Letters to the Editor

Wed
19
Nov

TIF is not free money; it belongs to the taxpayers

It appears the planning commission and much of the city council have come to believe that TIF stands for “This Is Free” money. It’s not. 

The TIF that is planned for Kettle Park West is taxpayer money the city is giving to the developer. I’ve heard all the arguments about most of the work being done off-site to promote development of the city, but all this investment only serves the developer and his biggest customer, Walmart. 

Without the development we don’t get the tax dollars. Which is true, but then there’s no reason to spend the money. The developers guarantee is structured so it’s renewable each year, which allows him to file for bankruptcy and walk away from the project, which real estate LLCs are famous for doing. So the city pays for the risk and the developer gets the profits.

Wed
19
Nov

Wal-Mart would be good for city

I attended a couple of meetings involving the plans for KPW. 

I am disappointed in some of the people who are against it. They want you to think it is in the interest of Stoughton, which is far from the truth.

Some of them are transplants as I am. They probably don’t even shop here.

They would be fine with a Target or Costco but not a Walmart. Well they can’t decide that, it’s what the people want. If the silent majority would come out and speak they would be surprised to see what they want. 

Walmart would be so good for this town and so helpful to our seniors who have been here much longer then the people on the board who know nothing about what is needed. 

We sure needed the three new bars that they okayed, didn’t we?

Wed
19
Nov

Veterans thankful for free meal

A big thank you goes out to one local restaurant on Veterans Day.  

A small group of men from St. Ann’s church meets monthly at various eating establishments for lunch. It provides friendship and a time of relaxation.

On Nov. 11, we met at the prearranged place of our next meal. Of the 15 or so men attending, about nine were veterans. Upon our arrival, we were asked to identify the veterans in our group, each of whom would be receiving a free meal on Veterans Day.  

Well, I speak for all the veterans in attendance -- thank you for so graciously recognizing us. A job well done.

Richard Hoffmann
City of Stoughton

Editor’s note: As per the Hub’s letters to the editor policy, the specific name of the restaurant has been edited.

Wed
12
Nov

KPW: Concerns are not being heard

By the time this letter is printed, the City Council will likely have voted on the Kettle Park West Tax Increment Financing proposal. If the City Council approves it, that will leave just one major step—a vote by the joint review board—before the TIF becomes a reality.

As someone who has tried to get educated about the project, attend meetings, and stay current on developments, the KPW process has been frustrating. Some of my biggest concerns have been about the process: Approvals have at times seemed rushed to accommodate the developer, information and public comment opportunities have not always been timely, and the city’s negotiating team has been too tilted in favor of the project. Yet KPW proponents seem frustrated too, and likely have their own list of grievances.

Wed
05
Nov

Community does not support Supercenter

Does Stoughton have a noisy vocal minority against the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter. The mayor and some alders argue that the silent majority is solidly behind their effort to build a Downtown killing Supercenter in a cornfield.

I think the city staff, planning commission and council haven’t done their homework. Their attitude seems to be “I have made up my mind, don’t confuse me with the facts.”

The Stoughton Forward group mailed a community growth and development survey to over 8,000 homes in the city and surrounding townships. Preliminary hand tally of 361 responses returned thus far reveals this:

• 26 percent of all respondents want the proposed 153,000 sq. ft. Supercenter.

• 40 percent say they do not want a Supercenter at all.

Wed
22
Oct

Stoughtonites are spending money to fight money in politics

I wonder how much money is being spent on the yard signs and fliers to try and get money out of politics?

I wonder if this is a lesson in irony?

Just wondering.

Ron Dobie
Stoughton

Wed
22
Oct

Level the playing field with Move to Amend vote

Neighbors, if you can find anything more important let me know. If you can find anything that gets to the root of more problems in one swipe let me know. If you can read the paper, watch the news, or listen to the radio without hearing about some form of craziness due to money flooding our political system let me know.

Corporations now have the right to “negative” free speech. They don’t have to label or tell us anything they don’t want to. What’s to hide, Big Ag?

Parents, do you feel you should have some right to decide if you want to feed your family GMOs or BGH or not, for example?

Students, private corporation Sallie Mae lobbied Congress to the tune of almost $2 million in the first six months of 2013. Now, why would they do that? Homeowner, those kids won’t be clamoring to buy your house; they won’t be able to afford one.

Wed
22
Oct

Help get money out of politics with Nov. 4 vote

When did we decide that a corporation has the same rights as a citizen of our country? The answer is we didn’t, the corporations themselves did, by using their unlimited finances to influence our government, the government we elected.

Yes, ultimately the Supreme Court had to address this issue, and unfortunately they got it wrong! Does it end here? With multinational corporations using their unlimited resources to pick and choose politicians who will pass legislation to benefit them?

NO, it doesn’t! But it will take all of us, working together to tell our legislators that corporations are not citizens and don’t deserve the same rights we do and that we demand a constitutional amendment stating that.

“We the People” should have the final say in who governs us, by our votes and not how much money we have.

Wed
22
Oct

Grocery co-op has concerns about KPW

We, the board of directors of the Yahara River Grocery Cooperative (YRGC) are writing with significant concern regarding the recently released Kettle Park West Development Economic Impact Study, which states a probable negative impact on YRGC and also contains inconsistencies.

We are  determined to remain a viable business as a community owned grocery store that is one of the reasons folks move to and value Stoughton.

However, after reviewing the recently released Economic Impact Study for the KPW development, we are concerned that any reduction in sales would not only significantly impact the viability of YRGC but also other local businesses in and around the Stoughton area.

The impact study may very well contain significant errors, which the lead author has suggested.

Wed
15
Oct

There are two sides to the Wal-Mart debate

As I read the Letters to the Editor section in the Sept. 26 issue, I find it odd that all three letters were written on how bad Wal-Mart is for Stoughton.

In all three letters it was all the negatives that were mentioned. I like to approach a situation or an issue with the fact that there are two sides to them.

Let’s start with the first inaccurate statement – low wages – compared to what? A doctor? A lawyer? Or to other retail employees in Stoughton. Take a survey and do some comparisons and see if this point is valid.

Next item that was mentioned – Products. Wal-Mart products are low quality, unhealthy, made overseas. So you are implying that the products in all the other stores in Stoughton are of a superior quality and only made in the United States. Go buy 10 items in Ace Hardware, Asleson’s and all the shops on Main Street, and let’s compare where they were made.

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