Dear Editor,

I can’t help but laugh when I read all the discussions about tourism and economic development. Two years ago I said the county contracting with the city for tourism promotion was a waste of time and taxpayer money. Now the county administrator wants to add a full-time county employee to do the work. It used to be a part-time position before contracting out the work. The county administrator is good at spending taxpayer dollars and adding employees. Look at all the taxpayer dollars being spent remodeling the old stinky jail. Who’s going to want to work in that building no matter how it is fixed up? The City of Marinette didn’t want to. Would you? Not to mention the parking problems.

Don’t expect the person hired by the county administrator to promote tourism and possibly economic development to be well qualified. The person running the highway department used to be the part-time emergency service director. His background is law enforcement. The county administrators’ education and background is from running property zoning and the dump (landfill). Why change the methods of operation and hiring?

The county has a lot of income directly and indirectly from tourism. The little money in the county budget for tourism will need to pay salary, vacation, health and retirement costs for the employee or employees plus any promotional expenses. The money budgeted won’t go very far.

I purchased my first property on Lake Noquebay in 1986 for the recreation available in the area. There is plenty of stuff to do but improvements to recreation could easily be made. The first thing the county should do is open the Marinette County ATV/UTV connection routes year-round. Greatly improve the ATV/UTV trail route markings. Set up and frequently update a separate website for Marinette County’s recreational opportunities. The all in one county website will never do it proper justice. Open the paved surfaces in the county parks to ATV/UTV and snowmobile traffic. Plow the paved surfaces of the County Parks and only the Forest Roads that people use to access their homes and recreational houses. County parks would then be good places to park trailers to start a snowmobile or ATV/UTV visit of the county. The county could collect parking fees year-round. The county and towns should get golf carts off the streets, roads and highways. The speed limits should match the vehicle speed limits so everyone is safe.

The area needs a slogan; how about “Marinette County: Wisconsin’s Best Kept Secret”? We’ve got a good start, now we just need to further develop tourism, people and businesses will come just like I did.

 

Pete Pfankuch

Marinette County