From: Todd Paddock
Steve Jacob, candidate for the Winona County Board, has a dilemma. On the one hand he has a very nice home with a huge wrap-around deck, a big yard, and fantastic views of a beautiful valley. This is because the house lies at the very edge of a 400-foot bluff overlooking the stateís Whitewater Wildlife Management Area. The problem is that about half the home, all of the deck, and much of the yard are on public property.
I had this confirmed by the company that carried out the survey for the DNR this past July, as well as the Winona County Surveyor. Mr. Jacob was the contractor for the home, and his building permit stated that the house would be 20 feet from the boundary, as required. Instead, it lies more than 30 feet past it. So he missed the true location of the boundary line by about 50 feet.
Mr. Jacob has campaigned as a self-described expert on county land-use laws, and proposes major changes to them if he is elected. He has also promised transparency, claiming county board members have been secretive.
He may be well-versed in our land-use rules. But a commissioner also needs to show good judgment and proper caution. In this case it appears he showed neither. He created a new parcel and built a house next to a property line without first getting a survey of the boundaries. In doing so he caused damage to a wildlife area that we all hold in common.
In addition, the survey for the DNR was published this July and the survey crew was in his yard marking the boundary before that. But he didnít tell us of his mistake. Worse, he was at the very same time accusing his opponent and the county board of secrecy. This seems hypocritical.
I fear this is how he will behave as a commissioner. And that could be very damaging for our county.