The failed Redevelopment Authority Project Machinery Row must now endure another financial blow to the taxpayers. Just a few months back, it came to light that RDA had callously and intentionally shirked their legal responsibility to inform and assist those citizens who were displaced by the development project. Multiple tenants who were renting business space in the sprawling 20-acre site have now been determined by the Wisconsin Department of Administration that they have rights to relocation monies from the City of Racine. As a result, Mr. Patrick Fagan, one who was victimized by their violations of both the law and basic human decency had to file a complaint with the State of WI Dept. of Administration for them to direct the City of Racine to cover the losses he incurred. (Episode 26 Talking Racine)
On June 9, 2017 the Department of Administration rendered a clear directive to the City of Racine (Letter Attached) to engage in negotiations with Mr. Fagan to compensate him for damages. They went so far as to advise Mr. Fagan that, though the D.O.A. was not the agency to oversee a separate civic complaint, he is entitled to pursue one. Not only is Mr. Fagan entitled to relocation compensation, the Department of Administration determined that he is not an “isolated parcel” all the property in the Machinery Row development is deemed a public project. So, again the taxpayers as a result of the terrible mismanagement and reckless irresponsibility that is the hallmark of the city development and city legal team puts a multi-million-dollar liability onto it citizens. This is not covered by the city liability insurance, it is solely on the backs of the City of Racine taxpayers.
Unsurprisingly, and despite the clear directive and the mass of evidence upon which it is based, the city’s legal department chose to continue on its established path of denial and avoidance of its legal obligations. They have now undeniably established that this is willful and criminal and exposes the taxpayers to liabilities that could far exceed those which are expected of an agency operating in good faith. In case that’s unclear to anyone, what it means is, we are now on the hook for potentially millions of additional dollars in relocation compensation, loss of livelihood, and punitive damage lawsuits
Letter exchange between Wisconsin Department of Administration and City of Racine (Nicole Larson)