3-21 Letters

To the Editor and Second Ward Voters,

The voters of the second ward will soon have the opportunity to re-elect Steve Hass to the Common Council.

As a former City of Merrill department head, I found I could rely on Steve to demonstrate qualities that are critical in an elected official: fairness, honesty, and the ability to work cooperatively with others.

Steve has developed important leadership skills as Common Council President and Chair of the wide-ranging Personnel & Finance Committee. He is willing to do the time-consuming research necessary for making wise decisions.

I believe that Steve sincerely cares about his constituents and the community as a whole. Please give him your support on April 3.

Bea Lebal



I have been watching the GOP candidates slugging it out as to who will eventually pop out to be the nominee for the Presidential race. It is time to decide who we think will stand out and win Wisconsin’s Primary. My upbringing taught me to go for the candidates who show the most common sense and think more about the everyday folks like you and I. Look for the person who’s not afraid to stand up for things that will affect the majority of Americans. At this stage of the race it appears to me that Rick Santorum is the one who leans the way I think more than any of the other candidates by quite some distance.

Did you know that Santorum was one of the leaders in designing 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which was one of the most successful programs in getting Social Welfare under control. We need to take it one step further with adding drug testing to get on the Welfare rolls but also random drug tests to stay on if need be. We also need to add that people receiving welfare must do some sort of work to continue receiving this benefit. I have no problem helping folks out when needed as long as they try to help themselves.

Santorum’s position on our overwhelming National Debt to me is the biggest reason to support his candidacy to become President of this country. Without effort to reduce the debt and get folks back to work this nation is doomed to become a third world economy. Time to change the direction the Obama Administration has set for us. He promised “CHANGE” and we’ve seen little positive change but lots of negative change the past 3 years this endangers our way of life.

Thanks for your time.


Chuck Bolder


To the editor,

It is with great pleasure I write this letter of endorsement and support for our current City Council President Steve Hass. Steve has a good understanding of how municipal government works. He approaches his duties, on the many committees he serves, with openness, always keeping in mind the best interest of the people he represents. A good family man, Steve has always been proud to make Merrill his home. Hard work and honesty are his best qualities. That is why I ask the voters of District 2, to return him for another term.


Bill Bialecki



The annual Merrill Area Public schools District (MAPS) Board of Education (BOE) election will be held on April 3. While a BOE election is usually given little attention compared to other local, state and federal elections, this year in MAPS it needs to be taken very seriously.

The state of public education in this country, and Merrill is no exception, is not what any of us, including our partner teachers and administrators, want it to be. America today falls in the 14 to 25 range globally in education ratings in all subjects. It was number one only a few decades ago.

Only with a knowledgeable, dedicated, and open BOE will MAPS be adequately armed to take on what will be a challenging task ahead.

I have had the opportunity to work with Gene Bondioli since he returned to the MAPS BOE a few months ago. I have seen in him a work ethic, commitment, energy, and selflessness that serves MAPS well. He is also a willing and good listener, a rare trait in anyone these days.

If the residents of MAPS want to take a big step to improving the education of our students, electing Gene to a full term seat on the MAPS BOE will do it. I support Gene and urge all voters to do the same on April 3.

(He was also a helluva little league coach back in the day.)

Bill Fehrmann



I am Kelly Collins and I am running for the school board.

I have been attending the meetings for the last 12 months and decided to run for the school board for 3 reasons.

First, putting Students First. I along with Gene Bondioli, worked to eliminate the student fees mandated for all students participating in sports, debate, theatre or other extracurricular activities. I felt this was unjust and a penalty on families, especially during these economic times. We were successful in our efforts, these fees were eliminated. Our students should always be first.

Second, our school board and administration need a realistic 3 and 5 year business plan to help guide their actions and spending by the board to keep us from bankruptcy. Twice school board members mentioned at meetings “the Merrill Area School System would be in bankruptcy in 3 to 5 years” if they do not change there current spending trends according to the consultants.

