UPDATE: We spoke with new Village Administrator, Maureen Murphy who said she thought executive reports had always been published. She has promised going forward she will make sure they are added to the website ahead of board meetings. A great step forward on transparency and public input!
What do you know about the Foxconn development? I am willing to bet that beyond the often repeated talking points, you may not know very much about the construction which is already underway.
Yes, properties are being purchased and there are water pipes already being installed, oddly in advance of the DNR water approval. Did you know, Mount Pleasant has already spent millions of dollars paying contractors, consultants and attorneys? Millions.
If you go to a Village Finance Legal Licence - the committee that is supposed review and recommend paying the Foxconn related bills to the Village Board - or go to an actual Village Board meeting where they vote to pay those invoices - the list of invoices to be paid for the biggest development in the United States looks like this:
Not very detailed is it? Ok, that’s just the agenda. However, if you go to a Village Board meeting, you will be provided a more detailed version on a television monitor that says this:
That’s the full disclosure of $2.5 million in public funds spent on your behalf from just one meeting - and the 3rd item is spelled incorrectly - it’s Advance Construction Inc, not “Contraction.” No itemized invoices have been made available or published for the public to see. The Village has no intention to make them available. It doesn’t even occur to them.
So why is this a big deal? There are a few reasons I can think of:
I have asked for all Foxconn invoices which were approved in December, January and February and we will put them online. I also asked for the Trustees Packets of information which is sent to all Board Trustees with the meeting agenda for this week’s meeting and for the next one when it is available. We will put these online too.
These aren’t radical notions. RUSD has always posted executive packets of supplemental information, executive summaries and financial impact statements when they post the agenda. The City of Racine does too.
Residents deserve better than to sit in meetings and guess what the Village Board is going to do. They deserve to know and be part of the process.
Stay tuned for the results.