letter: Elected officials failing public in lack of Cedar Gorge support

To Ozaukee Press:

The Cedar Gorge situation has created an uncommon governmental convergence: state Senate, state Assembly, County Board and City of Port Washington. One would hope that a consolidated expression of political leadership might be the result.

Instead, we’ve seen a curious and disconnected range of responses.

State Sen. Duey Stroebel, a stated critic of the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program, has seemingly been knocked over by a feather since a lobbyist-influenced fellow member of the Joint Finance Committee voted against a grant for the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Nature Preserve that had been approved by the DNR.

Assemblyman Rob Brooks provided an audience for the private party who’s interested in the parcel, but without taking any position.

A majority of the Ozaukee County Board voted to move $1 million to the project, but most of the northern Ozaukee board members voted no, which scuttled the proposed funding.

Port Washington Mayor Ted

Neitzke met with a representative of the interested developer, but was oddly evasive about the outcome of his conversation.

We are left to infer that each branch would rather this rare parcel of land be sold, kept on the tax rolls and not given over to public access.

Meanwhile, the interested developer is choosing to remain anonymous but has condescendingly told us that turning an exquisite piece of private land into

a park is the equivalent of “free puppies.” We can all be thankful that the Port city fathers didn’t have the same small-minded attitude many years ago when they acquired the farm land that is now Upper Lake Park.

It’s now up to the intrepid Ozaukee Washington Land Trust and its many supporters to secure this marvelous slice of our community for our common benefit. It would have been refreshing if,  at a minimum, our elected officials were cheering those efforts.

Jack Rooney



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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