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Letters to The Platteville Journal for March 25
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Trust, or not

Thomas Jefferson said, “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.”

What would the mannerly Jefferson say, one wonders, about the trustworthiness of Town of Kendall officials who need to be told to mind their manners.

Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Mary Burke told officials to mind their manners about the public records notice posted at the town hall. The notice, established by ordinance, said “the cost of locating a record will be charged $20 per hour ...”

In a Feb. 27, 2014 letter to town chairman Micah Bahr, Burke said the ordinance violated a state law that says “A custodian can charge for location only if the cost is $50 or more.”

Then when officials cut through an Amish farmer’s driveway Dec. 4, 2013, preventing milk truck delivery, one wonders where manners and trustworthiness can have gone.

The action followed a summer-long siege by Bahr, who lobbied the Lafayette County Zoning office to deny the farmer his building plans. Although the farmer had all his legal permits, the siege included at least one visit to a county board meeting (Nov. 16, 2012), where Bahr accused members of bending the rules for the Amish.

Trustworthiness and manners are again at issue, this time from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Labor Standards Bureau. In a Feb. 15 letter, the DWD determined officials should pay a two-year-old postage claim of former clerk Ray McDonald. Furthermore, DWD wrote if payment for wages was not made by March 11, the “case may be forwarded to the District Attorney for litigation,” along with a request for the “maximum penalty for the late payment of wages.”

It is an abuse of public trust and bad manners to refuse Mr. McDonald’s claim, who served the town for nearly 30 years.

Colleen Schultz
Mineral Point

Why vote

Americans vote largely because they understand the privilege of having a say in their government. They realize it is a right not universally shared, though universally sought. The numbers of voters who turn out to vote truly indicates the health of our democracy only when the voters who turn out have taken the time and trouble to inform themselves about the candidates and the issues.

Last month the Wisconsin Education Association Counci; Region 6 hosted an opportunity for community members to meet the eight Platteville School Board candidates running in the primary. It was a great event. Candidates sat at tables and community members could rotate every few minutes to a new candidate and personally talk to the candidates and ask questions of them. Participants, both community members and the candidates, commented to me that this was a good way to get a lot of information in a short period of time and that the participants felt part of the community for participating and becoming informed.

It was such a success that we are offering another opportunity for community members to get to know and ask questions of the Platteville School Board candidates and the Platteville Common Council candidates. This event will be held at the Wisconsin Bank * Trust community room Tuesday, March 31 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The general election is April 7. We need to remember that every vote counts. It is important to educate ourselves so that we don’t just randomly vote but that we know who and what we are voting for. Voting is best exercised by people who have taken the time to learn about the issues.

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting. Bring your questions and get ready to enjoy the evening.

Joyce Bos
WEAC Region 6 Director

A vote for Nall

I am voting for Tom Nall for the Platteville Common Council at-large position. Why should you vote for Tom?

Tom has lived in Platteville for more than 25 years and is currently a business leader in the community. Tom is also committed to the following beliefs:
•    Business Development: Currently serving on the Plan Commission.
•    Working with the taxpayers of the City Of Platteville: wants citizen input on decision-making.
•    Working with Main Street businesses on the Downtown Revitalization Plan: would like to update the current plan.
•    Job development: working together with the City Manager, Common Council, and business leaders, to bring jobs to Platteville.

Mary Miller

Two Yes votes

We will be voting Yes to the referendum to make necessary improvements and updates to the four school buildings in Platteville.

Lindsay Hollingsworth explained in her Letter to the Editor March 11 exactly what this referendum will provide. Review the brochures being shared. Check out the Facebook Page or the website. These are very necessary improvements. These are not only benefits for students and staff, but for community events as well.

We have benefited in many ways over the years from this wonderful public school district. First and foremost, our eight children all are graduates of the Platteville Public Schjools and we are very proud to say that thanks to a good education, have all become successful in their adult professions along with strong community members either here in Platteville or in their other locations. As manager of Dick’s Supermarket for more than 35 years, John employed hundreds of high school students, and always was pleased with the pool of great students that he interviewed and hired. From being a parent to working for the superintendent, Vicki saw first-hand all the trials and tribulations all the staff overcome to make the lives of all students happy, safe, respectful, and always working to help each student succeed. And last, but not least, under the leadership of a very devoted, knowledgeable School Board, this referendum has been thought out very thoroughly over the past few years. The time is right.

As Platteville retired grandparents we want to remind everyone that these young people are part of our future too. These young students need to graduate with the best possible education we can offer them. They are our future leaders, parents, caregivers, employers, teachers, firefighters and EMTs.

Thank you Platteville Public Schools staff for all you your endless hours of training, educating and continuing to provide the outstanding education for Platteville’s youth.

Vicki and John Hirsch

Town ticket?

The March 18 Journal included a letter from four candidates for three Town of Platteville positions, the town board and town clerk. They seem to be running as a team or a party (Tea Party?). Their approach seems less like running for office as an attempt to overthrow the existing town government.

What are their issues, I wonder.  They do not say. They all seem like nice people who have lived here for some time, and one of them says he believes “the town should work with the people …”   but what do they want to do on the council if they sweep out the experienced crew we now have?

Our current town clerk would be especially hard to lose with all the experience he has with state laws, the  Wisconsin Towns Association, and with keeping the agendas and minutes straight.

Walt Wisnewski

Why he’s running

As a parent of two young children and a young professional in Platteville, I am excited for the opportunity to represent the citizens of Platteville to further our dedication to our public schools.

After college my wife and I chose to stay in Platteville as we fell in love with this city and all it has to offer, most especially the educational opportunities here. We both now work in educational settings here in Platteville and are proud to call Platteville home. Our oldest son is a kindergartner and our youngest will soon be 2. With two young children at the beginning of their educational journey in the district, I have a strong interest in serving on the School Board. I feel the story my wife and I have translates into what we hope for many of our young families; a community where young families choose to stay because of the great schools we have.

I am running for Platteville School Board to continue supporting our community’s dedication to investing in our children’s educational experience. I will work to invest in our infrastructure, educators, and students so that we foster an environment where students feel safe, learn effectively, embrace diversity, and develop skills to become lifelong learners. I will work towards a community where parents, teachers, and community members have a collaborative voice in the future of our district and the development of our young people.

I encourage voters to attend one of the upcoming candidate forums sponsored by The Platteville Journal and Southwest Education Association as well as the referendum sessions at the schools. I also look forward to talking more with you about what is important to you as it relates to our public schools and the future of our district.

Matt Zielinski

Vote yes on another referendum

We are writing as three retired justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and are respectfully asking that voters across the state of Wisconsin take the time to understand the importance of the referendum question on the ballot. We hope you will agree with us that a Yes vote in favor of the constitutional amendment is important and merits your vote. The constitutional amendment will permit members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court to select who will represent them as chief justice.

Did you know that Wisconsin is one of only 5 states that select its chief justice based on seniority alone? In 22 states, the chief justice is selected by his or her fellow justices. This permits the court to work in a more collegial fashion than the Wisconsin Supreme Court is permitted to do.

This is not a partisan issue. We three were not elected under the partisan flag of any party. However, we believe that the present constitutional provision that controls who will serve as chief justice is antiquated and must be amended, so that the chief justice will be selected by fellow justices.

Although we served as justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court at different times, we all strongly support the constitutional amendment. Democracy is best. We urge you to vote Yes on April 7.

Justice Jon P. Wilcox (Supreme Court 1992–2007)
Justice Louis J. Ceci (Supreme Court 1982–1993)
Justice William G. Callow (Supreme Court 1977–1992)

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.