More and more people are using the tone of my blog headline as they chat about the Edgewater Hotel project and the controversal TIF funding that was approved last year.
There are more than enough reasons to oppose the Edgewater Hotel renovation without adding another one to the list.
Be it from how it impacts historic Mansion Hill, or how TIF funding should not have been used for this project, the facts that have been presented over and over are clear. As I noted often on CP, this plan was not best suited for Madison.
In December 2009 I made it quite clear how I felt.
The fact is no matter how you look at the design by Hammes Co., as now presented, there is no connection with it to the rest of the neighborhood. There is no way to pretend it blends. It would be akin to a vegetarian plate being slapped with a huge piece of rare prime rib!
….the people who live in the neighborhood of Mansion Hill and care about the historic character of Madison have spoken. It is also true that others around the city have noticed that this matter is not only a very local concern about the grand scheme by Hammes Co. to construct a ginormous hotel at the Edgewater, but that if this can happen in one place in the city there is no reason to suggest it can’t happen in another historic area.
Therefore I was pleased that Mayor Paul Soglin made known his desire to see the large TIF package for the Edgewater development pruned back substantially. The usual cries of foul-ball have been registered in the city, and the main players in the development plan, Hammes Co., have made pleas to the city council not to let any TIF funding be pared back.
In the midst of all this back-and-forth comes a rather unique perspective from Lucy Mathiak, a member of the Madison School Board. Her views are shaped by the mass turnout this past winter against the actions of Governor Scott Walker who assaulted state workers and public employees by scrapping collective bargaining.
Mathiak wonders why Walker supporters like Hammes Co should get city council support. Will not a more prosperous Hammes only supply still more money to Republicans who then undermine all our values we care about as a liberal progressive city?
“I have real issues with channeling more profit to people who will turn around and use their personal resources to bring us the chaos and destruction, from economic hardship to assaults on basic political and collective bargaining rights, that we have seen in the past 9 months,” Mathiak writes in her letter. “While they certainly have the right to their political perspectives, I find it galling to contemplate taking from our property tax base to further aggrandize the people who have done so much damage to my state and my community.”
Madison needs to weigh in on this debate and have candid conversations with their city council member.
A phone call of support to Mayor Soglin would be in order too.
Lets roll back the TIF.