• 10 Year Plan

    Part of our continuing effort to improve the City of Racine for all of our Residents,

    When I began my work as Mayor, it seemed to me our city needed a plan. A plan to reverse the downward spirals that were making it difficult to attract business, attract people, and more importantly, provide a source of civic pride in our home town.

    When I looked at all the rich resources we were given - our lake and river, our beautiful parks and neighborhoods, and the good people who call Racine home, I believed that we deserved better. So I developed the following plan to stem the rise in crime and unemployment, to attract and retain businesses, and to grow Racine responsibly and in a sustainable way.

    I also believed that if together we could work the plan and achieve the goals it proposed, over time, we would re-build a city that celebrated and protected the gifts we had been entrusted with. We could invite and welcome new businesses, tourists, and neighbors with a pride that comes from putting our best foot forward and preparing an environment where people and businesses can thrive.

    This is that plan, along with indicators as to where we started, and what’s been accomplished so far. The accomplishments don’t happen in a vacuum – many people worked hard to get these things done, and will have to work as hard or harder to get the remainder of the plan accomplished.

    As we all know, curve balls can come from anywhere and set us back, put obstacles in our path, or discourage our spirit along the way. With your help, and the special skills and dedication of the many department heads, and aldermen, and employees, and citizens of Racine, we can keep turning the spirals in the right direction, reminding each of us that Racine is the place to be.

    Create Top Ten City in the Country in 10 years by leveraging the strength of our current assets.
    In our efforts we must create sustainability and success through a series of wins, big or little we must get back on a winning track.

    Mayor Signature

    1. We must leverage our assets

    1. People
    2. Lake
    3. River
    4. Parks
    5. Housing
    6. Location
    7. Create sustainability to survive


    2. Blend in new anchor facilities to draw people

    1. Business Districts of
      1. Downtown
      2. Uptown
      3. West Racine
      4. Douglas
    2. Development Residential/Commercial Projects
    3. Parks
    4. Lake/riverfront


    3. Focus our efforts on effect.

    4. Expand to private investors and residents outside city and county.

    Focusing on
    Jobs - Aggressively fighting for.
    Housing - Implement new plan for City.
    Crime - Take back the City. Control back to citizens and neighbors.



    We will build Racine into one of the top 10 cities of its size in America in which to live, work, and prosper. Through a series of small incremental steps of change that creates a greater city and positive view of itself.



    Racine will be a city full of dynamic businesses providing family supporting jobs.  Racine will draw companies to establish their presence and bring opportunities.  Racine will be the city to which the entire Midwest region looks for leadership in the areas of job opportunities, innovation, entertainment, recreation, and quality of life standards, where our young people choose to settle and raise families in.



    • Best Quality of Life
    • Stable Neighborhoods
    • Quality Entertainment Venues
    • Opportunities for Quality Recreation
    • Public Safety
    • Economic Growth & Development


    The Starting Place

    As we start this journey to implement the 10 year plan, we are faced with the following statistics:

    1. Unemployment at 17.5 %. 
    2. We have been rated #2 in the state in unemployment since the 1990’s.
    3. The cities manufacturing base has decline by 8,000 jobs.
    4. City spending was up 25% from $33.3 Million to $44.3 million since 2000.
    5. Racine has seen only 11% growth in the last 30 years. Compared to State average of 21%.



                             Source:  Money Magazine

      City stats Best places avg.
    Median family income (per year) $58,089 $90,957

    Job growth %


    -5.31% 15.71%
    Median home price $90,000 $239,000
    Test scores reading (% above/below state average) 4.7% 22.9%

    Family purchasing power

    (annual, cost-of-living adjusted)

    $57,400 $86,860
    State sales tax 5.00% 5.45%
    Median age 33.6 35.3
    Colleges, universities and
    professional schools (within 30 miles)
    18 25
    Job growth %
    -5.31% 15.71%
    Median home price $90,000 $239,391
    Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 7 2
    Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 47 24
    Median age 33.6 35.3
    % population walk or bike to work 3.9% 3.6%
    (within 15 miles)
    23 72
    Museums (accredited by AAM;
    within 30 miles)
    4 10
    Completed at least some college
    (% of residents)
    48.3% 71.5%
    Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 1.0 1.5



