From our readersIssue Date: October 11, 2017
Editor, Peshtigo Times:
On September 27, 2017, I, along with other local government leaders and representatives, was invited to attend a presentation by William Fruth entitled, "Enhancing the Economic Quality of Life inOur Communities," William is a Florida-based economics professor for POLICOM Corporation (www.policom.com). The event was sponsored by Stephenson National Bank & Trust and held at UW-Marinette. I thank Stephenson National Bank and UW-Marinette for hosting an outstanding and important event for our community,
The information presented was on the Marinette Micropolitan area which includes both Marinette and Menominee Counties. Marinette and Menominee Counties are tightly intertwined as an economy, sharing workers and jobs. There was a large amount of economic data presented and I would ask the local news sources to report on the entire study. I will focus on just a few observations in the study. The study compared the Marinette Micropolitan area to the "Ten Strongest" and "Ten Weakest" micropolitan areas both nationally and within the states of Wisconsin and Michigan. Marinette ranked 300 out of 551 nationally and last in Wisconsin. For those of us who live here, I don't think that was a surprise, but it does hurt my community pride.
Overall, Marinette County is losing population (499) and employment (447) and gaining per capita government transfers (52) which substantiates an aging population. This observation is also shown in many other economic studies of the area, The many charts in the study show large gaps between Marinette County and the "Ten Strongest" micropolitan areas' in growth over the last 30 years with our trend line being fairly flat or declining compared to a sharply rising "ten Strongest" trend.
The study also pointed out the strengths and opportunities that Marinette County has to improve the quality of life for its residents through economic development. The Marinette Micropolitan area has access to a four-lane highway, seaport, airport and university/higher education. The key to strengthening our economy is to attract new businesses and industries to our area. The priority is to attract those that pay higher than our $43,327 (2015) average annual wage.
I have the unique privilege to serve on both the Marinette City Council and the Marinette County Board of Supervisors. The City of Marinette is working toward improving the economy by attracting many new businesses start-ups, prospective businesses that are looking at the area and building of the REC Center. Marinette County, along with many local citizens have backed the REC Center. Marinette County has leadership and financial resources to do more. Marinette County needs to lead the way.
My background is in business, so I tend to look at government from a business perspective. We have strong and capable leadership with Mayor Steve Genisot, County Administrator John LeFebvre and County Board Chairman Mark Anderson; local businesses and industry leaders; a City Council and County Board of Supervisors that give us a unique opportunity to drive economic development in the Marinette Micropolitan area.
The two success characteristics William thought the Marinette Micropolitan area needed to improve were an aggressive, well-financed economic development organization and a community that wants it to happen.
I hope William's presentation stimulates the leadership to strategically plan and invest to improve the economy of the Marinette Micropolitan area. I will be a strong advocate for economic development action and investment.
Marinette County Board Supervisor - District 29
Marinette City Council - Ward 7
Letter to Editor:
- In Appreciation -
Allison Space, Administrator of the Goodman-Armstrong Creek School District stated, "The Goodman-Armstrong Creek School District joins school districts across the state in saluting their local education leaders during Wisconsin School Board Week.
"The week is designed to recognize the contributions made by our local school board members who are charged with governing public education under state law. These volunteer leaders are responsible for formulating school district policy, approving curricula, maintaining school facilities and adhering to state and federal education law.
"Our deepest appreciation is extended to the dedicated men and women who make it possible for local citizens to participate in education in our community. We salute the public servants of the Goodman-Armstrong Creek School Board whose commitment and civic responsibility make local control of public schools in our community possible: Dave Ziolkowski, Laura Klescewski, Dave Rock, Tim Barribeau and Debbie Thompson.
"Please join me by saying thanks to our school board members during Wisconsin School Board Week!"
The subject matter for the recent Billie Williams writers group in September was patriotism. With Veterans Day approaching and all the turmoil about respect for the flag, I wrote a piece on the subject.
Love of Country
Let me ask, how did you end up here? We all have a history. Many of us were born here, but the heritage usually follows us. Were your ancestor's dreamers, rebels, slaves? Whatever started your families journey, you are here. Here to love and protect this land.
Were your people brought here against their will, perhaps bought as slaves? You might look back to your native land and ask, is it better than this great nation? Many people were mistreated, unfortunately and some still are. Remember this is a work in progress. Many times, hardships bring forth good. Your families may have suffered, but now you are here.
This is your land. We are all free. We choose this land. Our land. All things good need to be worked and nurtured. Together we need to find forgiveness for our family's faults and be held responsible for our future actions.
Have you come here Illegally? Did you come here because your land is broken? There has always been a legal passage to the USA. Unfortunately, we cannot sustain everyone. This land will wither and die if we try. Our nation has always tried to be fair and help those in need. It seems at times to our breaking point. Out of love for the land we must be careful and selective.
We need to continue to make our country a land, were all can find happiness and defend her against those who would like to take this away. Do you love this country enough to make difficult decisions to keep her healthy?
If the pen is mightier than the sword, then patriotism is making difficult laws to maintain our freedoms and peace. Practicing tough love by holding all responsible for their actions, and for the silent to open up for what is right and to defend her, the USA.
To the Editor:
Autumn feels like an ending
A party of the ways,
When warm summer nights
Turn into cool autumn days.
Flowers lose their petals
Gardens do not awake,
Causing lonely hearts to ache.
Big yellow school busses
Go down county roads,
Leaves change their colors
To orange and red and gold,Canadian geese in the sky
Flying in a V-formation,
Headed south to warmer lands
A part of nature's creation.
Friday night lights
At high school football games.
Teenagers holding hands
Starring into homecoming bombfire flames,
Cranberries in the marsh
Squirrels storing acorns,
Frost upon the pumpkins
And a lonely dove mourns.
Autumn is a season
Of recollections and dreams,
Sitting under the moonlight
And watching as it gleams.
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