Third, we should not close any schools until our new superintendent is in place, our new financial director has time to go over our budgets and the new board and board chairperson are in place after this election. We are not saving money closing Pine River. We have never had real numbers presented to the board or the tax payers on real “savings,” just personal guesses and this is irresponsible at best.

I have been in business for over 20 years. I have served on numerous boards of directors. I teach for Upper Iowa University and have for 15+ years along with instructing for North Central Technical College, Cardinal Stritch University and other schools. The classes I teach are in Business and Economics. I am a member of the Rotary, a volunteer firefighter and a mentor to students at Lincoln Hills School.

I believe I can help the board put together a financial plan and help control administrative costs to keep us on solid financial footing without heading to bankruptcy, and keeping ALL our schools open. I would greatly appreciate your vote.

Kelly Collins


Lincoln County Board of Supervisors,

Please oh please do not privatize Pine Crest Nursing Home! We are so fortunate to have such a clean place and caring staff looking out for our loved ones. I know, because I have had six members of my family spend their last days there. Need I say more?

Margaret D. Teske


Re: The second ward alderman race

My name is Pete Lokemoen. I am a resident in the second ward and am retired after working 36 years in the City of Merrill engineering and zoning departments.

The voters in Merrill’s second ward are fortunate to have two qualified candidates to choose from, for the second ward alderman position. (Would that they could both be members of the city council)

That being said, I must endorse the incumbent, alderman and council president Steve Hass, for re-election as our second ward alderman.

I have worked with Steve on many issues and have always found him to be willing to ask questions and demand answers from the department heads who handle the day to day operation of city government. He has been a good steward of our tax dollars and a strong competent council leader in his position as council president.

Because of his experience and leadership, I feel that Steve Hass should receive our votes for re-election for the second ward alderman position.

Remember to vote on April 3.

Peter Lokemoen


Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, April 3, Wisconsin voters will have an opportunity to play a key role in the state’s Presidential primary; Wisconsin open primary voting allows independents and major party voters to cross party lines to vote for their chosen candidate.

There is a candidate who, in spite of a corporate mainstream media black-out and Republican establishment vote fraud, is worthy of your consideration. That candidate is Congressman Ron Paul, the only consistent principled public servant among the four remaining candidates. Any voter who seriously researches the candidates will find that Romney, Gingrich and Santorum have inconsistent and often unconstitutional voting records and stands on many issues. All three insider candidates continue to salivate for a war with Iran that our nation cannot afford for many reasons.

Why vote for Ron Paul? In his many years of Congressional representation he has relied on the Constitution as the basis for his votes. He has warned for decades about the financial ruin that our nation faces today. For many years he has stood alone in exposing the role of the Federal Reserve System, a private banking cartel, in debasing our currency and creating booms and busts in our economic life. These FED monetary policies, a major reason for rising gas and food prices, have caused misery for average families, especially the elderly on fixed incomes. Ron Paul’s call for a thorough audit of the FED will ultimately lead to its demise and a jailing of these banksters.

Ron Paul’s foreign policy of non-interventionism reflects President George Washington’s warning about avoiding “entangling alliances.” Our nation cannot financially afford to be the world’s policeman, especially in those countries who do not welcome or support our actions. An even greater cost of such military folly is paid by the troops and their families. The troops have shown their appreciation of Ron Paul by contributing more to his campaign than to all other candidates combined, including Obama.

Ron Paul has championed many other important issues as well. He has an outstanding Pro-Life voting record and as a medical doctor delivered over 4,000 babies. He has consistently voted against and warned Americans about our vanishing liberties and the rising police state actions of the federal government. He believes in medical freedom which would allow alternative medical treatment to compete with the big government/big pharmaceutical monopoly slowly killing the American people.

April 3 will be Wisconsin’s opportunity to vote for liberty. Vote Ron Paul. Make cheese not war!

Bill Zeitz


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