The November election is right around the corner – November 4th. Not only is this a gubernatorial election for us, but Oconto has an extremely important school referendum to participate in! I encourage everyone (as always) to become informed, that they vote in the best interests of the future of our children. City Hall has explanatory pamphlets on the counter for everyone’s perusal, meetings are being arranged that you can ask questions, and I am sure any member of the school board or the superintendent would be happy to answer any questions you have. Please exercise your very important right, and VOTE!
Also, in-house absentee voting begins at City Hall on Monday, October 20th and goes through October 31st during regular business house (8 a.m. To 5 p.m.). Also, you may register to vote for the first time – bring a form of identification (including present address).
Please remember that our fall curbside collection of leaves and garden waste starts on October 13th and continues until November 21st, if weather permits. It is not possible to tell you the exact day of pick up. Please place material at the curb in separate piles, in a row, no more than 4 feet wide or 3 feet high. Leaves should be placed between the curb and sidewalk – not in the street – not around obstacles such as street signs or trees. No brush or bagged or mixed material will be picked up. You may also bring loose leaves and garden waste to the City’s yard waste site at 1616 Main Street. Any questions call 834-7725 between 6:30 a.m. To 3:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday.
I am very pleased to announce that our Steve Woodworth of our Oconto Utility has earned the honor of State of Wisconsin Operator of the Year! We are very proud of this designation and will offer our congratulations to Steve at the Regular Council Meeting on October 14th at 6:00 p.m. Please be sure to do the same when you see Steve – for bringing this honor to Oconto!
A HUGE Oconto Thank You to our new business QuikTrip for their wonderful donation of $500 toward the repair of the Farnsworth Library roof! Such a perfect gesture toward their new community!
Have A Great Day! And remember, “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis
Trick or Treat hours will be held on Friday, October 31, 2014 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
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.