Opinion

COMMON COUNCIL FORUM

The DC-LWV forum on Feb 28, absolutely helped me decide on three of the four city district races as to whom I’d recommend to the city voters to support on April 2.  I had initially involved myself in Sturgeon Bay city politics in defense of the Public Trust Doctrine of the Wisconsin State Constitution, essentially ignored by the former council majority including Fett, Vandertie, Ward, Wiesner and Mayor Birmingham and other local politicians. 

 

I whole-heartedly support Laurel Hauser in the 7th, District, to continue her non-partisan, proven efforts and the open government goals attained which she enumerated in her closing statement.  Her opponent, Ms McFarlin-Reeths, stated a clear personal agenda directly opposing the welcome progress Hauser has made fostering inclusivity and city policy decidedly pursued in the public interest.

 

Both Gary Nault in the 5th District, a Birmingham appointee to the Harbor Commission and Ms McFarlin-Reeths essentially vowed to be the same antagonist council members, announcing their pre-conceived agendas which clearly contradict their own claims to being open or able to  compromise. If either were elected, they’d immediately become the very same agents furthering the dissention which they both claimed their constituents and the city has had enough of already.

 

My clear preference in the 5th is the refreshingly open, thoughtfully tempered and clearly intelligent, Sarah K Evenson.   Both Nault and Reeths failed to state, either in their opposition to the huge public efforts to preserve the historically significant granary on public land, or in their promises to build commercial property tax value on the west waterfront, that the property below the current WI DNR declaratory ruled OHWM is closed to private commercial development, therefore appeared as hiding critical facts. 

 

The US Supreme Court on February 19, 2019 refused to hear a challenge in Gunderson v Indiana, from shore property home owners, arguments for closing all public access to vast Lake Michigan beaches, claiming that private land owners controlled property to the very water’s edge. 

 

That claim to private and exclusive shore access was squarely halted in a unanimous decision by the Indiana Supreme Court a year ago, and was just reaffirmed by the US Supreme Court, protecting all our Great Lakes.  (Please take note, Kitchens, David Ward, Wiese/Wulf et.al. v WI DNR)

 

In the City’s 1st District, both candidates offered clearly non-partisan and public interest priorities within  their comments, myself giving Ms Helen Bacon an edge in that she has a proven county board track record understanding the local problems resulting from real financial poverty, which we frequently pretend doesn’t exist locally, along with her extensive career and volunteer experience. 

 

In the City’s 3rd District, Williams has helped build Wisconsin’s current EMS delivery system, but I fear he’s too familiar with the extreme majority party partisan leadership in Madison.   Mr Sean Linnan’s popularity contest, mobile phone app consensus seeking scares me, recognizing any representative’s duty is to understand the issues and not capitulate to a particular vocal minority.  A toss-up, I don’t favor either candidate, here.

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