    Note:  Checkmarks indicate objective has been accomplished or is in process

    Must create partnerships to do more with less and focus efforts for efficiency.
    Bring in more federal money $5-10 million a year.
    Reorganize budget with long term goals and planning incorporated.
    Utilize use of revenue sharing dollars for development over taxpayer dollars.
    Find cuts and cost savings to hold layoffs and furloughs to zero.
    Fight and educate on unfunded mandates.
       a. Proactive vs. reactive agenda – saves time and money.
    Revamp CAR-25 to tell Racine’s story.
    Hire City Administrator – which allows the Mayor to expand the scope of efforts noted above.
       a.Keep Pay Under Control.
       b. Hire local - if possible.
    Bring on PIO to move stories to internet and national stage.
       a. Hire local
       b. Must expand scope of Racine’s stories nationwide.
         c. Must integrate e-marketing for effective communications.
    Talk with City administrators for better communication with residents.
    Partner with business on Long Range Planning, Partnerships.
    Review lobby efforts and State and National Stage to take advantage of short term opportunities and fund availability.
       a. Stimulus
       b. Party in power
    Lead by example- Present positive agenda – no blogging, keep focus ahead.
    Be accessible to public in time of crisis.
    Re-engage public and elected officials in process.
    Review staffing and work through legal issues.
    Set new goal of Customer Service. (City Admin)
    Utilize organizations to move and fund agenda;
       a. U. S. Conference of Mayors
       b. Great Lakes Cities Initiative
       c. Alliance of Cities
       d. Coastal management
    Evaluate opportunities to expand our efforts in and around water.
    Create plan around joint services. (Mt Pleasant, Caledonia, County)
    Dispatch, Senior Center


    Hispanic Center

    • Can save money by incorporating services under one roof.
    • It can create efficiency and opportunity.
    • Incubator for business growth and development – Job seekers & opportunities.
    • Health
    • Documentation and translation
    • Services – Education & Training.


    Senior Center

    • Relocate in central location Racine/Mt Pleasant/Caledonia.
    • Work with bordering municipalities on Joint Services and Transportation.
    • Create sustainability through partnership fundraising & coordination.
    • Model partially after Kenosha site.
    • Link city/county/non-profit operations under 1 roof where possible.


    Long Term:

    • Create customer friendly City Hall.
    • Save money through efficiency.
    • Prepare for tough cuts in state & federal funding.
    • Create universal positive message out of City Hall.
    • Provide Long term Quality of Life opportunities.
    • Have City residents show pride in their city again.
    • Get more money from State & Federal Levels.



    Note:  Checkmarks indicate objective has been accomplished or is in process

    Proactively & aggressively attract business to Racine.
    Tour companies in the city  (12-15/yr)
       a. Evaluate problems
       b. Determine how city can help
       c. Determine if city needs to change current activity to assist business growth.
       d. Evaluate what are business barriers to entry or growth.
    Focus on research (Quality of Life).
       a. Water
       b. Light manufacturing
    Focus on bringing in 50-100 person companies.
    Create/adjust government operations and packages that assist growth & star-ups
       a. Operational
       b. Make Numbers & Info readily available.
       c. Products & technology.
       d. Accessibility and Development
       e. Funding available. (TID, TIF,SR,CIP, H2O$)
    ✓  Work with State to provide packages – incentives to bring/retain employees.
    Bring in additional Brownfield funds to clean city sites.
    Prep sites for development (green).
    Meet with Major Developers – explain long term plan.
       a. Increase local developer contracting.
       b. Tie to local contractor jobs.
    ✓  Meet with RUSD to compare plans & coordination.
    Brownfield Location Opportunities – assess availability.
    Work with RCEDC & RAMAC to provide instant business information sharing.
    Utilize ties with USCM, GLSLC to expand opportunities.
    Meet with International Communities wherever possible.

