Dear Editor: I recently read an op-ed column that claims Howard Marklein likes rural Wisconsin “as is.” Sorry if I am blunt, but does that mean the last decade of being in office, he is happy with our awful roads, our nonexistent internet, our high rate of farm bankruptcy and farmer suicide, low milk prices, our increasing poverty rate, declining school enrollments and increased local property taxes?

You cannot claim to be pro-rural southwestern Wisconsin if you allow the number of dairy herds to fall precipitously each year, or allow roads so bad that they damage our cars. Yes, our taxes are “lower,” but at what cost? At the cost of schools closing their doors? At the cost of increases in farmer suicides?

Keeping rural Wisconsin “as is” puts the burden on local taxpayers, dividing us between those who support our communities, our roads, and our kids vs. those who want lower taxes. Marklein represents private interests keen on making us think we’re getting this great deal by keeping property taxes low; he doesn’t represent us. That’s why I am voting for Kriss Marion. She lives in rural southwestern Wisconsin by choice. She loves the Driftless Area and wants to make our lives better. She wants to fix the problems that were caused by no or low investments this past decade by Marklein and friends. Kriss will fight to make rural Wisconsin better. Because “as is” isn’t good enough. We deserve better.

Michael Berg 

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