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In May I will be in my 17th year of stating the following: “The pursuit of all public higher education is completely an individual choice.”

Having said that, I follow up by saying that the funding of all public higher education belongs at the state level like the UW System. The UW System funding is controlled by the Governor and the Legislature. The Governor and the Legislature are elected officials.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve testified before the County Board of Supervisors asking the County Board to have a non-binding referendum county-wide on the funding of the Wisconsin Technical College System.

This non-binding referendum would be a valuable indicator countywide in the county developing their legislative agenda with local elected officials.

The current antiquated funding statutes of the tech college system were created before the Vietnam was over.

Currently the 16 tech districts of Wisconsin have appointed, not elected, boards.

These appointed boards have the ability of borrowing millions of dollars every year and the millions are put on the local property taxpayer’s tab in the 16 tech districts.

I’ve testified at Dunn County board meetings for years trying to illustrate the unfairness. My requests so far have been unsuccessful.

This week the Dunn County Board of Supervisors presented their legislative agenda to three area elected officials. One of the agenda items was local control. The county stated that at the local level all county board officials are elected.

At the local level, the tech college system is taxation without representation but the county hasn’t seen this unfairness as a local control problem.

The county wants the ability to exceed the revenue limits because net new constructions isn’t keeping up with rising costs.

My answer is: Dunn County, welcome to the rural areas of Wisconsin. Did you really think net new construction would keep up?

Robust broadband in Dunn County would do more economically for Dunn County than sand mines and Confined Animal Feeding Operations.

The fastest-rising demographic in Wisconsin is retired seniors, like myself and others living on fixed incomes. It’s quite puzzling to me that all education in Wisconsin has decreased student numbers and for some years.

The onslaught of school district referenda across the state has been unsurpassed. This coming April election has another 57 school districts hoping for passed referenda.

Gov. Tony Evers gives his budget address this week. Hopefully our local elected officials listened carefully to the Dunn County legislative agenda as Dunn County is not unique in its funding problems.

Raising local property taxes is not the answer. Putting pressure on the state to address the funding shortage at the local level is the answer, not more local property taxes ignoring the plight of retired seniors and others living on fixed incomes.

If Dunn County is so concerned about local control, maybe Dunn County should look at all taxation at the local level?

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(1) comment


Where is the Dunn County GOP when they are needed?

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