Wednesday in Whitewater will see scattered showers with a high of 49. Sunrise is 6:50 AM and sunset 7:11 PM for 12h 20m 27s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 69.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
Whitewater’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee meets at 5:30 PM.
On this day in 1909, Theodore Roosevelt leaves New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.
STURTEVANT – Using public money, Mount Pleasant improved its infrastructure anticipating a massive Foxconn factory and $1.4 billion worth of investment.
With that not happening, village officials believe they can attract another national or international company to the massive and largely vacant site.
“We’ve put in a lot of infrastructure folks,” said Claude Lois, Foxconn’s project manager hired by Mount Pleasant. “We’ve sized this at the time for Foxconn Generation 10, but today, actually because of all the work we did we are sitting pretty good for all the work we did for the future.”
Lois spoke during a special meeting of the Racine County Board and the Mount Pleasant Village Board Tuesday — the first time a public update on Foxconn has been given since 2019. Foxconn representatives were invited to participate but declined.
Residents were not allowed to speak during the meeting but were given a chance to submit questions in advance. Those questions were not answered during the meeting.
After spending eight months wooing semiconductor chip manufacturing giant Intel Corp., Racine County officials learned in December the company chose Ohio instead of the Foxconn site.
Jim Paetsch, executive director of the Milwaukee 7, helped to negotiate the Racine County Intel pitch. He said Foxconn was cooperative throughout the process.
Paetsch said what Intel liked about Mount Pleasant will be attractive to other companies including farming and battery manufacturers.
“The really good news is Mount Pleasant and Racine County have a really good site,” Paetsch said. “We’re looking forward to pursuing more opportunities in months to come. What people don’t understand sometimes about economic development is, if you don’t have a site, you don’t have a deal.”
But some residents say hypothetical deals aren’t good enough.
Kim Mahoney is one of the few remaining homeowners still living on the Foxconn site. Mount Pleasant closed negotiations on buying her property in 2019.
“People gave up their homes for a $10 billion investment and 13,000 jobs, not for speculation as to what might get built there,” said Mahoney, who attended the meeting.
What Paetsch doesn’t understand is that if you don’t have a solid deal, you don’t take residents’ homes through eminent domain.
As for Claude Lois, there’s doubt about what he does all day:
Claude Lois is a contracted consultant with engineering firm Kapur and Associates,and he works in Mount Pleasant’s Village Hall. His role as project director has no official job description, and records obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio of Lois’ time card and village-owned calendar do not match.
Lois does not provide public updates to the village on how his time is spent or have a direct boss overseeing his work. Village Administrator Maureen Murphy authorizes his $28,000 per month salary without further documentation. When pressed for further information, Murphy provided WPR with Lois’ 2017 contract.
On a smaller scale, in 2009 Whitewater has also seen grand promises go unfulfilled. Local officials promised that a multi-million-dollar grant for Whitewater’s ‘Innovation Center’ would be “part of an $11,051,728 project which grantees estimate will help create 1,000 jobs and generate $60 million in private investment.”
That was some ‘estimate.’
These years later, we’ve not had 1,000 jobs from a building that’s more like a university annex with a revolving door of here today, gone tomorrow startups.
10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers, Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair Budget, The Man Behind the Foxconn Project, A Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the Trough, Even Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) Workforce, Foxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace Conditions, Foxconn’s Bait & Switch, Foxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying Jobs, The Next Guest Speaker, Trump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away, “Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & Fraud, Foxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition, Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re Stupid, Lost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally, Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…, Foxconn: Still Empty, and the Chairman of the Board Needs a Nap, Foxconn: Cleanup on Aisle 4, Foxconn: The Closer One Gets, The Worse It Is, Foxconn Confirm Gov. Evers’s Claim of a Renegotiation Discussion, America’s Best Know Better, Despite Denials, Foxconn’s Empty Buildings Are Still Empty, Right on Schedule – A Foxconn Delay, Foxconn: Reality as a (Predictable) Disappointment, Town Residents Claim Trump’s Foxconn Factory Deal Failed Them, Foxconn: Independent Study Confirms Project is Beyond Repair, It Shouldn’t, Foxconn: Wrecking Ordinary Lives for Nothing, Hey, Wisconsin, How About an Airport-Coffee Robot?, Be Patient, UW-Madison: Only $99,300,000.00 to Go!, Foxconn: First In, Now Out, Foxconn on the Same Day: Yes…um, just kidding, we mean no, Foxconn: ‘Innovation Centers’ Gone in a Puff of Smoke, Foxconn: Worse Than Nothing, Foxconn: State of Wisconsin Demands Accountability, Foreign Corporation Stalls, Foxconn Notices the Noticeable, Journal Sentinel’s Rick Romell Reports the Obvious about Foxconn Project, Foxconn’s ‘Innovation’ Centers: Still Empty a Year Later, Foxconn & UW-Madison: Two Years and Less Than One Percent Later…, Accountability Comes Calling at Foxconn, Highlight’s from The Verge’s Foxconn Assessment, After Years of Promises, Foxconn Will Think of Something…by July, Foxconn’s Venture Capital Fund, New, More Realistic Deal Means 90% Reduction in Goals, Seth Meyers on One of Trump’s (and Walker’s) Biggest Scams, the Foxconn Deal, Adding the Amounts Spent for Foxconn (So Far), Perhaps – Perhaps – a Few Lessons Learned, Foxconn Slips Away in the Night, A Christmas Gift For, and About, Scheming Development Men, Foxconn ‘Manager’ Feasts on Public Tab, Food Dye, the Eighth Wonder of the World!, and In Mount Pleasant, Village Representatives Vote to Extend Their Own Terms.