Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

No reason to stall domestic partner benefits: Our View

2:49 PM, Aug. 16, 2013  |  Comments
Two men sign a domestic partnership application in Brown County in 2009. Cities across Wisconsin have adopted domestic partner benefits; Stevens Point can, too.
Two men sign a domestic partnership application in Brown County in 2009. Cities across Wisconsin have adopted domestic partner benefits; Stevens Point can, too.
  • Filed Under

The city of Stevens Point saw what looks like an unjustified delay this week in implementing its policy of offering domestic partner benefits to city employees. The policy, which was approved in June, was held up at this week's meeting by City Council member Michael Phillips, who prevented basic paperwork changes by arguing, again, that the new policy could cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars if it leads to huge numbers of employees applying for new benefits.

The debate about the policy has already taken place. It was adopted by the council and is a matter of law.

But on the substance of the matter, we can reassure Phillips that Stevens Point need not expect a budget-busting flood of new domestic partnership claims. The cities of Appleton, Eau Claire, Janesville, Kenosha, Madison, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Monona and Racine have adopted similar coverage policies without triggering a mad rush of claims. There is no factual basis to believe Stevens Point will be any different.

Gay people are about 2.8 percent of Wisconsin's population, according to a 2012 Gallup poll; there probably aren't enough gay couples in all of Stevens Point to cause the budget ruination he's predicting, let alone gay couples currently working for city government.

Our friendly advice to Phillips: It's over. Let the city move forward in adopting its policy.

Justice seeks civics renaissance

State Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley this week in Stevens Point brought attention to a real shortcoming of the education system: the lack of civics education. Once a mainstay in the classroom, old-fashioned "Schoolhouse Rocks"-style lessons about government are increasingly a rarity. During presentations to the local Noon Rotary Club and the Boys & Girls Club, Walsh Bradley highlighted a new website by the Pew Research Center, www.icivics.org, which will offer basic lessons and accessible information about how our government works.

We need good citizens. Certainly not every young person (nor every adult) will be fascinated by the workings of government - though some will be, and it's important to foster that. But in a democracy, all of them will have a stake in what their governments do.

Thanks to Walsh Bradley for bringing the topic back to the region. Let's hope it sparks some renewed interest in the fundamentals like how a bill becomes a law and how checks and balances work, or are supposed to work.

Grocery thieves nabbed

One of the most remarkable recent stories we've covered came to an expected conclusion this week when police arrested two teenagers they say attempted to hold up Wolf's Grocery in Marshfield, only to be thwarted by that store's stubborn, brave owner, 96-year-old Marge Wolf, who offered a would-be robber Tootsie Rolls but no money.

The person police say entered the store to rob Wolf is a 13-year-old Marshfield boy.

We again congratulate Wolf for standing up to the alleged would-be robber. And though we are shocked by his youth, the fact is we've seen in numerous cases around Wisconsin and the country that a 13-year-old can be perfectly capable of acts of violence.

We can all be glad it did not come to that in this case - and we hope the two boys, whatever the potential punishment if they are found guilty of the crime, will eventually count themselves lucky, too, that they did not do something they could not undo.

Meanwhile, Wolf remains one of our heroes.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
575 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1015 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports