Jeff Palicki,

Ashland

EDITOR: Chequamegon Commons would address the very ridiculous housing shortage that exists here. Imagine a sparkling new subdivision consisting of 20 new homes on 50-foot by 80-foot lots. I sure can. The remaining parcel of the former Chicago Iron mess is waiting for this project. If one looks at existing homes for sale, they go "Eeeew." Many of these homes are far beyond their usefulness and would never pass an actual home inspection for occupation by humans. They cannot be lent on by any lender, and only pass hands via cash deals. They then become an income source for slumlords and an eyesore throughout the city.

My own new home project consists of an 840-square-foot home, which is all most folks desire and can afford. These lots would allow folks who are trapped in decaying homes to live in and love this wonderful city. "But the land is toxic." This project only requires slabs. Slabs do not break the surface more than 8 inches down, and I am quite sure that all the talented contractors would love to be part of such a project. Not a mobile home community, these new homes would be opulent, as is my own. There are builders who have responded to this niche to meet this demand. My home is loaded with luxurious options and these homes will really surprise you. With the new Police Station perched at the east end, not only would this new area sparkle but be the safest place to live.

Because General Motors entrusted me with a redesign of the GM Employee Suggestion Plan, my eyes always see things that need to be addressed. Ashland is in desperate need of urban renewal, a term used in the 1960s to address decrepit houses that are falling apart.

There would be many other boosts to the local economy and tax base. As a substitute teacher every single day 2008-2012 at Ashland High School, I'm betting some of my former students would agree and like very much to start a family in a decent home. The folks who live here deserve that, and are calling for you to consider such a project on otherwise useless land.

l left for three years, but Chequamegon Bay called to me, so here I am. My Nickname at GM was "Mr. Suggestion." Students at Ashland High School nicknamed me "Mr. Jeff." Perhaps in 18 months you all can call me "Mayor Jeff." Just don't call me late for dinner or expect these poor folks to continue living in dilapidated houses used as profit centers for slumlords.

If you can, write a check to the Brick Ministry Food Bank. Folks here are starving and the Brick is feeding them. Help these people.

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