MAYOR’S MESSAGE: Hello Everyone! Halloween is on its way! As we walk, bike, or drive around the City, many unique Halloween decorations greet us and make us smile! Oconto’s Halloween will be celebrated on Friday, October 31st from the hours of 5 p.m. To 7 p.m. I will remind everyone as it gets closer. The Farnsworth Public Library roof has been in a very sad state – especially if you look on the back side. As this wonderful, historic building was given to Oconto by George Farnsworth more than 100 years ago, we are responsible for maintenance. As money was not budgeted years ago, this had to be brought to the critical forefront. At last year’s Budget time, I had requested that the Finance and Council take the money spent on fishing tournaments ($25,000) and apply it to the needed roof repair. However, that did not happen. The roof cannot wait any longer. This year Jeremy Wusterbarth (Superintendent of Public Works) and Darrell Anderson (Councilman) worked with the Library Director and Board of Trustees to send out bids and receive quotes. In September, all government bodies included the City Council voted to repair the roof, approving an amount not to exceed $65,000, with the intention that it be done before winter. Money will be transferred from Pool Operations of 2014 (because we did not operate the pool this summer) for this repair. Because our grant from the K.C. Stock Foundation hinged on having that money in Pool Operations, a letter was sent from the Finance Committee reassuring the Foundation that money will be put in the 2015 Pool Operations account, to make sure we are abiding by the terms of the grant. One Saturday afternoon, I heard voices out on my front porch. Opening the door, I saw three of Oconto’s children with handwritten letters in their possession. The letters were addressed to the Mayor asking for help to build a bike and skateboard park in Oconto (two more letters were dropped off later.) I know this has been brought up before, and unfortunately, did not transpire. I assured the children that their idea would be added to the next Agenda of the Park and Recreation Committee. At last Thursday’s meeting the committee wholeheartedly supported looking into the bike/skateboard park. Of course, as we are starting from square one, this will be a process that will take a while. But as I have always believed, we should be listening to the voices of our children – especially when they ask for help! Great news regarding the ice-fishing access at Breakwater Park’s Causeway. The Harbor Commission voted on September 24th to approve the site chosen by the volunteers representing both the ice fishermen and the residents who live in the area. Oconto will next get the DNR approval (hopefully soon) and construction can then proceed. Of course, we are shooting for this winter! Have A Great Day! And remember, “Youth is not entirely a time of life – it is a state of mind. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. — Douglas MacArthur Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT
Any qualified elector who is unable or unwilling to appear at the polling place on Election Day may request to vote an absentee ballot. A qualified elector is any U.S. citizen, who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day, who has resided in the ward or municipality where he or she wishes to vote for at least 28 consecutive days before the election. The elector must also be registered in order to receive an absentee ballot.
You must make a request for an absentee ballot in writing.
Contact your municipal clerk and request that an application for an absentee ballot be sent to you for the primary or election or both. You may also submit a written request in the form of a letter. Your written request must list your voting address within the municipality where you wish to vote, the address where the absentee ballot should be sent, if different, and your signature. You may make application for an absentee ballot by mail or in person.
Making application to receive an absentee ballot by mail
The deadline for making application to receive an absentee ballot by mail is: 5 pm on the fifth day before the election, Thursday, October 30, 2014.
Note: Special absentee voting application provisions apply to electors who are indefinitely confined to home or a care facility, in the military, hospitalized, or serving as a sequestered juror. If this applies to you, contact the municipal clerk regarding deadlines for requesting and submitting an absentee ballot.
Voting an absentee ballot in person
You may also request and vote an absentee ballot in the clerk’s office or other specified location during the days and hours specified for casting an absentee ballot in person. Municipalities with an asterisk (*) are available by appointment only Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
City of Oconto
Sara Perrizo (920) 834-7711
1210 Main Street Oconto, WI 54153
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The first day to vote an absentee ballot in the clerk’s office is:
Monday, October 20, 2014
The last day to vote an absentee ballot in the clerk’s office:
Friday, October 31, 2014 by 5:00 p.m.
No in-person absentee voting may occur on a weekend or legal holiday.
The municipal clerk will deliver voted ballots returned on or before Election Day to the proper polling place or counting location before the polls close on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Any ballots received after the polls close will be counted by the board of canvassers if postmarked by Election Day and received no later than 4:00 p.m. on the Friday following the election.
