Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kenosha: Steve Casey has it right

Sometimes Kenosha Alderman Steve Casey's head can be thicker than his waist (I know, I shouldn't talk) but this time he's onto something.

Casey points out an apparent hypocrisy that the city is considering an ordinance which would essentially consign sex offenders to a small sliver of the city yet a new elementary school (to replace Lincoln and Durkee) will be built a stone's throw from a minimum security (no gates or razor wire fences) state prison where sex offenders may occasionally reside.

It's no secret that Casey is a thorn in Mayor John Antaramian's side but he has a plausible point.

Regardless of the possibility of sex offenders being lodged at the Kenosha Correctional Center, that school should never have been sited at that location. Most of that process was the result of a series of closed-door wheeling and dealing in which the city gave the school district that parcel of land.

While the mayor has done a lot of good for the city -- especially in curbing urban blight and revitalizing challenged neighborhoods --he's not infallible and this has to be one of the most boneheaded moves he's ever made.

But hizzoner is not alone. The school board and former superintendent Scott Pierce participated in this dirty work. Their lack of brilliance will have many children crossing busy Sheridan Road to get to a school far from their homes. A wiser move might have been to consolidate Lincoln and Columbus schools (Columbus, like Durkee, is ancient, small, ill-equipped and incapable of expansion) and find a site east of Sheridan Road for the new Durkee school.

This time, score one for Steve Casey.

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