Opinion

Letter to Editor: WARD'S WOOLEN MILLS WORKING OVERTIME

With a seeming intent to craft a thick and opaque blanket, to “pull the wool” over the public eyes on the west waterfront development at the December 17, 2019 regular common council meeting, City of Sturgeon Bay taxpayers might want to chime in very soon to protect their pocket books.
Mayor Ward, since the “acceptance,” of Ad Hoc West Waterfront ADVISORY recommendations, has repeatedly pushed his unilateral plan, outlining “four steps,” defining how to implement the still unapproved ad hoc waterfront concepts.   Another $30K is now heading out the door for estimates to hurriedly implement one single aspect of an enormously complex and still unapproved plan, an arguably unnecessary and ill-advised piecemeal approach, cart-before-the-horse decision that will undoubtedly waste significant taxpayer money.  You correctly might ask, why the rush?
Individuals quick with making jokes about a “granary,” annual bridge crossing festival shouldn’t need reminders that the City currently has a binding development agreement with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.  Until such time the common council majority has the political courage, fortitude and conviction to legally alter that SBHS development agreement, Lot 92 is the final destination for the granary.  The mayor, city administrator, city attorney and common council majority need to officially act with legal remedies, or they should quit public whining about supposed problems with the SBHS.    
Anyone without Ward’s woolen blanket tightly wrapped over their eyes yet, recognizes that his hasty push to build an unapproved waterfront promenade also becomes the hasty push that could immediately cause relocation of the iconic tugboats.  The waterfront promenade becomes the false flag project “requiring,” immediate city action to force removal of the tugs.  City leadership could claim they no longer have any choice in the matter and invoke plausible deniability. “We didn’t see this coming.”     
Considering Ms Reeth’s breathless one-liner concern over attorney fees spent in regard to waterfront litigation, she will undoubtedly separate the costs for which she, along with alders Bacon, Nault and Williams voted to incur, to employ Madison-based attorneys to seek leave for filing an Amicus Brief with Judge Gill’s court over the recent Wiese, et.al., appeal, challenging the WI DNR ordinary high water mark ruling for city lot #92.  
Reeths should inquire whether the mayor and city staff instructed these attorneys, or did these attorneys “advise” the “city,” to seek leave to file their Amicus Brief on a topic entirely outside the legal purview of the actual ruling before Judge Gill’s court?  She will undoubtedly be informing city taxpayers about why that money was spent for legal work not explicitly approved by her common council vote. 
Reeths surely will report the potential legal fees to be incurred, should the city desire to quit making veiled insinuations about “problems” with the current SBHS development agreement and vote to officially change that agreement.  She’ll also undoubtedly inquire about the legal costs that will be incurred if the city is forced to defend any alleged breach of the current SBHS development agreement.  
Deliberately misspelling one word (for civility sake) in the familiar colloquial admonition, “Sit or get off the pot,” here directed to majority city leadership and some city staff, please, enough with public opinion manipulation, and please, enough of the divide and conquer tactics and misdirection over the issues of the tugs remaining on the waterfront, the ultimate location of the granary, and on the pretense that an advisory ad hoc plan has already been approved.  Very few people are falling for this city government majority charade. 

 

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