By Chris Thompson
If Madison government came to my house for dinner, it would show up an hour early, insist on changing the ingredients in the main dish and then leave in a huff complaining the meal was inedible.
Then, without so much as an acknowledgment of its insults, this demanding government would call the next day to tell me it’s willing to give me a second chance if I promise to use my best China and only hand-picked, locally grown vegetables.
Hammes Co. should stop answering the phone. The Brookfield developer cooked up a massive renovation of the Edgewater Hotel about a year ago and then compromised with a local neighborhood group bent on nitpicking the proposal.
The company then endured the double-fisted indignity of project rejection from the city’s Landmarks Commission and failure by the Common Council to overturn that decision.
But the city isn’t done with Hammes yet. That would be too polite. No, Madison officials don’t want to kill the project; they want modifications, alterations and adaptations.
They’re giving Hammes another second chance. But if Madison government’s pattern holds true, once it gets the fine China and local vegetables, it will complain that the red wine’s not red enough.
Hammes made only one mistake. It invited to the table a gaggle of city officials who never understood what every first-grader learns the first day in the school lunchroom: You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.
Chris Thompson is the editor of The Daily Reporter Newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]