Letter to the Editor:
My name is Mary Ball and I am a candidate for District 6 alderperson in the upcoming April 2 election.
My husband, Tom, and I have lived at 1701 Cotter Avenue for twenty-one years and are proud to be raising our children in a great neighborhood and district. I would like to thank the many residents of District 6 who have supported our children’s various fundraising endeavors through the years. This same support has ultimately helped various programs at Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS), St. Francis Xavier Catholic School and the Boy Scouts of America. This support is one of the motivating factors for me to pursue the opportunity to bring my employment, volunteer and personal experiences to the role of an alderperson representing District 6.
Currently I am a substitute teacher and aide for MAPS and St. Francis Xavier Catholic School and serve as the treasurer of the Merrill Wrestling Club. I have also served in numerous volunteer leadership and service roles at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church/School and at Merrill Area Public Schools. My past employment experiences have included working for MAPS and Northcentral Technical College. My educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and an associate’s degree in Marketing.
Whether as an employee or volunteer, I have always felt a real sense of accountability and responsibility in the work I do. One of my goals as an alderperson would be to establish and maintain a productive line of communication with the residents of District 6. During this election season, I encourage District 6 residents to contact me to share their ideas and concerns for our district. My campaign email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also encourage Merrill residents and non-residents alike to visit the city’s redesigned website at www.ci.merrill.wi.us to rediscover what the city of Merrill and the surrounding area have to offer.
Thank you for the opportunity and your consideration.
I’m usually quiet and don’t want to stir the pot but after alot of thought I’ve decided to write a few thoughts that have gotten under my skin.
What’s happening with our federal government, our state and even locally? There are people in this country trying desperately to make ends meet. I don’t bring in much money, I’m collecting disability and social security because in 1996 I got ran over by a drunk driver. Although I’ve been dealt a rough hand I still work a part-time job as well. My wife works as a caregiver, her job lacks stability as some of her clients either pass away or are sent to assisted living. I live in a 1976 mobile home. It’s a modest place, nothing fancy, but it’s home. We pay lot rent, utilities, dog fee, and water. Over the years the costs of living here have increased dramatically. My wife and I have tried, to no avail, to set aside a little next egg, rainy day money. But with the ever increasing costs for lot rent, food, gas, etc. we’ve had to cut back on many things. By law we have to have insurance on our cars so this isn’t an option to slide on either. It seems we have more money being put out for the necessities and just not enough coming in. There are others like us I’m sure, sick and tired of being treated like pawns in a chess game.
Our government seems to insist that it knows what’s best for everyone. Obamacare, which in turn will make everyone required by law to have insurance or be fined if you don’t. I can see having insurance but some people just can’t afford it. Our economy is BAD. I take offense to those who turn a blind eye and pretend it’s not. The state and federal governments can’t resolve issues because they’d rather point fingers and blame the other guy across the aisle. They vote for their own raises, take vacations, and have the best health care that the people pay for. Seems to me that politicians live in a glass bubble where they don’t have to hear the plight of hard working Americans. It’s tough living paycheck to paycheck and hoping your car doesn’t break down. It’s hard not knowing week to week if you’ll be able to afford a tank of gas. President Obama said on T.V. that he would keep our gas prices down so people wouldn’t have to choose between eating and trying to save gas to get to work. That is if they even have a job.
Is the government out to help us or hurt us? I’d like to sit down with our president, look him face to face, and ask if he’s really for us? The cost of living is up, wages are down, and it seems we live n a country where we rob Peter to pay Paul. My blood pressure is up, the cost to eat is up, unemployment is still up, etc. etc., but wages stay the same or go down. Doesn’t make sense to me. The government wants to allow illegals to become citizens, who what’s next? When will we learn that in order to become a great nation we have to take care of our country first. This is America, we have a constitution, guaranteed rights and freedoms, and the power to vote. Maybe a farmer would be better suited to run our country. Just a thought.
Wayne “Butch” Russ
I am retired and enjoy our home in Harrison Hills. The Wausau Daily Herald a few weeks ago printed the salaries and benefits of all the teachers and administrators in the area. Amazingly the average teachers were being paid $50,000+ and $25,000+ in benefits annually, with summers off and many holiday vacations. Many teachers were close to $70,000 before benefits a year and administrators making $90,000+ plus $30,000+ in benefits or more.
Very well paid and with about 90% of all health insurance and retirement being paid by the taxpayer I am wondering why the letters in last weeks Foto News made it sound as if our teachers and administrators were suffering. I read the articles from the Browns and it was clear to me, as they state in the editorials that John Shull, Jeffrey Verdoorn and Lin Kautza were going to increase these benefits and pay if elected. The author of the letters made it clear they considered the MAPS school board an enemy of the teachers.
