ARE WE BEING DUPED? FOOD FOR THOUGHT (Baraga County Courthouse Proposal)

Editorial that has been sent to a few papers in the area, but so far none of them have seemed too interested in the topic.

Please read, and feel free to like&share if this editorial  is informational and very informing!


July 22, 2011



To the Editor:


Much coverage has been given lately to the proposed relocation of the Baraga County Courthouse/Annex facilities to the old hospital building. Most in town, myself included, would agree that the courthouse is inadequate for several reasons, however, the Special Election to be held August 2nd, is not a guarantee that the courthouse will actually be moved to the old hospital. The taxpayers of Baraga County need to be aware of exactly what they are voting on when they step into the booth on August 2nd.


The wording of the county proposal that will be voted on in the Special Election states part “….for the purpose of funding the operation and relocation of the Baraga County Courthouse and Annex offices to the new facility, or to a renovated facility at the former Baraga County Memorial Hospital….”


The powers-that-be that created this “proposal” left a very large loophole.  If it was a certainty that the Courthouse would be moving to the old hospital building, as we are being led to believe, there would have been no need to include the language …”to a new facility,…” in the proposal.


On the front page of the L’Anse Sentinel dated May 18th, in an article addressing the special election for courthouse/hospital millage, the Baraga County Board of Commissioners approved the special election at its regular monthly meeting Monday, May 9th.  This Overland Park Divorce Lawyer was asked by the board to formulate the proposal.  The board was to hold a special meeting Tuesday, May 24th to vote on the ballot wording.  Mr. O’Leary’s Letter to the Editor on July 20th, makes no mention of a “new” facility as a possible option, but yet the wording of the proposal is very clear, and apparently “cut in stone” prior to any “survey” that might have occurred.


Can the CountyCommissionchoose not to relocate to the old hospital, and instead build a new facility?  The answer is YES they can, if the proposal is approved on August 2nd.


If you have any doubt, please take the time to visit and view the video presentation by Mr. O’Leary.  Approximately 24 minutes into the 40 minute video, Mr. O’Leary explains the results of the Feasibility Study previously conducted, spending a great part of the presentation exploring Option 1 (use the entire hospital facility) and Option 2, (demolishing SNU and using the rest of the facility) Option 3, which was not even listed as an option was to build a new facility at a cost of almost 6 million dollars.  This option was greatly underplayed during the presentation. He also states that a survey would be conducted on the various options presented, and that those surveys would basically determine which options would be on the proposal.  I don’t know you, but I never received a survey, nor have I seen any results of the survey published anywhere.  In the video, he specifically mentions the “new” facility could be located behind the Baraga County Jail and states that theCountyBoard of Commissioners can “bank” the 1.5 mills while exploring other revenue sources for building a new facility.  I don’t think that we as taxpayers were under the impression that a “new” facility was even an option?


I could go on in much greater detail, but I think it’s time to look past the “blue smoke & mirrors” and find out more about the true nature of this proposal prior to voting YES.


Linda Borgen


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