Tuesday, January 26, 2016

2016 District 12 Election

2016 District 12 Election

County Board Accomplishments with Heuer Leadership

Difference between a "Town Hall Meeting" and "Listening Session"

Someone needs to explain the difference between a "Town Hall Meeting" and a "Listening Session to Karen Ebert Yancey, the reporter who writes for the Kewaunee Star, a Gannett Publication.

Karen Ebert Yancey was informed that the Governor's visit to Kewaunee on Thursday, Jan 14th was a listening session, not a Town Hall meeting.  Yet, when she reported this story, she put a negative slant on the report as she often does, that not only implied, but stated the meeting was a Town Hall meeting with these word directly from her Jan 20th article in the Star News -- "Approximately 40 Kewaunee County residents were invited to the "town hall" meeting with the governor, including five students from Kewaunee High School.  Walker said that one of the goals of the meeting was to talk to as diverse a group of citizens as possible."

You have to ask yourself, why would Ms. Yancey put this slant on the "Listening Session" that was set up by the Governor's office?  My only conclusion is that she was trying to stir the pot to get people worked up as to why a group of 40 people were invited to what she chose to describe as a Town Hall meeting.  That brings me to the definitions of those meeting types:

Listening Session - A meeting held with a defined number of invited participants to specifically discuss a topic or topics chosen by the facilitator.

Town Hall Meeting - is an American term given to an informal public meeting, function or event derived from the traditional town meetings of New England.  A Town Hall meeting is open to the public and those in attendance generally present ideas, voice opinions and ask questions of public officials.

Read my Jan 14th description of Governor Walker's listening session where I explain the questions the Governor asked the participants to comment upon.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thank You Governor Walker

Today Governor Walker held a listening session at the Kewaunee Administration Building from 9:45 AM until 11:15 AM.  At that listening session with 40-plus invited guests, the Governor invited the participants to first list "what do you like about Wisconsin".  The Governor listed all those contributed comments on a white board.

Following the listing of those items, the Governor then asked those attendees to think of the future, 7- 10 years out and to provide him with their vision of how the County and the State of Wisconsin should look at that time & what should be done now and in the subsequent years to ensure we can deliver that vision.

The attendees were included housewives, business owners, some city officials, retirees, High School Students and Educators, a very good cross-section of the County residents.  A lot of good ideas were expressed and the Governor did leave with a good picture of our county's current status.  I have reason to believe that all the participants were pleased with the session.

I have received calls from a couple of folks saying this was a closed townhall meeting.  First, it wasn't a townhall.  The Governor's office handled all the invitations.  His staff had reached out to several individuals in the County to submit names and they were clear with their instructions.  They did not want just business leaders, they did not want just community officials.  The Governor's office then selected those people they wanted to invite and invite them they did.

I had the honor or welcoming the Governor and I thanked him for the $4.2M grant we received for the Kewaunee Harbor restoration project, I also thanked him for his help in having the DOR help us with the utility tax issue.  I also thanked him for the unprecedented attention and cooperation our Kewaunee County is receiving from the DNR, DATCP and PSC with regard to our groundwater and surface water issues.

We thank the Governor for coming to Kewaunee County and listening to the concerns of our residents.