    Long Term:

    • Unemployment 4% (1990 levels)
    • Stabilize & Strengthen existing business
    • Bring in outside companies with new employment & work
      1. ✓ Low income
      2. ✓ Moderate
      3. ✓ High income
  • Bring in Green Jobs
  • ✓ Water related work/research


    Note:  Checkmarks indicate objective has been accomplished or is in process

    Put together Crime Package for Racine.
    Evaluate the real vs. perceived problems we face.
    Enforce laws we have on the books through stricter enforcement and ticketing
       a. Loud cars
       b. Speeders
       c. Gang and nuisance issues
    Initiate Broken Window Theory that’s more aggressive w/ partners at the table.
    Cut down bad housing – take away locations from criminals
    place COP houses in target areas for effect
       a. Use them to pre-empt efforts
       b. Use them to target heavy gang areas
    Stop downtown Low Income expansion.
      Break up clustered Low Income into residential units.
       a. Work with RHA
    Increase gang task force assault
      Organize & collaborate non-profit  efforts with
         a. Churches
         b. Community centers
         c. UNIT
         d. County
      Coordinate more multi-jurisdictional raids.
    Stabilize North Beach, Downtown, Uptown & Community Center crime activity.
    More targeted gang efforts through prevention and proactive efforts.
       a. Work with non-profits.
       b. Coordinate efforts with participants.
       c. Step up in school education.
    Create agreements on
       a. Joint Dispatch
         b. Joint Fire
         c. Regional transit

    Long term:

    • ✓ Get out of top 10 in crime statewide in 5 years.
    • Reduce gang presence in Racine to imperceptible levels.



    Note:  Checkmarks indicate objective has been accomplished or is in process

    Target sites for  Business
    Condo & Residential
       a. Clean up Brownfields.
       b. Infrastructure assessment.
       c. Unit numbers/ blend numbers.
       d. TIF / TID get under control.
       e. Acquisition?
       f. Trend 2-3 years for residential/commercial.
       g. Study(ies) before city participation.
       h. Attract developers
       a. Clean up needed?
       b. Number of jobs?
       c. Possible site plans
       d. Acquisition plan
       e. Establish worker pool
       f. Training needed (Gateway, RUSD, and Workforce Development)
       g. Attract Developers (ICSC)
    Seek out Water based opportunities.
    Work with Dept. of Commerce to establish package options.
    Stimulus options as they relate to
       a. Roads
       b. Energy
       c. Parks
       d. Job Training
       e. Institutional support
      Anchor site in city 3-5 in 10 years.
    Major residential development 1-2 Lake & River, possible State Street.
      Break up low income clustered housing into mixed residential unit blend.
      Blended sites around train station.
    Move on Uptown Plan
       a. Restructure budget on TID for targets
       i. COP house
       ii. Better lighting – possibly RUUD
       iii. Building acquisition
       iv. Ownership ideas?
       v. Developer incentives and partnerships ($1 = 200k build out)
       vi. Possibly move in non-profits to anchor (United Way, CAA, RHA)
    Revisit West Racine TID to provide enough increment.
       a. Hunt client base.  (Grocery, big box stores/restaurants)
    Evaluate sites for Development;
       a. State Street
       b. Walker site
       c. Lake Ave Downtown
       d. Memorial Drive
       e. Airport
       f. Riverfront
       g. Need to do following for each site
       i. Status
       ii. Costs involved
       iii. Development opportunity
       iv. Market condition and need
      Bring in Regional Transit to move people and employees more efficiently.
         a. Allows for development = tax base
         b. Increases Chicago buying power
         c. Expands job opportunities for potential new & existing business.
         d. Saves taxpayers on cost of buses.
         e. Work for more federally allocated transit funds.
      Anchor sites to build out in Racine
         a. Hotel
         b. Museums
         c. Chain Store/brand name
         d. Grocery Store
       e. Major Residential


    Long Term:

    • $100-200 million in development
    • 3000 new units
    • 1-2000 new jobs
    • Create economic sustainability


    All developments must maintain Green Build and Public Pathways into development structure.


