The new revolutionaries in Madison?
This letter was recently sent to state Rep. Garey Bies and to state Sen. Frank Lasee.
This letter is in reference to SB349, of which both of you are sponsors and basically strips counties, towns, villages and cities of police power authority to regulate air quality, water quality and water quantity. This bill is aimed at the mining industry; however, I think about the implications to our fragile geology and the impact to our air and water quality here in the communities of eastern Wisconsin, not to mention the damage to local highways with the passage of this bill.
Lately, I have been wondering about the thinking of our elected state officials. This bill suggests we should have a more totalitarian system of government in which a single, authoritarian party controls the state-owned means of production and laws with a single charismatic leader as the ultimate authority.
As you might be aware, Lenin maintained that the proletariat needed professional revolutionaries to guide it. I am beginning to wonder if the time has not come to require all taxing districts be eliminated and every law and authority be concentrated in Madison. With over 5,000 taxing districts in the state of Wisconsin, you, as a Madison professional revolutionary, would have more money to control all of the people, industry, production and voting rights of the people. By concentrating the power in Madison, you would have more control over "the people and the lands of the state." Think about it!
Some thoughts about town government
Town government is a mix of republican and democratic structures. The Liberty Grove Town Board consists of five members elected by the voters to represent them and to conduct the business of the town. The board meeting is republican in form. It is the only place that the members, who represent the voters, may discuss and/or debate town business.
Due to the Wisconsin Open Meetings law, they cannot in any way communicate with each other about town business leading to a course of action outside of the board meeting. All their interaction is limited to the board meeting.
The Liberty Grove board agenda allows for public input, but each speaker is limited to three minutes unless the chairman, at his discretion, grants further time. The purpose of this limitation is to allow time for the board to discuss and do the town's business. Note that the five board members are available to the public 24/7 via email, phone or face-to-face discussion.
The annual town meeting, on the other hand, is democracy in action. It generally has a short agenda and is then open to unlimited public input on any subject. It is different from the monthly board meetings. The purchase of property and the construction of buildings is subject to approval at a town meeting. Motions may be made and passed by the attendees, but are only advisory to the town board. It is at the board meetings that action is taken.
There are 1,678 registered voters in the town of Liberty Grove and they had the opportunity to elect four board members and the chairman. The vocal minority that has attended the recent town board meetings and caused the chaos was about 2.4 percent of that number, and some were not registered to vote in the town. The right thing for the vocal minority to do is to put their names on the ballot and run for the board.
Retired Town Chairman
Roads improved in Jacksonport
Thank you to the county for deciding to repave the two-mile stretch of County T in West Jacksonport. I didn't realize how bad the road was until I found myself no longer slaloming around the pot holes. Even the gravel before the pavement was better than the old road. Well done, fellas!
President lacks backbone
Congratulations and kudos to President Obama for being the most feckless president we've ever had.
I am heartsick to learn of the latest strategy by Republican Party leaders to call for the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius on the grounds that the website is not working adequately for Americans wishing to register for the Affordable Care Act.
Opposing the health-care initiative is one thing, but holding Sibelius responsible for technological difficulties in signing up for it is another. It is a despicable and desperate act of bullying to go after an individual who, by any standard of decency, is doing her utmost to help implement the law of the land.
I think of young people watching this spectacle of hatred play out in Washington - impressionable children engaged in "cooperative learning" activities. What must they think? How will they bridge the gap between a theory of cooperation and its opposite reality?
If ever there were a time for modeling civil behavior among adults, it is now. Instead of calling for Sibelius's head on a platter, our powerful and presumably caring leaders should stop bullying the Secretary of Health and Human Services. If they cannot rise to heroic stature by offering assistance, they should at least stop bullying her when she's doing her best for us.
Sturgeon Bay budget needs reigning in
I am writing this letter not as a reaction to what is happening on the federal or state political scene. I am writing this letter because I feel it is long overdue that we look at and scrutinize what we are taxed and how your municipality spends your money.
Some people will read this and say that the local government is just going to do what it wants anyway, or that there is nothing I can do. The democratic process only works if people - taxpayers - stay abreast of how our local government is functioning. Many people claim that government is best left in local hands. I agree with this principle.
Unfortunately, over time, when ignorance and apathy set in, and all you hear is how life in the rose garden at 421 Michigan St. is blooming, we get complacent. When this happens budgets keep rising and rising and rising. Services cost money.
What I feel we lose track of is that we - the city of Sturgeon Bay - are asmall town. We sometimes get a little too big for our britches and the backs of the people that this town is being carried and supported by.
We don't need a $12.3 million budget. What do you think?
Thanks for a successful kermiss
The Namur Belgian Heritage Foundation would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of our annual kermiss held in September.
Thank you to all our business friends and individuals for the variety of wonderful donations that made the bucket raffle and auction a success. Thank you to Polka Man Dale and his Bellows and String Band for providing great entertainment for all. To the crafters, for their displays of beautiful and unique items for sale. A special thank-you to Scott and Tina Novak for making the best ice cream with his tractor. It was amazing how a tractor could churn out something so delicious.
We also would like to extend a huge thank-you to Charlie, Chuck and Kathy Massart. They boiled the trout for our fish boil held earlier this summer. You certainly are masters at boiling to perfection.
To our volunteers, words can not express our appreciation for all you do. Our success is because of your unselfish giving of your time and talents. Thank you to the Belgian pie and torte bakers, to the booyah and jut cooks and the grill masters for all the wonderful food. Thank you to all who helped in the setup and teardown needed to hold this event.
We would also like to thank everyone for coming to our kermiss. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and had a good time. We look forward to seeing you next year on the third Sunday in September.
Namur Belgian Heritage Foundation