Letter to the editor: Eastern Lake County needs broadband
By: From Pat Taylor, Finland, Lake County News Chronicle
At a meeting on the broadband issue with the Two Harbors City Council some time back, representatives from two providers stated they could bring high-speed Internet to all parts of the county. While the public was invited, we were not allowed to speak, so outside I asked those two representatives when and where I could sign up for their services. They were together, so both asked me for my address. I told them. Both replied that they could not bring their services to me. I then asked why they had said inside that they could deliver to all parts of the county and now tell me, and others watching the exchange, that they couldn’t. They had no response. Soon after that, Quest brought DSL to some, but not all, in the Finland area. Quest said they could bring me the service, I asked how this was possible since I knew they had stopped running cable more than two miles from my home. They tried to tell me they were only two blocks from my residence. They were going by my address. It seems they didn’t realize that in urban areas addresses go up by 100 every block, in rural areas it’s every mile.
I am an older disabled widow and I must work from home. I do have WiFi internet and have been researching on-line employment opportunities for over two years, but most employers need a more secure internet connection before they will hire people. I certainly hope that this can be cleared up soon, before I cannot afford to live in Lake County without more than a low fixed income. I do hear this from many in their mid-50s.
This has been my home for more than half of my life and I still love it, in spite of the challenges. Rural residents are now close to half of the Lake County population, with most of those rural residents in the western half of the county— Silver Creek Township & UT 2. Authorities CANNOT forget the eastern part of the county, a part that believes in innovation and cooperation among various groups.
Legislation allowing county commissioners to appoint county auditor /treasurers, and recorders has been part of the discussion for years. In eight years as a town board supervisor, and of being active politically, I attended numerous statewide conferences, conventions and seminars. I usually find contacts from the 39 counties with populations of 20,000 and under. Most of those from the less populated counties agree on one thing: their county leaders are still subject to cronyism and nepotism, which has no place in appointing people to what is sometimes a life-time appointment. I believe this idea has been brought to the forefront by the same group who proposed that county sheriffs take over Minnesota Highway Patrol duties and promoted the reduction in the number of counties.
School Levy for Technological Equipment
Let’s hope that HF 747, a bill to delete the SR property tax classification, will pass and our schools can once again receive operating revenue from all resident property owners in the county.
I really deplore the lack of vision by some county leaders.