A Letter to the Editor in the 12-12-06 Tomahawk Leader:
To the Editor:
At the Oct. 3, 2006, City Council meeting it became apparent that three of our elected city officials were anxious to have the Comprehensive Plan (CP) quickly passed. When Alderman Hetzel pointed out that the maps inserted into the CP were incorrect and that the fire equipment listed was out of date nor inclusive, the city attorney immediately said that that could be remedied. When I pointed out that 90 percent of the statistics used were all done in the 1990s, the city clerk/treasurer introduced the man who made $3,000 to write the CP to speak to that question. When I also pointed out that the Planning Commission listed on the title page was made up of all men, the mayor became defensive and looked to Alderwoman Ebert. The city clerk would not give me an answer when I asked about the committee listed as the Planning Commission which really consisted of the members of the Tomahawk Planning and Zoning Committee but were labeled incorrectly. It was an example of another error in the document.
The only issue that stopped the passing of the CP that evening was Alderman Brimacombe’s request to amend the East Somo Avenue corridor to be zoned commercial. That ended the quick pass of the CP. Immediately the city attorney said that the zoning couldn’t be changed because of the size of the properties. It was clarified by Alderman Nelson that the properties beyond the railroad tracks were larger and would qualify. The city clerk tried to point out the difference between the size of the north and south lots while Alderman Koth noted that the council had controlled the area’s zoning and development over the years.
When such an important document is not due until 2010, wouldn’t it be a good idea to use the time to gather current statistics? Why the rush? A lot has changed since the 1990s. Why wasn’t more time given to get citizens who live in Tomahawk to become involved? Public Works didn’t even have time to complete their survey. It takes time to get responses. The CP has nothing about safety for the citizens of Tomahawk in case of a disaster of any kind; since the 90s we know that two unexpected ones have hurt this country tremendously. Isn’t a plan with a vision better than one based on outdated ideas? And isn’t it immature for members of an ad hoc committee to insist that the CP should be passed because they worked so hard? It’s the end product that counts? The document presented that night of Oct. 3 exemplified less than a superior effort – plus we paid for it.