Please do not allow yourself to be drawn into the deceptive pictures and narratives of the “Friends” group that wants you to believe that they are the noble purveyors of what is right and best for all of we citizens in how the west side waterfront area should be developed. They want you to believe that the city is acting illegally and is unwilling to compromise with reasonable people who, in reality, have been trying to mislead, falsely accuse, and force their will on the people of Sturgeon Bay.
They want you to believe that they have the right to nullify the legally purchased title and deed of the former privately owned Door County Co-op property. The city purchased that property for the express and specifically publicized purpose of cleaning it up, creating a redevelopment plan and then selling it back for private development. This property already had buildings on it and was actively engaged in private commerce for many decades. But once the city took control of it, removed the blighted buildings and produced an excellent plan for redevelopment, the “friends” intervened to try to invalidate the legal deed and title to the property and essentially take control of it.
The grounds for doing so are based on pure speculation that this property was “filled” sometime in the history of S.B. and is therefore public trust property that they need to protect. Based on their fabricated rationale, the friends group is trying to force the city to give up the private property rights that they legally purchased so the “Friends” can get what they want while pretending they are the unselfish guardians of the public trust. Furthermore, they are in full denial of the fact that the DNR delineated the original high water mark and approved the developable property in this project area before the city finalized its plans.
Do you honestly believe that this group could have forced their will to nullify the deed and title held by any other person or entity who may have directly purchased the Co-op property in a private transaction? Of course not. So why then is it even remotely legitimate for them to do so because the city took the initiative to intermediate in accomplishing the same end? This property never was public and is only being held by the city because the “friends” have filed lawsuits to prevent the city from selling it back for redevelopment. The “friends” repeated delay tactics have already cost the citizens of S.B. – you the taxpayers – hundreds of thousands of dollars that can never be recovered. There are no grounds for their attempts to void the deed for this property or to force the city to compromise with them. Furthermore, their far-fetched plan has less usable public waterfront space with no logical way to pay for their make-a-wish fantasy without reaching deep into your pockets. The Friends should be held liable for what their actions have already cost all of us.
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.