THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
From our readers
Issue Date: January 9, 2019
Letter to the Editor:
The MDEQ Public Comment meeting in Stephenson, Mich., regarding Aquila's Mining Permit Amendment should absolutely be postponed and the time frame for Public Comment extended because: 1) The public did not have sufficient time to review the 900-plus pages of the Amendment during the holidays; and 2) the document itself was completely inaccessible to many people because the computer link was either inoperable or too complicated for the average citizen to navigate. A friend of mine who is a highly-intelligent professor had to engage a computer consultant in order to locate the Amendment online. I also understand that Apple's Safari application did not work at all, and it was suggested by a local resident to try using Firefox for an internet browser. Personally, I went to the MDEQ site recommended in the MDEQ newspaper article and on first try was informed that the page no longer existed; on a later attempt I was defeated by a complicated navigation page requiring a Password. People are struggling to gain access to the Amendment. In order for the public to have a chance to review it, the document should be readily available with no bells and whistles. Considering the excessive length of it (two volumes) and complexity, there was neither enough time for anyone to digest it nor formulate comments. It is an obvious ploy by Aquila to release the Amendment at year's end, immediately preceding the Christmas/New Year holidays. Timing was obviously planned by Aquila to make it challenging for us to read and understand these gigantic files, a tactic they have previously employed with the original Mining Permit Application. Aquila seems to get a lot of time to prepare documents for submission to the MDEQ, but the public receives very short notices. Come on, folks, you can be legal and follow the rules; but in consideration of the public, at least be FAIR.
Lea Jane Burie,
The front page of your paper asked the question of why some local offices have no candidates for office. It also answered it "Residents Reject Pay Raises For Officials". The only local elected offices that pay decent are few and far between. Granted the majority of the local elected offices are "part-time positions" and it is often said that "people don't do it for the money" but why don't they pay better? Our taxes are not low by any stretch of the imagination so there is money somewhere in the system.
I know that Marinette County has its meetings during the day when people with real jobs cannot easily attend let alone hold office so this eliminates many people being on the county board. Most other local boards have better meeting times for people with jobs but frankly the rate of pay for the many city, village, town and county boards is embarrassingly low. Some people may still argue some board members are overpaid. Is that because the elected officials (who often run unopposed) are just not good or what? We need full elected (not appointed) boards and some boards may need changes so would an increase in pay help or maybe term limits are needed? Sadly the only elected position I know of with term limits is for President of the United States.
This county does pay the administrator and many of the upper level management positions quite well with excellent benefits and retirement. We can afford to pay more to all the city, village and town boards and with a reduction of the size of the Marinette County Board we could afford to pay them better too. An increase in pay may bring better people to the offices. It can't hurt can it?