Letter to the Editor: It’s Time to Incorporate the Village of Fish Creek

It’s time for Gibraltar’s citizens, business owners and specifically the town board to begin to incorporate the Village of Fish Creek, to be governed separately from the Town of Gibraltar. There are three primary reasons:

1. Discontent among Gibraltar voters is extremely high: Neither the rural taxpayers nor the “Fish Creek” taxpayers feel well served. This is not an us/them problem because both constituencies have valid points of view. This is an issue of different needs for two diverse groups of citizens forced into one governing body. 

It isn’t fair to expect the rural taxpayers to fund the infrastructure and needs of the “Fish Creek” area because they neither want nor use those services. It isn’t fair to “Fish Creek” taxpayers to live in a beautiful community whose municipal infrastructure is well past its prime while other villages invest in new infrastructure – which they can do because of a governmental structure that more adequately addresses their citizens’ needs.

2. The Village of Fish Creek could reorganize its operational structure to decrease the amount of time it takes to get things done. This is not meant to imply anything about the quality or dedication of Gibraltar’s employees, but villages move faster. It’s unfair to expect a part-time town chair to run a municipality with the complexity of Gibraltar. Village governance is faster, and a professional municipal manager leads it. A representational board of trustees is empowered to make decisions. 

3. It’s time for the Village of Fish Creek to control its own zoning and land-use ordinances, to not be subject to county zoning and to have a plan commission with authority. We have density; the “Fish Creek” area is not rural; and we have our own sanitary district. 

Fish Creek is a village; Gibraltar is a town. This is not a divorce. It’s two distinct communities that need to be governed, operated and taxed differently.

I urge the Gibraltar Town Board to begin the incorporation process immediately, with a goal of circulating an incorporation petition by January 1, 2020.

Bruce Hill

Fish Creek, Wisconsin