A county in rural northeastern Wisconsin has declared itself a Second Amendment sanctuary, a move that could spread to other counties.
The day after Veterans Day, the Florence County Board unanimously adopted an ordinance designed to send a "keep your hands off our guns" message to politicians.
The nonbinding measure gives the sheriff the ability to "exercise sound discretion to not enforce against any citizen an unconstitutional firearms law." However, that doesn't mean firearms will not be taken away from convicted felons or in criminal cases, including domestic violence or drugs.
"I think it's a great thing," said Sheriff Dan Miller, who was elected last year. "It sends a message that all of Wisconsin is not exactly the same. We have some different beliefs up north. We tend to be a little more conservative. We like our guns. We believe in God."
Several other counties have contacted Florence County officials to express interest in passing similar ordinances.
Florence County Supervisor Edwin Kelley said attempts by Gov. Tony Evers to call for action on gun violence has made his constituents nervous.
Good morning everyone I hope you made it through the week with all the nasty weather we have been having. I had a surprise this morning while I was shopping at are small Wal-Mart I seen Daddy Orbs. To me that is the nicest surprise I could get and also knowing he is doing alright too.Here are your questions.
1) Do you think the stores should have all the Christmas stuff out before Halloween?
2) When do you think the Christmas stuff should be put out?
3) When do you start your Christmas shopping?
4) When do you even start to put up your Christmas decorations?
WATERFORD — Village Administrator Zeke Jackson, in a since-deleted Facebook comment posted to a public group, accused two Town of Waterford Board members of going to “meetings to conduct public business while intoxicated,” screen captures of the comment show.
At least one of the Town Board members is now considering bringing a slander or defamation lawsuit against Jackson and is calling on the Village Board to fire him. Village trustees are also discussing options on how to respond to Jackson’s behavior.
Jackson’s comment reads, in part: “(Town Chairman) Tom Hincz is a liar. And a drunk…and he shows up to meetings drunk. I’ve been beside him when he is drunk at meetings. … (Town Supervisor) Nick Draskovich showed up, and spoke, at our village board meeting absolutely drunk a few weeks ago. Many witnesses.”
Jackson, when informed The Journal Times had been sent the screenshots of his comment, did not deny posting the comment. He changed the subject and spoke for several minutes about his fiery memo before hanging up.
MOUNT PLEASANT — The Mount Pleasant Village Board has approved a $22.5 million budget, which includes an increased tax levy — the amount taxpayers collectively pay to fund the budget.
The village is levying $20.3 million in 2020, which is an increase of nearly $1.1 million.
The budget also includes funding for body cameras for every officer in the Mount Pleasant Police Department that automatically turn on if the dashboard camera is triggered.
On Monday, the Village Board voted 6-1 in favor of the budget. Trustee Gary Feest was the only board member to vote against it.
Feest said in the roughly 10 years he’s been on the board, this is “the most responsible budget I’ve seen come out of this village,”
“I think Maureen (Murphy) and her staff did the best they possibly could to present this budget to the residents,” Feest said.
However, Feest does not believe the budget is sustainable and although there is no borrowing called for in the budget, he doesn’t believe that is going to happen.
“My main issue is how do we pay for things? My angst has been, we just keep floating it out to the future residents and eventually that’s going to snowball,” Feest said. “Like I said, I think it’s one of the most responsible budgets but the fact that, in my opinion, it’s not sustainable.”
Village President Dave DeGroot agreed it is a responsible budget but disagreed with Feest on how the village is handling its debt.
“This budget is kind of a reset and due in part to the growth we’ve had,” DeGroot said. “We’re not borrowing on this budget, so to suggest that our debt is increasing isn’t quite accurate.”
But DeGroot said the village does not have “a sustainable way to maintain our roads.”
“By not borrowing this year, we’re not doing much in way of roads next year,” DeGroot said. “That’s putting off work that needs to be done.”
Tax rate going down
While the budget increased nearly $1.2 million from the current year’s budget, the village’s portion of the tax rate is going down.
The tax rate is down nearly 25 cents, to $6.80 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
However, that does not necessarily mean property taxes will be going down. If a property increased in value, and many have, residents are going to end up paying more.
Village Finance Director Michael Bonn said if a $200,000 home had its property value increased 10% to $220,000 that would mean the village’s portion of the property tax would be roughly $1,496, an increase of over $90 from last year.
Besides the village, the property tax bill also includes the state, county, Gateway Technical College and Racine Unified School District.
