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Friday, October 31, 2008

Coach Ditka: Make an Effort! Gehl Workers: We Were!

Ex-Bears/Saints coach turned sportscaster Mike Ditka campaigns with Gov. Sarah Palin in western Pennsylvania today. Getting off message (must be contagious around Palin:

Departing somewhat from John McCain's argument that failures on Wall Street and in Washington have imperiled the American worker, Ditka argued that anyone seeking employment can find a job — as long as they’re willing to make an effort.

“This is the land of opportunity,” he said. “It's not a land of handouts. If you’re willing to work, you can find a job. If you're willing to work, you can find a job.” [Peter Hamby, "Mike Ditka Hits the Campaign Trail with Palin," CNN.com Political Ticker, 2008.10.31]

Let's hope that's all it takes for the 45 workers who just lost their jobs at Gehl in Madison to find new jobs. They were making an effort, producing such a quality product that the French company Manitou just bought Gehl to add Gehl/Mustang skidsteers to their product line. But then the Bush Recession killed hundreds of orders, and Gehl had to shed 45 people who were perfectly willing to work.

So you tell me: is now the time to elect someone who sounds like Herbert Hoover?


  1. This is a terrible situation for Madison, but why do you always blame everything on Bush? The democrats control the House and Senate! All we need now is for them to be President! Watch out America when this happens. We think things are tough now.....it will only get worse!

  2. The news outlets only report part of the story. Gehl has been letting people go and cutting back hours for several weeks now. But the people hit hardest by this are the workers who still have their jobs. At least the ones who have been let go can file for unemployment, while the ones who are left get to struggle to make ends meet on six days of work in November and nine in December . . . if they even get that. Gehl obviously has no respect for its workers or this community or they wouldn't have been lying to its employees trying to reassure them that their jobs are safe.

  3. From what I could gather Manitou has purchased other manufacturers and kept them intact in various places worldwide. Analysts said a year ago it would be difficult for Gehl to compete without greater sales distribution. In the long run my gut tells me things will rebound and be more secure for Gehl, but this is a truly global crisis. We should have been holding the LAIC accountable for job growth over the last few years so we would not be so dependent on a few. Our community has not done right for itself. John Hess

  4. Reading Thursday's paper I think George Lee gets it. He makes note of the surplus land the city owned for economic development they gave away. I think this was the Berther land they gave to the LAIC. jh

  5. George Lee may be trying to make a point, but he's pointing his finger right in his own face as a former City Commissioner who sat on Madison Development Corporation land for decades, hoping to make a massive profit by overcharging firms that looked at the land. Recently, the new generation City Commissioners that replaced stodgy, tightwad commissioners like George Lee and Myron Downs transferred ownership of Development Land to LAIC so they can market it, create jobs and get those properties back on the property tax roles. The burden now falls squarely on Dwaine Chapel's shoulders and I hope the City holds his feet to the fire with clear cut performance goals and a timetable. The Berther Land was a very wise purchase for the City, and as long as James River Equipment paid a fair price for it, it will be a great improvement for Madison's business development park.

  6. I love this statement:

    "The burden now falls squarely on Dwaine Chapel's shoulders and I hope the City holds his feet to the fire with clear cut performance goals and a timetable."

    What can we do to help ensure that happens? I wrote an email to Dan Bohl last night with similar sentiment. John Hess

  7. Is is nearing the time a group of concerned and frustrated people attend city commission meetings to let them know we have expectations which have not been met by the LAIC? We pay for their efforts through our tax dollars without measurable accountability:

    - job growth
    - main street development

    There was a proud time in our city's history when the LAIC was formed to encourage more interests, especially beyond that of one family. How about the whole community now?

    John Hess 256-8163

  8. Hi Corey, because of your article about the proposed ordinance regarding fences, I will definitely be there to express my concerns.

    I have always had an interest in local government. Might be a future calling of mine.. :-) Unless people tell our elected officials their concerns, or ideas, nothing will ever change. Madison is a wonderful town and it amazes me how community oriented it is. With the layoff announcements at Gehl, it breaks my heart to see there are limitied opportunities for them here. I see Madison and a "Hidden Treasure" that shouldn't be hidden. Somebody needs to attract new business to this area to let it grow and thrive.

  9. When did Bush create the recession? Last time I checked, your illustrious Democrats controlled all the money, with majorities in both House and Senate. And you want uncheck taxation with Obama? We need balance in Washington, not blank checks for the Democrats and their social agenda.

  10. How about leaving the politics out of that.... What happened in Madison was a rumour for month - always denied by the " Management". This is not about Bush or anybody in politics... it is Disrespect for employees. As an individual you might do a great job but you do NOT count in the stock market.My opinion is cut 2Salary " Managers" and save 10 hourly employees!


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