Writer rebuts ‘Mr. Jensen’s version of the facts’ about sulfide mining
As an observer of the Oneida County Board of Supervisors and as someone who cares deeply about our country’s environment, I find it necessary to comment on a recent letter from former supervisor (and current supervisor candidate) Robb Jensen, responding to a letter on these pages from Karl Fate.
There are a couple things voters should know about Mr. Jensen’s version of the facts surrounding county board actions related to sulfide mining. First, it is true that the state of Wisconsin has control over the ultimate approval or denial of a sulfide mine. However, Oneida County does have authority granted by the state to control the location of a mine through its local zoning ordinance.
Mr. Jensen voted to allow sulfide mining in a Forestry 1-A zoning district, even though the public comment overwhelmingly favored restricting such mining to Industrial districts. This vote would have paved the way for a sulfide mine in the town of Lynne.
The authority to regulate mining through zoning districts was confirmed by the outside attorney hired by Oneida County and the Wisconsin Counties Association. Fortunately, Oneida County owns the mineral rights in the Town of Lynne, and the voters intervened by voting decisively in an advisory referendum to reject a sulfide mine there.
Mr. Jensen’s record is clear, and he continues to be open to sulfide mining even though the industry has a terrible track record of polluting water resources.
While I do not live in District 11, I have observed the actions of Bob Thome in his role as a county supervisor. I consider him a dedicated and responsible advocate for the protection of this county’s natural resources – and in the bargain an advocate for efficient government, innovations to increase revenue and ease the burden on property tax payers, and the protection of valued county services that enhance our quality of life.
Ted J. Rulseh, Harshaw