Yes, you read correctly, that the unemployment rate in Bayfield County, Wisconsin is at 10.8% for February 2016. While the number brings the issue into perspective, the lack of jobs in the area is not lost on the local politicians nor on local residents.
I had the pleasure of attending a local, League of Women Voters, candidate forum earlier this week. It is said that all politics is local, and this meeting certainly held true to the statement. I arrived a bit closer to the starting time of the event and was pleasantly surprised to see more than two dozen vehicles parked outside the local church where the event was being held.
The forum featured the two candidates for city council and the two candidates running for Mayor. Questions were solicited from the gathered locals. Questions were written down and then asked by the moderator.
While the focus of city council and the Mayor are a bit different, many of the questions were germane to both sets of candidates. Question topics included:
- The need for more silent sports. (I needed to look this up.)
- The local Architectural Review Board
- The need for housing for both millennials and Seniors.
- Seeking grants for local projects.
- Getting the organization Core involved in projects.
- The local area not wanting to become another Door County.
- The city being an “Eco-Municipality.”
- Marine Sanctuary on our nearby Apostle Islands.
- Jobs, Housing, and the local schools.
- The City Marina.
- Local Policing.
- Attracting business to the city. (See a related posting.)
- The City’s Historical District. (I was unaware of such a designation locally.)
- Reverting to an unincorporated town/city and having the county provided services.
Overall it was an enlightening and informative two hours. It also has moved me into searching out more of the subject ideas that were brought up during the event.