Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Tuesday, July 25, 2023 -  Former County Administrator snags job at Bug Tussel

Our illustrious County Administrator Scott Feldt has moved on.  That is not bad news for the county in any way, as perhaps now the county can hire someone who will be more in sync with what this county needs.  

What I find disingenuous and somewhat an ethical issue in Feldt's departure is where he allegedly is going.  Reportedly he is going to work for Bug Tussel in some capacity.  Remember Feldt fought so valiantly to loan our counties $1M to Bug Tussel.  Feldt found that deal, promoted that deal and ultimately pushed the board to loan one million dollars to Bug Tussel in a scheme that was to provide internet access across the county.  

That scheme has not brought anything new to the county and it seems the only person who benefitted is none other than Feldt in finding a new job.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Kewaunee County Housing Study 2021

 Have a look at the future of Kewaunee County through the eyes of Bay Lake Planning Corp, who Kewaunee County commissioned to complete a Housing study on the County.  This report has some very interesting numbers in it that you may enjoy.  Here is an interesting number - fifty-eight yes 58.  That is the total growth in population expected to be seen in Kewaunee County over the next twenty, yes 20 years!  

When you look at the number of vacant homes and apartments in the report, it seems we have plenty of housing.  However, the key operative word here is "AFFORDABLE".  Affordable by whose standards?

Well anyway, enjoy it, the report is here Kewaunee County Housing Study 2021

WVA - Wisconsin Voter Alliance - Update/Information

 A lot of good work on election reform is being done in the Wi Legislature and regardless of what our feckless Gov Evers may, or may not sign into law, this work has to be done.  

The WVA, who is affiliated with The Amistad Project fills a very important role in the overall process of trying to put integrity back into the voting process, and we will work closely with the legislators to assist where and when we can.

Each of the battleground States faced different challenges during the Nov election.  In WI it seems WEC, Wisconsin Election Commission combined with the influence of the Zuckerberg money created the biggest challenges for Wisconsin.  I hope the legislators focus on stopping all outside money from influencing our election process, and secondly take the process of certifying an election away from WEC.  Also, with regard to WEC, there is no reason why they should be allowed to promulgate rules changes without legislative approval. Just one example of this would be how they handled the indefinitely confined voting issue.

Feb 28th, Back in October 2020, we filed a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief in the U.S. District Court. This complaint was seeking a ruling from the court to stop the flow of the Zuckerberg money into the overall election process. We were summarily turned down by District Judge Griesbach. That complaint dealt with the primary cities in Wisconsin of Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine. We correctly maintained that Zuckerbucks being provided largely to left-leaning cities created a two-tiered voting system. So, CTCL baffled the Court with a bunch of smoke, and effectively dispelled our claim that this money was, in fact, creating a two-tiered voting system. Early on, CTCL realized if they were too blatant in providing money to only those left-leaning cities where they could influence the vote it would be too obvious. So, they spread a little money to those cities that applied for it. Follow this link to see CTCL Covid Money by City

Here is a perfect, simple, example of how this money created a two-tiered system. The city of Green Bay received $1,615,000 of Zuckerbucks or about $28.30 per registered voter. The city of Kewaunee received $5,000 or about $2.80 per registered voter. I would challenge anyone, including Judge Griesbach to convince me of anything equal about that. This whole outside money being injected into the election process has to be stopped.

To receive timely updates, have your friends, relatives and acquaintances join the Wisconsin Voter Alliance by visiting www.wisconsinvoteralliance.com/wva/membership/

Ron Heuer
President, WVA

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Wisconsin Voter Alliance files Suit in Wisconsin Supreme Court

The Wisconsin Voter Alliance (WVA) is an organization founded by a group of concerned voters right here in Kewaunee County. The WVA is an organization dedicated to, the promotion, retention and integrity of our voting systems in Wisconsin and throughout our Country.

An Emergency Petition was filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, today Nov 24th, concerning the Nov 3rd Presidential election.  The Court received this document this morning and subsequently assigned a number to this case.

The voting malfeasance referenced in this petition largely occurred in the counties of Milwaukee, Dane, Racine and Kenosha.  Kewaunee County, along with most rural counties have County Clerks that run a tight ship when it comes to elections.

Folks, I would hope you take the time to read this 47-page petition(see link below).  The Wisconsin Voter Alliance (WVA) and individual plaintiffs who brought this petition to the Wisconsin Supreme Court firmly believe that our election process in Wisconsin has gone off the rails.  Further, unless, and until, our Wisconsin Election Commission, a handful of County Clerks, and voters who willfully break the laws are made to follow the law, we will never have a fair election.  

Just watch, hand in hand with these miscreants, who willfully disobey our election laws, the biased media will immediately attack the findings of proven malfeasance this lawsuit presents. That is reality in today's political climate. 

The WVA was formed right here in Kewaunee County by a group of people who are concerned about the integrity of our voting system.  Currently our system of voting is broken, and it needs to be fixed.  Clearly that is brought to the forefront in this petition.  

Although this petition clearly deals with the cheating schemes that were used to affect the Presidential election, you will see that President Trump's name is not mentioned once.  The reason for that is, this petition supports the basic tenants of the WVA which is interested in maintaining and preserving integrity in our election process. 

Please follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PreservingVoterSystem 

As this moves forward, I will continue to update information on Facebook and with additional emails.

 I can't begin to tell you how many man hours of research and work have gone into getting this petition completed.  It was a behemoth project.  I want to thank the Thomas Moore Society for their brilliant lawyers, Bill Mohrman and Erick Kaardal, they have been great to work with.  I also want to thank all those folks who helped me find the right people who provided sworn affidavits and also thank those who individually signed on as petitioners in this case.   

This fight has just begun.  The WVA will continue to fight the idea that money donated by billionaires like the Zuckerberg’s cannot be allowed to control our elections.

Ron Heuer, President, Wisconsin Voter Alliance

 Petition Filed with Supreme Court Nov 24


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Our County Administrator now wants a contract!

Every taxpayer in Kewaunee County should be a bit concerned by the audacity of our County Administrator.  Why?  Because, after a 5-year stint with the County, he has received a 18.78% salary increase and now he is wanting the County to provide him with an employment contract because he is feeling insecure.  He wants a commitment from the County!

Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt is now being paid nearly $108,000 per year as his annual salary.  Add on benefits and I am sure he costs us about $150,000 per year.  He started with the County on February 18, 2015, and since he joined the County, he has enjoyed a salary increase of 18.78%.  Not bad, Huh!  Meantime elected officials like County Clerk, Clerk of Court, Treasurer and Register of Deeds received 8.4% over the same period of time.

Here are tables that shows the salary increases by year since Feldt has come on board.  Note the 2015 annualized salary was $90,000, the $77,039 does not represent a full year.

Total increase for Administrator                 18.78%

Total increase for Elected officials                8.4%

Well, here is my response to this issue.......

Mr. Feldt, you want a commitment from the County?  On the contrary, you need to make a commitment to the County first. You have held the top administrative job in the County for about 5 years now and you still aren't feeling the joy of paying real estate taxes in our County.  Reason for that is, you still live in a rented apartment and haven't thought well enough of our County to purchase a home here.  I can only assume you have an apartment so you can vacate the County pretty much at will.

Why would/should the Administrator have a contract?  There are many public sector employees who have contracts for various reasons.  The employee may have special talents that can't readily be found or they may have outstanding experience that can't be matched or they are exemplary employees who are doing an outstanding job and would be difficult to replace.  In our case, I don't believe we have an Administrator that meets any of these talents or knowledge.  

Mr. Feldt had zero County Administrator experience when he was hired and his only experience so far has been his OJT (on the job training).  Also, since he joined the County, the County added a full-time Director of Finance who is doing a great job.  That position effectively took about 40% of activity and responsibility away from the Administrators job on a daily basis.  Also, a full-time Tourism person and a full-time Finance person in the Human Services department have been added.  So, in addition to the 18.78% increase in salary, he has received additional staff positions that overall reduced his workload.  And, those added personnel salaries and benefits cost the county an additional minimum of $250,000.

Further, Mr. Feldt needs to improve his communication skills in a number of areas.
  • Learn how to return telephone calls and emails on a timely basis both internally and externally.  
  • Improve the way he communicates with department heads and employees within the County.
  • Resurrect communication with Elected County Officials (he has managed to alienate a number of the elected officials to the point where there is little or no communication between them).
  • Issue a monthly "State of the County" newsletter so county residents are informed. 
My message to the Chairman of the Board and to all the Board Supervisors.  No contract until after a comprehensive employee evaluation is completed with Mr. Feldt that identifies specific areas that require improvement.  This evaluation should also set milestones for improvement, and until such time those milestones are achieved, there should be no contract nor another salary increase.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Why are County Bureaucrats Pushing back on Requests for Information on Bug Tussel Broadband Deal?

