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The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt's Packard Plaza Petition Response

Cudahy, John Hohenfeldt, Mayor, Packard Plaza, Email

Dear Mrs.Wisniewski:

 

I am aware of the Citizen petition asking the current building owner and leasing agent Brixmor to perform some improvements and find tenants for their property.  First, I would like to thank everyone involved for their civic involvement in this issue and bringing a potential call to action by a private sector owner.

 

You had requested that City of Cudahy Officers and Elected Officials forward the link to the petition site.  I regret to inform you that this would not be allowed by Officers, Elected Officials and City of Cudahy Employees as this would be a clear violation of city policies.  Just as with many employers in the private sector, forwarding this type of communication of a private matter is not allowed, specifically here using Municipal Government Resources.  I hope your group understands that matter and if you have any questions you can contact either myself, or the City Attorney.

 

Some additional insight and information regarding the Office of the Mayor and Common Council and measures taken up to this point as a governing body.  For anyone who attended our first session of the newly elected Common Council, the Council heard that one of my top priorities for the city is business / addition retention, development and redevelopment.  Within 30 days in office, my office reached out to Dana M. from Brixmor with an invitation to attend a Common Council meeting to provide an update to the Common Council for their plans on the facility, and what marketing efforts they are taking to fill “their facility”.  With the summer schedule and most times lack of attendance from the general public and timing issues on their part, a decision was made for her to attend a Common Council meeting on September 3rd.  While the City of Cudahy did what we could to spread the word about this representative coming to the meeting, a handful of less than 5 concerned citizens attended the meeting to hear the update.

 

During the summer time, myself, the Director of Economic Development, and members of the Common Council tried to work to identify potential tenants for the mall, attract interest (market their privately owned building), and meet with businesses looking to move into Cudahy.  During that period, the handful of businesses that talked to us that Brixmor was not willing to make any investment into their property, until a lease was signed.  We were successful in approving at the Plan Commission two small businesses into the building that were able to negotiate something with the owner, a motorcycle parts and repair business and a tattoo parlor. 

 

What most residents probably do not remember or are not aware is that the City of Cudahy previously financed a Tax Incremental Financing District to get the improvements which are currently on the building today (awnings / façade, etc).  The District was created during Mayor Glowacki’s term, and closed during my first term between 2004 to 2007.  The owner at that time, invested along with the city and when the TIF was closed, created positive results for all taxing jurisdictions that receive the benefit of the dollars generated by the improvements.  The accepted practice of public / private partnership in development and Tax Incremental Financing is about a 7 to 1 ratio.  That means for every dollar of government investment, the private developer (or in this case building owner) puts in seven dollars (of their own money) which leads you to improvements and increased value.  Currently, the ownership of the building is not willing to make any kind of investment for the city to even begin to consider a new tax increment district. That is frustrating for the Elected Officials, however we do not own the building, nor can we force the owner to invest in their property.

 

The Elected Officials continue to support and encourage any and all practical efforts in the area of economic development, job creation, and investment in our community.  I have not seen neighboring Common Council’s in St. Francis or South Milwaukee bring private sector building owners like Brixmor into a session before the Common Council in the last ten years of being actively involved in Municipal Government.  The only situation I know of even remotely close was the owner of the Grant Park Plaza being brought to the CDA because they were not meeting financial obligations with the CDA in South Milwaukee. 

 

I truly hope that some of my additional information provides you with what this governing body has been working with specifically on this matter on behalf of our residents.  I personally, while can not utilize city resources to sign your petition, I have made note of your link provided and will access as a citizen on my personal computer.  I would be happy to spread the word verbally to my neighbors and residents however cannot utilize any city resources in doing so as I would be personally in violation of City Policy. 

 

I have forwarded my response to all that you have listed on this e mail.  I would like to note that it appears that you have an incorrect address for Alderman Bartoshevich.

 

Sincerely,

 

John Hohenfeldt

 

Mayor

 

 

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