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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
As a small-business owner in Forest Lake, I am quite concerned about the leadership of the city. Our representative form of government works well if those elected actually represent the voters.
First with the bypassing of the referendum for the City Hall project and now with the City Council member appointment, the mayor and those voting with him are ignoring this concept.
For the mayor to announce twice that he intends to appoint Jim Dufour to fill Jeff Klein’s seat until the special election, while at the same time soliciting applications and scheduling interviews for the seat, is evidence of a lack of honesty and leadership.
The mayor and Susan Young also failed to support the motion to hold the special election this November. They said it would cost too much to let the people choose the council member now rather than a year from now. This pales in light of the increased budget, massive spending for pet projects, and lack of effort to implement cost control.
I call on Mayor Johnson to appoint a person who brings a balance of both political sides and to hold the special election as soon as possible so the residents can choose their representative.
Two questions have arisen in the wake of the recent resignation of Jeff Klein from the Forest Lake City Council.
1. When should the election be held for the vacated seat?
2. Who should be appointed to fill the position until the election can be held?
1. The regular election will be held more than a year from now so I urge the council to schedule a special election for this November, i.e. in two months. In reading about the proposed construction of a new municipal campus – at a cost of some $23 million! – it seems to me the council sidestepped the electoral process when it denied voters the chance to approve the plan.
How can it be that we don’t get any say in how such large sums are spent and the resulting huge tax increases? Could it be they had an inkling enough of us likely thought it to be too much money for a city our size to expend?
And now it seems like déjà vu with a “temporary appointment” good for some 14 months.
2. Jim Dufour seems like a poor choice for the temporary appointment since he is the one person we already know the electorate doesn’t like for the job; he was defeated in the election just held on Nov. 6.
I would like to see Mayor Chris Johnson and the council select someone who has not already been rejected by the voters, and hold a special election in November to let the voters choose a replacement democratically.
Protect Your Money
The real question the people of Forest Lake need to ask themselves is, “Can someone else spend your money, for you, better than you can yourself?”
The most basic problems in our country today stem from people being too lazy to protect their most basic rights. The new city government, using legal manipulation, is circumventing your god-given right to vote on issues that directly affect your personal wealth.
If you think that the government can spend your money better than yourself, then by all means sit back and do nothing.
It’s simply appalling the current mayor and his regime are in the process of sneaking a $21 million taxpayer expense behind the backs of the people they are supposed to represent. This small group of connivers have decided to re-write their own rules to “public interest.”
A public referendum was never offered as these arrogant spenders knew its own citizens would not support such wasteful spending.
Now it’s happening all over again. In trying to keep the 3-2 majority on the City Council, the mayor wants to appoint Jim Dufour. This former council members was voted out for a reason: We don’t want him.
Stand up for your rights, people, and demand a special election to fill the open seat on the City Council. It’s time “We the People” get what the majority wants and not just what Mayor Johnson and his regime wants.
Ease Off, Drivers
A close relative was almost killed or seriously injured as he walked in the crosswalk from a fitness center by the lake. He jumped back as a speeding car passed right in front of him. If he had taken one more step he would have been knocked down and run over.
He got in his car and followed the approximately 30-year-old driver to the Walmart parking lot, where she apologized profusely and he told her, “You need to slow down!”
In the past year or two I’ve seen countless speeding cars on Forest Lake streets, and invariably, the driver was a young person. Young drivers, and all of us, need to be reminded that when we get into our cars, we don’t own the road.
Forest Lake, it seems, is becoming a dangerous place to drive – or walk.