3-30 letters


The 2011 boys basketball season has come to an end, and what an awesome season it has been. A season filled with talent, leadership and patience. The coaching staff did a super job of coaching, but more than that somewhere throughout the season this writer seen leadership develop on the court that said to the team this is the year Merrill basketball is going to state and the determination to win was awesome. And it seemed like every player was filled with that attitude. And the community support as it went along had the same attitude. And when you did get to state I think you gave the community so much, that sports in Merrill is never going to be the same. And not only was the players and coaches first class on the court but I seen and heard the positive things said about them from other students and community members throughout this excitement. I hope the seniors who are about to leave have many more successes in life, and those who are not leaving this year keep that excitement going and good luck next year. But I do hope that wherever the senior class goes that they will return often and bring their talent to bear on those playing basketball in Merrill.

Thank you Merrill Bluejays Basketball.

Floyd Bagley


Dear Editor and Town of Scott Residents,

Hello, my name is Richard Tanck and I am running for chairman of the Town of Scott. I live in the Town of Scott with my wife and two children. I hold a degree in business administration from Marquette University, I am an Eagle Scout, and I am an active member of Trinity Church and Sunday school.

After residing in the town for six years I have found that our town needs to go in a new direction and make the resident’s concerns a priority. Like all levels of government, our town is facing declining revenues. We do not have an unlimited supply of money and cannot afford to continue to spend as we have in the past decade. After only 3-4 years a new road grader was purchased and the old one was traded in. We also cannot afford major purchases such as the new town hall and the garage addition which cost the residents a half a million dollars.At the March town meeting the current town board even discussed buying a water conditioner for the town hall. All of this spending on new buildings and equipment comes at the expense of road maintenance and repairs. I was astonished when I drove down some of our country roads three days after a 5″ snowfall and found them still unplowed. Our town needs to align its priorities with the services the town residents’ desire.

Many people may not be aware that the town also owns a gravel pit. This pit was purchased for the town and its residents to use. This land that this pit sits on will need to be reclaimed sometime in the future. The town has a pit reclamation fund for this purpose. On March 1, 2011 this fund only had $13,000 in it; at the meeting on March 8, 2011 they added $30,000 to the fund. $43,000 is not enough to restore the pit when that time comes and as the pit continues to be used the amount required to restore it will only become greater. If the town continues to operate the pit, we must find a way to manage it so that this asset doesn’t grow to become a huge liability.

I am committed to preserving a rural way of life our township was founded on. I will listen to resident’s concerns and address them as best I can. I will work to have the road maintenance, plowing, and shoulder weed cutting contracts put up for bids and I will make your concerns my concerns. Thank you for your vote on Tuesday April 5th. Together we can make this town a great place to live.

Richard Tanck

Town of Scott

Dear Editor,

Before I ask for your vote next Tuesday, I’d like to clear up some misinformation being spread by another candidate. First, SAGE does not cost the district $250,000 per year. Actual 2010-11 costs to MAPS to keep 11 additional teachers employed in order to keep class sizes small in four of our elementary schools is $59,041. This seems quite a bargain to help educate students when they are at their most teachable age, as well as keep 11 good paying jobs in our area. Second, that MAPS has a “no fail policy.” What we have is a formal focused effort to identify children who are struggling and work very hard to educate them such that they achieve the learning targets. Not everyone succeeds, but those who we are able to help are much better off. Isn’t that the purpose of a school system? Finally, 21st Century Skills, as we often reference are not simply “soft skills” that are discretionary. They start with a solid foundation in the 3R’s. In addition, they are the skills required to function in the 21st Century. Our employers need employees that can function in the digital world. Paper and pencil are not enough anymore. Unlimited information is a just mouse click away – gone are the days when memorization of facts was enough. Our students need critical thinking and problem solving skills and they need to be taught to function much more collaboratively for today’s work environment, from vocational skills, through AP classes. These are just some of the 21st Century skills we reference. I humbly ask for your vote on Election Day to continue to help lead MAPS as one of the best school districts in the State of Wisconsin.

Jeff Verdoorn

Candidate for MAPS BoE

Dear Editor and MAPS Community Members,

January’s unemployment rate for Lincoln County was 11.3%, the 9th highest in Wisconsin and nearly four percentage points above the state average. Bankruptcies and foreclosures continue to plague our community. These are sobering realities for many of our friends, families and neighbors. Shortly after joining the board in 2009, I received a phone call from an 80-year old widow who faced a difficult reality of having to choose between food or medicines or heat… or risk losing her home if she couldn’t pay her property taxes. Sadly, she’s not alone.

Since my election to the Merrill school board, I voted “NO” on both annual budgets because they allowed wasteful spending and ignored our structural deficit. I am constantly amazed by the “kid in a candy store” spending habits of administrators and their endless proposals to spend more. Not all of their requests are bad ideas, but invariably too many are “wants” and not “needs” – and so I vote “NO.”

I believe it’s my duty and responsibility to cast informed votes as I represent students, parents, taxpayers, our community, local businesses, the district and MAPS employees’ interests in each decision I make as a school board member. This is why I invest my time in research and rely on primary sources rather than listen to just our administrators or a few educational organizations with political agendas.

I welcome the opportunity to hear from community members and listen to all viewpoints.

If the voters see fit to re-elect me to the school board, I’ll continue to work to achieve fiscal responsibility in our district while improving the quality of education for our students.

Kind Regards,

Loretta Baughan

Candidate for Re-election to MAPS BOE

To Mayor Bialecki and Council Members,

Just a few lines to take the time to congratulate Street Commissioner Dick Lupton and the city crew of Merrill for doing a great job of plowing and cleaning the roads of snow and ice on our streets this winter.

They have worked endless hours and around the clock to keep ahead of the storms. Yet we don’t take the time to say “Thank You,” and we all are guilty of complaining now and then.

