Eau Claire’s approach
Recently my children and I visited Eau Claire with an overnight stay. Many college students participated in a benefit marathon, and my son ran representing the University of Minnesota.
In the evening my children and I took a walk up and down Main Street. They were patient as I took pictures of their parking signs and took note of the appearance of Main Street and parking availability. Eau Claire’s population is similar to Dubuque, and Eau Claire has a UW campus.
I wanted to explore and get a feel of Eau Claire’s Main Street. It was obvious they put a lot of thought and work into the outcome of the atmosphere created for visitors downtown. Even though the shops were closed at 9 p.m. we had an enjoyable experience. Fun, tasteful music was playing all along Main Street, and there was metal artwork anchored at different locations on the sidewalk outside the shops. There was a great selection of shops including a florist, framed art, hobby trains, toys, gift, hardware, clothing, restaurants, etc. Window viewing was fun with the music in the background. The parking was definitely noted as they had two-hour free stalls all along Main Street and side streets. Municipal lots were also designated free with two-hour parking on Main Street and on side streets. I took note of a huge parking ramp that had a large sign with hourly, daily, and monthly rates posted. It looked as though they only charged for the ramp.
With my experience of the meetings on the parking issue for downtown Platteville lately, I have felt a feeling of rushing through this planning phase with no real outside public feedback. By feedback, I am talking about meetings that include question-and-answer sessions with the public and our city leaders — meetings that really involve the input of our residents, property, and business owners to come up with an acceptable and exciting plan that will work for Downtown Platteville and benefit our great community.
This is a real problem for Platteville. I have identified and relayed this in meetings lately to our leaders. Relying on a study done by students as a reason to not build a parking ramp without consulting public opinion and comments seems to be a biased way to handle our situation. Our business owners were not even aware of the student study being done. Having our city leaders eager to sell our parking lot for student housing development also demonstrates a biased decision without public input. Our city residents, tenants, visitors, customers, employees, property and business owners deserve to be heard and be involved in the direction of plans that affect our beautiful downtown Platteville.
Without rushing, with putting some great thought and input into our downtown, I believe our assets can be protected and prevent unnecessary future problems. We have an awesome “can-do” community. Pulling together in a positive way can only do wonders and good for our downtown.
Lori Erschen Bahr
Erschen’s Florist, 10 W. Main St., Platteville
Assembly GOP likes Tranel
I am writing this letter to make it perfectly clear where I and my Assembly Republican colleagues stand with regard to the upcoming 49th Assembly District primary race. I was shocked to learn that some voters were being purposely misled with regard to which candidate we were supporting. Let me be perfectly clear. We stand 100 percent united behind Rep. Travis Tranel in his bid for re-election.
I have had the pleasure of serving alongside Travis this historic term and I have come to know him as one of the most thoughtful and hardworking members of the legislature. Rep. Tranel courageously stood shoulder to shoulder with us in voting for a budget that solved a $3.6 billion deficit without raising taxes. Thanks to Rep. Tranel, our state now has a surplus and has put money into the rainy day fund for two years in a row.
Thanks to the hard work and leadership of Rep. Tranel, we passed more than 70 job creation bills in the State Assembly. Moreover, Travis has earned the respect of his colleagues because he is a tireless advocate for cutting waste in government and a fearless advocate for his district. My colleagues and I admire Rep. Tranel because he isn’t afraid to stand up to the special interests or the bureaucrats in Madison and consistently sides with taxpayers and working families. Maybe that’s because he is a small business owner himself who knows the value of a dollar.
Travis is clearly a rising star in the State Assembly and has quickly developed a reputation for honesty, maturity and hard work. Because of his leadership property taxes have fallen statewide for the first time in nearly a decade and our state is moving forward economically. He also helped pass tough new laws which keep child sex predators off our streets and voted to strengthen our Second Amendment rights.
Rep. Tranel has earned the respect of Gov. Walker for his courage under fire and I speak for all of my Republican colleagues in the State Assembly when I say unequivocally that he has earned our respect and our endorsement.
Rep. Scott Suder
Assembly Majority Leader