I am writing today to fully endorse and support Nancy Moore for re election this April 6 to the Monona City Council. Nancy is a deep thinker, a collaborative worker, and has a huge heart. She has been an amazing alderperson for Monona since her election in 2017, and Monona would be very smart to re-elect her.

Nancy is a smart and gifted innovator, with an ability to listen closely to all voices and make a reasoned and open minded decision. She listens to her constituents. and moves forward with ideas that she thinks will benefit the entire city. Beyond being the mover and shaker behind the purchase of San Damiano, Nancy also was one of the first alders to hear and respond to the concerns of our city when we were faced with a racial incident in our own neighborhood. Nancy pushed the city to address the issue, not just in the police department, but in the city as a whole, and continues to do so. It is a voice we need on the city council, making sure that Monona lives up to being the best, most diverse and inclusive city that it can be.

Nancy is, professionally and personally, an environmental advocate,and cares deeply about the future of our parks, green spaces and lakes. She understands the importance of green space and clean water to the people of Monona and she brings her professional experience as an environmentalist to her work as an alder.

In the past few years, as I have gotten to know and admire Nancy, I am awed by her dedication to this city and to the potential this city has to be truly great. She is a fighter, a collaborator, and a person who deeply cares about the city we all love. I hope the citizens of Monona will join me in supporting Nancy Moore for Monona City Council on April 6th.

Sue Carr

Monona

I encourage voters in Monona to reelect Mayor Mary O’Connor. She has provided the city with exceptional leadership.

Mayor Mary’s leadership is not flashy. It is instead quiet, transparent, collaborative and thoughtful. Mary is firm and decisive when she believes the situation calls for that, but she is also skilled at soliciting other’s views and opinions. She does not jump to decisions; understands that the best decisions are those that are well-informed by the views of others. Her leadership is not loud, nor does it depend on press releases and self-promotion. It relies on well-considered policies and decisions.

Mayor Mary’s handling of the incident in which Monona police officers briefly held an African-American male at gunpoint in a residence in the city where he was staying was impressive. She responded frankly and openly, disclosing the police body camera images, keeping the community informed, and calling for a thorough review of departmental policies. And she did not stop there: she initiated and endorsed an on-going process to explore racial justice attitudes and issues in the community, a process that continues. She converted the incident into an opportunity for community reflection, involvement and growth. That is good leadership.

City budgets during Mayor Mary’s tenure have been conservative and prudent while continuing to maintain reliable city services and enhance the quality of life and property values. She has provided foresight and leadership on impressive redevelopment projects in the city, particularly at Yahara Commons, the Riverfront Redevelopment. That project will have a positive impact on the city’s tax base, mitigating property taxes on residences. Monona has a solid bond rating, indicating that the city’s debt is well-managed and that we have an appropriate rainy-day fund.

During the difficult year of 2020, Mayor Mary has provided solid leadership in confronting the impact of the pandemic on the city and its residents and businesses. Her approach has been one of calm and common sense. She has used her position to promote the health and safety of the community, holding city meetings on-line and regularly supporting public health officials on the need to help stop the transmission of the disease by using masks and social distancing.

As the city’s chief executive, the Mayor led the process of hiring a new city administrator. City services did not falter during that process, and existing city staff have provided continuity. Mary has been outspoken in providing leadership on sustainability, climate change initiatives, and water quality.

Mary stands tall in a long line of Monona mayors. She deserves our support, and we need her leadership.

Peter McKeever,

Former Alderman, City of Monona

I support the MG school district’s application for funding the solar project. I installed panels on our commercial building in Cottage Grove 6 years ago and we have reduced our energy bill enough to have them paid for next year. The cost of solar technology will always go down and the cost of utilities will always go up, so it is a good investment.

However, I did see the PSC application for this and it is designed by McKinstry, an energy efficiency company based out of Seattle WA. I have concerns on this contract and many past ones with McKinstry. Literally, ever energy efficiency project performed by MG School District over the past 9 years has been performed by McKinstry on a no bid basis, well over $10 million! No other company is ever interviewed or asked to submit proposals.

What really makes this interesting is McKinstry is also the advisor to the MGSD Sustainability Committee. Wouldn’t you love to be able to design multiple million dollar projects then be the advisor to recommend approval of your design? I pointed this out to Peter Sobol last year on upgrading the lighting at the high school, but he did not have a problem with it.

There are a number of great local solar companies and I urge the sustainability committee and the school board to demand at least 2 proposals from local companies. Who knows, you might get a better design and save a couple hundred thousand, since McKinstry does not even install solar. If you choose not to, it just demonstrates how McKinstry’s model of “Controlling the Customer” works and how the citizens pay for it.

Oh, in the future, if you are going to give no bid contracts to a company, don’t have them on your approval committee, it has Conflict of Interest written all over it.

Rodney Heller

Town of Cottage Grove

Dear Editor,

After the Senate exonerated Trump of “incitement of insurrection”, past Senate Majority Leader McConnell, admitted he was guilty but that he’d decided to believe that Trump couldn’t be impeached out of office. BUT, that he could still be prosecuted in our criminal justice system.

The webs of deceit laid bare with his admission and consolation prize to those who’d relied on a constitutional remedy, including – importantly – forestallment of Trump’s right to run for office again, is too politically cynical and ideologically hypocritical to contemplate without being subjected to the most deeply disturbing sense of foreboding, that we have little chance of reinvigorating The Constitution, in this political environment and that the republic has taken an irreversible step back from democracy.

There are huge challenges facing the world yes but it’s the ones facing us which must come first, for the world’s sake and for ours. The world cannot afford a dysfunctional United States and the obviously antidemocratic effect on the world, of Trumps 4 years, indicates the depth of our impact.

All need not be lost however. We will have learned a valuable lesson from this failure to adhere to our founding fathers original intent, that the Impeachment Clause be the remedy for renegades in office. We can begin by admitting that failure and that it reveals the ‘originalist’ or ‘textualist’ reading of The Constitution as flawed. In fact, the GOP Senator’s jurisdiction argument, used to avoid a constitutional remedy for any abuse and defilement of office is like a narrow reading of constitutional law – dressed-up legalese, designed to destroy common sense.

Hopefully, Mitch’s position will signal that Congress will not allow a devious reading of arcane dogma to prevail but that it will seek justice straightforwardly, without exploiting The Constitution like a trump card against common sense.

John Costello

McFarland

For many decades, members of the Bahá’í Faith in Sun Prairie, Monona, and the greater Madison area have turned their hearts and prayers to the beleaguered Iranian Bahá’í community, which numbers more than 300,000, and have carefully followed every new circumstance of the government-sponsored persecutions and imprisonments of their coreligionists in Iran.

Since the earliest years of the Faith, beginning in the 1840s, more than twenty thousand Bahá’ís have been executed in Persia (now Iran) and thousands of others have been the victims of unabated atrocities inflicted on them by their own government, and a new wave of abuse in Iran and Yemen is currently underway.

Today, Baha’is are subject to arbitrary interrogations, arrests, and imprisonment, and they suffer vandalism, raids, and attacks on their homes and businesses. Baha’is are denied government jobs and barred from attending university, and they are the targets of an ongoing campaign of vilification in the state-sponsored media.

These egregious human rights violations. Have garnered the unqualified sympathy and support the United Nations, the Congress of the United States and the parliaments of scores of other countries, academics, social scientists, social rights activists, and other peoples of good will.

Dennis Jenkyns

Monona

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