Dear Editor,

As citizens in a democratic society, it is our responsibility to be involved in local government and our right to keep our elected officials in check. The time has come in the City of Peshtigo to take responsibility and exercise our rights. On Aug. 2, 2019, Mayor Malke of the City of Peshtigo chose to take yet another action that will have a long term and detrimental impact on our community by firing Mr. David Zahn. Dave served as the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Peshtigo for the last six years. During this time, he worked diligently to improve the community, not only for its residents but also for the many visitors that come through. Despite his strong work ethic and unyielding commitment, his efforts were repeatedly met with negativity and criticism by Mayor Malke. Like many employees and community members over the years, Dave was a victim of the mayor’s wrath for no other reason than the willingness to disagree with the mayor and expect open, mature dialogue in response.

However, the mayor has chosen to systematically and consistently create a hostile and caustic environment in both the workplace and, ultimately, the community. Many of these actions are a matter of public record. Other examples can be found through casual contact with community members.

Over the last six years, I personally have heard innumerable people in the community make positive comments about Zahn and his contributions to the city as its director of parks and recreation but I have yet to hear one person make a positive comment about our mayor. Mayor Malke has shown blatant disregard for any policy or procedure that does not fit with her agenda. Again, this disregard is a matter of public record, as is the cost of this behavior to our city in both money and reputation. Now that this shark has tasted blood, it is only a matter of time before she claims her next victim.

I implore all of the residents of our fine community to take a stand. Call Mayor Malke at 715-923-6695 to express your concern, start attending City Council meetings, run for office, start a recall petition against Mayor Malke, and make your voice heard by voting in the next election. Visit City Hall or go to https://ci.peshtigo.wi.us to find out when the City Council meetings will take place but please note that the website is not always up to date.

And to the Mayor, good luck finding someone with the heart, the energy, and the time commitment to replace Dave Zahn. Those are very big shoes to fill.

 

Jenifer Techmeier

Peshtigo