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Letter to the editor: Lack of wards isn't working for city council
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From Ernest Gebhardt Jr.


To the editor:

The April 4 City of Monroe election non-race for alderpersons should cause council members to re-visit the city-wide method of electing representatives. There were only four persons on the ballot for five open positions. A write-in won with only 66 votes. The prior ward representative system allowed persons interested in serving the opportunity to replace alderpersons that did not represent their views. The new city-wide election process means that persons seeking election could very well replace representatives that share their views.

The Monroe mayor had proposed salary increases for alderpersons but he was voted down. This also discouraged competition. The current city-wide election of representatives is not true representative government.

On another matter, I oppose the building of a 40-unit three-story apartment complex north of the Monroe Square along 8th Street and 16th Avenue. This city parking lot has 86 slots of which half were being used on April 10. The City Council has authorized $4,000-plus to drill holes in the lot. I suggest instead that money be spent to install signs on 9th Street so that visitors driving by are made aware of this free parking availability. The current signs are too small. I wager that many tourists otherwise passing through would stop to visit the museum and the Monroe Square. Once our 86-slot Monroe parking lot is gone, the City of Monroe will be hard pressed to find replacement parking - especially in this ideal location.

I encourage citizens of Monroe to cut out and mail, or drop off in the City Mail Box, this article - Attn: Mayor since you don't have a ward alderperson. I know from my time on the Green County Board of Supervisors and my wife's (Beverly) time on the Monroe City Council, that hearing from voters makes a difference.