As poet Robert Frost noted, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall ...”. Those who attended the April 19 Town of Kendall annual meeting were hoping for bridges, not walls.
After numerous clashes, including the ever-increasing legal fees and the switch from the Darlington fire and ambulance district — done arbitrarily and without resident input — hopes were disappointed.
Legal fees invoices for 2014 total $8,615.05; the 2015 total is $10,409.15, and 2016 will probably surpass both years. Thousands are being spent on legal fees to defend the township’s unethical refusal to pay former clerk Ray McDonald’s paltry sum of a few hundred dollars.
Sups. Jackie Steffes and Don Christensen tried to make an end run around whether certain prerogatives of the town residents were advisory or mandatory, contradictory to Wisconsin Statute 60.10, “Direct Powers of town meeting.” While some residents pointed out the statutes to them, it is troubling that Steffes and Christensen, after five years, still have furrowed brows over resident rights. Do they not understand that “High moral and ethical conduct” of public officials is essential, according to the Wisconsin Code of Ethics, (19.41)?
Suing an organization dedicated to saving lives and property is just plain wrong, as is reducing an Amish farmer’s income by removing his driveway. The board’s arbitrary decisions build walls, not bridges. These barriers affect not only local residents, but the wider context of adjacent communities, and do not reflect high moral and ethical conduct.
Furthermore, the measure of chairman Micah Bahr’s concern for residents’ views and concerns was to absent himself from this important meeting.
There now appears to be a bridge-building group of residents who, like Frost, do not love a wall and who are not going to allow town officials to circumvent state statutes.
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