Sunday, March 15, 2009

Has Mayoral Candidate Helding Gone Insane?

Alderman Greg Helding, one of 11 candidates for mayor in the April 7 primary, has called for the demolition of the so-called "notorious" Jacato Drive apartment buildings.

Helding said in a press release:
“It is high time to solve this problem once and for all. The law allows the city to proceed against the buildings as a public nuisance.

“Buildings on Jacato Drive average more than two police calls a day. We have had three officers hurt in three days. This simply cannot continue. The state of these apartments has become a threat to public safety."
I am astounded at the types of people that we are entrusting to govern our city. I would believe that any person who calls himself a Christian, an aldermen and is seeking the highest position in city government to lead the community forward, would be more sympathetic about citizens that are less fortunate than others.

Although I view Mr. Helding's suggestion as no more than political grandstanding and posturing for the voters that appeal to fear, I must also admit that Mr. Helding selected an issue that he was assured his highly righty conservative support base would jump aboard. Over the years I’ve noted politicians find it easy to launch campaign platforms that are highly inflammatory, and act as wedge to issues that further divide our communities.

It also surprises me that with the same types of illegal activities, including several shootings and homicides occurring in his own 11th District (Rubberville and Georgetown), that Mr. Helding would totally ignore the draining of valuable police resources in his area, and not call for the demolition of those properties.
You would also think from his press release that Mr. Helding is suggesting that all the residents of that area are criminal and should be driven out into the streets and relocated to some type of refugee camp.

It is quite troubling to believe that any elected official would advocate kicking entire families out on the street because of the inability of our police department to rid the city of the bad guys that they themselves have admitted they know who they are.

It also baffled me that Mr. Helding would desperately crank up his rhetoric weeks before an election that the challenge for all the candidates is to bring communities closer together, rather than divide them.

It seems that the only good idea that our city officials and the police department can come up with to curb crime is to build another cop house. Maybe that's what Mr. Helding and his colleagues can begin working on to end crime in the Jacato Drive area. I think that idea is better than kicking young babies and their mothers into the street to fend for themselves without any feeling of responsibility to those that are victims of crime themselves.

It is easy for Mr. Helding to target that area, because of the high number of minorities living in those complexes. People that he most likely feels would not vote for him anyway.

As taxpayers we should expect better planning from our elected officials. Not an overnight dream that could easily turn into a nightmare for many of our citizens who live in those apartments. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I think racism has very little to do with Alderman Helding's position. I do, however, think that his position needs some fine tuning. Many studies have shown that high density housing of any income level leads to more conflict. I think that the Jacato Drive apartments could be reworked to include parks, schools within walking distance, and other amenities that lead to a community feeling instead of the incredibly cramped apartments we have now. Helding is on the right track- he just needs to finish the plan! Think of Cabrini-Green in Chicago and how things have changed since that was torn down...

Anonymous said...

That's two that's toast: Harding and Helding.

Denis Navratil said...

Ken, good commentary. But I take issue with the following:

" I must also admit that Mr. Helding selected an issue that he was assured his highly righty conservative support base would jump aboard."

I suspect I am about as righty as they come in Racine, but I strongly oppose the idea put forward by GH. If he wants to get tough on crime and criminals, fine. But in going after buildings and their owners instead of the criminals, he is actually avoiding the real problem, the criminals.

Colt said...

I want the down as well. Look at the police calls for service, look at the amount of gang related crime.
Is OK for that crime to exist in that area because it's black on black crime?
This should be allowed because?
If we expect all of Racine to step up to the plate perhaps we need to clean up the infected areas so those who DO want to have a good life for themselfs can.

Anonymous said...

What is the alternative? Years more with NO ACTION by the city on these issues?

Bill the Cat said...

My guess would be that the "black leadership" by the likes of Keith Fair would be have Obama send them $$$ so they can line their pockets
I mean create opportunities for Blacks in Racine. IMHO
True leaders would be demanding an end to drug gangs,better schools, and good leadership.

The poison that is Jacato is just more of the same political game playing that that was tried and failed in West Racine by Becker Clones. That is why Pete K would be good for Racine and John D. so bad for Racine.
Can we save room for Fair in the same car as John D when they leave town

Anonymous said...

Helding's* fear,* surprises* properties* to rid*

"Mr. Helding would desperately cranked up" wtf???

Editor prehaps?

Anonymous said...

Pot calling the kettle black?
Look at your selective poll for Mayor.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the apartments, it's the people in the apartments.

On another note, I take issue with the selective poll that lists only black candidates. How would Ken feel if Racinepost did a poll with only the white candidates to choose from? Would that be ok? Or do we have to keep trying to convince ourselves that racism, if you are black, is acceptable?

colt said...

And I just heard that Racine's worst Mayor Jim Smith is working for Bob T.

Anonymous said...

I think people need to look into these newcomers backgrounds more...There are some interesting things to be discovered.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I find interesting - Jacato Drive is Alderman Ray DeHahn's District. Alderman DeHahn certainly has not advocated tearing down the buildings and he certainly must be on the receiving end of telephone complaints. So, why a "grandstand" by Helding? And we all know how well-liked the concept of "emminent domain" (taking away one's private property by the government) is by the taxpaying public.

He might make it past the primary, but those are very damning comments that impact law-abiding citizens.

Anonymous said...

Deleting comments does not change the fact that this is a racist site, no different from the KKK or any other hate mongering site.

Malinda said...

Did Ken really delete comments? Not cool.

Anonymous said...

Lumpkin you will play the race card whenever you can, wont you. Your article is filled with a bunch of lies, innuendos and inaccracies.

1. The shootking in George town involved an african american party that went awry. Why cant african americans gather peacefully?

2. Rubberville is not in Heldings district but the answer there is more owner occupied houses not rental units.

3. Good people on Jacato Drive will not have a problem finding a safe place to live. Wheda says we have a glut of title 19 apartments.

4. Heldings brother was not one of those injured on Jacato Drive-his brother is fighting over in Iraq.

5. Everyone I have talked to thinks that this is a good idea. They are tired of the riff raff and they want safe streets. These apartments are havens for drug dealers and criminals.

6. There is no cop house on Jacato Drive. If the apartment owners want additional police protection, they should do what the bars do and hire it.

Sorry Ken but you are all washed up on this one-by the way why didnt you get Dustin to proofread this first?

Anonymous said...


Why would anyone with half a functioning brain cast a vote for Mayor for a guy that writes a column called Neckboneology??

What a joke!

Anonymous said...

This is the first and last time I will visit this site! What a joke! You call this journalism?!?! LOL I call it racism... For being a life-long journalist, I'd think that someone should try proof reading!

Anonymous said...

Haha...Let me get this straight, Some of you idiots still support Jacato Dr? C'mon.....I suppose some people just love the run down troubled ghetto parts of this city...Time for this shithole to come down, just admit it already and move on.

Anonymous said...

There is a brand new house on Jacato that the builders cant sell, it would make the perfect cop house. The police have reduced crime in other areas of town where they have had a continous police presence, why not here?