This story has been corrected to reflect that Michael Bonn is the village finance director and not the treasurer.
MADISON — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday that he doesn’t believe Republicans are “bastards” for firing his agriculture secretary, despite using the word when urging state workers not to be deterred by the move.
Evers stressed that he wasn’t referring to Republican lawmakers when he told state agriculture department workers last week not to let the “bastards” keep them from doing their work. He noted that the phrase he invoked — “don’t let the bastards grind you down” — was well known and used throughout history, including by other politicians and in World War II.
He called it a “term of art, it’s not a term of, necessarily, insult.”
“It’s not something I just pulled out of thin air,” Evers said following a bill signing in Wisconsin Dells. “It’s a saying, it’s a thing. I don’t think they’re bastards but I do think they made a huge mistake doing what they did to Brad Pfaff.”
Evers said he was angry after the GOP-controlled Senate voted along party lines to reject the confirmation of Pfaff, Evers’ agriculture secretary. It was the first time the Senate had fired a Cabinet secretary since at least 1987.
“Civility is at my core,” said Evers, a former school teacher and state education superintendent. “But at the end of the day, when they decided to do a political assassination of Brad Pfaff that kind of pushed me to a different place.”
Evers took the unusual step of attending the Senate debate last week in person. Afterward, he vented to reporters in a Capitol hallway in comments sprinkled with four-letter words. He called the move “absolute bull****.”
WATERFORD — Village Administrator Zeke Jackson decried the Town of Waterford government as “a form of Totalitarian Dictatorship” in a memo to the Village Board, delivering his harshest rebuke yet since the village and town’s falling out over fire and emergency medical services.
Hello, my dears! How are you? I'm so sorry for "disappearing" last week, but Lord Zoltar made an appearance on my front steps.Señor Zanza thought it was best if I hide while he dealt with Zoltar. So I did. And I didn't come out for 24 hours - too late to post my blog. So I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
Well, it looks like winter is here even though it's only early November. You can say it's too early or it's too late, but you can't change the changing of the seasons. How miserable. I hate the s-word so early in the season. Aaargh!
The Irregular Fantasy Football League continues. The Orbliterators and the Racine Irregulars have already earned playoff spots
(Click to enlarge.) I've dropped a couple of spots and the Half-Astrophysicists are on the way up. How exciting!
Also exciting is the Common Council's attempt to silence Mr. Harry Wait. Watch this:
Isn't it good to know that our civic leaders are so concerned with covering up the facts? Why are they so scared of a single man stating the facts? The fact of the matter is that the facts point to our government as being abusive of the facts and hiding behind them. What a witches' brew is Racine politics.
I personally know Mr. Harry Wait. He is very thorough in documenting the facts behind any statement that he makes. How scared our city fathers and motherfathers must be of the truth.
In retrospect, the city papas felt that Mr. Wait should have been "gaveled down."
In retrospect, the Common Council and Butterball's Rangers should be removed from office.
CONSPIRACYCOMPLICITYCOLLUSION Where did the money go?
The City of Racine received over $700,000.00 dollars of DNR grant money to open public access within downtown riverfront property along the Root River.
The problem is...... THERE IS NO PUBLIC ACCESS ! There is no bike pathway, no promenade, no walkway, no access to the river and no public space. NOR DOES THE CITY HAVE ANY VIABLE PLANS IN PLACE TO FACILITATE PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE PROPERTIES !
The properties are fenced off and not available to the public. According to the DNR application filed by the City of Racine and signed by the scammer* Mayor John Dickert, the city has until December 20, 2019 to complete the project. *scam·mer
As we have documented for years, Californians have been fleeing the Golden State in droves thanks to untenable costs of living which include exorbitant taxes levied by inept bureaucrats. The annual fires, poo-covered streets, and devastating earthquakes are icing on the cake.
And as we've also documented, states experiencing the largest influx of 'enlightened' Californians include Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Oregon, Washingtonand Idaho. According to a January report from the Idaho Department of Labor, the land of potatoes is tied with Nevada as the fastest growing state in the nation.
Unfortunately for longtime residents of greener (cheaper) pastures such as Boise, transplants are starting to ruin things - driving up home prices and rents while median household income remains below the US average.
The income inequality between natives and transplants has caused so much animosity in Idaho that it underpinned Boise mayoral candidate Wayne Richey's entire platform: Stop the California Invasion.
