Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday 4-08

Some random thoughts today:

Smoking must make you blind. Yesterday, I saw two smokers miss the little ashtrays in their cars and throw their butts into the streets. One of those cars had several of those "eco-friendly" bumper stickers on it. Apparently the few extra pounds of cabron dioxide produced by my Jeep every year are far more damaging to the environment than the couple of pounds of tobacco and paper filter they throw on the ground everywhere. There are also dozens of butts lying on the ground right next to the container placed outside our building just for the express purpose of holding cigarette butts. As I like to say, the whole world is apparently an ashtray.

I hope Menasha Mayor Joe Laux follows through on his initial interest in the vacant Oshkosh City Manager position. Joe has twenty years experience as Mayor--running a city where public accountability came with re-election every four years. He also has all of the needed degrees and certifications as well. The number one qualification for Mayor Joe: a great optimism about what his city can do. A refreshing change from the constant complaining we here about state funding cuts and property tax limits. The one catch, Joe will have to sell his house in Menasha and move to Oshkosh. I don't think residents would be too happy with a Manager proposing property tax hikes and not having to share in the pain. In addition, Mayor Joe only rides a bike--even in the winter--and that might be a tough commute in December, January and February.

Finally this morning, I have failed all of you listeners. The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association handed out its "Excellence in Broadcasting Awards" over the weekend--and "My Two Cents" only took 3rd Place in the "Best Editorial" category. You deserve only the 1st place editorial--so I'll start stepping up my game.

While we are tooting our own horns around here. "The WOSH Morning News Focus" took 2nd place in the "Best Newscast" category. Again, we'll see if we can tweak a few things and take First next year.


  1. A refreshing change from the constant complaining we here about state funding cuts and property tax limits.

  2. Optimism about what his city can do.
    A refreshing change from the constant complaining we HEAR about state funding cuts and property tax limits.
    Hopefully he will follow through and hopefully we can get him hired.
    The city would pay the moving expenses and no need to sell his property.
    He could just need to maintain an office with an Oshkosh address.
    If the city can circumvent regulations surely they won't mind
    if citizens do the same.

  3. I think we need someone like Green Bay Mayor Schmitt. This guys is a stand-up guy. He's got the stones to take on the difficult problems. One example was shown on WBAY TV last night.

    Green Bay Mayor Predicts Budget Belt-Tightening-

    In his annual State of the City address, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt gave a no-nonsense account of the city's budget problems.

    "The 2009 city budget," he said in his address Monday night, "looms as a major challenge in the city."

    It appears next year will be a year of pinching pennies for the City of Green Bay. It all boils down to health insurance.

    "We must find a way to manage wages and implement a new benefit package or face reduction of employees in the city."

    As state money given to Wisconsin cities drops each year, municipalities like Green Bay have increasingly tough decisions to make.
    In a State of the City filled with mostly positive messages, the sore subject was the city's budget shortfall.

    "Employee expenses are simply outpacing revenues. My options to balance the budget are limited," the mayor said.

    Mayor Schmitt said he doesn't want to increase taxes are go to a levy referendum. What he wants to do is re-negotiate the expensive health care package for city employees.

    The annual cost is up to $16,000 per family. The mayor said, "We just can't afford that any more."

    "I think if we can't come to an agreement with the employees, to say look, let's all give a little, the other option are lay-offs."

    It's a word no city employee wants to hear.

    Mayor Schmitt is hoping for cooperation.

    "In the weeks and months ahead, I will work closely with our department heads and employee representatives to once again fix our budget shortfall. I will also commission organizational efficiency studies within our largest departments."

    One of those departments is the Green Bay Police Department. Police Chief Jim Arts says he thinks and hopes he can meet the 2009 budget without cutting a single employee but doing so will not be easy.

    "I'm going to work real, real hard to make sure that we don't lose jobs, because I think, quite frankly, there's enough to do," Chief Arts said.

    Department heads within the city echo that same feeling. No one wants to lay off their workers.

    Now THAT's a guy I'd like in charge of Oshkosh!!

  4. Would it surprise you to know that it is NOT required that the city manager be a resident of Oshkosh?

    Or even the State of Wisconsin?

    Yep. it's true.

  5. Congratulations on the award!

  6. Oh copy and paste union whiner, you're such a card.

  7. No, Jonathan, I don't think smoking makes people blind. I think smoking makes people dumb. If you're dumb enough to smoke, you're dumb enough.
    I have never understood why smokers don't consider it littering when they toss their still lit cigarettes on the streets or sidewalks.

  8. Anon. 8:17am... I think you answered your own question: Because they are dumb!

  9. Mayor Joe may be much happier being a municipal manager. They make more money and don't have to worry every 2 or 4 yrs. However, they are under the scrutiny of boards or councils and many of those members have huge ego issues. I do wish Mayor Joe the best of luck and health. God bless.