Posts Tagged ‘James Madison’

Konkel not down with Maniaci development plan

October 19, 2009

The other day I linked to an article by Joe Tarr, which outlines Ald. Bridget Maniaci’s plans to turn the James Madison neighborhood into a Tax Incremental Financing district. I discussed how Maniaci’s proposal is consistent with the trend of requesting TIF for any development that will bolster the economy, even though TIF was originally designed to prop up “blighted” areas.

Today Maniaci’s predecessor and vanquished opponent, Brenda Konkel, expressed outrage at the idea, writing that TIF districts “encourage tear downs and large developments.”

Most ominous part for Maniaci: “I was leaning towards not running again, but shit like this just makes me mad.”

The political question, of course, is how much of an advantage incumbency is for municipal elections? If Konkel wants to go back to the Council, which she pretty clearly does, what would she need to do to win? I think the answer is to find one issue. Find one issue that gets people to vote against the incumbent. However, it would not be in her advantage to run during a mayoral election year. More people would be interested, and therefore, more moderates and fans of the mayor would be voting.

Maniaci wants TIF funding for James Madison area

October 15, 2009

An article by Joe Tarr at the Daily Page describes Ald. Bridget Maniaci’s plans to redevelop parts of her district, much of which is located in the James Madison Park neighborhood.

To encourage the neighborhood’s renovation, Maniaci would like to declare the area between East Washington Avenue and Gorham, Butler and Blount streets a redevelopment district.

Don Marx, with the city’s planning department, says the city would first have to deem that at least half of the properties are blighted. “It could be a very liberal interpretation of blight,” he says. “For instance, if a house needed new shingles, that could be considered blight.”

Given recent use of Tax Incremental Financing (Edgewater, Capitol Square improvements), it’s clear that many policy makers are not going to bother using the “blighted” argument anymore. Those who protest the use of TIF in already-developed areas are but a small and distant voice in city planning.

In fact, if Maniaci can find a TIF district within a mile of the area she wants developed, she won’t even need to make a case that the neighborhood is in dire need of improvements. It was just the other day that the a Council committee approved the use of TIF funds for a $1.8 million development of Capitol Square, including new benches and sidewalks.