Letters to the Editor

Wed
10
Dec

Pro-KPW ‘silent majority’ should welcome a referendum

In the Dec. 4 issue of the Courier Hub, explaining that an April advisory referendum on TIF for KPW would essentially mean asking voters whether or not to approve a done deal, Mayor Olson is quoted as asking, “Even if a referendum would come back and say no, we don’t want KPW and TIF funding [...] what does that mean?”  

It was a rhetorical question, but here’s the simple answer: It would mean that the mayor and council failed repeatedly to ensure that the actions they were taking on this pivotal matter reflected the will of the citizens they represent.

Another rhetorical question: if the six alders who have consistently voted to advance KPW and TIF funding despite widespread and vocal opposition are confident that their positions are approved of by a “silent majority,” why didn’t a single one of them have the courage to support Ald. Selsor’s proposal and allow that to be confirmed by a popular vote?

Wed
10
Dec

Opening East Milwaukee Street could improve safety

In the past week, on several occasions, I observed emergency vehicles traveling down my street (King Street) with their emergency lights and sirens activated. 

They were obviously responding to a property or personal safety endangering situation. Most recently, a fire truck was on an emergency call. This got me thinking about access. 

They had to travel through multiple stoplights on a main business road, dealing with holiday shoppers and vehicle traffic. If east Milwaukee Street was open for through traffic, police/fire/ambulance vehicles would have a straight shot to the southwest side of the city and not have to deal with multiple stoplights, busy pedestrians or parking vehicles. They’d have basically a straight road. At times where minutes, possibly seconds could save a life, isn’t it time to open up this street for access?

Wed
10
Dec

Kettle Park West votes don’t reflect community opinions

I recently had the opportunity to watch two different meetings related to the use of TIF money for the KPW development. 

With the exception of few members, our officials voted in favor of a plan that did not take into account the opinions of residents and local business persons. They not only ignored the many letters of concern sent by residents, but didn’t even questioned giving millions of taxpayers’ dollars to a developer, Mr. Steinkraus, who has an outstanding $1.6 million court judgment against him for a failed development project. Instead of working for our city’s interest, favoring our merchants and the uniqueness of Stoughton, officials approved a plan that ultimately favors an unethical corporation that shows no respect for their workers, environment or suppliers.

Wed
10
Dec

Wal-Mart divides our community... again

It is obvious to all that our community is divided over the issue of a new Wal-mart.  

A 6-6 tie on several votes that could only be resolved with the intervention of the mayor shows how divided our City Council is.  And what is the resolution of the conflict to be?  

One side imposing their will on the city without any real feel for the desires of the electorate. The part that is so frustrating is that we have been here before. Several years ago a different mayor and a different city council bent over backwards to give Walmart anything they asked so they would locate north of town on the Linderud property at Hwy. B and U.S. Hwy. 51. They did that in spite of strong opposition from the citizens of Stoughton.  

Wed
03
Dec

Referendum needed on KPW development

To those who want Walmart.

Here’s what you are getting.

You are getting a company:
• That will use our tax incremental finance money to support an already obscenely rich family with our tax dollars.
• That pays its employees substandard wages and then conducts a food drive for those same employees because they can’t afford to buy even their basic necessities. 

And, in addition, instructs them how to acquire food stamps that are paid for with our tax money, and therefore threaten the clients of food pantries, the deserving poor who urgently need our help, with the burden of feeding those whose employers are so rich that they could easily pay its workers a living wage so they could afford to by their own food.

Wed
03
Dec

Listen to those who are speaking about KPW

Dear City Council: 

I want to thank you for doing your best for the future of Stoughton. I love it here and am sure you do, too.

I am a high school student and am trying to learn as much about local and national politics as I can.  When it comes to the KPW project, I wish as citizens of Stoughton we could work together instead of against each other.  

I understand and admire that you are trying your very best to represent each of your districts. I can see both sides of a lot of the arguments concerning KPW. 

The only thing that doesn’t seem to connect is, why are we listening to a “silent majority?” How can we know that there’s a majority if they’re not saying anything?  

Wed
26
Nov

Wal-Mart debate can be decided in the spring election

While an advisory referendum sounds good and “democratic,” it would still represent input from a relatively small percentage of the population in a local spring election. Besides, it is a local election.  

People should choose their representatives on the council based on their view on the KPW development if they consider it a matter of the highest priority.  This will also clearly send a message to the council members and the mayor.

If there was real concern for community input, the city would do a high-quality survey by a reputable organization such as the University of Wisconsin Survey Center.  

Wed
26
Nov

More consideration needed before Wal-Mart moves forward

I went to the Plan Commission meeting Nov. 10.  

Details regarding conflicting comments about the Kettle Park West development needed clarification. I was stunned by what I heard. 

I have lived in Madison and know the area well. I moved to Stoughton a few years ago and have enjoyed living in a small town. I also bring an objective, ‘outsiders’ perspective, and find that to be valuable. 

Stoughton, like Oconomowoc and Pewaukee was developed with a lovely lake nearby. It has developed a reputation as an important cultural center for Norwegians everywhere. The charming fishing villages of Door County share a similar background. Their small town shops and restaurants attract people from around the world. They are protective and particular about what kind advertising and commercialization takes place.

Wed
26
Nov

Good job on Hilary Johnson story

What a wonderful article on Hillary Johnson.

We can use happy stories like this more often. 

Also, get more up to date on town board issues.

Angela Schuller
City of Stoughton

Wed
26
Nov

Thanks to restaurant for supporting veterans

Kudos to the unnamed area restaurant that acknowledged the service of our local veterans by serving them a complimentary meal on Veterans Day. 

Because of the policy of this newspaper of not publishing the name of that establishment, I am hopeful that each and every gentleman who benefitted from that restaurant’s thoughtfulness tells at least 10 friends who will in turn tell 10 others, so that that “unnamed area restaurant” receives the credit and thanks it deserves.

Diane Matson
City of Stoughton

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