Thursday, August 30, 2007

Councilman Fritzler is a Bad Guy

As are Councilwoman Pohlman and Councilman Weismann, at least according to this week's RAVWS column in the sports section of the Carbondale Times.

One of the things that has struck me about the whole sales tax debate was the focus on the proposal and the process. There weren't a lot of "I'm right, you're wrong" or attacks on the supporters of the opposing position. People took a position, sometime strongly, defended that position, sometimes strongly, and attacked the opponent's position, also sometimes strongly. That's something I was happy, and given a lot of what happens at the national political level, surprised to see.

Maybe I missed them, but aside from the Saluki Talk discussion boards, I didn't see a lot of direct attacks on opponents. That's why this reference in the RAVWS column struck me so strongly.

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Don't kid yourselves about Wissmann. He voted against Pohlmann's motion to cut 1/4 cent from the sales tax and only fund the city projects.

His commentary in today's Nightlife is further proof that he doesn't really oppose the money going to the University. He spends a lot of time arguing for the need for a sales tax to fund University needs.

He knew that his vote would not be needed for the tax increase, so he was able to 'cover' himself politically by voting against the measure.
Oh, I'm not. I've spoken with him and, as you say, he's not opposed to money going to the University. He just has a different set of priorities than what passed.

He sees more need fixing up the University infrastructure and investing in programs that will actually draw and keep students.
I think you miss my point.

I don't believe that Wissmann actually opposes Saluki Way. His speech at the City Council meeting and his comments in Nightlife serve as cover for him to look as if he supports the idea of funding the library, repairs to other buildings, etc. rather than Saluki Way.

Otherwise, he would not have voted against Councilwoman Pohlman's unfriendly amendment. If he disagreed with the University's priorities, then he should have voted to change the proposal to only a 1/4 cent increase for city improvements. The fact that he didn't is ample evidence of his true motivations.
I agree with you that he supports the concept of Saluki Way. The entire Saluki Way concept is more than just the Arena and Stadium. From my conversations with him, he was in favor of the extra .5%, just not the way it would be spent. He would rather spend the money on repairing and upgrading the academic buildings before the athletic ones.

From what I've read, Fritzler was opposed to the extra .5% altogether and Pohlman ambivalent but leaning more towards Wissmann's point of view.

Is that what you're saying or am I still misunderstanding what you're saying?
My point is, if he didn't agree with the University's priorities, why didn't he vote in favor of Pohlmann's amendment?

There is no explanation for disagreeing with the University's priorities and then voting against Pohlmann's amendment.

And if Pohlmann herself was ambivalent about the University's priorities, why would she offer an amendment that would cut the $20 million donation to the University out of the tax proposal altogether?
I personally wonder about Wissman's affiliation with SIU, considering his "newspaper" the Nightlife depends on advertising - some of which comes from SIU. Perhaps he realized his mistake, and had to write a big disclaimer in the paper for that reason.
I'm more concerned about Wissmann's affiliation with the bar and nightclub owners in this town. He has a direct stake in seeing more of those kinds of businesses in town. He makes money from the advertisements in his paper from those bars.

Who thinks we need MORE bars in this town other than the people who make money directly from those bars?
Actually, you won't see any more bars in the downtown area. There's a liquor license cap on downtown establishments getting more than 51% of their revenues from liquor. While restaurants have violated that percentage in the past, it's to the economic advantage of the current bar owners to keep the downtown cap in place.
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