Paid Letters to the Editor
We welcome letters to the Editor, a chance for members of the community to comment on issues of concern to them. All letters must be original, not duplications of letters addressed to public officials or written by others. The views and opinions expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication, its publishers, Editor, or staff.
To the Editor
In Aug. 2021, I bought a mini storage facility off of Highway K in Irma. In Sept., I replaced the old rotted white arrow board sign. Arrow signs are for tourist type businesses. My business isn’t in that category, though many tourists store their boats, campers, etc., in the area; however, the new sign is small and simple.
John Hanz from the Lincoln County Highway Department called in Nov. to say it was in the road right-of-way and remove it or the Highway Department would, so I took it down.
I started researching with DOT, Planning and Zoning, and the Highway Department.
In Jan. the Highway Department Committee put me on the Agenda. I got four sentences in and was told I had to leave. This is an open meeting but they did not allow me to talk.
John first told me “I was in the area and saw your sign,” then changed it to “the neighbor at the corner of Donavan Drive and County K complained about the sign.” The sign is not a large, ugly billboard.
I ended up hiring an attorney.
I took photos of each sign on County K and measured each from the center line of the road. Out of 13 signs, 9 violate the setback. I learned County K still has Highway setback (150 feet each side of the center line) from when it used to be a highway, as opposed to 63 feet for County roads.
In July, Don Friske let me speak at the County Board Meeting. Afterward, I gave each Board member a copy of the photos and measurements. Karry Johnson, the County attorney, told them not to speak to me. She said this is a DOT issue. The DOT said it’s a County issue.
Does Lincoln County want the area to grow and local business to succeed or not?
In April 2022, voters voted out all but two people on the Highway Committee. This tells me people are upset and want change. Between John Hanz and Eugene Simon, they will not even put me on the Agenda to readdress this with the Committee.
If nine other businesses get to keep their signs up that are in violation of the setback and the County isn’t looking into this, then why does the “new kid on the block” have to take his down? Something needs to change at Lincoln County.
– Chris Fabich
Editor’s Note: The above Letter to the Editor is considered a Paid Letter to the Editor because it exceeded 250 words, and the authors paid for the cost of printing the additional text to have the letter printed in its entirety.
To the Editor
I am writing in regards to what is going on with the Lincoln County budget. I have been attending the Supervisors meetings since September. And I do sympathize with the decisions that the 22 Supervisors have to make. It definitely is not an easy task. But, they ran for this position and are supposed to be acting in all citizens of Lincoln County’s behalf, and are supposed to be volunteers. A lot ran last year on the basis they were going to be fiscally responsible. And with this, they eliminated the wheel tax. And a lot of citizens were in favor of this because they really didn’t understand where the money was going. This money is to be used for the Maintenance Department, which encompasses repairing roads and now with the plowing of roads. But this money is no longer available to help with these expenses. And it was just brought to the attention of the public that there is not enough staff in this Department to keep all the roads safely maintained during the winter. They are currently going to lose 2-3 employees, as they are leaving for better paying jobs. Is it going to be worth the $17.24 per person, for a year, to have to worry about driving on winter roads that are not maintained to the best of ability, because the County is not able to employ enough qualified personnel? I know there are citizens who are living on fixed incomes, but when it comes to a son, daughter, grandchild, how much are their lives worth? My figures come from $500,000 in wheel tax money divided by the 29,000 people we have been told that live in Lincoln County.
Also, with going to these meetings and speaking in front of the Board, it is my thought, that there are members of the current Board who really don’t care what the public has to say or their feelings. What I perceive is that this is a good ‘ol boys club now. With this, I am asking all of the citizens to fight for change in our area and vote for the write-in candidate, Todd Frederick, for the 35th Assembly seat.
– Beth Krueger
To the Editor
The following are some quotes from letters exchanged between me and Tom Tiffany:
My letter of 5/31/22: … “In spite of overwhelming public support for some meaningful gun safety regulations (67%-88%), Congress has failed to provide it.”
Tom’s letter 7/7/22: … “We must never permit politicians to degrade our fundamental constitutional rights (to keep and bear arms) or chip away at our freedoms.”
My letter of 7/19/22: … “yet you have remained relatively silent when the Supreme Court reversed previous constitutional rights in Roe v. Wade.”
Tom’s letter 8/12/22: … “During my time in the State Legislature, I made it a top priority to support and defend the unborn, and I will continue to do the same as your representative in Congress.”
My letter of 8/15/22: … “it appears to be OK to ‘chip away’ at those freedoms (Roe v. Wade) as long as it conforms to your personal way of thinking. This appears to be a double standard. Please explain.”
Tom has chosen not to reply as of this writing on Oct. 22, 2022.
Richard Ausman is running against Tom Tiffany in the 7th Congressional District. His stated positions are: Healthcare is a right … Social Security and Medicare can be fixed immediately … Help our veterans. Dick was born and raised in Merrill. Please check his entire platform on Ausmanforcongress.com and then support him with your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
– Bill Weber
To the Editor
The place to start with the defunding of Lincoln County Extension is Don Friske’s Jefferson Project. He collected and dispersed nearly $2,000 to chosen candidates who, virtually unanimously, asserted that the bulk of the former County Board consisted of reckless spenders who were inaccessible, unaccountable, and not at all transparent.
For those of us who lost–and for the few who narrowly won–our sins were two: we weren’t ideological Republicans, and we voted for the wheel tax.
Yes, we did. We held our noses and voted in the wheel tax. It was our only option to save Extension and to help a few other County programs besides Highway.
So now the righteous new County Board has killed the wheel tax and then discovered they have collateral damage on their hands. But since pride (that goeth before a fall) finds its impossible to admit wrongdoing, the wheel tax will stay dead and Extension will be buried with it.
There’s a lot of blame to go around. But at the center of it is Don Friske and his junior sidekick Calvin Callahan.
It may be worth noting that sidekick Callahan has a worthy opponent in the November Assembly race. Todd Frederick is that candidate, and he has actually accomplished something with his life. Calvin Callahan is no blessing to Lincoln County, and he’s certainly no blessing “representing” us in Madison, either.
– Paul Gilk
The cost for Paid Letters to the Editor is $40.00 per letter of up to 250 words, plus $10.00 per additional 50 words, and must be prepaid prior to printing.