Opinions

Wed
17
Aug

Writer proposes layoffs at Gillett schools

To the editor:

On Aug. 9, you, the taxpayers of the Gillett School District, voted no. To you who voted, I want to say good job.

To those of you who wrote a letter in opposition of the referendum, great job. I believe your letters made the difference.

As you well know, this thing is not over. Now we, the taxpayers, need to hold their feet to the fire. We need to be on them, the School Board, to make the changes at the top.

The administrator has said that programs will have to be cut. If it’s about the kids, why are you ready to punish the kids? Leave the kids alone, Mr. Administrator and School Board. You, the School Board, need to start at the top of the food chain, starting with administration. Starting with deep layoffs.

Also, make district employees pay 40 percent of their health insurance. Also, about retirement, I believe what should happen is that we should go to 401K, where they pay for their own retirement.

Wed
17
Aug

Notes from a well-seasoned political junkie

I try very hard to avoid controversy in this space. It’s not that I don’t have opinions on controversial issues, it’s just that I prefer not to foist them on others.

But, boy, it’s hard to not comment on the political circus that’s going to dominate our TVs this fall.

I’m something of a political junkie. I’ve had an abiding interest in politics ever since I was a teenager. When I turned 18 in 1957, Wisconsin was deep into a weird political situation. Sen. Joe McCarthy, whose anti-Communist tirades in the Senate were an embarrassment to most Wisconsinites, had died, and a special election was held to fill out his term.

So, in my first-ever national election, I helped Bill Proxmire to become the first Democrat to be elected to the Senate from Wisconsin in over 25 years. He beat former governor Republican Walter Kohler in that race and then won six more full terms in the Senate, always winning by very wide margins.

Wed
10
Aug

It’s time for a change in District 12

To the editor:

District 12 state Sen. Tom Tiffany’s newly proposed legislation would prevent local governments from using eminent domain power to build public parks and trails. Yet Tom supports legislation granting energy conglomerate Enbridge the right to take private land to install an oil pipeline using eminent domain. World-class hypocrisy here?

Sadly, Tom’s attention is focused not only on an oil pipeline but a conduit to funnel our tax money to private voucher schools while neglecting our public schools, the heart of rural communities and the pipeline to success for the next generation.

Wed
10
Aug

Gillett has many positives to celebrate

To the editor:

I was at a meeting last week where a Gillett resident made the comment, “Gillett is already dead. Why don’t you just let it die.”

This statement really bothered me, partly because I grew up, graduated, got married, work, live and, God willing, will probably die in Gillett. It also bothered me because a resident feels, thinks and would make this type of comment.

We make choices every day, choices about our careers and where we live. We can choose to look for the negatives, or we can choose to see the positives.

It is easy to see the great things that are going on in our community. We have Seneca, Northport, the new assisted living center, our community center and library, a fine grocery, a well-stocked hardware store, auto repair shops, gas stations, banks, great restaurants, fire, police and ambulance services.

We also have a positive number of other small businesses in and around our community.

Wed
10
Aug

Garage sales give new life to cast-offs

Do you remember an old song that said, “I’ll Never Say Never Again Again”?

About 10 years ago, I wrote a column about rummage sales because we’d just gone through the throes of having one. I thought at the time that I didn’t ever want to go through that again, but guess what?

Yup! We did it again!

Somebody famous must have said it because it’s been around for a long time: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” And that’s probably just a corruption of an older idiom, also by somebody famous, (probably Shakespeare; I should know this stuff, but I’m retired now!): “What is one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

This doctrine of psychological chaos is obviously part of the driving force behind sales of this type. I think there’s a basic philosophy behind garage sales that says if you can’t possibly give something away, you can probably sell it.

Wed
03
Aug

Don’t burden taxpayers with referendum

To the editor:

Our tax dollars don’t come from a bottomless bucket. They come from hardworking people who struggle to make ends meet. Let’s do what is good for everyone in our community, not just a few at the top.

The Gillett School District can’t spend more money than what we have and still survive. If the School Board was serious about cutting the fat from the budget, you don’t start from the bottom up, you start from the top down.

So, taxpayers, let’s hold the School Board accountable for fixing the budget without putting a burden on our taxpayers. Please vote no to the school referendum on Aug. 9.

James Schultz,

Gillett

Wed
03
Aug

Cutting Gillett staff, programs is not the answer

To the editor:

A recent letter related to the Gillett School referendum spoke of “trimming the fat.” Our state trimmed the fat, cut off the muscle and severed the tendons. There is nothing left to cut but programs and staff, which would limit our children’s opportunities and enlarge our class sizes.

I don’t know how people could think that gambling with our children’s future, the value of our homes and the value of our businesses is ever a legitimate option.

Where does all the dissension with the School Board and administration come from?

The last time the Gillett School District asked for money was in the mid-1990s. Gillett seems to have been financially responsible compared to many neighboring districts and their multiple referendums.

Wed
03
Aug

Be safe playing Pokemon Go

To the editor:

Think safety first; that is our No. 1 priority at Oconto Electric Cooperative.

Pokemon Go, the new smartphone-based augmented reality game in which players try to catch Pokémon in real world places, is drawing players into some dangerous situations. Please be safe and stay away from substations and power lines at all times. Serious injury, or worse, is a likely result.

Katie Jagiello,

Communications and marketing specialist,

Oconto Electric Cooperative

Wed
03
Aug

Cut back on staffing in Gillett

To the editor:

I guess when you live inside the box of state funding, you get used to living a certain way. But when the gravy train stops coming in, you don’t know how to make changes that make a difference.

It has been said there is no other way. Well, let me help you.

I don’t know if you have lost a job. Usually what you do is you cut back. You might give up that Friday night fish. You may even have to sell your house or that new car.

Well, so to speak, you have lost your job. That money isn’t coming in. So, now Mr. School Board member, get rid of some teachers, maybe even get rid of two principals and have a superintendent/principal combined. Maybe you should even look at the director of pupil services. Maybe even some secretaries that we really don’t need.

I guess there just isn’t no other way. As far as us vs. them, those are your words. It’s your unwillingness to make cuts. It’s just trying to hold things together at home.

Wed
03
Aug

Gillett should consider options to reduce expenses

To the editor:

Some have said that those who oppose the referendum have not done their research or made phone calls to staff and board members, and that decisions have been made off of misinformation or hearsay. I can tell you for myself that I have made many phone calls. I have called board members, and there are some board members who have never returned my calls. I’ve called school staff. I’ve attended School Board meetings. I’ve made phone calls to DPI. I have done my research.

I’m not a hater of our children. I’m not a hater of our teachers and staff.

However, there are things that can be done before coming to the taxpayers and placing the burden on them. I receive phone calls and get stopped on a daily basis by taxpayers in our district who have said that this is too much. They cannot afford this. Without jobs in our community, there isn’t any income. Without income, there isn’t any extra money to pay out.

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