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LTE – Terry Nichols – 9-19-2018

Dunn County nixes my referendum question again

Back in February I appeared before the Dunn Co.  Board requesting a nonbinding referendum question on the funding of the Tech College System for the November election. I did this early because of state requirements for referenda. I’m in my 16th year of stating that the pursuit of all public higher education is completely an individual choice.

Having stated that fact, I have stated that the funding of the Tech college system needs to go to the state level and off the backs of local property taxpayers. A known fact from the Social Security System is that 10,000 U. S. citizens turn 65 every day and will for the next 17 years. Wisconsin is not immune to this fact. As in all the other years, I was ignored by the Dunn Co. Board. Finally, I attended a Dunn Co. Committee meeting and stated that out of respect, the Board should at least acknowledge my request one way or another. The County Board Chair approached me at another meeting and told me he didn’t get any support from other Board members for my request.

I continue to make the Chippewa Valley Tech board aware of the plight of seniors and others on fixed incomes every budget cycle to no avail. You see, the 16 tech college boards in this state have the ability to borrow millions every budget cycle with the local tech college district taxpayers footing the tab. These boards are appointed, not elected, at the local level it’s completely taxation without representation. County boards are elected, school boards are elected, and of course our Senators and Representatives we send to Madison are elected. Folks, these antiquated funding statutes were created before the Viet Nam War was over….that’s 50 years ago! As a Viet Nam vet, I find this appalling.

In the last April election, there were over 65 school district referenda in this state, the majority passed. A local example is the Chippewa School district for 65 million. Any school district referenda for the Nov. election coming up had to be in by August 28th. A quick email to the Dept. of Public Instruction (DPI) gave me the number of school district referenda coming up. I counted 78 and some districts are having more than one referendum question. The” Double Whammy” between the Tech College System borrowing and School District referenda is hurting seniors and others on fixed incomes. My request to Dunn Co. for a nonbinding referendum on the Nov election would have given the county some good information for direction the county should take for its legislative policy. Currently the county is planning for the move of its employees to a new location at the edge of Menomonie out of the Government Center in downtown Menomonie. For all you Dunn Co. residents, that’s almost 4 million dollars.

Terry Nichols
Town of Colfax 

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