Letter to the Editor: Fish Creek Parking Lot

I find it necessary to defend myself against a “post” concerning the expansion of the boat-trailer parking lot that was published by a fellow board member as a response to a Facebook post. The half-truths and innuendos of impropriety concerning recent events abound and my aim is to address them openly and honestly.

Fish Creek has always had issues with storm run-off and parking. Town supervisors have been working tirelessly thinking about and designing potential plans to lessen both. With the new highway being designed, changes at the beach and the existing parking issues, this is the time to work to resolve these concerns.

The first half-truth in Mr. Hackbarth’s response was the implication that two votes taken on Feb. 21, 2018, were “a rush to action” because of his absence and that there was some sort of secret plan to get this done in his absence. This is absurd. The item was placed on the agenda and was addressed in order. A second implication made was that the vote was not legitimate. Chairman Dick Skare contacted the town lawyer, and Clerk Beth Hagen contacted the Wisconsin Town Association. Both entities concurred that the votes were valid.

But more frustrating is Hackbarth’s unwillingness to correct misinformation in the original post. First, the land in question is not part of Fish Creek Park. It was a piece of land purchased by the town, zoned Commercial and has been earmarked for parking expansion for years. Second, the Feb. 21 vote had nothing to do with whether to put a parking lot in this location, but rather who should do the work. The truth is that all five supervisors were part of this plan, its design, and its implementation. In fact, it was Mr. Hackbarth who made the motion to adopt Site Plan B and to move forward with the next step in the process. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in an open board meeting. Audience members made suggestions and were part of the conversation. These meetings can’t be any more transparent than they are.

While I believe this town board member believes it was “unfortunate how this happened,” I feel he has missed the mark. The real mistake that was made and the most unfortunate point of this issue was that some adjacent neighbors were not notified of the impending tree removal and construction. It was the board’s intention to notify all adjacent neighbors, and the fact that some were missed is something I personally regret and apologize for.

Unlike Mr. Hackbarth’s “campaign response” to the Van Sistine Facebook post, I cannot and will not make comments on social media regarding any issue relating to the town, as I believe that it is not appropriate.

I would be more than happy to meet with or receive phone calls from those who would like to know more. Monday, April 2, 2018, is the next meeting. After that, the first Wednesday of each month is where these issues are discussed openly and honestly.


Barb McKesson, Supervisor

Town of Gibraltar, Wis.

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