RACINE — The fact that Jim Spodick’s name is attached to a documentary accusing city officials of unfair practices may not be surprising for some locals.
Spodick and City Hall have been at odds before.
In 2010, he sued the city for $650,000 claiming that officials, including former Mayor Gary Becker and Brian O’Connell, the director of city development, misled him about a loan agreement he negotiated with them. He later dropped the lawsuit.
Since then, Spodick has attached himself to groups critical of city operations, including the Racine Equality Project, which filed a series of ethics complaints in March alleging that Mayor John Dickert and some Cable Commission members violated city ethics rules during their involvement in the process that led to a private contractor being selected to run the city’s cable access channel.
The complaints were later dismissed by the city’s Board of Ethics.
A few months later, Spodick was involved in an unsuccessful effort to mount a recall election against 4th District Alderman Jim Kaplan.
Among the allegations made against Kaplan was that he had unfairly pushed to keep a Hispanic-owned tavern from opening in his district.
In addition to his battles with City Hall, Spodick has faced a series of economic struggles.
Once heralded for helping revitalize Sixth Street, he lost a host of Downtown properties to foreclosure in 2010, including several properties in the 500 block of Sixth Street.
He also lost a vacation home in Lake Geneva, but was able to hold onto his primary residence on River Hills Road in Caledonia.
Today, Spodick owes the county more than $136,000 in back taxes, according to the Racine County Treasurer’s Office. Most of that money is owed on 500 Sixth St. Now vacant, the property is where the bar Park 6 was once located.
Thomas Holmes, the one-time owner of the bar, is among the bar owners in the documentary alleging unfair treatment.
Asked about the film, Dickert said he hopes Spodick “takes the proceeds from the movie to pay his taxes.”