Letters to the Editor
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Merrill Foto News, its publishers, Editor, or staff.
To the Editor:
The Wisconsin legislature is currently considering a bill that would give local governments the option to stop publishing a summary of their actions in your newspaper. Senate Bill 55 would allow local municipalities to post meeting minutes on their websites instead.
This is bad public policy under the guise of cost savings that would create considerable disruption for government transparency. Supporters of Senate Bill 55 suggest local government websites are sufficient to notify the public of their actions and that publishing meeting minutes in the newspaper limits access only to newspaper subscribers.
The fact is, however, that all legal notices published in the State of Wisconsin are available and accessible for free to the public through WisconsinPublicNotices.org. This comprehensive, searchable website hosted by the Wisconsin newspaper industry brings together ink-on-paper notices into one online location. This service is provided at no cost to local municipalities.
The goal of WisconsinPublicNotices.org is to enhance government distribution of public information and assist citizens who want to know more about the actions of their local, county and state representatives. This permanent, third-party documentation – unalterable and independent of government – ensures the protection of “your right to know” for every citizen.
The relationship between newspapers, state and local municipalities and WisconsinPublicNotices.org has successfully provided easy access to government information for all citizens, whether they seek it in print or online. Removing existing publication requirements would create holes in this invaluable statewide database while also neglecting the needs of those who lack adequate computer and internet access.
Please tell your legislators to oppose this unnecessary barrier to government transparency.
– Beth Bennett
Wisconsin Newspaper Association
To the Editor:
Democrats continue to claim that “gerrymandered” maps are the reason for the state legislature’s Republican majority. However, it seems to me that the Democrats are looking for an excuse instead of trying to recruit better candidates and run better campaigns.
Also, it’s interesting how Democrats have only been interested in “non-partisan redistricting” ever since they lost control of the legislature. When they controlled the legislature before the 2010 election, they weren’t interested in reform. They only introduced a bill right before the legislative session adjourned, when it became clear they were about to take a drubbing from voters. They didn’t push reforms because they thought they would be drawing the maps.
Furthermore, Democrats who control the Dane County Board have drawn lines that keep conservatives from winning there. Again, Democrats don’t care. They just want power and they haven ‘t been able to monopolize it in Wisconsin yet. So, they sell phony redistricting proposals as some good government reform, and their friends in the media eat it up.
Republicans tend to be spread out across the state and Democrats are increasingly clustered in urban areas. That means you’re going to have fewer Democrat districts with heavier Democrat majorities. That’s how math works.Democrats aren’t pushing for better government. They just want to tilt elections in their favor. Apparently lax enforcement of election laws isn’t enough.
– Landis Holdorf
To the Editor:
I am writing to thank Congressman Tiffany for making sure our taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely as Republicans and Democrats continue to negotiate COVID-19 relief.
We are all concerned about the economic impacts of the virus. So many businesses have closed from the Governor’s painful lockdowns. Thankfully, they have a lifeline in the Paycheck Protection Program, which Congressman Tiffany supported.
Moving forward, we need to make sure that our legislators are taking a common-sense approach to relief. In a time like today, taxpayer money should not be spent frivolously so that our kids are forced to pay for it later. Our taxpayer money should go to those who truly need it, like our small businesses here in the Northwoods.
Now more than ever, we need a compassionate, fiscal conservative fighting for us in Congress to ensure that Wisconsinites in need are getting relief. I’m glad we have that in Congressman Tiffany.
– Dylan Anderson
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY
*Letters must be 250 words or less (There will be no exceptions to this. Any letter longer than 250 words will not be printed.)
*All letters must include full name, address and phone number of the composer. Phone numbers and addresses will not be published, but will be used for verification purposes, if necessary.
*Letters will be published at the discretion of the Editor. While letters on most any topic will be published, any letters deemed derogatory, inflammatory, slanderous, or involving vulgar language, will not be published.
*Letters will be published on a “first come, first served” basis. Any letters which we are unable to publish in the printed newspaper will be run online at www.merrillfotonews.com and may be printed in the paper at a later date if possible.