Sturgeon Bay City Council Votes to Keep 3rd Avenue a One-Way Street

The following is written by President and CEO Roger Utnehmer:

Roger Utnehmer

Four men of goodwill made a decision at Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting that has angered many. By a vote of 4 to 3, council members rejected pleas to return the downtown business district to two-way traffic. Council members voting to keep one-way streets cited public opinion and a desire to reflect the views of their constituents. That, in spite of one of the city’s biggest property taxpayers urging two-way traffic and several business owners saying stores will close without a change. When business owners speak about closing stores and eliminating jobs they need to be taken seriously.

A representative democracy requires more than constituent surveys and public opinion polls to make difficult decisions. Council members should be like a corporate board of directors. Each is elected to study and research, devoting more time and attention than a single stockholder in a corporation or voter is capable of doing. Voters do not have time to interview business owners and study traffic patterns, accident reports and retail sales trends in a community. Elected officials, however, do. City Council members should be able to make decisions based on significantly more information than constituent surveys and public opinion.

And that’s why a vote for reconsideration by one of the four would serve the public interest. The cost of no action could very well be more store closings and lost jobs in Sturgeon Bay. That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours. I’m Roger Utnehmer.

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