I as a retiree have a fixed income. Our property taxes are our greatest expense annually and they always seem to be increasing, with the biggest expense education both local and N.T.C. Why should I give well paid teachers and administrators more money and benefits when I read enrolments are declining, our grades are not improving. I check with Lincoln County and the average income in this county is about $22,000 a year, a half to a third of what the teachers and administrators are making. I respected my teachers and they taught us well when we were kids, but today I never read about teaching I only read about more money and benefits for them. I know it’s not really the teachers but the union causing all the fuss; but I don’t like it.
I know as a tax payer if I elect John Shull, Jeffrey Verdoorn and/or Lin Kautza I will see another big tax increase, and frankly I cannot afford it. I am voting for the new people to hopefully get new ideas and parents that care about kids and budgets, not just giving money to teachers and administrators.
Lincoln Co. citizens:
The following letter is an appreciation letter from the Wisconsin Conservation Congress for facilitation work done for the congress by our Lincoln Co. Extension Agent, Art Lersch. Art’s work on this project benefitted the county’s citizens, and his expert assistance with this project reflects proudly on Lincoln Co. government.
Dear Ms. Moellendorf,
I am writing you today to express my great appreciation for what Mr. Art Lersch of the Lincoln County UW Extension has done for the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC).
Laurie Groskopf, one of our delegates from Lincoln County and a member of our Outreach Committee, first came up with the idea of the WCC doing a strategic plan and introduced us to Mr. Lersch. In the 78 year history of this unique organization, the WCC has never done a strategic plan.
Mr. Lersch was an outstanding facilitator who led our Strategic Planning Committee through this process. He followed up with accurate and detailed reports from each of our meetings that fully represented the discussion and perspectives of the committee members. He effectively led the committee to consensus on a number of difficult issues and was instrumental in keeping the group moving forward in a productive manner. His final report has been reviewed and accepted by the WCC Executive Council and we have heard praise from the Deputy Secretory of the DNR who reviewed and accepted by the WCC Executive Council an we have heard praise from the Deputy Secretary of the DNR who reviewed the final plan, calling it an “excellent document.” Without Mr. Lersch’s expertise and assistance with this project, I don’t believe the WCC would have ever been able to complete such a thorough review of who the WCC is and where we need to go. The service he provided was outstanding.
Thank you for allowing us to utilize such a wonderful community resource and a great talent. Mr. Lersch is an asset to the Extension and we are extremely grateful for his assistance and guidance throughout this process.
Rob Bohmann, Chair
To the Voters of
On April 2 we’ll be going to the polls to cast our ballots for Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge and I’ve decided to vote for Rob Russell. Rob has been practicing law for over 20 years in the same firm his father, George Russell started over 50 years ago. Currently Rob serves as the Lincoln County Family Court Commissioner. He has successfully represented individuals and businesses with various legal issues during his 20 year career. Rob has the knowledge, experience and integrity to make a fair and impartial judge. He is not afraid to make tough decisions and pass down tough but fair judgements.
Rob and his late wife Kim graduated from Merrill and their children are currently enrolled in Merrill High School. He owns a home in Merrill and has lived here his entire life. He has been a member of the same local church for many years. He’s been involved for over 20 years in our community; serving on a variety of boards. He’s also been involved with local organizations and has served in various capacities.
This is our opportunity to vote for our judge instead of one who was appointed. A judge who is truly invested in the community and committed to serving Lincoln County as he has proven throughout his years in the area. This is our opportunity to vote for the best candidate to serve as Circuit Court Judge who represents us; the citizens of Lincoln County.
I am becoming increasingly displeased with Governor Scott Walker
When he was first elected, he turned down federal funds to build high-speed rail transportation between Madison and Milwaukee. He thereby denied Wisconsin citizens the opportunity to enjoy high-speed travel between our two major population areas. Besides the potential of employment for those who would support the train was eliminated. Also eliminated was the economic boost for Wisconsin businesses.
Later, with Act 10, he denied the rights of Wisconsin State Employees to bargain for their working conditions, and limited their capacity to bargain for their wages. It turns out, that as a result, many of our best area teachers are seeking employment elsewhere.
Most recently Governor Walker has turned down federal funds to expand Badger Medical Care for Wisconsin citizens. It is estimated by the Kaiser Foundation, among others, that this funding would increase coverage of Badger Care from 175,000 to 211,000 new recipients. In addition, expanded Badger Care would require the employment of more medical personnel to serve the newly admitted patients.
As I review these, among other acts of our governor, I wonder-is he consciously attempting to limit quality-of-life for Wisconsin’s citizens?
James A. Lewis
Town of Maine