In early April we were alerted to House File 2183 a $189,000 State bond request authored by Representative Kelly Fenton (R) to fund a woodbury city park. The park is the Madison Place Play Ground that is going to be added to the $22 million dollar tax payer funded Bielenberg Sports Center. On April 21st the Washington county board voted to use tax payer resources to lobby support to vote for HF2183/ SF2032 in a letter: page 23
we e-mailed all the members of the County board and the legislators who authored the bills supporting the bond request and
We wrote to Representative Fenton and Lohmer:
"As you can read below or see for yourself, Senator Housley has listened
to the facts and has taken her name off SF2032.If you check out the e‑mail we sent you several days ago the attached official letter that we got from the Woodbury City Administrator... he confirms that the Madison Claire foundation not only met their funding goal, but exceeded it by $70,000 after the Polar Plunge campaign in February from generous private sector donors. (as charities should be funded) Will you do the right thing and also take your names off the companion Bill HF2183? If you do not, this bill will likely get rubber stamped costing tax payers $189,000. The city administrator said it himself in the letter we sent to you that the Madison Claire foundation would likely not turn down the money even though they secured the funding they needed privately. A bill that requests money for something only to have it diverted is unethical and a violation of the voter's trust. Democrat State Representative Joann Ward (who is on the bill and will keep it alive) has already responded to me in a half page letter blasting me: "Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to any public funding for the proposed Madison’s Place playground at the City of Woodbury’s Bielenberg Sports Center. While we appreciate your input, we must strongly disagree with you." we are writing a follow up story to: County and Local Legislators Seek to Boost a Fully Sponsored Fundraising Project with $189,000 Tax Dollars . Please respond by Tuesday evening if you plan to either keep your name on the bill or remove it. If you happen to not reply I'll state that you didn't reply and direct readers to also follow the bill on whether you change your mind or not."
Update 5-5: Representative Fenton and Lohmer both stated in e-mails that they are NOT taking their names off HF2183 despite the unethical nature of requesting funding for a project that actually doesn't need the funds to complete the project named in the request.
Something's wrong with our Government when they ignore citizens who cry foul when they're caught playing politics with tax dollars by hijacking a private fund raising effort. For what? All to make themselves look bi-partisan and generous. And apparently there's no stopping this beast even when faced with the truth that the fund raisers exceeded their goals. But why should they care? It's only tax dollars.
Please contact the County Board and the politicians who are so far as we know still un-apologetically pushing this bill forward: