The blood is

on all of us

I read the letters to the editor everyday but hear very little comments about the poor migrant children being mistreated on the borders of this country. Where is the outrage! Young children are being abused, mistreated, raped, not given decent food, hygiene, have no supplies, beds, sheets and blankets and their stuffed animals (the only thing that reminds them of their family), have been taken from them.

I have children and grandchildren that I love dearly. You most likely do too. What if these were your kids or grandkids? Think of the life long affect this is having on them. Who is responsible for the repercussion of this? The answer is all of us because we see it going on and are doing nothing to change it. The blood is on all of us and if we do not contact the President, Senators, and Representatives in Washington and let them know this can’t go on, we are just as bad as they are!

Laurene Bach

Appoint Lewandowski to trustee vacancy

Last week’s Tribune article didn’t exactly provide readers with the full story on the Village Board’s discussion on handling the trustee vacancy. Village President Chris Zellner’s original idea to handle the vacancy was to ask some of his friends in town if they were interested in the position and concurrently have an application process. However, if one of Chris’s acquaintances was interested, they would be chosen over all of the applicants. It certainly seemed like Zellner did want to “pick his team”, in the words of one trustee, and I’m glad some board members disagreed with that idea. Interestingly, a similar situation has happened in the past. Gary Herzberg was appointed to the village board in June 2001 after the recently re-elected village president resigned due to a move for work and a trustee took his place. Gary was the only losing candidate (by 215 votes) in the election that April. Despite the fact that the situations are almost the same, the board believes it is different because Herzberg had been serving on committees before his appointment.

However, it’s important to remember that the last trustee appointed to the board, Sam Ballweg, had not served on any committees before being appointed. Mr. Zellner also felt that they should appoint someone similar to Springman with similar beliefs. Yet, only a minute or two before that, he felt they should appoint the best representative for the community. The criterion of having someone with similar beliefs seems to conflict with that. Regardless, Ann Lewandowski should be given the trustee position because she was the next highest-vote getter (only 66 votes short) in the April election, so if Springman or another candidate hadn’t run, Lewandowski would have gotten the seat. It seems like the board needs to think about how their constituents voted and respect their choice by appointing Lewandowski. If Lewandowski was elected in April and resigned two months into her term, I doubt the board would be looking for an appointee with similar beliefs to her. Watch the YouTube video at www.bit.ly/2Y1iZgp, fast forward to 29:07 and interpret the board’s discussion yourself. Please email the board members at officialcorrespondence@waunakee.com and tell them you want Ann Lewandowski to be appointed. Perhaps even fill out an application yourself. The deadline is July 15th.

Sincerely,

Sam Kaufmann

Waunakee High School Student

Citizens should elect trustee position in 2020

Following Sue Springman’s resignation, President Chris Zellner stated that he knew people who are interested in being on the board of trustees at the June 17 village board meeting. He was referring to people who were not the challengers in the April election. So if people are now interested in being trustees, why didn’t they run a campaign? There were 1408 votes for Ann Lewandowski. She was just 66 votes shy of Phil Willems. So instead of Zellner handpicking his team, as Herzberg so truthfully stated, the honorable solution is to appoint Lewandowski. After all, Lewandowski jumped through the electoral hoops, knocked on doors, and attended village board meetings regularly for almost 2 years now.

Something else the board quickly agreed on was to appoint the position for the remainder of Springman’s 2-year term. Their logic was that an appointee has a learning curve. Ann Lewandowski is one of the few people who regularly shows up at board meetings, reads the packets, and could hit the ground running.

It is unfair to voters to have an appointee who will serve almost a full 2 year term when there will be an election next year for trustees. This appointment is for a trustee position that was just elected in April. I believe the appointment should be until the next election, not the remainder of a 2 year term. Zellner has the legal authority to appoint who he wants, but it would be more representative of what citizens want, if that appointee was the next highest vote getter for now. Regardless of who is appointed now, the citizens should get a chance to elect this position in April 2020. Please contact village board members to ask that the position be appointed only until the next regularly scheduled April election and that Ann Lewandowski be the appointee. Contact information for the village board is: officialcorrespondence@waunakee.com

Linda Ashmore

Lewandowski should be appointed

At the June 17 Village Board meeting, President Zellner proposed that he ask some of his friends if they were interested in Springman’s seat, and if so, Zellner would appoint them, making anyone else applying a total waste of time. Allowing Zellner to hand pick one of his buddies is the last thing Waunakee needs.

In April, Ann Lewandowski was the highest runnerup vote getter, and would have won a seat if Springman had not run for reelection. Lewandowski should be appointed to the Board to fill Springman’s term. In addition to running for election, and nearly winning a seat, she has applied to serve on several committees, but was ignored. Contrary to Zellner and other Board members claiming that Lewandowski would not work with them, it is they who refuse to work with her, or any other non-insider.

Zellner said he didn’t want to appoint Lewandowski, using voters as justification. He said since voters reelected Springman, he should seek a replacement who mirrors Springman’s views/attitudes toward Village government, since that is what voters want. But Zellner refuses to honor the voters’ decision which made Lewandowski first runnerup, losing to Springman by only 3.3% of the vote, and to Willems by only 0.7%. That is ALSO what the voters wanted.

Like Springman, Lewandowski questions development and process, to ensure that Waunakee residents get the best possible outcome. I’ve seen Lewandowski — several times — defend the Board as a whole, trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, trying to get them to listen to other voices and ideas. Her hope that the Board would be reasonable, and open to different perspectives was totally misplaced. We will just get an appointment of a “yes man,” which is CLEARLY what Lewandowski would NOT be.

Zellner has the right to appoint someone. Sure, he will just “recommend” a candidate, and the Board will vote on approving him/her. Does anybody in Waunakee think that a majority of the board will not rubber stamp Zellner’s choice? Zellner’s arrogant posture is the very definition of hubris: “Voters be damned. I know what’s best for the Board, and for Waunakee.”

It was certainly fortuitous for Zellner that Springman ran for reelection. That action kept the seat “safe,” allowing Zellner to appoint a replacement, someone who will be loyal to the current regime, who will NOT rock the boat, or bring up uncomfortable questions or issues.

So Zellner wants a litmus test for candidates: he will consider someone if they agree with Springman’s views; but if they don’t, forget about it.

Since when should such a vitally important position as Village Trustee be subject to one man’s interpretation of the vote, and HIM deciding what views a replacement candidate SHOULD have? Zellner embraces voters’ choosing Springman, but dismisses voters’ choice of runnerup. But that, dear readers, is Waunakee’s version of Democracy in Action.

Richard Sarabia

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