Writers comment on positive happenings in FL area

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.

Goal Surpassed!

Celebrating our 35th class reunion provided opportunities to reconnect with classmates and reminisce about days gone past. It was also a time to look forward and give back to the community that provided our education.

Our community is fortunate to have many organizations and individuals that support and nurture educational endeavors. In planning our reunion, we decided to sponsor a fund raising event for The Education Foundation of the Forest Lake Area (TEFFLA).

Our goal was to raise $7700. Thanks to the generous donations of over 40 people we reached and surpassed our goal.

We wish TEFFLA well in fulfilling their mission of: “…supporting education and community activities that benefit our youth, teachers, programs and communities. The foundation’s efforts will bring the resources of the community, private sector and school system together as a partnership to generate an endowment fund.” Thank you to the many contributors who turn TEFFLA’s mission into a reality.

Linda Madsen
Ham Lake
FLHS Class of 1977

Looking Good

It really is nice to see our city looking good. The banners, flower baskets and the street improvements really do give us some much needed “curb appeal.”

Recently a group of women met to discuss progressive issues and we all commented on how greatly the appearance of our city has changed. The final road improvements will be a welcome relief.

Hopefully, the new look around town will help make citizens feel proud of our city and will decrease the desire to litter and increase the sensitivity of businesses to their appearance to the public.

Thanks to the volunteer gardeners and the government officials who keep looking to the future and to improving the image of Forest Lake.

Gena Doyscher
Forest Lake

Debt to Pay

I care.

How much is the national debt?

Well, maybe $16 trillion.

That is $16,000,000,000,000!

Vote to reduce the federal deficit and for a balanced budget.

Mel Aslakson

Just the Beginning

At the public hearing on the purchase of the RiverBank building we learned the purchase and the remodel of the city hall is only the beginning of the city’s plans.

City Administrator Craig Mattson stated that the long range plan was to purchase the car wash, home and vacant lot by the bank building to enable the building of a community center, municipal golf course, multiple softball fields and a city pool. This plan is being driven by the forecast that Wyoming will grow to a city of 18,000, possibly 31,000.

The mayor and council didn’t offer ideas on where this growth would come from.

The 2012 census show us at 7,791. From 1980 to 1990 we grew from 1559 to 2142, a 37.4 percent increase. From 1990 to 2000 we went from 2142 to 3048, a 42.3 percent increase. From 2000 to 2010 we went from 3048 to 7791, a 155.6 percent increase.

Wyoming and Wyoming Township merged during this period and Wyoming Township had a population of 4379 in 2000. The combined city and township gained 460 residence from 2000 to 2010.

If Wyoming grew by 1000 people every 10 years, twice the rate of the last 10 years, it would take 100 years to get to 18,000 residents! Over the 25 years I have lived in the city there has been significant development west of the freeway, the area around Ashton Lake and behind the elementary school, north of downtown along the Sunrise River and the southern part of the township.

Significant growth to be sure, but how do we get to 18,000 or 31,000? Are we annexing another town? Even if we annexed Forest Lake, population of 18,375 we won’t get to 31,000.

If the bank building purchase goes through, we will have four to five employees working in this large building. Does this make sense? Are the mayor and the council asking the department heads tough questions or are they saying yes to everything?

Dan Babbitt

She’s Impressive

I recently met Julie Bunn who is a candidate for State Senate in our newly redistricted Senate District. Julie is a former House member with a history of being able to work across the party aisle with members from all parties to solve problems that we face.

She is an economist and looks at issues with an eye to how they impact the economy. She has legislative experience in healthcare, environmental and tax issues.

I met Julie with an open mind and she clearly impressed me enough to encourage others to look at this professional and experienced candidate would represent us well in the State Senate.

She knows the issues, knows our area and is a very approachable person. Democrats, independents and Republicans will want to support her for her credentials and her ability to work with the major parties and all constituents. Her common sense approach and willingness to find solutions that work are exactly what we need in our legislative leaders.

Jane Norbin
Marine on St. Croix

Defeat ObamaCare

The ObamaCare law recently upheld by the Supreme Court adds 21 new taxes on the American people. It is the largest tax increase in history. People were led to believe that ObamaCare meant they were getting free health care. That was a lie.

At least 50 percent of the American people oppose this law. The act of choosing not to buy health insurance will be taxed and that tax will gradually increase with the IRS being in charge of enforcement. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass it to see what was in it. Now we know!

Thanks to Gov. Dayton, Minnesota is ahead of other states in implementing ObamaCare. The expansion of Medicaid, the component of the law that was struck down by the courts, has already begun with Governor Dayton adding 100,000 new enrollees the court says the state now does not have to add.

The only way Minnesota can slow down and hopefully stop this expansion is to reelect State Sen. Sean Nienow and State Rep. Bob Barrett. To elect their opponents risks putting the Democrats in control of the Legislature to fully implement ObamaCare and all of Dayton’s other big spending agenda and intrusion into our private lives.

We need them to defend against ObamaCare in Minnesota.

Elise Hiljus
Franconia Township

Fast and Loose

Are supporters of area Republican lawmakers playing fast and loose with the truth? The State shutdown that started a year ago this week is in Legislature’s hands. It’s their job to create the budget. Unless they can override the governor’s veto they have to present a bill the Governor will sign.

Taking away the Homestead Credit is costing homeowners, farmers and small business owners in Chisago County. Republicans were looking to save between $300-400 million in the budget shortfall by taking away this credit. Chisago County is one of the hardest hit for property tax increases due to loss of the credit because we don’t have much commercial or industrial properties and homeowners pay a high percentage of property taxes.

Borrowing against future tobacco settlement money is perhaps the worst action taken by the Republicans. In the year 2032 we will still be paying these bonds with interest How many of these same politicians would recommend buying groceries with a credit card and be paying for them 20 years later?

The school aid shift was done in 2009 when the economy was in collapse. The Democratic-controlled Legislature was forced into this compromised with Gov. Pawlenty. The Democrats have a plan to pay the shift back, but being in the minority can’t pass it through the Legislature. The Republicans have now expanded the shift to $2.4 billion!

The Republicans, including Rep. Barrett and Sen. Nienow, borrowed $3 billion! and now claim we have a budget surplus!

Joe Sausen
North Branch