I am told that there was a wonderful turn-out at the recent Sportsman’s Club Youth Event – around 100 children took part in the activities. Thank You to all the members for providing this experience to our children. I was also pleased to hear that a 5th generation of the Panetti family is now a member of the Sportsman’s Club – from Gilbert in 1943, to Robert, to John, to Dan, and now to baby Tanner! I know we have father and son members in some of our organizations – which is excellent continuity to be also proud of. What an even further achievement to go all through generations! Are there more families that have done this, and I am not aware of it? Please let me know, I would like to recognize you! Office – 834-7717 Home – 834-3891 Cell – 373-1768
Please remember that the water mains will be flushed soon – areas south of the Oconto River on Monday, September 29th – areas north of the Oconto River, West of and including Superior Avenue on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 30th and October 1st – areas north of the Oconto River, East of Superior Avenue on Thursday and Friday, October 2nd and 3rd. Due to certain water main connections, other areas could be affected. Please check your water for discoloration before using laundry.
At the last Park and Recreation meeting, it was brought to the committee’s attention during Public Input, that people are driving and parking beyond the gated area at Holtwood Complex, even though it is signed, and states “No vehicles (other than city work vehicles) beyond this point.” And worse yet, parking and driving on the grass areas! The signs are there for a reason, and everyone is asked to respect the rules, and park in the parking lots that are available. Violators will be reported next year, as this has gotten way out of hand, and everyone should know better. The Holtwood Complex facility is of such a high degree – people from other cities are always saying how lucky we are – we should be extremely proud, and more than willing to assist in taking care of it!
Great News for Oconto! We now have in our hands the grant agreement from the DNR for $8,190 and did order the handicapped-accessible dock immediately, that we would not be paying next year’s possible price raise. The company will build and store it for us until spring, which is really great!
Have A Great Day! And remember, a quote submitted from Bill W. — “When little people cast big shadows, it’s always at the close of the day.”
Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
The Oconto High School Homecoming Parade will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Get out and cheer on our football team to victory! Go Blue Devils!
I was asked recently by a reader (who I believe resides in the Town of Oconto) why I do not talk about my goals for Oconto in this Mayor’s Message. To address this question: I believe most people know my major goals are to pay off our 16 million in debt, lower the water rates, and dispose of the blue garbage bags. Because these are very negative subjects and are going to take a very long time to remedy, I do not talk about them every week. I do not have concrete solutions yet. I do not want people (and myself) to be constantly barraged with negativity, which will certainly lead to more negativity. I prefer to concentrate on everything positive that is currently happening in our beautiful City and build on more positive to come. I believe action is more important than words of promise, devoid of realistic answers. That is why I not only recently talked about a grant for a handicapped-access launch, but worked entirely on the grant and saw it through to fruition. I do not just say it would be nice to have a sailing event in Oconto, I recently worked entirely on Sail Fest to see that to a successful outcome.
Fall is the time for new tree planting and pruning of trees already established. Please remember that we have pamphlets available here at City Hall that address these subjects and will be able to assist you. “New Tree Planting” reminds us that “One who plants a tree, plants hope.” And “Proper Tree Pruning” reminds us that “Pruning is one of the best things you can do for your tree…it is the kindest cut.”
Another new Oconto business that actually changed hands is the Shake N’ Burger (formerly Kaley A’s) on Brazeau Avenue. We welcome Sara, the new owner, and are pleased that the treats will keep coming!
Police Chief Dan Ault has mentioned to me to inform all of you as a community, that any time you see suspicious behavior or you have a concern about a situation, please contact the Police Department at 834-7700 or in an emergency 911.
City Events Coming Up: 21st Oconto Lions’ Packer Tailgate Party at Irish Greens Golf Course on September 21st from 11 a.m. To 4 p.m. — O.C.H.S.’s 5th Cemetery Walk at Evergreen Cemetery on September 24th and 25th at 6:00 p.m. — Oconto Chamber’s Harvest Fest on Pecor Street on September 27th from 9:00 a.m. To 3:00 p.m. — The Cry Baby Club’s Annual Toll at the corner of Main Street and Michigan Avenue on September 27th — Nite at the Bistro on September 27th at the Bond Community Center, doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Have A Great Day! And remember, “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all of your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” – Golda Meir (Thank You, my sister Donna, for the gift!)
Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
Our beautiful City of Oconto continues its fantastic whirlwind of progress! Not only is “Quik-Trip” nearing the steps of completion, there are other wonderful new business beginnings. “Benjamin’s Family Dining” will be opening in the former “Café 303” on Brazeau Avenue. The “Oconto Golf Club” is now under new ownership. The “Pioneer Bar” on Collins Avenue has been purchased – its new name is “Mookie’s Pub.” The final papers have been signed for “O’Reilly’s Auto Parts” (across from the Cook Avenue side of McDonald’s) in the Kelly Pickle Property. Utilities and a road are in the process at the Kelly Pickle site. I am told that “The Ruins Adventure Golf” (also Kelly Pickle Property) plans to construct yet this year to immediately open in the Spring of 2015. “R.L. Hall Land & Title Company” has purchased the former “Associated Bank” building on Highway 22. “Soulage Massage Therapy & Energetic Bodywork” will be opening in the former “LeRoy’s Cleaners” building on Main Street (across from NEWCAP). “Salon Mystique” has moved to Main Street in the former “Mane Street Hair” building. “J.L. Spaulding, LLC” which houses “Take The Reins Ranch” and “J.H.Rose Logistics” is now in the former Oconto Travel building. We welcome all these new ventures as very positive additions to our already successful business districts on Brazeau Avenue and downtown Main Street, and are very happy you have chosen to be part of or staying in Oconto.
Oconto events coming up soon are: Oconto Fire & Rescue’s “Back to School Bicycle Rodeo” at the Oconto Fire Station on September 9th from 5:00 p.m. To 7:00 p.m. “Sportsman’s Club Youth Day” on September 13th from 11:00 a.m. To 5 p.m. At their facility. Also on September 13th, the “6th Annual EAA Warbirds Fly-In” at the Oconto-J. Douglas Bake Municipal Airport from 9 a.m. To 5 p.m.
On August 1st I received a call that a tubing event (of over 120 tubes) celebrating a marriage was going to be held the next day, and the City may want to take pictures for future use. This was a wonderful idea to promote our river. As I could not find a photographer, and said I would make sure pictures were taken, I took it upon myself to be the photographer. The time decided upon that the tubes would be at the Brazeau Avenue bridge was 12:30 p.m., the spot I planned to take pictures. Around noon, I decided I better go, so I would be ready for them. As I was driving down McDonald Street by the railroad bridge, I could hear music and voices, already past the railroad bridge. I immediately pulled over, jumped out of the car, and headed toward the direction of the music and voices, just wanting to get the pictures taken, as I said I would. In haste, I found myself on the bridge as I could not get a quick shot from the sidewalk or the shore without crossing private property (no time to get permission). The train whistles then blew, I froze for a second, then jumped down on the abutment, so the train wouldn’t hit me. I was wrong to be there. I apologize to everyone that I did this.
We must always try to “Have A Great Day!” And remember, “Success is peace of mind in knowing you did your best.” – John Wooden
Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
Click above for the job posting for Farnsworth Library Director.
FALL LOOSE LEAF
City of Oconto
The city of Oconto Department of Public Works will begin its fall curbside collection of leaves and garden waste on Monday, October 13th, 2014. Collection will continue to Friday, November 21st, 2014 if weather permits. This material should be placed at the curb in separate piles. Leaves should be in a row no more than 4 feet wide and approximately 3 feet high. Leaves should be placed in open areas and not around obstacles such as street signs or trees. Bagged material or mixed material will not be picked up.
Do not put leaves into the street. Place the leaves between the curb and the sidewalk and as close to the curb as possible. Brush cannot be mixed in with leaf piles.
Residents may also bring their loose leaves and garden waste to the City’s yard waste site, which is located at 1616 Main St.
It is not possible to accurately tell residents the exact day their leaves and garden wastes will be picked up.
If you have any questions, call 834-7725 between 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday.
