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Letter to the Editor: Stakeholders: Piercing the Heart of Democracy

Regular people, laborers and the small-business-class electorate no longer have much of a voice in the democratic process. We have been prevented and discouraged through various diabolically engineered efforts (e.g., GOP-initiated voter suppression and GOP gerrymandering), and we are relegated to the anonymously defined “workforce,” barely qualifying as democratic stakeholders lately or even considered as human beings.

Remembering folk tales that we might translate into our postindustrial fascist economy, in our present-day Wisconsin there exists real economic vampires wreaking social injustice and financial and environmental terrorism upon us, and we’ve largely lost the means to protect our community public interests and our personal well-being, safety and prosperity.

Sadly, folk tales become reality when examining elected Door County government “leadership.” Three county supervisors – Dan Austad, John Neinus and Ken Fischer – were named to the Forestville Millpond Stakeholder Group (FMSG) and were charged with shepherding supposed county “stakeholder” interests and actions to “improve” the conditions of the Forestville Millpond.

This Door County government formed FMSG, and the group’s four known public meetings, while seemingly ignoring state statutes, failed to create public agendas or keep minutes of those four meetings. Two of these supervisors are chairs of their respective county committees, which ultimately controlled the resolutions eventually appearing before the county board.

Ignoring clear warnings from county conservation staff about known pollutants trapped behind the Forestville Millpond dam being released downstream, and last month’s experience with an avoidable large kill of game fish caused by the maximum water outflow, which is still failing to drain the pond, understand that there is currently no microbiological, particulate or chemical pollutant monitoring occurring below the dam, initially promised as a condition for allowing the millpond drawdown.

Please ask your Door County supervisor to immediately demand halting the drawdown and to stop ignoring known risks for further environmental harm and known public-health hazards. Reversing course is apparently being willfully ignored by our county “leadership.” Who is really profiting from this drawdown? Carefully consider your pending Door County Board supervisory votes.

Donald Freix

Fish Creek, Wisconsin