From our readersIssue Date: July 27, 2016
For a county of 40,000 people and a debt of $40 million, Marinette County Board doesn't seem to have a problem spending money like a drunken sailor.
Four years ago they had the "Wipfli" wage study that cost nearly $55,000 and raises were then given to county employees. Two years ago county employees were given a two percent raise. An additional raise is now in the works with a price tag of $52,250 plus incidentals for another wage study.
The money that's being spent on studies and wage increases certainly doesn't mean job performance or productivity. I would like to see an efficiency study to see that bang for the buck the taxpayers receive from county employees.
In the meantime, the County Board and administrator should have their pay cut and a wage freeze adopted until this debt is eliminated.
"The servant is not above the master".
Menominee River Floodplain, no place for experiment.
I believe the Marinette paper is doing a huge disservice to the public. A newspaper should report the facts and in the case of the proposed Back 40 Mine Project, they are not. I also believe it is intentional. Instead, it has been left to a few of us who write in the opinion column to come across as malcontents.
Over the last couple months the Front 40 Project had expert speakers hold forums to give the face of the known effects of open pit sulfide mining. The ground and surface water pollution that is sure to happen, the real facts of the Flambeau mine, and the facts that there is not a sulfide mine in the world that does not pollute. Nothing in the paper on the details of those meetings.
Yet when Aquila holds a meeting presenting a huge monetary wish list, projections, and ride to heaven on a bolt of lightning, financial boom, it is plastered on the front page of the paper (6-11-16) as fact.
The Front 40 presented facts, Back 40 hypothetical.
As a result of the Flint water crisis, two DEQ officials have been charged with being too cozy with the companies they were in charge of monitoring. I believe this to be because that is how our Governor wants these departments to run.
I stated at a recent meeting in Stephenson that I felt a need for a third party environmental assessment. And, that the DEQ and mining industry seemed too tight. When their respective representatives were speaking, it was hard to tell which was which.
I have been told that a silent majority wants this mine to happen. I do not believe that. But, I do believe there is a reason they are silent. Because when, not if this turns into a disaster, no one can point a finger at them.
Anyone with any amount of concern for the health of our river, our bay, or our drinking water, should go online and read Sec. R 425 503 Report of Incident of the Michigan Nonferrous Metallic Mining Regulations, Part 632.
There are regulations the mining industry has to meet.
This section describes the required notification of an incident at the mine site.
In a nutshell, it states 1. Report incident soon as possible. 2. Give written report of incident within 10 days, 3. If the response to incident is not included in this report, then it must be made in 30 days. 4. If not done in 30 days, the DEQ may require periodic progress reports.
Really? It takes just hours for the river to reach the Bay of Green Bay.
Several times at meetings, DEQ representative Joe Maki stated that if Aquila answered all the criteria on the application, he would be required to issue a permit.
I do not believe that either. I believe there are provisions that would allow it to be denied due to location in a floodplain, and unknown factors not mentioned in an application that could have disastrous effects. Location should mean everything in such a decision.
We'd also like to applaud Charlie DeSmidt, Jr. for his successful scuba-diving search and finding the Green Bay drowning victim on July 8th in Crivitz. We all can be proud that a young person from our community would take on such a dangerous task without being asked. Everyone involved also appreciated Charlie and Ashlie DeSmidt's donation of pizzas since the search took so long.
Wayne & Rhea Vande Hei
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