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February 17, 2019

1/21/2019 8:24:00 AM
Rural broadband needs to be a priority

Dear Editor:
I read with interest the email update from State Senator Howard Marklein sent to constituents on Jan 4th titled "Priorities, Plans and a Request." Senator Marklein states that his "top priority is to provide outstanding constituent services." His update then detailed the amount of hate emails he is receiving. While I do not condone this horrible behavior and find it unacceptable, I also do not feel that the topic deserves 46% of the words in his update.
Since the election, I have called Senator Marklein's office, emailed the office, and my husband has emailed regarding the unacceptable level of rural broadband access and speeds in Ellenboro Township. To date we have not heard back from him or anyone on his staff.
The 2018 Year in Review written by Senator Marklein stated of rural broadband expansion "...nearly $2 million [...] funds were awarded to projects in and near the 17th Senate District." What does "near the 17th" mean? Is the Senator representing us or constituents near us? We deserve to know the exact specifics of rural broadband plans for our district - not those near us.
To those few sending the Senator and his staff hostile emails, stop it; words matter and can be hurtful. We should be working together for the good of every person in our district instead of using insults to divide. I trust that the Senator and his staff are working hard to represent all us, regardless of our political affiliations.
Senator Marklein, might I suggest you focus on communication from constituents that are contacting you with legitimate needs and concerns. You may be missing the message from those of us that need your help by focusing on the negative. After all, as you stated yourself your "top priority is to provide outstanding constituent services."
Senator Marklein, I await your call and look forward to your resolute support of rural broadband expansion in Ellenboro Township and all rural areas throughout the 17th District.

Angie Mitchell
Ellenboro Township/Lancaster

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