Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Elmwood Park Rebellion

Photo: Racine Post
Good lord things have gone crazy in little Elmwood Park. Previously known as a small neighborhood of about 200 homes - that looks like Racine, but with much lower property taxes - Elmwood Park has become a hotbed of political rebellion.

The source? Walmart...and a doddering Village President who thought she could keep the impending deal a secret.

Fuel meet match.

Nothing makes homeowners go crazy like a Walmart - even a Walmart that would take the place of a decrepit old Kohl's grocery store.

We can't help but feel a bit sorry for Village President, Audrey Viau who seems to have stepped on a hornets nest and doesn't quite get what the fuss is all about. Viau met with developers last year and decided not to tell the other Village trustees. When surveyors started marking up the property, people in the vicinity got curious and their questions led them to the realization the village was getting railroaded by Walmart with Viau was a willing passenger.

Skip ahead after a few explosive village meetings with the Sheriff escorting Viau out - the people of Elmwood Park are dead set on recalling her bandaid head. If Viau was smart, she'd see the writing on the wall and step down - her neighbors only need 66 signatures to trigger a special recall election. They have a candidate ready in the wings - former trustee, Tom Miller.

Friends of Elmwood Park probably already have the signatures needed - a record for quickest recall ever perhaps.

They are going after Village Attorney, John Shannon for conflict of interest complaints too. Shannon appears to be representing the family who is hoping to rezone and sell their property to the Walmart developer in addition to representing the village...so they kind of have a point.

And so the white, middle-class citizens of Elmwood Park become comrades in the recall crazed world of Wisconsin. It's interesting to note that in Elmwood Park, Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch won and Van Wanggaard lost.

Maybe someone should check their ballot bags too.