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Saturday, March 10, 2007

BuySeasons avoids the "Toxic" business climate of Milwaukee

I want to pass along the reaction of a Wisconsin businessman, to the decision of BuySeasons to expand in Waukesha County, instead of in Milwaukee's Menomonee Vally as they had hoped to do. This plan would have brought the companies headquarters and several hundred jobs to within easy reach of the people in Milwaukee that most need the jobs in our inner city neighborhoods. But some of Milwaukee's political leadership, like Congresswomen Gwen Moore, and Aldermen Bauman and Donovan stood in the way, saying that these $9 to $16 an hour jobs weren't good enough.

Here is the reaction of Bruce J Redenz of AMEA Accredited Machinery & Equipment Appraiser. Madison Tool, Incorporated:
I have some news for Alders Bauman and Donovan: The way a city recoups its development dollars after putting together a commerce park is by collecting property tax revenues from the companies that develop the improved properties.

Well, here’s 360,000 square feet of tax revenue that the City of Milwaukee won’t be getting its dirty hands on…

Tell me precisely how many “non-fad” or “real” businesses Alders Bauman and Donovan have started from nothing. How many people do their companies employ again?

Oh let’s see here: The only reference to business ownership on either of their bios, according to the City of Milwaukee website is a claim that Bauman was once “President of the Milwaukee Rail Car Corporation”, a company that, according to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions was “administratively dissolved” in 1993. (Ummm, that’s 14 years ago, right?)

Bauman’s comments in particular were nothing less than libelous, and as a business owner for over 11 years, of a company that hasn’t ever been “administratively dissolved” I hope Mr. Jalem Getz considers bringing suit against Bauman in civil court for defamation. It’s very difficult in court to prove defamation per say. A published story in the Journal/Sentinel ought to help his case substantially.

Bruce also included a copy of the press release from BuySeasons announcing it's decision to expand in New Berlin. They also expressed their opinion of Milwaukee's political environment, calling it toxic.
While a toxic political environment in Milwaukee prevented us from relocating to the Menomonee Valley, it was the outpouring of support from the public and surrounding areas which reminded us the vast majority of Wisconsin is a great place for a business like ours.

As a reminder, Alderman Bob Bauman said:
Ald. Robert Bauman, who opposed the land sale, said Milwaukee is running short of land available for industrial use and should better protect that “scarce resource.” He questioned the long-term sustainability of BuySeasons, calling it “a fad business.”

This "fad business" has received several awards from the likes of the MMAC, The Business Journal, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and others. They have 175 full time employees earning an average of $11.55 an hour and are expecting to grow that by 30-40% over the next three years. They also hire several hundred seasonal employees in the $9 to $16 range.
Ald. Willie Wade, said BuySeasons will bring hundreds of jobs to the valley site. Those include entry-level seasonal jobs, which Wade said are badly needed for central city residents who lack basic job skills.

One last thing
One last thing here, I would like to ask Bob Bauman, Gwen Moore and the others that opposed this expansion in the wasteland of the Menomonee Vally, where are those "better jobs" you wanted? When will they begin employing Milwaukee's inner city residents that desperately need jobs?

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