Since I have been pursuing the information concerning the Broadband Expansion debacle in Kewaunee County, I have uncovered yet another set of circumstances that are questionable as to how the Administrator is guiding this project along while not being upfront with information.

Administrator Feldt claims there were four companies that bid on the Broadband expansion RFP.  That is not correct.  Mercury.net, the internet provider with the most infrastructure in the county, was not given the chance to present to the Broadband Committee.  Question is why?

Presentations to the Broadband Committee were to hear from the individual presenters on Oct 25th, RFPs were to be submitted to the County by Oct 22nd.  I have copies of a series of emails between David Sovereen, President/Owner of Mercury.net that cast some question as to how the Administrator is handling his duties and responsibilities. 

Here is a synopsis of the emails:
Oct 23rd, email from Sovereen to Administrator Feldt where Sovereen apologizes for submitting the information a day late because Sovereen had left his office on the 22nd for a doctor appointment and had forgotten to send the proposal outline on the 22nd.

Oct 24th, here is the email from Feldt to Sovereen.
Mr. Sovereen,

I apologize. I just reviewed your letter. I will schedule a separate phone conference to review your proposal. Actually, this should work out better as the committee will have spent 4 hours with other proposals.  The call will be after the 25th. I will call you the next week to schedule a time.

Thank you again for your proposal.

Scott Feldt
Kewaunee County Administrator

Phone: 920-388-7164

"We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
 Following the Oct 24th email from Feldt, Sovereen never heard from Feld again, not even after repeated phone calls and emails.  Mr. Feldt has a habit/practice of not returning calls and in this instance, his not returning a call was dereliction of duty, plain and simple. 

Now here is more.  I submitted a request for information on May 31st and was shut down by the County Legal Counsel.  Here are the emails.  I would ask, what are these Bureaucrats hiding?  Why won't they willingly supply the information that is public record?

May 31, 2020

Mr. Feldt,

Consider this email to be my official request for additional information on the Bug Tussel / PSC Broadband issue.  

When the County receives the PSC Grant Contract document, I want a copy of that.  Also, when Bug Tussel comes forward with any type of contract in draft form for the County, I am requesting a copy of that document as well.

Ron Heuer
Kewaunee County Resident

June 1, 2020

Your request for records related to Bug Tussel was forwarded to my office for review. Kewaunee County does not have any responsive records as of the writing of this email.

I can also tell you that Kewaunee County does not typically entertain what I will call “anticipatory records requests” (i.e. requests for records that a requester anticipates we will receive at some point in the future). You will have to make a future records request if you desire records in the County’s possession.

I am unable at this time to say with certainty whether or not Kewaunee County will release an initial draft of a contact because we do not have the document yet. I can tell you that generally speaking “drafts” are not records subject to disclosure under s. 19.32(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes. The County would also have to consider whether or not there are competitive or bargaining reasons under s. 19.85(1)(e) to keep the contract private while the negotiations are ongoing.  

Please consider your request for records is fulfilled, Kewaunee County does not have any responsive records.



June 2, 2020
Hello Jeffery,

OK, I understand that Kewaunee County receives so many requests for information that they are not capable of tracking a request that is anticipatory.  That makes sense.  So, unless I receive some idea as to when we expect the PSC contract I will submit the same request each day.  That way, no one as important as the Administrator will have to keep a log.

If you, or anyone else can tell me when the PSC report is "anticipated," I will hold my request until that date.

Thank you
Ron Heuer
Kewaunee County Resident / Real Estate Taxpayer

Friday, May 29, 2020

Kewaunee County Broadband Expansion, May 19th

The County Board Chairman Dan Olson invited Steve Schneider, the CEO of Bug Tussel to address the full board concerning the Bug Tussel proposal that had been approved by the Board previously. 

Board members had questions, and so do I.  I presented many of my questions in a letter to each of the Board members prior to their May 19th Board meeting.  Kewaunee County is poised to execute a nearly two million dollar tax spend with Bug Tussel.  Bug Tussel claims the County will be reimbursed for their investment ($960,000) over a 10-year period.  If indeed Schneider doesn't want the money, why then a 10 =-year payback?  Why not a 1-year payback?  What about a payback for the $960,000 from the PSC?

The entire Board meeting was recorded and can be viewed here.  May 19th Kewaunee County Board Meeting.

The dialogue concerning Broadband begins at 16 Minutes and 50 seconds.  At this time, a letter I submitted was read during the citizen input.  Following are some of the highlights of Mr. Schneider's presentation:

20 Minutes and 39 Seconds -  Schneider begins his presentation.  Says nothing of importance for five minutes, talks about childhood, life in Kellnersville, Wi.