So let’s all pause for a minute and say thank you. I believe they all deserve a pat on the back and then some.

Keep up the good work, men, and again I say thanks for a job well done.

Phil Thompson


Pine River Voters:

Hello, my name is Karen Haenel, and I want to introduce myself as a candidate for Pine River Clerk. I was raised in the town of Pine River, left for several years, and have now lived here for the past 12 years.

For 36 years, I have worked at Church Mutual Insurance Company. I have held various positions in the company, with the last 20 years in supervision. This position required me to attend many meetings, work on special projects for the company, write reports, keep accurate records on staff members and meetings, hire new employees, and conduct performance reviews. I attended Northcentral Technical College and seminars to further my education and knowledge, This assisted me to do my job more efficiently. I feel these experiences will be an asset in performing the duties of Pine River Clerk.

I will be retiring from Church Mutual Insurance Company in June. Therefore, I will have the necessary time to devote to the duties of Pine River Clerk and to become more involved in the community.

On April 5, you will have the opportunity to go to the polls to vote. I would appreciate your vote.

Thank you for your support.


Karen Haenel

Candidate for Pine River Clerk

Dear Editor,

The defense of Democracy takes many forms. Some are bizarre and quite drastic. Abraham Lincoln and his colleagues leapt through a window to prevent a quorum after the opposing party had locked the doors to prevent them from leaving. A drastic move to be sure, but nothing extraordinary in the scope of American Politics. We have seen many instances of far stranger behavior in recent attempts at legislation across the country. In Missouri there was an attempt by state Senator Jane Cunningham to repeal child labor laws. Montana’s Republican legislators are considering a bill to endorse global warming as “beneficial to the welfare and business climate in Montana.” In Nebraska, Republican state Senator Mark Christensen proposed a bill to legalize murder, as long as it was abortion providers who were killed. Even claiming something as foolish as sunspots to be the cause of global warming is part of the circus that is today’s political landscape.

What Senator Holperin did was almost as drastic as jumping out a window. It should not have been necessary, but Walker’s attempt to rush massive changes through the legislature made it so. Without a delay, few people would have known the scope of Walker’s plan, the depth of the cuts he wanted and the hardship he will cause. What Senator Holperin and the Wisconsin 14 have done has given us all breathing room. Nothing this huge can be done well quickly. Without proper deliberation, the full extent of any legislation is unknown and therefore potentially dangerous. The actions of these legislators gave the state, and indeed the entire nation, the opportunity to see this bill for what it really is. This is an attack on our state’s children and working families while padding the pockets of greedy CEOs. Senator Holperin should be applauded for what he chose to do in defense of our state.

I urge everyone who cares for the welfare of our children and our schools to ignore the recall campaigns. The “American Recall Coalition” based in Salt Lake City, Utah, has begun this intrusion into our state’s politics. This out of state conservative group has a corporate agenda which is being promoted in recall attempts across the nation. They have no understanding of our particular situation. They are simply using their sponsor’s money to promote their financial masters agenda. This is none of their business.

The Wisconsin 14, of which Senator Holperin was a part, saw Walker’s plan for what it was. It is a blatant attack on the welfare of the entire state. They took steps to protect us all from this dangerous, misleading legislation. Support those Senators who have supported us. Support Senator Holperin.

Doug Curtis


To the citizens of the Merrill Area School District:

As many are struggling through these tough times I believe it is important to look toward the future. The community that we live in is one that all of us take extreme pride in. We have dedicated community members who support the youth of our area in many ways, such as the financial support that our graduates receive each year. We have parents that strive for involvement in their children s education. It’s been my experience that the teachers in the elementary level love to have the parents come in to assist in the classroom wherever they are needed.

My wife and I enjoyed volunteering at our son’s school when he was an elementary student. It gave us something special to share with him while at the same time getting to know his teachers on a more personal level and meeting his new friends. I believe parental involvement needs to continue into the middle and high schools. Communication and involvement are critical at this age.

We are fortunate to have dedicated staff members in our schools, some of which have been here for 30 years. I believe that successful teachers produce an environment of growth and our students will succeed also.

Although we face many difficult financial decisions in the coming years, I believe we can achieve our goals without compromising the quality of education our students deserve. I will work hard to maintain and promote our technology and fine arts departments. I believe these are critical staples to our community and future of our students.

I promise to be honest and uphold the integrity of this school district. Thank you for your consideration of candidacy. Please vote Tuesday, April 5th.

Always Believe in Children,

Brad Geiss

MAPS Candidate for Board of Education

Dear MAPS Community Members:

Thank you to the many people I have had the privilege to meet these past few weeks as I have been campaigning to become one of your nine Merrill Area Public School Board members. I reference the School Board as yours because I feel it is accountable to the public. As I have been listening to the views and concerns you have shared I have concluded that it’s vital to get out as a board member to receive feedback on how you feel it’s going. If I am given the opportunity to serve you I intend to do just that throughout my term. It is essential to listen to the parents, grandparents, students, business owners and other tax payers in order to stay grounded in the day to day needs of the community.

Community that’s what it’s all about. Our school has the responsibility to serve the community. Through this school system we will build our children’s future. Through their future we will build the future of the Merrill area. Together we will create an environment of growth and success.

We need to attract new families to our area while maintaining the families that currently reside and shop here. Together we can provide an educational system that will retain families and our children. Our school system can and must be a deciding factor for their retention.

The growth of a community depends on the growth of healthy productive families. Our school system has the obligation to provide an environment of learning through which families will benefit. Then as a result of our dedication to the family our community will prosper.

Thank you for the opportunity to be your candidate for the Merrill Area Public School Board. It would be a privilege to serve you the public.


Peter Fromm Wade

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