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County employees support communities PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

In response to Charlie Gullan’s letter regarding “Keeping closer attention to Vilas County Supervisors.” First and foremost I will agree with Mr. Gullan’s opinion that we all need to start paying closer attention to what our elected officials do and we all need to be better communicators regarding our concerns.

Now here is where we part. You see Mr. Gullan, you might say I am part of those special-interest groups. I have worked for Vilas County for 15 years. Apart from moving away for a short period after high school, I have been a lifelong resident of Vilas County. In my time I have become quite familiar with several members of the Vilas community and with my fellow Vilas employees.

So let me tell you a little about this special-interest group, because it is quite obvious along with county supervisors, you do not know the employees either. First and foremost, I will tell you I am not in the union. You might recall, though, Gov. Walker stripping the public unions of their ability to collectively bargain.

“The public union employees would rather see our taxes raised to pay people for doing nothing productive while enjoying Cadillac benefits.” How do you know that?

Obviously you don’t realize that we are also taxpayers. None of us enjoy seeing our taxes raised. As far as the Cadillac benefits, last time I checked my paycheck, I’ve been contributing to my health insurance, retirement and life insurance along with federal and state income tax and Social Security all along. I’ve had to make do with what was left over after those dreaded taxes were taken out, much like those in special-interest groups.

None that I know are living high off the hog. We don’t live in lavish lakefront properties, don’t drive extravagant cars, don’t go south for the winter. Nope, we just plug along trying to make a living, just like our neighbors.

It’s insulting, Mr. Gullan, that you would infer that the employees are anything less than hard-working and unproductive. I know many of them who are two- and three- and sometimes four-income families just to make ends meet. Quite the opposite Mr. Gullan, not only are they hard-working and productive, but many are also quite involved in our communities.

I know many who are coaches for youth football, youth hockey, youth soccer and the high school football team. Several serve on their local fire departments or volunteer emergency medical services. Some have worked hard for local fundraisers. Some I have had the privilege of volunteering time with at local events such as Klondike Days, Fishing Has No Boundaries, Cranberry Fest, etc. The list goes on.

You see, Mr. Gullan, we promote our communities by getting involved. We spend our money locally also. We support local small businesses, we buy our groceries locally and we patronize our local restaurants.

When I built my home in 2007, I did a majority of the work myself. However, what work I couldn’t do, I hired local contractors and I bought materials locally. I believe in supporting local business, just like many of my fellow employees. Why? Because we are not just the special interest. We are not absorbed in our own selfish selves as you would like to think. The people I know, well they are warm, hardworking, family oriented and community oriented salt of the Earth people.

Ask yourself this question Mr. Gullan. Isn’t there enough division in our country? We don’t need it here in our own community by throwing the good people I know under the bus simply because of biased beliefs or opinions.

Mark Collins

Eagle River

Monday, December 24, 2012 4:48 PM


+12 #2 Mark Collins 2012-12-29 15:43
Mr. Addelson, it has been my privilege and honor to serve with Vilas Sheriff's Office for the last 15 years. I have been in law enforcement for 20 years. I have a wide range of work experience outside public employment, but I've found my career to be rewarding overall.

However in these last few years I've become increasingly troubled by the generalization and labeling of people that serve no useful purpose. It has only succeeded in creating further division among Americans and is getting us no closer to solving our economic problem. We're all feeling the pinch in our pocketbooks, but labeling people and putting them into a box won't fix it.

The point I was trying to make in my original letter to Gullan is instead of putting labels on people that you know nothing about, why not take some time pull ourselves outside of our comfort zones and get to know your neighbors for who they are.
-4 #1 2012-12-29 09:32
Mr. Collins, one question of you remains to answer before making a thoughtful response; that is, what is your position with Vilas County?

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