The city’s press release regarding the Friends of Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront lawsuit is misleading. It quotes our Mayor stating, “This decision affirms that the actions of the Common Council and WRA were exercised in a lawful manner, and that the public officials whose actions were challenged here acted lawfully.” That is not correct, as the Judge did not make a ruling on the merit of the case as it pertains to the actions taken by our local government, but merely ruled on whether or not this was a Federal issue or State issue. Judge Griesbach wrote, “The issues of public trust land in this case are governed solely through Wisconsin state laws, and not federal constitutional law.” He goes on to say, “This case raises complex questions of state laws which are important to both the State of Wisconsin and its citizens.” Griesbach also wrote, “Questions of local land use governed by state law are particularly appropriate for resolution by state courts.”
This is one of the many reasons I was moved to be civically engaged and be an educated voter, and have chosen to stay actively involved in local government – I want to make sure that what is presented to the public tells the whole story. Unfortunately, by including that particular quote from the Mayor, I feel our City did our community a disservice by allowing our minds to interpret that statement and not fully explaining that while they, the city, feel good about the dismissal in Federal Court, the Friends of Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront still have the right to file in State Court and that no ruling on the substance of this case has yet occurred.
Sturgeon Bay, Wis.