Opinions

Sat
31
Oct

How to start a Neighborhood Watch and other questions

“Open communication fosters trust.” — John C. Maxwell

Thank you for your positive feedback regarding the question-and-answer articles. If you have a question you would like answered, please email me at mayor@shawanonet.net.

Q: How do I start a Neighborhood Watch program?

A: (Police Chief Mark Kohl) This is a partnership program between the police and you, our citizens. It is an opportunity for neighbors to look out for one another. The program is designed to enlist the active participation of citizens to reduce crime by reporting suspicious activity to police and to improve the quality of lives in your neighborhoods.

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: Clintonville residents should keep an eye on council

To the editor:

The number of people who used to attend Clintonville City Council meetings has diminished to just a handful, if that many. Yet many critical issues are under consideration, including the 2016 budget, the need to repair the Hemlock Street bridge, funding the needed storm sewer in the industrial park to eliminate flooding of factories, and also the sale of Angelus to a nonprofit organization — costing the city $300,000 in lost tax revenue.

It also appears that council members are not voting for what they know, but who they know.

At a recent meeting, the agenda included the appointment of a representative to the Badger Power Marketing Board. The acting mayor and the mayor discussed this, and the acting mayor submitted a name to Badger Power. Even I know that all committee appointments need council approval first. This experienced council member did not think this committee appointment needed council approval.

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: School needs renovations proposed in referendum

To the editor:

What good news to see that renovations are being evaluated for the Shawano middle school.

The upgrades being planned are so needed to be able to keep using this building for many years to come. It is amazing that the HVAC had survived for 60 years! Some of the other items mentioned, such as security enhancements and accommodations for people with disabilities, are timely and welcome additions.

What is needed in a school has evolved in the years since I was a student at this campus, and I would like to thank the School Board for moving our school system forward with this.

Remember to vote on Nov. 3.

Kathy Qualheim,

Shawano

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: Many residents can’t afford referendum tax hike

To the editor:

As a Shawano resident, I have some observations about the Nov. 3 property tax increase referendum, and I’ll tell you why my overall conclusion is to vote no.

Where does the money come from to pay for these renovations? Well, the district only looks to one source – the taxpayers. When I suggested applying for grants (Shawano Area Community Foundation) or private funding (Crawford, Egan, Pevonka), I was told by officials, “Oh, we can’t do that.” In other words, they don’t want to, and they just want to let the taxpayers pay for it.

How about teaching our students that we need to save money for what we want? Could we let them be creative with fundraisers? Could the athletic clubs take charge paying for the revamping of the locker rooms, as they did for the football and soccer fields?

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: Vote no on Nov. 3

To the editor:

Shawano residents should vote no on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and oppose the Shawano Community Middle School’s push for a $14 million property tax increase.

This referendum takes place during an off-year election, when voter turnout is low and the polls will be flooded with union members and bureaucrats, so it is critically important for taxpayers to defeat this multimillion-dollar property tax increase.

The $14 million property tax increase on the ballot is supposed to include the construction costs for Shawano Community Middle School and the interest on the debt incurred, but we can’t afford the price tag. Some of the proposed construction includes $598,000 for updating the gym, $755,000 for fixing up the locker room and $869,346 for modernizing the kitchen. One of the most expensive plans calls for $6.4 million to upgrade the heating system and add rooftop air-conditioning units.

Fri
30
Oct

Letter: ‘Let’s get after it,’ Shawano

To the editor:

“Let’s get after it!”

How often have we heard Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers say this? As concerned parents, family members, business leaders, educators and citizens of Shawano, we need to take a long look at the upcoming referendum to update and repair the aging Shawano Community Middle School. The building is in dire need of attention. The students at Shawano Community Middle School deserve a safe and secure environment to learn.

At this time, the building has not had any major work done to the heating and cooling systems for years, and repairs and replacements of these units are needed. The boys and girls locker rooms have not been updated since the building was built. They have been in constant use, not only by the SCMS students, but also many community members that use the gyms. The locker rooms are small and unsafe due to the fact that they are difficult to monitor. Don’t you think this needs to change?

Sat
24
Oct

City staff answer frequently asked questions

“Reason can answer questions, but imagination has to ask them.” — Dr. Ralph Gerard

Today’s column contains questions our city staff has been asked, along with their answers.

Q: What are the most common things you need a building permit for?

A: (Brian Bunke, zoning administrator/building inspector) The most common permit is for roofing, siding, fences and windows. The cost for any of these is $40. If you have any question about building permits or run down houses, please call me (715-526-6150) Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Q: Can I register or renew my car or truck license at the Police Department?

Sat
24
Oct

Letter: Middle school renovations are needed

To the editor:

Recently I attended one of the public meetings on the Shawano Community Middle School referendum. After hearing the facts, I’d encourage our voting-age citizens to vote in favor of this referendum.

The middle school is the oldest school facility in the district, and 65 percent of the referendum is to replace and upgrade the HVAC systems that were original to the building in 1954. After 61 years of service, it’s time to get a more efficient system into the middle school. As somebody that coached middle school football for nine years, I can truly attest that the locker rooms needed to be renovated years ago and truly are an embarrassment when boys and girls teams travel to play in Shawano.

Other enhancements bolster our security systems and ADA requirements at the middle school.

Sat
17
Oct

City staff answers questions about tax bills, licenses

“If curiosity killed the cat, the cat died nobly.” Arnold Edinborough

The city staff often receives questions from the public. The next several weekly articles will contain our staff’s answers to questions raised by residents.

Q: Do I really need to get a cat license if my cat never goes outside?

Lisa Bruette, administrative assistant and deputy treasurer: Yes, a license is required. Proof of rabies shot must be shown. The rabies tag is not acceptable; the actual paper from the vet showing when the shot was given including the expiration date is required. The fee for a cat license is $4 if they are spayed or neutered and $10 if not.

Q: I thought the $100 on my tax bill was to pay for the garbage and recycling bin yet it appears on my tax bill every year. Why?

Sat
10
Oct

City enforcing ordinances covering quality of life

“Autumn is the year’s last loveliest smile.” — William Cullen Bryant

This week, I received a letter from a community member who is autistic. The individual typed the letter himself. He wrote, “I have an idea for the old hospital across Green Bay Street on North Bartlett Street.” I was delighted to receive his letter and I will be sure his suggestion is shared with others. We appreciate residents taking the time to communicate their thoughts and ideas.

On occasion, I receive an anonymous letter. Those do not receive the same level of consideration. In fact, I disregard them. I personally believe if someone feels strongly enough about an issue/concern to write a letter, they should be willing to sign their name.

The city has been trying to get the word out that we are taking an aggressive approach to the enforcement of ordinances that address keeping our community safe, clean and aesthetically pleasing. As a reminder, here are a few of those ordinances:

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