As reported by Today’s TMJ4, Oak Creek aldermen voted yesterday evening to allow what’s likely the state’s largest postal facility to be built in Oak Creek. Aldermen voted to approve the facility despite vocal opposition to the facility by residents of Oak Creek. In fact, Oak Creek Mayor Dick Bolender told a reporter for Today’s TMJ4 no amount of public outcry would have swayed his support for the project.
Newly reelected State Rep. Mark Honadel, who represents Oak Creek in the State Assembly, urged approval because of 2,200 jobs USPS promised to relocate to the area, saying, “They will buy the houses. They will spend the cash here.” It’s worth noting that the 2,200 jobs “promised” to be relocated to Oak Creek are not 2,200 new jobs, but rather existing jobs that are being shifted to the new facility, and I’m willing to bet the folks who have those jobs aren’t going to relocate and buy houses in Oak Creek just because the facility moved 20 minutes south from downtown Milwaukee.
What’s more, the facility itself won’t generate any property taxes for the city of Oak Creek, because as a federal facility it is exempt from paying property taxes. In my opinion, putting a tax-exempt building seven times the size of a Woodman’s grocery store right next to a residential neighborhood seems to be not only an odd fit, but a waste of a prime piece of real estate, given the facility’s proposed location on the corner of College Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.
The fact that these elected officials – individuals who are supposed to be a voice for their constituents – have chosen to ignore the concerns of the people they represent speaks volumes about just how much they care about their constituents, and I hope the disregard Rep. Honadel and Oak Creek’s mayor and aldermen have shown towards their constituents will be remembered come when those officials are up for election again.
Here’s some video of the TMJ4 story.
Greg Kowalski over at Metro Milwaukee Today has more.