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An open letter to the citizens of Coulee Dam

Letter to the Editor


The election outcome last year seated a new mayor and two new town Council members for Coulee Dam. A lot has changed in Town Hall - council meeting procedures actually encourage public participation, issues are openly and robustly discussed before council action, council minutes are clear and meaningful, the office staff is qualified AND inviting (you just know you are appreciated and welcome in town hall).

The Sewer Treatment Plant project is now on hold and, and through an aggressive public process, we will be revisiting a litany of alternatives.  Effective April 1 (appearing on the May, 2014 bill), your sewer rate has been reduced from $70 per month to $56 per month. We will be reviewing the other utility charges during the budget process to see if they can/should be adjusted accordingly.

We have made huge steps in insuring transparency and have been rewarded for that by a grant from the State office of Archives – to help us with both preserving your records, AND making them much more accessible. Our Town Code is now online, and most public records requests are now being delivered (without charge) electronically.

Now I am asking you to do more than your vote… we have an opening on the Town Council (email, stop by Town Hall, or call 633-0320) and are looking for applicants. We have three openings on our Civil Service Commission, six positions on our Historic & Natural Resources Board (Tree Board), and five openings on the Planning Commission. These important positions have been open and vacant — some for years — yet they are both required and necessary to shape the community and advise the mayor/town council. As an example, we would like to add a parks & recreation element to our town comprehensive plan, and that needs the involvement of a planning commission. Without crafting and adopting this plan element, we don’t qualify for many of the grants that will help with the possibility of reopening the pool, building/expanding pedestrian/cycle trails, park/playground improvements, and such other important things for our citizens and visitors.

The open-nature of our processes and public involvement efforts has languished over the past 15 years, and that served to foster a closed system. On the other hand, we are embracing an open and transparent government. We are rebuilding it from the ground up, hopefully as a reflection of the current demographic. Help us define that government by your involvement and service. Help us by attending “your” Town Council meetings.

We invite you – we encourage you to make a (the) difference! Commit — even if only occasionally, and even if only for a short while!

Can we count on you — for you? Call, email, stop by and visit … share your ideas, tell us of your peeves.

I remain in your service,

F. Gregory (Greg) Wilder, mayor

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