Dear Editor,

Once again the 15-year-old Marinette County Jail is in the cross hairs of the current county administrator (John Lefebvre). Every county administrator has vowed to solve this ongoing dilemma. None have. This time he wants to fix the old, neglected building up to relocate Marinette County employees into the space. His previous idea was to have the City of Marinette relocate into the building. Luckily for all the taxpayers it was too small for their needs. This project will be very expensive. It will also cost a great deal of time and money just to relocate county employees. Perhaps an engineering feasibility study should be done before any taxpayer money is spent? The city had one done which helped them make a decision on it.

I can tell you that the building is poorly laid out as it was designed to be a jail. It is not ADA-compliant like most of the county buildings. It needs everything. Parking in the area is an issue so additional county employees in the building won’t help the overcrowded daytime parking situation.

Marinette County and most local government in general is stuck with old, outdated ideas and methods of operation. We need better ideas which are more likely to come from people in business and industry. The only way to get new people involved is change the meetings to the evenings. Paying board members more in all local forms of local government might also help. Our taxes are not low so the money is somewhere in the system already. Just making the Marinette County Board smaller would be a step in the right direction. There is a county just north of us in Michigan that has way fewer board members and their meetings are in the evenings, so it can be done. Perhaps the huge county board room could then be repurposed — besides it is only used once a month? The county board meetings could be held in a court room since they are not used at night.

I wonder if the county board has explored putting their meetings online live? They could also make them available to view at a later date. It is not expensive or difficult. I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen. The only way that things happen locally is for taxpayers to pick up the phone and let our voices be heard.

 

Pete Pfankuch

Crivitz