EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for the Open Forum for publication in the next available issue after receipt. Letters may be sent to Forest Lake Times, 880 SW 15th St., Forest Lake, or by e-mail to email@example.com. Letters should not exceed 250 words and must be signed with the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Deadline is noon Monday. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters and assure that rules of libel and good taste are not violated.
Building Their Legacy
It appears the Wyoming City Council (except one) is long on legacy building and short on public servanthood. At issue is a perceived need to purchase the old RiverBank building and remodel the present city hall at a cost of $2.5 million. The city hall may need upgrades, but acquiring another building needing remodeling and upgrading city hall at the expense of taxpayers is too much.
Our home values shrink while our taxes go up. Home foreclosures are still high. Businesses are closing, and store fronts remain vacant. Wages are stagnant at best, if not reduced. Those on fixed incomes are faced with increased costs all around.
It’s not an ideal time to ask residents and business owners to fund projects that will increase taxes on homes and businesses.
Also, this area has a penchant for taking prime commercial real estate off the tax roll, selling it to non-profits. We have churches in industrial areas, thrifts stores on freeway exit ramps, and now the possibility of the city a buying a bank building. I have nothing against non-profits other than where they are located. Think of the impact on your taxes!
We expect people who serve in government positions to be foresighted, fiscally responsible, and above all, aware of the needs and concerns of the people who hired them. Adding more tax burden will show a lack of concern by the council and a preponderance to build their legacy.
Ray W Johnson
A Nice Surprise
I was surprised, in a good way, to learn Julie Bunn is running for State Senate. In the past Julie has served our community in many ways – from working on the Lake Elmo Planning Commission to distinguished service in Rotary Club, and of course as a state representative for two terms.
Julie’s work as an advocate for small business is noteworthy. A founding member of the bi-partisan Small Business Caucus, Julie worked on legislation to help small businesses prosper and hire new workers. She was the recipient of the National Federation of Independent Businesses Guardian of Small Business Award in 2008 and 2010.
We’re fortunate to have Julie on the ticket in November. Few choices in life are as clear and simple as voting for a proven leader like Julie Bunn.
Democracy at Risk
Gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson has promised $71 million in campaign donations to defeat President Obama. The billionaire Koch brothers have set a goal of $1 billion from a small group of billionaires to defeat Obama and the Democrats in November.
Over $1 billion from just a few billionaires to buy and control the presidency, Senate and Congress. This is not including the hundreds of millions in corporate money that will equal that of the billionaires.
The ultra right wing five members of the Supreme Court have declared that corporations and billionaires have suffered enough and have a right to give unlimited support to political candidates in a secret unfettered manner under the first amendment.
These five loose cannons declared that corporations are people. This unholy action from the Supreme Court may allow the take over of our government by the rich and corporations, turning America into an oligarchy.
Eighty percent of Americans disagree with this ruling. The actions of this court border on treason. They have handed over political power in totality to these billionaires in an attempt to turn the control of our country to the richest few.
At the very least these five corporate judicial pawns should be impeached for betraying America and legislating from the bench and unleashing this nightmare upon the American people.
If you plan to vote Republican this November you will handing our democracy over to these self serving few. Remember the old saying “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely”
In Rep. Barrett’s filing statement he is proud of how the Republican-led legislature turned a $6.5 billion deficit to a $1.5 billion surplus. What he doesn’t mention is how the Republicans did it.
They expanded delayed payments to schools to $2.4 billion and borrowed $800 million from future tobacco settlement money. In 2032 we will still be paying for operations of the state from 2012.
Republicans voted to take away homestead property tax credit (which raised property taxes across Chisago County). By borrowing money and eliminating the homestead credit Republicans were able to balance the budget. Is this balancing the budget?
As he congratulated the North Branch School District for a good year he failed to realize that his vote for eliminating the homestead credit and the increase of property taxes will make it very difficult to pass an operating levy.
Emily Carlson from Parmly thanked him for his support of senior citizens. She must not realize that nursing homes have not seen an increase in funding since a 2 percent increase in 2007. She must not be aware of the bill Barrett authored to take 1 percent from all state agencies to help pay back the school shift.
His solution was to take money from seniors in nursing homes to pay back students. That bill would have taken another 1 percent from Parmly because many residents are on Medicare or Medicaid.
It is clear Rep. Barrett sees the problems, but he’s sticking to partisan politics and party lines instead of doing what is best for Chisago County.