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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

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January 10, 2006


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Bill Swan

I posted a comment on the link for the Playground Politics article that I'll summarize here. I agree completely. In my case, I was a musician and left because the club scene in Madison was hurting in the early nineties, probably still is, due to the fact that my favorite bands played at clubs that were over 21, so many national acts would pass over madison, especially acts with fanbases begining in the 16-20 range. Understandably, the drinking age was a federally driven response, but there could be ways around the rigorous enforcement in the clubs, giving out wristbands to "of age" folks like they do in clubs down in Chicago.

But now that I am 35 and plan to have kids soon, my wife and I are considering a move back to Madison from the Bay Area, because we can't afford to buy a house there in a market that has a median home price of $650,000+. The secondary schools are crap in CA to boot, ranking 49th or so, depending on the study. And many of the parents spoil their children there. It's one thing to be a nurturant parent, and another thing to be a permissive one. I don't want my kids to get their start around that, since I didn't.

Point is...none of the above have anything to do with the tax rates. The fact that I left when I was 23 and am now considering a move back at, oh, 36 or 37 or so, has nothing to do with the tax rates. All are "quality of life" things that are not easy to quantify. I didn't leave just because of the clubs, nor did I move to CA because of the weather. But the former didn't help and the latter didn't hurt. And the taxes were nowhere on the radar. So long as the Government isn't corrupt...and in WI it's less so than many other states, I see taxes as paying dues for infrastructure and to support things like the arts and other, hard-to-quantify-to-satisfy-the-bean-counters "quality of life" considerations.

Bill Hughes

As a School Superintendent in a Milwaukee suburban community I am regularly asked to make presentations to the Chamber of Commerce and to businesses that are looking at relocating to our community. In fact, just this week I am rearranging my schedule to make a presentation this Friday morning. The decision makers of these organizations are very interested in the quality of the schools, the level of support the community has for the public schools, the fine arts, the level of graduate success and the type of leadership in the community. The following points which are all correlated are absoutely critical to attracting businesses and their leaders to a community.
Good public schools
A safe neighborhood
Access to a well-educated, solid workforce
A clean environment with access to public parks and recreation
Cultural opportunities
Interesting neighborhoods

Check out Greendale Wisconsin.

Bill Hughes

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