Letter to the Editor: Oertel weighs in on McMillan election
I am writing this letter in support of change for the Town of McMillan. I have lived in this town all of my life, and served on the Town Board at one time.
I do not like what the incumbents who are running again this year have done in recent years. More and more they are ignoring any input from the residents. Each year the town is required to have two meetings at which residents are able to voice their opinions on issues. At the last couple of annual town meetings there was public input and even voting on important issues that were raised; however, the incumbents chose to ignore the public input and majority votes of the residents.
One of the issues that was ignored by the board was to go back to an elected clerk and an elected treasurer. Currently these positions are appointed by the board. As elected officials the clerk and treasurer would answer to the voters, not the board. The majority of the public wanted this change, but the incumbents would not hear of it. Over the last 8 years there have been around a dozen different clerks and treasurers that were appointed by the board and current incumbents. This amount of turnover is an indication that the current system is not working, but the board still does not want to give up the power to appoint. I do not think these past clerks and treasurers left their positions because they were unable to do the job. Just the opposite! They left because they wanted to carry out the duties of clerk and/or treasurer strictly as described in the WI State Statutes.
Recently the incumbent chair has even taken away the public comments portion of the regularly scheduled town meetings; time for public comments was routinely listed as an agenda item.
Another example of ignoring the voters is the 2019 tax levy that was voted on by the public in November 2018. The incumbents did not like the way the public voted to reduce the levy. They scheduled a repeat meeting to ‘redo’ the vote on the levy. The result of the 2nd vote was the same, and the levy remained as voted on at the first meeting. The town wasted around $1000.00 sending out mailers for these two meetings: the first with the wrong date, the second with the corrected date, and the third with the notification of the second meeting.
The incumbent board members also wasted tens of thousands of your hard-earned money on foolish lawyer bills last year – to the tune of $30,000. Part of that money went to cover the cost of the lawyer being present at meetings. His presence was at the suggestion of the DA and Sheriff Department because the incumbents were not following the Wisconsin State Statutes and did not know how to run a meeting. ALSO, in my opinion, some of that $30,000 was spent to help the incumbents stop open records requests for financial information; the attorney came up with many excuses for not giving out that information, Where is the transparency? Where is the accountability? Where is the open government we expect?
These are some of the reasons why, in my opinion, we desperately need change! A vote for the incumbents will be a vote for continuing excessive unnecessary expenses for a lawyer to protect themselves. You win never know for sure where your tax dollars go if you vote for the incumbents.
The three candidates I am recommending are: Debbie Derfus for Chair, Gary Franz for Supervisor, and Mike Joyce for Supervisor Debbie Derfus has past experience being on the board along with Gary Franz who was also on the board.
Mike Joyce is currently on the Plan Commission, and I strongly support him for wanting to be on the board.
PLEASE VOTE – Debbie Derfus for Town Chair, Gary Franz for Supervisor, Mike Joyce for Supervisor