Letters to the Editor
For months and months I have followed my father’s lead and taken the high road and let Mr. Wilder harass, belittle, try to discredit and tell lie after lie about him, but enough is enough. My father is my idol, and I can not remember a time in my life when he has not been doing something for the community. He has worked hard for this community and I take exception to someone who has just rejoined the community, after being gone for over 40 years, coming in and trying to undermine his efforts. If he wants to run for mayor then run on his own merits and quit bashing the opponent.
My father brought Pee Wee baseball and Babe Ruth baseball to the community. He revitalized a faltering Little League program. He and George Davis started the Raider Booster Club and Raider of the Year program, and he also helped bring about the Grand Triathlon, just to name a few things. In the years since Mr. Wilder has been back in the community what has he contributed? Well, other than the weekly ranting in the Star.
When the town of Coulee Dam was mandated to upgrade their water system, my father spent endless hours researching alternatives and resources. He traveled all over the state on his own dime looking at the options. The filtration plant was the most cost-effective option and he was able to get the resources that saved the town millions of dollars. He and the city council recently researched options for fixing the deteriorating sewer lines and again saved the town by finding a method of lining the existing lines instead of having to replace them all and got a grant to do it. My father has also written numerous letters over the years to officials, representatives and Congress, trying to find help in meeting these infrastructure regulations and unfunded mandates that are being imposed on small communities.
Mr. Wilder’s harassment pretty much started when he received a notice to clean up his property, and ever since then he has had a vendetta against City Hall. He has been harassing the clerks for years and one day came into my father’s office to complain about the city clerk not knowing how to do her job. He was informed that my father was sick of him harassing the clerk. He then said that made my father a coward and my dad told him to get out. He subsequently accused my father of assault and filed a report with the county prosecutor (which the prosecutor threw out). Now those of you who know my father know that this is a pretty ridiculous allegation … my mother maybe (sorry Mom), but not my father. So after that confrontation, any time Mr. Wilder steps into City Hall a witness will be present.
Mr. Wilder recently blamed my father for the closing of the swimming pool, the theater and the bank (see Facebook “coulee dam mayor”). First of all, my father was not mayor when the swimming pool was closed and he was actually involved in several fund raising activities to try to keep it open. The decision was made, while he was on the council, that it was not feasible to reopen the pool due to the amount of work that needed to be done on the 50-plus-year-old facility. The theater closed for the same reason that most small theaters are closing; they cannot afford to update their equipment for digital movies. As far as the bank, I guess I didn’t realize my father had that much power over Bank of America. Recently, both my mother and my father spent several days helping the new owner of the Melody restaurant get the restaurant ready to reopen.
I have tried for years to get my father to step down or not run for this thankless position. I always get the same response: “I care about this community and there are things that need to get done and no one else wants to do it.” So for 16 years he has been going to the City Hall, almost daily and working for the community. Every day his door is open and anyone can go in and discuss whatever problem or issue they might have.
My father does not know I am writing this letter. I am writing because he has always been my number-one supporter and now it’s my turn to be his. So please, Mr. Wilder, enough of the circus sideshow. No more harassment, no more lies, let the people of this community vote for change if they want, but don’t discredit what my father has done for this community over the last 40-plus years. You have dragged his name through the mud enough; let’s try a positive approach!