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From our readers

Dear Editor:

Thanks again for providing a lot of information about things that go on in Marinette County.

Several months ago I read in your paper that the Marinette County Administrator wanted the County Board to “go paperless.” At the time many members of the County Board were “playing with computers” according to the County Board Chairman before a meeting as reported in the paper. He also stated that some of them “don’t have a computer” so it is logical they don’t have internet service either.

Well, it seems as though all 30 County Board members now have I-Pads according to information in an article on Marinette County Finances. These devices cost from $329 to $829 each so $10,000 to $25,000 was spent buying these devices. This does not include any accessories or costs for internet access. Internet access is required to operate these devices and receive information. According to the makers of the i-Pad the internet access for an i-Pad is from $15 to $50 monthly per unit depending upon what type of service is purchased. So an additional $450 to $1,500 per month, which comes to $5,400 to $18,000 per year for the 30 Board members, may have been purchased. This is with a two-year agreement. The County Board members are elected to a two-year term. They are well into their two year terms of service to the taxpayers. In the same article the county approved spending $20,785.60 for 880 cartons of paper.

So it appears that Marinette County has spent as much as $61,000 for the County Board to go “paperless” for two years. Cost of 1,760 cartons of paper is only $41,570. I understand that postage costs will be reduced by going “paperless” but we need the Post Office and now the County is trying to help put them out of business. I find it hard to believe that the County spent over $15 postage per month per board member.

I’m wondering who decided the County Board should go “paperless”? I did not see an advertisement for bids for the i-Pads or the internet service. I have seen nothing about training the County Board members on the devices. I wonder if they get mileage and per diem for training? Is sensitive county information now available to them at home that should not be? Are they using them for non county business? I wonder if their family members are using the devices? Are they seeing sensitive county information? What about excess data charges? Insurance? Repairs? This all makes little sense to me although I like technology and the internet.

Interestingly enough none of them have an email addresses on the county web site. So we taxpayers are paying for their computers and access to the internet but you cannot email them easily it seems. By now you should all know the phone numbers of the County Board members but if you don’t the phone numbers are on the website. Give them a call today or tonight as that is the only easy “paperless” access you have to them!

Pete Pfankuch,

Crivitz



Letter to the Editor:

What does it profit to gain the whole world and lose one’s soul?

Francis Chan wisely observed, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” We live in dark times disguised as enlightenment. Often what is evil is called good, and what is good is called evil. Increasingly, to lie, cheat and steal is considered an acceptable part of the price to be paid to get ahead, especially if accountability for that behavior can be avoided.

Few today believe it is better to suffer for doing good than to succeed by doing evil. That it is better to be cheated than to cheat, or better to be lied about than to lie. All that seems to matter is to prevail and “win,” as if that somehow trumps the truth. Objectivity is sacrificed on the altar of expedience, and truth is re-defined in relative terms to personally fit a particular agenda. We are told in Isaiah 59:14-15 that, “Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.”

It is sad that officials like the Mayor of Detroit and the Governor of Illinois are serving time in prison for criminal acts and violations of the public trust, but it is far sadder that they felt so entitled. And these men spent far greater effort trying to cover their tracks and discredit those who exposed them than they did pursuing merit. And for a time, it succeeded. Further, it is not enough to be consoled simply because an act may be legal because, as Abraham Lincoln attested, “You must remember that some things legally right are not morally right.”

But truth does exist, and transcends us and our short lives. Even if one “gets away with it,” there is still a day of reckoning. In Matthew 16:26, Jesus Christ asked us to consider, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

We would be wise to reconsider where our identity is genuinely found. That may change our ultimate goals and the means by which we seek to obtain them. For fulfillment is found by realizing the genuine meaning and purpose of life, not merely in the illusion of prevailing and obtaining. History is replete with the echoes of those who “gained the whole world” only to lose their souls without recognizing it until the end. This life is all too short for us to be successful at the wrong things, and to be distracted by worthless things. Fortunately, no one need be.

James D. Langteau,

Menominee


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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