April 19, 2024 at 10:55 a.m.

Direction of Arena questioned

Dear Editor,

I am deeply concerned about the direction our Village of Arena is heading under the current Village Board. It’s disheartening to witness individuals elected to public office prioritize personal agendas over the betterment of our community.

The recent moves of trying to disband our Police Department are particularly alarming. Despite claims of seeking resident input through a survey, it’s evident that decisions are being made swiftly and quietly, without genuine transparency or consideration for community input. The revelation of discussions regarding contracting services for the village at the Iowa County Public Safety Committee on April 9th only adds to the suspicion that the Board has already made up its mind. https://www.iowacounty.org/events/85394/

While cost-saving measures are necessary, the Board’s approach seems shortsighted. Instead of targeting essential services like law enforcement, they should focus on more prudent planning and budgeting. Neglecting crucial infrastructure maintenance, such as the urgently needed repairs to the water tower, demonstrates a lack of foresight and responsible governance.

Moreover, the assertion that eliminating the Police Department would lead to tax reductions is dubious at best. I have learned that such decisions often result in higher taxes and diminished services for residents.

The recent increase in drug-related incidents within the Village, underscores the importance of having competent and dedicated police officers in our community.

Furthermore, the Board’s strained relationships with other essential services, such as the Township, Fire, and EMS Departments, only exacerbate the current crisis. The decision not to renew the mutual aid agreement with the Township and County raises serious doubts about the Board’s commitment to advancing the village’s interests.

Recently, Village President Kate Reimann did not allow the posting of the Act (Arena Community Team) flyer in Village Hall. By denying the placement of the ACT flyer in Village Hall, President Reimann is essentially limiting access to important community information for residents. Village Hall should be a welcoming space that promotes civic engagement and community involvement.

As a resident of Arena, I implore the Village Board to reassess its priorities and act in the best interests of the community. With the recent addition of two new trustees, there’s hope for positive change. However, it’s crucial that all members of the Board work together to address the pressing issues facing our village and restore trust among residents.

Sue Pustina, Arena, WI