The Town of Dayton/Little Hope “lake district” (i.e. taxing authority) has invited Dayton landowners to an invitation-only hearing at the Waupaca High School at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11. Yes, that’s correct, Veteran’s Day.
Dayton supervisors Klein, Newsome and Peglow are hosting this hearing at a cost to Dayton taxpayers a minimum of $1,000. (I remind Dayton and all county residents that Dayton township supervisors and so-called lake district directors are one and the same.) Why continue the township’s failed misinformation campaign against the successful three-year Crystal River restoration? This phony Nov. 11 hearing is neither open to “all,” nor will any new credible scientific or economic information be forthcoming.
Incredibly, Dayton supervisors are demanding notarized testimony by absentee landowners. To my knowledge, never has any Wisconsin citizen been required to have their testimony notarized.
In three years, the Dayton supervisors never sought the views of the residents of the Chain lake and sanitary districts (source of the Crystal River), the towns of Waupaca and Lind, or the city of Waupaca.
In addition, Dayton officials could use a second reading of their duties as clearly stated in Wisconsin’s Constitution (Article IX, Sec 1), Wisconsin lakes and rivers are public resources, owned in common by all Wisconsin citizens under the state’s Public Trust Doctrine.
Wisconsin citizens in general, and this includes me, presume good faith and integrity from our public officials. And every one of us respects the history of the former millpond at Little Hope. Dayton supervisors desperately need major policy, legal and budget course corrections on all matters pertaining to the river’s restoration and dam removal at Little Hope.
The facts pertaining to the Crystal River restoration and dam removal at Little Hope have been well documented by radio, television and especially by the Waupaca County Post. All views concerning the dam’s fate were allowed and presented at the August 2013 UW-Extension public information meeting. In addition, and of utmost importance, both the facts and the law surrounding the county’s permit to permanently remove the dam were presented over many days at this summer’s administrative law hearings. Sworn testimony was given, including testimony by Mr. Klein, myself and many others.
What is crystal clear is that the river’s drawdown three years ago has had no discernable impact on either the Red Mill or the Ding’s Dock Crystal River canoe trips. Dayton supervisors these past many months have also failed to show any factual linkage between the river’s drawdown and local property values.
Dayton taxpayers know full well that Dayton supervisors started the legal fight over the dam removal. Dayton supervisors clearly were the first to file suit over the county’s unanimous decision to restore the river and permanently remove the dam at Little Hope.
This suspect hearing reveals the Dayton leadership’s nervousness.
This coming December’s judicial decision on the county’s permit to remove the dam no doubt has Klein, Peglow and Newsome’s attention. They know that history and the law is clearly on the side of the landowner – the county.
According to Dayton leadership, the drawdown of the Crystal River has caused every problem known to mankind and then some. In reality none of those fears (misinformation) have any basis in fact. Their assertion that the river’s careful drawdown and subsequent dam removal causes harm to native wildlife or plants is scientific nonsense.
Their latest piece of misinformation is the possibility that Dayton’s landfill could somehow seep into our wells and into the river because of the drawdown. It’s my understanding that the landfill at Dayton is under strict DNR monitoring. Believe me, Mr. Klein, if that former landfill is leaking all residents will want to know. Klein’s rhetoric of a potential public health linkage due to the river’s restoration demeans the public he serves.
Hope springs eternal; there is still time for Dayton supervisors to call off this undemocratic and unethical Nov. 11 hearing. If not, people from across the county, region and state have every right to visit Waupaca High School on Veteran’s Day and ask some straightforward questions of the supervisors, including about their rising legal expenses (over $50,000 and climbing).
Badgers near and far, come witness a river’s rebirth. Come see firsthand the healing properties of Mother Nature on the 10,000 year-old Crystal River from Parfreyville to Little Hope and beyond.
On behalf of the river, those are the facts.