Letter to the editor: Newsome Melcher can get things done
By: From Linda Newsome Melcher, Lake County News Chronicle
From Linda Newsome Melcher
I see two main issues affecting the City of Two Harbors: apathy in City
government and a closed community to new people and new ideas. These are the issues I will address when elected to the City Council
Where is the interest in public policy and what happens in our City? I am relatively new to Two Harbors (6 years). I filed for the Ward 3 Council seat at 4:30 on the last day to file. No one else had filed. I could not bear to have a Council seat open with no one interested enough to run. Where is the interest and investment in our community? Why are so many Council seats unopposed? We all need to take interest in what is happening in City government because it affects us whether we like it or not. We need to be informed.
Why is it that many of the City commission seats are filed with people who live outside the City limits? Do you know that these people are making decisions that directly affect our taxes and our City services? This needs to change. We need to have an open City government where everyone feels their voice can be heard without fear. We need to take control of our City instead of giving our power to sitting members who live outside the City limits and do not pay City taxes. We need to have pride in the great City we live in.
We live in a community where bullying, threats, and closed doors are the norm. Change, new ideas, and new people are not welcome. I have experienced this first hand. I have been told that if I do not support a certain political candidate or support a certain project by a special interest group in the City I will receive no support and efforts will be made to stop any projects I am involved in. I have heard from others in the community that they cannot support certain projects or candidates because of repercussions. This is not a healthy environment for any of us. This is not a conducive environment for economic growth. Growth happens when we all work together to support all efforts for the good of the community, not just special interest groups.
How many of you know the financial situation of the City golf course? Do you know that in the last five years we have used almost a MILLION DOLLARS in financial reserves from the Municipal Liquor Store to subsidize the golf course? In the current budget the golf course will be subsidized by the City’s general fund. This is money out of our pockets for what is effectively a private golf course. Other municipalities in our region have addressed similar issues with their City owned golf courses and solved their problem of draining the City’s reserves or raising taxes and utility fees. Our taxes should not support any project that continues to cost us money and drain our financial resources or increase our taxes. Why has this continued so long with no public outcry? We all need to pay attention to what our City government is doing.
I would like to see all Council meetings televised including the 5 p.m. meetings prior to the Council meetings and all of the Commission meetings. We need to know what is happening and decisions that are being made that affect our City and the taxes we pay. It is difficult to attend all of these meetings, but if they are televised we can watch them on cable access or check out the videos from the public library. We need to be actively involved.
I bring an outside view, financial acumen, and experience in collaboration that gets things done for the good of all of us. My twenty plus years as an accountant and my work with the Center for Democracy and Citizenship on collaborative community partnerships gives me the experience and knowledge to help bring change to the City of Two Harbors. I have a vision of a City that is vibrant and economically sustainable. We have a beautiful waterfront and some great historic buildings downtown. The downtown area should be bustling all summer long instead of feeling abandoned. We can revive our town.
In the five years I have been programming in Two Harbors with Arts on Superior I have raised funds, promoted, and presented:
- Artist in Residence programs – Lake County Schools
Ten residencies including 3 at Two Harbors High School, 1 at William Kelley High School, 5 at Minnehaha Elem. School, and supported 1 at North Shore Community School
- Fridays in the Park –
Free music in Thomas Owens Park – 8-10 nights each summer 2010 – present (26 concerts)
- Fall/Winter Concert Series
2011 – 2 community concerts
2012 – 6 community concerts
- Artist workshops
2011 – 3 community workshops – autoharp, fiddle, drum circle
2012 – 5 community workshops – songwriting, spoken word, poetry, visual arts, drum instruction
- Community Drum Circle
2012 – 3rd Monday of the month at the Two Harbors Community Center
- Summer interpretive walking tours
2013 – guided walking tours along the waterfront and light station
- National Endowment for the Arts – Our Town grant
Pending – 2 year grant beginning fall 2013 to engage the community in the arts and provide economic stimulus to the area through the arts
I have a proven record of bringing programming to Two Harbors. This has brought in visitors from out of town and has been the impetus for some new community members to move to Two Harbors. I know how to get things done.