Superintendent of Public Works & Utilities
MAYOR’S MESSAGE: Hello Everyone! Oconto people are the GREATEST! There is an answer to the recent request in the Mayor’s Message! A HUGE Thank You to the anonymous donors who contributed the poignant banner on the Brazeau Avenue fence which honors all those in service. The banner will be displayed around those days set aside in memory of those who serve, served, and those who were lost – soon it will be 9/11. Regarding those who donated or volunteered toward the Fishing Tournaments this summer, I would also like to Thank Sue and Darrell Anderson who sponsored the Balloon Art and Face Painting at one tournament, and Sue Anderson and Diane LeBreck for organizing activities for the children at same. Also, Thanks to the Oconto Yacht Club for donating the coffee and cups for the fishermen in the morning. And, Thanks to the Oconto Elks Club for organizing the food and refreshment area, and the Oconto Boy Scouts for all their efforts in clean-up. Thanks to the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce for organizing the Rules Meetings for the Cabela’s and AIM Tournaments, and Thanks to Jean Pleshek for all her volunteer time in the organizational aspects of these two tournaments. The question has been presented to manage the Canadian geese through fencing, harassment, and more recently, solar lights which prevent them from landing. Oconto has tried fencing – once one goose figures out to go under it, the rest follow. Harassing them through sound or motion only causes them to fly up and onto any property nearest (which usually means a citizen’s lawn.) The solar lights are only effective when it is dark. We are not the only community to be dealing with this problem. More recently, I am told that the cities of Bonduel and Stevens Point were confronted with this issue. Thank You to the members of American Legion Post 74, Amvets Post 63, and our VFW, who have sponsored and built containers for citizens to place flags that should no longer be flown due to wear and tear. These containers are located at City Hall and Thompson’s County Market. This is a wonderful idea, and is helpful to those people who may not know how to properly dispose of the flags. We are developing a plan for the future of the roundabouts. The east one will continue to be weeded, the old mulch turned over, and new mulch added. The plants are still living, and very beautiful when they are flowering. The west roundabout needs much more attention. This fall, all the living flowers and shrubs will be placed in individual pots to be maintained through the winter. Landscaping mesh will then be laid down and mulch placed over it. In the spring, we will replant the flowers and shrubs, and add new perennials according to a design plan that will work, considering the heat from the sun and watering by rain. Citizens have volunteered to assist in the goal of replanting – we will then be very proud of our roundabouts! Have A Great Day! And remember, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto
MAYOR’S MESSAGE: Hello Everyone! You will recall that we were hosts to the SAGBRAW Bike Tour which was held at Breakwater Park in August of 2013. My hope was that Oconto – through its friendliness, gestures of welcoming, and of course, offering a variety of delicious items for them to energize with – would be voted the “Best Rest Stop” of the Tour. On Tuesday, we were informed by e:mail that we won!! Already, on Wednesday, a bike rack and certificate were presented to Oconto by Eric and Kathy Schramm, the coordinators of the event. They again reiterated why we won, and how the group was looking forward to the trip through Oconto in 2015! I will inform you as they communicate with us, that we can put together another fantastic plan to host! Great Job, Oconto! Our Canadian geese feces problem has escalated. We have been getting many complaints, not only from Holtwood Campground and Breakwater Marina, but now our City Park beach attendees. For ten years this beach has been constantly worked on to make it useable, and now the geese feces has taken over! Not only is this unsightly, it is unhealthy! Either we become a tourist destination, or a haven for geese. We cannot have both. I ask that anyone who has been bothered by the removal of geese, PLEASE walk through Breakwater Park – especially Phase II. PLEASE walk along the City Park Beach – it is even affecting the ground area by the Civic Building where we are trying to encourage horseshoes and volleyball! PLEASE walk along the river’s edge at Holtwood Campground and the entire tent area in back! PLEASE walk through the City Docks area – not only by the river but across the road where the Truck Pulls occur! PLEASE walk around Holtwood Complex where we expect children to play ball on our seven diamonds with all of this feces everywhere! PLEASE check by the boat landing, where tons of people now start their tubing trips! People are not going to be impressed by a City overpopulated with geese feces! There is no way to keep up with removal, even if we hired one person to do just that every day. Dave Ruid of the United States Department of Agriculture will be here in December of January to speak on this subject at a City Council meeting. The public will be informed, if they wish to attend. Speaking of the Canadian geese, Early Resident Canadian goose season starts September 1st through September 15th. This season is specifically designed to target urban birds that create nuisances in recreational areas. There has also been many complaints of dog feces left by owners walking their dogs. Please carry a plastic bag with you when you are walking your pet, and dispose of it properly. The parks have been posted, and the City does have an ordinance to address this problem throughout the City. I do not want anyone to receive a fine. Have A Great Day! And remember, “You can please some of the people all of the time. You can please all of the people some of the time. But you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” – Poet, John Lydgate (later adapted by Abraham Lincoln) (I know I used this once before, but it is time for it again!) Thank You, Lori S.! Victoria Bostedt, Mayor for Oconto