Skip to comments.Coalition Blasts Mayor's Job Numbers (Mayor Dave, Madison, WI)
Posted on 01/07/2006 10:32:03 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz (D, WI) is taking heat for what critics say were misleading claims about how strongly Madison's economy has grown since he took office in 2003.
The Common Sense Coalition, a year-old policy group that so far has not backed any candidates for office, said that it was "disappointed, but not surprised."
Cieslewicz's overstatement of the job statistics was reported in the Wisconsin State Journal on Friday.
"Jobs are moving out of the city to the surrounding areas," Common Sense Coalition spokesman Ray Allen said. "It just seems that some of our local elected officials are not hearing the warning bells. We cannot go on pretending that there are no consequences to the policies that our local government has been mandating on employers."
The figures at issue are employment statistics: The mayor's office put forward the claim that the city had gained 5,000 jobs since he took office in April 2003 and that Madison's economy had generated 3,000 of these jobs in the last 12 months.
In actuality, the figure of 5,000 jobs represent changes of the number of Madison residents who are employed, whether or not they work in the city, according to the state Department of Workforce Development. And the 3,000 jobs generated over the last year includes a three-county area.
Furthermore, the state DWD reports that employment of Madison residents has recently dipped, falling by 800 between November of 2004 and 2005.
Allen seized on this figure, saying it was "the most disappointing."
"How can you have an honest policy dialogue about economic issues, when you are not even honest with the facts," he said. "This is exactly the reason why the Common Sense Coalition has called for the creation of a cabinet level Office of Economic Development."
Mayoral spokesman George Twigg, who has taken the blame for an error in how the statistics were presented, characterized the criticism as political.
"They're struggling to find bad news in one of the economies that's the best in the nation," Twigg said. "Most people who don't have an agenda know that Madison is in good shape economically."
With an active year of legislation that included enacting a smoking ban, launching an affordable housing rule for new development and addressing various employment regulations, some segments of the city are decrying Madison's government as hostile to business.
Former Mayor Paul Soglin, writing on his blog waxingamerica.com, joined critics in that camp, saying that "a combination of decisions can lead to a series of events culminating in the economic decline of a city. All it takes is a few bad decisions, a lack of credibility and public officials who do not understand the externalities of their decisions."
Soglin said that by passing a local minimum wage, a smoking ban and the inclusionary zoning law, Madison had committed itself to a future he called "bleak," with businesses and middle class citizens soon to abandon the city.
Soglin, who now works for Epic Systems, the highest profile company to leave Madison for a suburb, said the problems began after 1996, the last year he held office.
Twigg said that while bloggers may present anecdotes, the facts are that Madison has continued to have a strong economy, as evidenced by large employers such as Covance, which are staying and expanding here.
"The Mayor of Candor Lied" Ping! (Harry Chapin. Remember him?)
Is Madison to the right or left of Berkeley? Austin?
... and coming in 2006 to Madison: Mandatory Health Leave benefits for all employees.
Wow! a lying Democrat, what will they think of next; a tall basketball player?
Diana, you need to set up a Wisconsin news ping list!
You always seem to find an article or two that I miss while holding the parts of the Cap Times (that don't have the classified adds and the Tv guide) between two finders enroute to the Recycling stack..
Actually I shouldn't complain... I do put the Cap Times to good use as a blotter when I clean my guns.
I've got one. I'll add you to it! :)
I do mainly Politics with some funny or heartwarming stuff thrown in there once in a while. SJackson and Ladysmith have lists you may want to be on, too...midwest outdoor issues, concealed carry, hunting stories & issues, etc. Good stuff there, too!
Just do a search on their names if you want to check out the types of things they post & you can ask to jump on those lists, as well. :)
Thanks a ton!