26 Minutes and 00 Seconds - Schneider explains to the Board that if they don't spend the $960,000 of PSC money, that money will go someplace else, so they had better get onboard, or the train is leaving the station.  What a great reason to spend taxpayer money!

26 Minutes and 45 Seconds - Schneider claims the other companies that submitted proposals all asked for money and he did not.  Well, that is not true as, for example, Mercury.net didn't ask for any money.  Schneider wasn't a damned bit interested in Kewaunee County until he was able to get the commitment for $960,000 from the PSC with another $960,000 from Kewaunee Co.  A gift indeed!  Remember, Bug Tussel is getting paid by AT&T to array these towers with AT&T systems for cell phone switching. 

32 Minutes and 35 Seconds - Schneider justifies his taking the $960,000 of PSC money because he alleges other internet providers that have been providing service in the County have taken $8.7 million of federal taxpayer dollars over the years.

34 Minutes and 05 Seconds - First Schneider alleges that throughout the time with the Broadband Committee that he was interested in providing service to rural customers (that is what this is supposed to be about), then he indicates he will be providing services to the folks in the cities of Algoma, Luxemburg, Kewaunee, and the town of Casco. 

35 Minutes and 30 Seconds - Schneider says they won't service all customers, but will do his best to reach whomever he can.  Wow, that is a very impressive commitment for two million of our tax dollars.  He then goes on to talk about putting in poles on peoples properties to reach them (remember line of sight is the issue), then charge the customer an amortized rate for the pole.  He then goes on to say, if that customer cancels their service, they will come, take the pole back and re-deploy it?  Seems to me that if that is his plan, he'd have some problems getting the pole back if it is on private property.

40 Minutes and 00 Seconds - Schneider admits they will be getting about 200 people per site (per tower).  Let me see now, 7 sites (towers) times 200 people equals 1,400 people he would reach in the County.  That would be about 6.8% of the people in the County, a far cry from "ALL"!   He then goes on to say that after 5 years, they will have 8% of the market.  Why in God's name would that dismal performance be acceptable to anyone on the Board?  Schneider doesn't say this, but I would venture to guess that a majority of  the 1,400 people are already serviced by one of the 10 or so internet providers already here.

53 Minutes and 20 Seconds - Supervisor Romdenne asked for clarification as to what service Bug Tussel will provide because the RFP specified "service to all residents."  Schneider responds with some amorphous statement about people in a valley in upper Michigan who have snow in July.  Then goes on to say that Bug Tussel is entering the market to supplement the service that is already here.  I want to call a B.S. on that statement as the Broadband Committee didn't want a supplemental service for $2,000,000 of taxpayer funds.  Schneider also says here that if anyone wants to hold his company to any specific levels of how many customers will be serviced, he basically won't do business here.

56 Minutes and 00 Seconds - Mr. Feldt, our Administrator jumps in and explains to the board that when developing a RFP that you propose any and all items you may have dreamed of in hopes the vendor provides them.  I would argue, the opposite, an RFP is a document that succinctly lays out in exacting language what the requester is requesting.

57 Minutes and 30 Seconds - Supervisor Vollenweider asks "What determines success of this project?"  This was a great question that promoted a long silence.  Supervisor Romdenne provided the answer in saying the Broadband Committee hadn't gotten to that, it was never considered.  Now, this is where I really become a little agitated and unglued as a taxpayer.  In fact, I can't think of one person I know that wouldn't be upset that certain performance standards would be set and if those standards were not met there would be some penalty.  There has to be some accountability in this project, and if Bug Tussel doesn't want accountability, then we have selected the wrong vendor.

107 Minutes and 40 seconds - Schneider is asked by the Chairman how big of an area each of these towers would cover.  Schneider responds about 3.5 to 4 mile radius.  That means each tower would cover about 38 square miles; with seven towers, they would cover a total of 266 square miles.  Kewaunee County is 1,084 square miles meaning Bug Tussel would reach a whopping 24% of the County.  That my friends, is not ALL, IN FACT IT IS WOEFULLY LACKING.  Lacking because even with 24% reach, there will be the homes in the woods and the homes in the valleys that those towers won't reach either. 

In summation, the presentation by Mr. Schneider was disappointing and if the Board Members were listening carefully, they would come to the conclusion that spending $2 million of our tax dollars with Bug Tussel is a waste of our money.  There were a few good questions asked of Schneider, and the answers were disappointing at best.