for the community’s betterment.

John Jay

A Town Squire
7 months ago

100% Yeah that is a good summary. A lot of people who put up with this once don’t want more.

This “Greater Whitewater” crap got old ten years ago. Whitewater is stuck behind and other cities kept moving. Allen is a water boy for them. You listen to Knight and its all slogans out of his mouth. every one of those water boys for them is a joke. Regular people arent drinking their kool aid.