    Note:  Checkmarks indicate objective has been accomplished or is in process

       a. Create Public/Private Committee to review ideas to make our parks system the best in the country.
       b. Tier the 86 parks in 1, 2 and 3s.
       c. Determine needs in each  - Tennis Courts, Bike Paths
       d. Need for rebuild/new courts; basketball, baseball, soccer
       e. Park equipment
       f. Urban gardens
       g. Pools & Splash Pads
      Increase community involvement. (partnerships for efficiency)
    Search for more state/federal $ utilizing park plan & build in efficiencies.
    Include Green Build where possible & affordable. (Terra Walks)
      Increase activity on North Beach.
    Expand & Connect Bike Paths
       a. Provide informational campaign on Bike awareness for safety and future usage.
       b. Build River pathway into long term development options.
       c. Handicapped walkway on beach?
    Create sustainability with Racine Zoo.
      Create Public /Private Committee to review expansion ideas for Community Centers.
         a. YMCA
         b. YWCA
         c. United Way
         d. Pastoral Community
         e. Community Action Agency
         f. Gang Diversion
    Increase safety at larger site locations.
      Increase renewable wind activities and opportunities for industry.
      Attract renewable energy companies via pilot programs.
      Provide demonstration projects where possible.
         a. Aggressively market companies to locate after pilots.
      Horlick Field Renovation – Possible Museum.
    Set up Urban garden network in Racine’s city (Will Allen)
    RENEW RACINE – River cleanup and reconditioning.
       a. 2-3 events per year spring-fall.
       b. Move up River to lake.
       c. Coordinate with Environmental groups.
       d. Tie into and coordinate with Rec Center.


    Long term:

    • ✓ Increase home owner valuations along river.
    • ✓ Cut crime.
    • Increase traffic along river.
    • ✓ Provide riverfront development potential.
    • Allow groups to take over & continue efforts and monitoring.



    Note:  Checkmarks indicate objective has been accomplished or is in process

    Create 5 pt. (2 yr) chart for rehab plan. (Show map – move by need & opportunity).
       a. Revamp housing structure from 5 – 20+ houses /year.
       b. Focus on specific neighborhoods
       i. Utilize Historic Neighborhood, Housing Stock & River in model.
       ii. Need increased staffing – reorganize for efficiency.
       iii. Additional funding sources.
        Jobs must be locally focused – Local private & Labor.
       iv. Create program to hire more city workers specifically.
       v. Get double the value from rehabbing than building new.
       vi. Stop or stem tide of foreclosures.
    Rewrite Housing codes to reflect needs and action.
    Update UNIT efforts and focus to tie into housing & neighborhoods
       a. Organization – structural. (evaluate other models)
       b. Need to asses and clean up billing issues with Real Estate.
    Bring in Landlord/Tennant/Legal Groups to evaluate.
      Provide sights for Green builders (empty lots, foreclosure sites).
    Partner with investors around housing plan.
    Double the amount of funds coming from State & Federal levels in 3 yrs.
       a. HUD
       b. NSP
       c. WHEDA
       d. CRA
    Add outside resources in each area – NHS, Housing groups. (Pastoral Program)
    Program must be sustainable – need to increase sale volume after rebuild to keep carrying costs down.
    Use Renew Racine to Clean up riverfront and provide value, pride and a renewed sense of commitment to the area and bring up the value of the neighborhood.


    Long term goals

    • ✓ Increase quality of homes
    • ✓ Build more green housing
    • ✓ Improve Diversity in home ownership
    • ✓ Housing programs must build in sustainability


    Long Term Results:

    • Increased home ownership from 35-60%
    • ✓1-2 new organizations supporting new/rehab housing
    • ✓ Cut crime in ½ in neighborhoods
    • ✓ Increase home values
    • Increase city population