Hundreds sign petition to recall Paris Town Board in protest over a controversial Village of Somers land annexation deal, citing a lack of transparency and democracy.
PARIS, WISCONSIN – 7/7/2016 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — Paris residents met at the Paris Township Building on Wednesday 6th July to formally submit a petition to recall the three board members of Paris Township due to growing anger over a land annexation agreement between Paris Town Board and the Village of Somers.
The controversial agreement would see thousands of acres of land annexed into Village of Somers along the I-94 corridor, along with a ‘gift’ of $1.25 million in cash, $5 million more in low interest and $3 million at zero interest loans to Village of Somers as a sweetener to the deal.
With the petition now submitted, it’s expected that a new election will be held shortly, with anti-agreement challengers running against sitting board members: Virgil Gentz, Ron Kammerzelt, and Ken Monson in a bid to throw out the troubling plans for good.
Petition gatherer Paul Terry commented, “The response to the petition that we have received on the doorsteps has been phenomenal. At first we thought that only those living within the land being annexed into Village of Somers would want to sign, but hundreds more have been in touch with us because they feel ignored and don’t want their taxpayer money handed over to Village of Somers, either.”
Longtime Resident Bob Fliess added, “What the town should have done is explain their proposal before it was agreed, and to allow residents to have a vote on it. When the Paris Town Board arrogantly threw out the referendum petition it was a real shock to everyone. Now they are even writing letters to everyone at our expense to try and re-write history and pretend they didn’t act like a bunch of authoritarians over a done deal.”
Local farmer Joe Kolnik, whose family has lived in Paris since arriving during the Great Depression, said, “Paul, Bob, and I have agreed that we will stand against the three Board Members on a platform of throwing out the agreement and making the Town Board more accountable. Paris isn’t a kingdom for three kings – it’s a community for three elected Paris Board Members who will listen to the people.”
Mr. Kolnik added, “This isn’t just about stopping the tax rise that everyone in Paris will get, it’s about less arrogance and more democracy and transparency. Why weren’t the people of Paris asked before the town board signed the agreement, and why did the board fail to act on so many requests for information for months? Their time ruling, rather than running, Paris is up.”
Please credit/attribute any photos used to Bart Smith.
Other photos and audio recordings of quotes are available on request
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Company Name: Recall Paris Town Board
Contact Person: Joe Kolnik
Country: United States