Citizens Academy a worthwhile experience

I finished Citizens Academy. It was an experience providing education to see events through emergency responders’ point of view.

The academy provides hands-on experiences from each department’s activities. All three departments provided insight into the work responders perform and prepare for. Holding on tight to large hoses with water under high pressure going through, a shooting scenario and applying IV’s to mannequin arms was all part of the experience. A highlight for me was going up in an engine ladder: the view was breath taking.

Next fall when it’s time to apply for Citizen’s Academy, consider making time in your busy schedule to take part in a great program.

It takes public and village board support, leadership, management of funds and great people to provide the emergency services Waunakee is fortunate to have. Many thanks to every person who has worked or is working in the Waunakee Volunteer Fire Department, Waunakee Area Emergency Services and Waunakee Law Enforcement.

Sincerely,

Nila Frye

Consider running for village board

Winter is here and municipal election season is quickly approaching. Three village trustee seats are up for election April 7th. Now is an excellent time to run for office, with a coinciding presidential primary, which usually boosts voter turnout.

Since 2018, the village administration has handled many issues poorly.

The village board unanimously dismissed a 262 signature petition and 28 resident comments opposing the building height increase downtown to 55 feet.

Board members mention often that they want Main Street to remain two lanes. However, the board fails to consider the long term consequences of building density on a road we do not control. Currently, developers wanting to come to Waunakee can only build apartments on Main Street, so a four-lane road is likely within a few years (DOT engineer Chris Ohm, Westport Plan Commission, 10/14/19), since C1-D is exempt from the 75/25 single family/multifamily ratio. The board is practically asking for four lanes on a silver platter!

Many people move here because of the small town feel. A four lane Main Street with mostly large apartment buildings doesn’t represent that, but our board seems to think so. Our village president has said himself that our new Main Street is his favorite part of the community and blames the increased traffic on our neighbors.

TIF use continues to grow rapidly, increasing taxes and taking funds away from our schools. The school board TIF policy clearly states they lose revenue and must make it up by taxing other residents.

Minimal movement on any sort of historic preservation commission is disappointing. Westport has done a fantastic job in this area.

T. Wall is suing us due to a hidden developer approval process. Waunakee is overdue for a leadership change.

My roots in this village run deep. Great-aunt Eleanor Carberry spent 60 years on our library board. Great-grandfather Gerald Raemisch was village trustee and school board President. Great-great grandfather J.H. Koltes was Village President. Grandfather Bruce Kaufmann was Middleton city attorney for 32 years. None of them would be pleased with what is occurring right now with our village leadership. Even if you’re remotely considering running for village board, I urge you to file paperwork and do it. Contested elections are excellent for democracy. You can start filing papers now and get signatures starting December 1st. The people of this village need you before it’s too late.

Respectfully,

Sam Kaufmann

Waunakee High School Student

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