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Nonvoting snowbirds important to Vilas County PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

The letter published last week (May 22) from the resident all-terrain vehicle (ATV) club president is interesting and notable in one specific regard — that snowbirds are clearly second-class citizens. They apparently should not count, in that writer’s view.

Wow. Seems to me that snowbirds are property owners. They pay property taxes (possibly even more than some), contribute to local charities, support local churches, local businesses and take care of the lakes at a disproportionate level.

Indeed, they may do just about everything that nonsnowbirds do (at a level that might exceed some non­snowbirds) except for one thing — they don’t have representation. They don’t get to vote for their chosen representative. It’s a rule, after all.

My thought is that snowbirds do count — a lot. Some become residents and vote. Anita and I are examples. All are important to this community, and without the cottagers, things in Vilas County would probably be very different.

For the sake of our environment, we need to win this battle against ATVs, and it seems we need to make a point.

Vilas County has a long history of nonvoter investment in its future. It has come a long way, when you consider its distance from population centers.

It is time to make that “invested voice” count and protect our environment from those who would sell it for their personal gain.

John Richter


Tuesday, May 28, 2013 2:42 PM


+32 #3 2013-06-04 21:05
The one and only action that will help taxpaying nonresident landowners is a vocal outcry from local retailers to their state representatives to pay attention to "citizens" that can't vote for them. Open eyes are will help the most.
+39 #2 Denny Erardi 2013-05-29 16:36
I'd love to hear suggestions as to how to include the interests of seasonal land/home owners in Vilas County. It seems to me that a large number of residences in the local area (Eagle River, Washington and Lincoln townships) are owned by folks who do not reside there full time. And yet, as mentioned by Mr. Richter, they/we provide significant revenue to the respective communities.

I don't have a good idea for incorporating the interests of people who don't reside here fulltime, however, I wholeheartedly believe that payment of property taxes and infusing money into the local economy, should buy you some representation or avenue to register input in a meangingful way.
-28 #1 2013-05-29 14:47

While I might not agree entirely on the differences we share with ATV's, we do have one thing in common.

Even if you have been a full time resident for 24 years, you made the coherent decision not to leave the area after graduation, you will still be labeled as an outsider, and your children (who do not know of any other place) will always be considered as outsiders as well... Or at least that is the perception of many (including myself).

Good luck with that. I have been battling it for a long time.

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