Letters to the Editor

Wed
16
Apr

Wal-Mart development would bring new revenue for city

A larger Wal-Mart may not be what everyone wants or needs. If you are not happy with this, you don’t have to shop or work there.

When Wal-Mart first started up, it was competitive and helped drive prices down in other stores for everyone. It carries things made in the USA and other countries just like other stores do.

Think about the recurring school referendum that will raise our taxes, and how new families won’t be able to purchase a home here if the taxes are high on it. If we want families to move here, and bring more students to our schools, we will need to give more opportunities for shopping and employment.

A larger Wal-Mart may bring in revenue for all our local businesses downtown, and could be a draw for a new business to fill an empty store front.

Wed
16
Apr

We need to find why families aren’t moving to Stoughton

While I wouldn’t say our school district in Stoughton is, in the words of Mary Poppins, “perfect in every way,” I will say that I never thought that it was a reason why people – families in particular – are not making Stoughton their home.

While our family has not had any issues with the school district, I do think that our district has a history of attempting to be all things to all students, even when the student could benefit from services offered in neighboring districts. Whether it is greed or need, I think that beneficial services offered outside the district have been withheld from students with special education needs.

I hope that the urgency for funding is lessened by this referendum to the point that our district will loosen its grip on these students, thereby allowing them to truly act in the best interests of the individual students on a case-by-case basis.

Wed
16
Apr

Thanks for supporting school district

Thank you for all the support you have given the Stoughton Area School District, not just last week but also in the past. We are proud to be your school district.

Earlier this month, voters approved a recurring referendum that will enable our students and staff to continue the progress we have made these last four years. We know this was an important decision for many of you. We also know how much trust you have placed in us. We appreciate that trust, and we take our fiscal responsibilities very seriously here. We are renewing our pledge that we will only use the funds that we need.

Thu
10
Apr

Young professionals won’t move here for Wal-Mart

At the Feb. 11 council meeting, those in favor of the Kettle Park West project presented a list of reasons that Wal-Mart was an important component to bringing  young people to Stoughton.

Their AH HA moment?  Wal-Mart will bring jobs and Wal-Mart sells things that young people need... like diapers and toilet paper.

Really? Are you serious? Do you actually expect that a big box development will draw young people to Stoughton? Ridiculous.

Young professionals don’t move to cities for  low retail wages, diapers and toilet paper! Young people move to cities for jobs that pay a living wage. For example, healthcare, manufacturing or technology.  Young people move to cities for easy access to things like green space, micro brewpubs and disc golf.

Thu
10
Apr

Kettle Park West approval is good for Stoughton’s future

I am not shocked that some people are upset with the city’s decision to move ahead with the Kettle West Development.

It is widely known that Stoughton has a small vocal contingent of anti-growth residents and I am sure their presence has contributed in some way to our recent lack of growth. I am glad for their sake that they lived here before others like them developed this attitude.

Let’s be honest - Stoughton hasn’t had any real growth over the past decade and it affects every taxpayer in the 53589 zip code and in some cases beyond that. Our schools have declining enrollments and yes, some of that is because of people these days having fewer children. But that isn’t the only reason.

Thu
10
Apr

Ald. Lawrence thankful for support

I don’t get a chance to say this often enough: Thank You, Stoughton!

Thank you to all my supporters during this past election. I am honored and humbled.

And, of course, thank you to all who voted for me. I pledge to do my best for you, and the rest of the city, during the next three years on the Council. I look forward to it!

Paul Lawrence
Dist. 2 alder

Thu
10
Apr

Election results don’t mean there’s support for KPW

So Donna Olson and Paul Lawrence have escaped from the write-in candidates running against them.

However, lest they see this as tacit approval of the KPW development and the questionable activities surrounding it, including the “silent majority” term that is bandied about, they should instead take note that there is clearly a significant number of people who care deeply about the future of Stoughton, who want to make sure the finances and resources of this city are used appropriately after careful and deliberate consideration.  There were enough of these people to organize an effective write-in campaign on short notice and garner a significant amount of votes.

Thu
10
Apr

Community showed great support for SASD funding referendum

This election season, the Stoughton community came together to pass a school referendum on April 1.  Not only did it pass, but it passed by a large margin: 63-37 percent, or 3,801-2,227.

This margin and the voter turnout is a great show of support for our schools, the value of education, and our community.  Strong Schools Strong Community, a group that came together to support the referendum, would accordingly like to offer some thanks.   

First, thank you to all who voted. Your vote now ensures our kids will have the services and programs they need, class sizes are reasonable, and our community remains an attractive place to have a family.

Wed
02
Apr

City is masking real costs of Kettle Park West TIF

Using public money to subsidize a private investment ought to require high financial transparency.

Sadly, city hall has not done its homework on the financial aspects of Kettle West. From the start, they have played fast and loose with the facts and costs to taxpayers. Here is what you need to know:

• Real financing costs for Kettle West will exceed $7 million when you add the interest costs of the two TIF bonds (which they always forget to mention) plus the obligated costs of site grading work.

• TIF bond interest rate charges could well exceed 3.4 percent because the city deliberately misled the public on the negative financial condition of TIFs 4 and 5 in the downtown area. They are currently behind assessed value by $3.5 million. City hall knew this but they used 2012 figures instead.

Wed
02
Apr

KPW would provide much-needed economic development

Over the past few years it has become very apparent that the lack of growth has hurt our community in many ways.

Our schools are suffering from declining enrollment, our local businesses are struggling to find new customers, property values have been negatively impacted, and local construction trades have been hurt by lack of opportunity. I believe the type of growth provided by the Kettle Park West development is what Stoughton needs now.

I do understand that the process around this initiative has been less than perfect in terms of “transparency” in some respects. I am not necessarily a big fan of Walmart, either. So, it is not difficult for me to grasp why many in the community have concerns in this regard.

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