Move by Wyoming Council to buy bank building inspires letters

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 protected] 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.

Wrong Time
Wrong Project

What is it with people who become politicians? They promise to be fiscally responsible, fix roads and manage government.

Yet the moment they are sworn into office, they seem to want to fit in. They agree because they want to be liked by the bureaucratic staff that will be there when they are gone.

The current mayor of Wyoming, Eric Peterson, has said he would manage our money and would repair the roads in Wyoming, yet the roads are still crumbling.  Now they are going to buy an abandoned bank in the heart of Wyoming and turn it into a new city hall, during one of the worst depressions in the history of the country.

Is this good sound fiscal management? They are going to spend $2.5 million to buy the bank, remodel it and renovate the old city hall to be a police station.  There are four full-time employees of the city and we need a new city hall?

Business is leaving Wyoming, as witnessed by the loss of Blockbuster, the pizza shop and half a dozen other companies that couldn’t make it because of high taxes and a bad business climate globally.  Yet we are going to raise taxes to bond the new expenditures, without patching the roads.

It’s the wrong time; it’s the wrong project. This mayor has lost his way.

Raymond VinZant


Best Days Ahead

I refuse to accept that the best days of our city are behind us. We were told the city-township merger would give us more financial resiliency and financial depth to improve our infrastructure.

Are those against this, especially Council person Linda Nanko Yeager, believe that Wyoming will never need a future new city hall? Again, won’t we ever need a new community center?

Our council set missions and goals that indeed we would and by 2016. I’m cheap as in I want the darned best value for our dollars spent in our city. How, to those opposed to this deal, figure that by spending $6-$8 million on a built-from-scratch city hall in 2016-2020, saves us money in the long run? Can you imagine how many of you, opposed, would look back at where we could have spent $2.5 million and got it all but we waited? That argument doesn’t make sense.

I also expected more fiduciary wisdom from Nanko Yeager looking forward. For the record I actively supported Linda Nanko Yeager in her election bid in 2008 and publicly supported her bid to become Wyoming vice mayor in January 2010.

This time, however, I am in stark disagreement with her stand on this matter. Instead I stand with Wyoming’s, now, and for a bright future. I, and others, haven’t given up on our proud community.

Arnie Lahd

Trust Goes Lower

The Wyoming City Council voted 4-1 to proceed with what they feel is a good business decision. The acquisition of the RiverBank building and renovation of the city hall will cost nearly $2.5 million.

From a business perspective, the price of the bank is a good deal. Typically, a real estate transaction would require a downpayment, securing a mortgage, and having a means to pay for it. The way property is purchased varies from businesses, governments and residentially. But the one thing they have in common is that it needs to be paid for!

Most businesses derive income by manufacturing products, services or providing spaces for those that do. Homeowners trade labor for income. Since governments produce no products, they tax for their income.

Those on the council who voted for the purchase have decided that this ‘good business’ deal needs to be done, regardless of how it may affect the taxpayer. It appears that even after hearing public comments about the effects of higher taxes on businesses and homeowners, the council will indiscriminately reach into the back pocket of every business and homeowner to pay for something that should have been reconsidered.

We are in a city where taxes are already high, home sales are slow, businesses are hurting, and people’s trust in government is low. Council members who make decisions without considering the needs of the citizens and businesses, and who feel they know more than we do, are arrogant and presumptuous.

James Schaaf

A FL Open

I recently read an article about Jim Trudeau and Castlewood Golf Course. Trudeau’s commitment to turn the course around over the years and make Castlewood a great place for golfers of all skill sets to come and enjoy.

Being originally from Forest Lake, I recently joined the Wednesday night men’s league and have been able to enjoy the course and reap the benefits of the remarkable job that Jim Trudeau and Jeremy Walker (head groundskeeper) have done with the course.

This got me thinking. It would be great to have some sort of City Golf Championship at Castlewood. It would be a great event to add to our community on a yearly basis as an end of summer event.

Hopefully by people reading this, it will spark the interest of community members and city council members to pursue a Forest Lake Championship. I know it would be something that would keep me coming back to Forest Lake year after year.

Jacob Lipp
St. Paul

Chicago Influence

Some years ago, a friend, originally from Chicago, told me, with no embarrassment, that his brother held down two full-time jobs in that city; one of them a larger retailer and the other the Chicago Parks Department.

He also ran some errands for the mayor around election time, casting multiple votes. Fortunately for his retail job, he only had to report for work at the parks department on Friday afternoons to pick up his check.

That type of behavior is probably in the culture, possibly something left over from the Al Capone era. Illinois, in the ensuing years, has been served by many elected officials who were too blatantly greedy as well as sleazy and are now attending prisons.

During a recent legislative session in Wisconsin, some dissenting legislators fled the state and settled in Illinois, not a good place to go if you would want to avoid contamination.

I have always felt that we were protected by states of Iowa and Wisconsin from the Chicago influence.

However, our real protection comes from the watchdogs of society; the press and bloggers have not replaced the motivated and intelligent reporter.

Tom Obst

Energizes Right-Wing

Open letter to Max Anderson ref: June 28, Open Forum.

Sometimes I think you write this stuff to generate controversy.

First, let me say I have voted both Democrat and Republican but I admittedly lean right. I am open minded enough to listen to both sides of a good political argument. I served almost 22 years in the military to defend our right to free speech.

Your letters are so unabashedly pro-Democrat you can’t see anything else. You berate rich people supporting Republican candidates: rich Democrats do the same thing.  Look no further than George Soros and many if not most of the Hollywood elites.

Further, the vast majority of the main-stream media admit to leaning left. How does a Republican counteract all of that without donating money? Would you stifle their point of view making this country a one-party political system?  That works really well (sarcasm) in other parts of the world like Russia, China and the Islamic Republics etc.  They shut down decent by intimidation.

You referred to the five Supreme Court Judges as “ultra right wing” and “loose canons” etc. because of their decision to allow support for “rich Republican” political ideas and candidates. That decision may not be popular due to the admittedly never-ending political campaigning going on but it was based on First Amendment rights.

As I read their decisions on Arizona’s Immigration law and Obamacare, they pretty much supported the Obama administration. Let me add that because of your First Amendment rights, you are allowed to use name-calling and exaggerations without any governmental repercussions.

It seems to me your far-fetched, emotionally charged statements probably do more to solidify the right-wing base and even convert independents to the conservative side than if you would make thoughtful and unemotional arguments. That type of vitriol is not healthy from either the right or the left and tends to polarize people, generating emotional responses having little rational value.

David Rovang
Forest Lake