From: Tessa Schweitzer
I’ve heard it said that local politics is as dysfunctional as any other level, if not more so. I don’t doubt that after witnessing the spectacle of Winona County over the past year. In a bid for a County Board seat, a former litigant against the county criticizes his opponent for taxpayer spending after he himself has spent years and countless county man hours wrangling with the Planning Department to put a housing development on agricultural land surrounded by a wildlife refuge and close to a state park. With the help of would-be sand miners, Tea Partiers, and property rights folk, he wins the seat by a relatively small margin, instantly claims a mandate to undo the hard work and compromise that went into the 2010 county land use ordinance. Two of the county commissioners are said to agree with these changes. If they enjoy public service, they may want to reconsider.
There will be a backlash, and they may find themselves looking for a new hobby. Many folk see the proposed ordinance changes as benefiting the few and threatening the county’s quality of life as well as causing environmental damage — not to mention the money and time wasted on trying to “fix” something that has not had a chance to work.
I would ask folks in Winona County who would rather not see a feedlot closer to their property line or see the more-money-than-brains types littering the bluffs with their homes, causing further erosion, and increasing insurance rates after the next mud slide to contact members of the County Board and asking them to vote against the proposed ordinance changes. There will be a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5, 2013, at the Winona County Government Center.