Such inequity was what fueled Richey’s quixotic campaign; he came in fifth with 2% of the vote. The 59-year-old auto body technician runs yard sales on weekends and drives for Lyft on Friday and Saturday nights, when “I take drunk people home.”
His sister had her own business until the Great Recession, when she lost everything and moved in with him. She just bought a house one city over, the only one she could find for about $230,000, and, he said, it’s a piece of you know what. She works in a call center, rents out a room and works craft shows.
“It’s really, really hard to swallow,” he said, “when somebody sells their house in California for $700,000, comes here, buys any house they want in cash and still has money in the bank.
“Their kids get to go to college,” he continued. “They drive nice cars. And they get to enjoy everything we built over the years. We don’t get to enjoy it, because we’re working 40 hours a week and doing craft shows and doing yard sales.” -LA Times
The median home price in Ada Couty, where Boise is located, has risen 19.3% since February 2018 according to the Idaho Statesman, and now sits at $349, 994. Vacancy rates for the lowest-income residents, meanwhile is just 0.45% according to HousingIdaho.com.
And according to the Times, Boise needs 1,000 new housing units per year for the next decade - according to officials in the city of 228,000, which is "just not happening."
What should Californians and other transplants do?
Blend in - remove those California license plates. Don't flash your money. And don't do things like 'promoting inclusion' by demanding drag queen story hour at the local library.
Asthe Times notes, "California bashing is a cyclical sport with a long history in the heart of Idaho’s Treasure Valley."
In late September, former Boise State University kicker Taylor Rausa found a professionally printed card on his car, which read:
"One bit of advice Rausa got during the online fracas was that he should change those California plates — and fast. That’s been a longtime refrain from friendly Boiseans to their newest neighbors," according to the report.
"If you come here and love it, everything’s fine," said 2002 California transplant Rev. Bill Roscoe. "If you come here and fly that California flag in your driveway and have stickers on your car that say, ‘Santa Cruz,’ there’s going to be some hard feelings."
Roscoe, the CEO of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, keeps a sign on his desk that says "I am not from Idaho but I got here as fast as I could."
Some Californians have tried to integrate, only to be given the cold shoulder anyway.
Patricia Flanigan also swapped her California plates for the red-white-and-blue “Famous Potatoes” version when she moved from Dana Point in 2015 to the Boise suburb of Eagle. She had retired as dean of online education and learning resources at Saddleback College.
“I took the position that I would come to Idaho and adapt to the community,” she said. She has a doctorate in education. Earlier in her career, she’d taught English as a Second Language at three Southern California community colleges. She’d also run an ESL program at Lake Tahoe Community College. When she moved, she decided to volunteer with non-English speakers.
She got an appointment with the director of a nearby community college. But the school wasn’t interested in her offer of free help. She was told to try the region’s refugee center. She sent a resume. And never heard back.
At the college interview, “I was dressed professionally, looked like a Californian,” Flanigan said. “I probably irritated [the director] by my confidence. There was no way she was going to have me volunteer.... She wanted to get rid of me.”
That professional cold shoulder was her introduction to Idaho, the 66-year-old said. Since then, she has founded a website called “Smart Strategies for Successful Living.” She has a circle of friends and a house that she loves and owns outright. She has not looked back.
“I’m not here to be a Californian,” she said. “I’m here to be a community member and contribute.” -LA Times
According to the most recent Treasure Valley Survey conducted by the Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University in 2018, over 70% of those asked said the region is growing too fast, vs. 50% who said the same in 2016.
"Over the course of two years,residents of the Treasure Valley have gone from being divided about whether the pace of growth was too fast or about right, to adopting the belief that it is too fast by a large margin," the survey reports.
During a September town hall meeting held at a strip mall library, resident Yvette Zoe - who moved to Boise in 1972, said "I know that you can’t stop growth, but what are we going to do about our quality of life here?"
"My kids, they can’t buy a house because they can’t afford it right now, and they work. My grandkids, their schools are crowded."
Newcomers are moving here for a better quality of life, but “the very thing they’re leaving in — we know where — Seattle, California, Austin,” they’re bringing to Boise, she said. “What I’d like to see is what can we do for the people that already live here that have been here for a long time.”
One solution proposed by mayoral candidate Wayne Richey is to tax newcomers more than longtime residents - which he dubbed Proposition Zero One Two Three. It would result in sixty-year residents paying no property taxes - while new residents would instead shoulder the burden.
"This gives much needed relief to longtime residents and forces new people to pay their share," said Richey on his Facebook page. "Maybe it just might make them think twice about moving here."
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