LETTER: Prudent plan or pernicious ploy?
To the Editor:
Recently 2,006 petition signatures were collected in order to place the County Board downsizing question on the November ballot.
It seems less than coincidental that 855 of the signatures were garnered by just eight citizens, seven of whom live in the Hudson area (and three of whom are current County Board supervisors, representing only the most western portion of our county). The eighth petition circulator is from River Falls.
In July 2006, the Town of Troy hosted a public forum regarding the establishment of a Troy/River Falls Cooperative Boundary Agreement. The forum began with Troy Town Chair Ray Knapp asking those present to show respect and to refrain from speaking unless they had the floor.
As you contemplate how to vote on this downsizing referendum question, please also consider the following rude behavior, exhibited at the above public forum by a current River Falls City Council member and former St. Croix County Board supervisor.
Throughout the meeting, that person (along with a colleague) continued to speak and laugh derisively while other guests had the floor. When politely asked to stop, this River Falls City Council member/former St. Croix County Board supervisor turned around and sneered, while replying "I don't have to show these people any respect; they're not my constituents."
Several weeks ago New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote, "Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared."
In 1782 Thomas Jefferson stated that every government degene-rates when entrusted solely to the rulers of its people.
By way of extension, then, why should we entrust our county government to just 19 supervisors, at least some of whom -- it appears -- advocate silencing the voices of those in the more remote parts of our county?
Why, also, should we assign any credibility to that former County Board member who -- in recent weeks -- singularly obtained 271 signatures on the petition to downsize, yet in 2006 showed so little respect for those right here in his own back yard?
Please vote "no" on downsizing our County Board.
Town of Troy