Friday, January 14, 2011

The Favorite Indoor Sport Gets Rough in CG

While it's tempting to brush off the current hooraw out in Cottage Grove as the early signs of the Silly Season, it is just too much fun watching this train wreck - from the outside.

Check out the letters to the ed in this week's Herald. I expect Jane Curtin and Dan Ackroyd to show up anytime now and do Point-Counterpoint.

According to the Herald, the latest edition appears to center around the use of a room at the EMS building for a political meeting of four people, including current trustee and village president candidate Diane Wiedenbeck, former trustee and EMS volunteer Jack Henrich, former trustee Harvey Potter, and former Board candidate Jeff Simpson. Apparently the informal meeting was barely under way when the current President Mike Mikalsen showed up to show them the door.

Am I missing something? Wasn't this meeting a 'so what, who cares' event? What made this meeting a big enough deal for someone to call the Village President and for him to apparently rush down to the EMS building? Why are people falling over themselves to apologize for (brief and small) meeting at the EMS building? Did it violate an established policy? Did the meeting itself disrupt any EMS operations?

The meeting was characterized as a 'political meeting', but that is a dicey basis for objecting to the use of a room in a public building.

The blood seems to have gotten so bad out there that all acts are seen through that distorting prism.

It's hard to break out of that pattern of behavior - as we know here in Monona from the school referendum wars - we have the scars to prove it, but they are finally healing (although I'm sure someone will point out to me why I am mistaken in that belief).

But I'll admit it is fun to read about from the outside.


"Hooraw" was a term used by Festus Haggen on the Gunsmoke TV show to describe a dust up or a contretemps. It could also be used as  a verb, as in "Doc was hoorawin' around down at the Long Branch."

Festus also liked to say: "Golly Bill!" or "You ornery ole scutter."


  1. I truly didn't understand why this meeting was an issue to anyone. I thought maybe the herald-Independent missed something in their reporting. Who does the board president think he is to tell people not to meet? Ain't it a free country?

    I mean, I could go to Monona's city hall and meet with people -- about politics or anything. As a matter of fact, I DO meet with people at city hall. Sometimes it's for city business, and often its not for city business, so what's the big deal?

    Do any CGers read this blog? Can you enlighten us over here in Monona as to why Mayor Kahl should be mad that converse with other citizens in a government building?

  2. "Do any CGers read this blog?"

    We may be about to find out...

    BTW, in fairness, I think the objection was to the location of the meeting, not to having a meeting.

  3. Now you really ruined your chance to run for school board, Doug.

  4. "Now you really ruined your chance to run for school board, Doug."

    Now I feel bad, you ornery ole scutter.

  5. I think my lte in this weeks paper was self explanatory but I will clear up a couple things.

    yes the meeting should of been a "so what who cares" meeting and I believe still is for everyone NOT on the board.

    What made this meeting a big deal is that those of us meeting have disagreed with the village board on occasion before and that is unacceptable.

    As for why I apologized, I felt bad that the chiefs had to be brought into such a silly matter. Unlike the other two involved, they have better things to do with their time and did not need to be players in the presidents political theater.

    No law was broken and no ordinance was violated.

    No ems operations were disrupted whatsoever. The only other person who knew we were there was MS. Severson. She is the one who called Mr. Mikalsen.

    The original objection was having the meeting to begin with. Where the meeting happened was just icing on the cake to the objectors. They were upset because a group of people who disagree with them, were meeting.

    There is bad blood here, and I truly feel, it was made out to such epic proportions to send a message of don't disagree with us. They want to turn people off who dont agree with them from participating in government. Unfortunately for many in the village this strategy has worked. Many people who could contribute greatly have been turned off by the bitter partisanship that this current board has portrayed.

  6. For the record, the comment from "Jeff" is from Jeff Simpson.