Residents of Lincoln County:
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your Lincoln County Clerk since Nov. 11, 2010. I have always said I would do this job to the best of my ability, and do what was right for Lincoln County. I was not going to have my decisions dictated by whether or not I would get elected. After careful consideration and an outpouring of support from family, friends, County officials, and many, many Lincoln County residents, I have decided to do what’s right for Lincoln County, and run as a write-in candidate for Lincoln County Clerk on Nov. 6, 2012.
Doing the right thing hasn’t been easy, and some of the decisions weren’t always the most popular among staff, but they were the right decisions. An example of the right decision was the one to not replace a staff position when a person voluntarily left my department for another department in the County. With some restructuring of existing staff, we were able to maintain all the services you, the residents, were use to receiving from my department at a tax savings of over $50,000 a year, EVERY YEAR! And that was only one of the many cost-saving changes that have been implemented since my taking office.
I am a taxpayer and resident of Lincoln County just like everyone else. I may not have been born and raised here, but this has been my home for over 2 years, and will be until I die, and I do care how my tax dollars are spent, just like you. I believe we all want our tax dollars spent as wisely as possible, and that means changes have to be made to make our dollars go farther than they ever have.
I have been working in government since before I graduated from high school. I completed my municipal government education through UW-Green Bay. I have a sincere and deep respect for the position I hold. Having worked my way up in government to the position I now hold I know what it takes to get the job done. Having been a municipal Clerk/Treasurer for over 27 years before coming to Lincoln County gives me a very unique connection with the 18 municipal clerks in Lincoln County. I know first-hand what it takes out of their everyday life to do what I’m expecting them to do. Knowing what I know I’m able to be a teacher to the municipal clerks for many of their daily activities, not just elections.
A County with a clerk having no experience in government what-so-ever is asking for trouble, with a capital T. A County Clerk needs to know a lot of different and complex laws, and having a County Clerk that has never dealt with any of these issues is never a good situation. A County Clerk needs to know so much more than how to supervise people. I have been your Lincoln County Clerk since Nov. 11, 2010, so I have proven I can do the job. I love what I do for you, and I’m good at what I do. Again, not always making the popular decisions, but none-the-less, making the right decisions.
I know running as a write-in candidate is asking a lot from you, the residents of Lincoln County, because you’ll have to write my name on the ballot alongside the filled in oval, but I trust you will do the right thing. Lincoln County deserves a County Clerk that knows how to do the job from the moment she is sworn in, and the name is spelled P U D E L K O.
Thank you and I appreciate your support.
Lincoln County Clerk
In reading the town of Pine River’s response to my letter, I feel I must correct some comments made.
First of all I was not in a position to demand anything. My job was set up and conduct trainings; I could not make or require anyone to attend, which is the job of the Chief and officers. I did not demand anything, what I did was challenge firefighters and test their knowledge. No nobody likes taking tests, I understand that, but they felt they should not be tested on their knowledge and that they already knew everything they needed to know. If I was truly the issue then why was it never brought to my attention? If I took it upon myself to demand things then why was this never addressed by the Chief? If my leaving the department makes it better, then I am ok with that because that is the ultimate goal, to have a better department. Look at the number of calls I made for both fire and EMS, look at my training record then tell me the department is better off. Maybe morale is better because now they can go back to the good ole boys club and not have anyone challenge them. The real people that can demand training are the residents of Pine River. I am a resident of Pine River and I think there should be some accountability. Don’t take my word for it, investigate for yourself and get BOTH sides of the story, it’s your fire department. Our town chairman said he doesn’t want to be involved, I thought that was his job? Show us some numbers. What are response times? What is the longest it’s ever taken? What are the department’s minimum training standards? Do they even have any? Again, do we want to just meet the minimum standards or do we expect more?
When asked about response times the answer was we are in the average of volunteer departments. What is the average 14 minutes? Let’s do a little math problem: If we have 2 fire calls and one response time is 2 minutes and one response time is 18 minutes, then our average is 10 minutes. Now that’s under the average response time of volunteer departments…However so you want to be the person waiting 18 minutes? Average doesn’t hold so much weight there does it. When it comes to response times, if the residents of Pine River are ok with “average” response times then that’s fine. When it comes to Fire, EMS, and Police protection I think we should shoot for above average.
I know there are budget issues, but if we are paying the same price for our own fire department and have less qualified individuals and longer response times then what are the savings? In fact, we actually are paying more for fire protection because of the fundraiser the department has to supplement the cost of the department. It doesn’t come out of taxes but it still comes out of the pockets of the residents of Pine River.
The reason I took to wiring the paper is because for 4 years I have struggled to get changes from the inside, I talked with the Town chairman a year ago in a meeting and his answer was he doesn’t want to be involved with the fire department. I am not against the fire department; my goal is to make it better. There are many dedicated people on the fire department, but for whatever reason they do not have the passion there once was and if by starting this controversy it unites the members once again then maybe some good may come out of this yet.
They stated in their letter that “it is unfortunate when someone who joins an organization with such eagerness does not work out.” Let’s be clear, I am no longer a member of the Pine River fire department because I made the choice. What is really unfortunate is that a person with such eagerness, training and experience can’t make a difference because of the good ole boys.
Town of Pine River
- Merrill Community Forum Series continues
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