By Roger Utnehmer
President and CEO
CITY OF STURGEON BAY DID EGG HARBOR ROAD RIGHT
The City of Sturgeon Bay’s investment in Egg Harbor Road is paying off with positive development and attractive additions to the economic base of our community. Sidewalks and lighting make the growing business district more senior and pedestrian friendly. Bike lanes make it more cycler-friendly. Sewer and water improvements make the area more business friendly. These are all good investments made by the City of Sturgeon Bay.
It’s always good to see government get something as right as Sturgeon Bay did on Egg Harbor Road.
The tax base is expanding. The good news starts on Jefferson Street where Bay Home Town Pharmacy opened in a vacant building. The former Lenny’s Pizza at Georgia and Jefferson will soon become part of the growing Skaliwags and Algoma Burger Company Chris Wiltfang dynasty of restaurants.
Recent openings include Jimmy John’s, Knight Barry, O’Reilly Auto, Door County Coop, Tractor Supply and Calvary Baptist Fellowship. Owners of the Best Western motel have invested in extensive renovations. Old Mexico is thriving under new ownership. Larger investments made in recent years on Egg Harbor Road include Wal-Mart, CVS Pharmacy and a neighboring mini-mall with several smaller shops. All expand the Sturgeon Bay tax base, support our schools, create jobs and make for a more thriving business district. The city council got this right and for that, they deserve to be commended.
Next on the good news agenda will be finding tenants for the old Hardee’s facility and the neighboring former Pizza Hut, filling up the old K-Mart building and locating a tenant for the shuttered bank building across from the Cherry Point Mall.
GOVERNOR CUOMO KEEPING KIDS OUT OF PARENT’S BASEMENTS
The recent proposal by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to provide free college tuition will keep adult children from living in the basements of their parents. The recently-reached agreement between the governor and New York legislators has a means test that makes the program available only to families with annual incomes of $125,000 or less. It also requires the students to live and in New York after graduation or pay back the free tuition.
Legislators in several other states are considering similar tuition-free options. If Wisconsin lawmakers follow New York free tuition should also be extended to technical colleges where future employment opportunities abound. Wisconsin faces a serious shortage of technical trade job training. Far too many students are tracked into college courses with little hope for job placement after graduation. Offering free technical college tuition will help assure your toilet flushes, a trained EMT responds to an emergency, your lights go on when you flip the switch, your car starts in a Wisconsin winter, you find a building contractor when you need one and industry in need of welders can at least get some applicants.
LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE A RIGHT TO PRIVACY TOO
Congratulations and thank you to the men and women elected to school boards, city councils and town government in the recent election. Democracy only functions when people of good will come forward and put their names on ballots and run for public office.
Public service is not always easy. Far too often in includes giving up a right-to-privacy for families of those in office as well. There are a time and place to express an opinion. Let’s make sure opinions are expressed with civility and in the appropriate location. That’s not when an elected official is out for a Friday night fish fry with family and friends or at 11:00 PM after a few beers.
That’s’ my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.