Hoping Langreck honors public commitment

By Steve St. Clair, Decorah

Dear Editor:

Thanks to the Public Opinion for its thorough reporting on the Freeport land sale controversy. With the recent 3-2 vote to reject bids for the land, the many Freeport residents opposed to the sale doubtless feel they’ve gotten at least a temporary reprieve. 

Two comments:

First, the reprieve should be permanent, not temporary. At the March 18 public hearing, after everyone was reminded of the overwhelming public opposition already on record (about 450 opposed to three in support), one county resident asked Chair Dan Langreck: “How many times do we have to go through this?” Langreck responded: “Last time.” If Langreck honors that public commitment, he won’t be voting to re-start the process of pushing through a highly unpopular property sale.

Second, while Mark Vick’s unexpected vote to reject the two bids was welcome, his stated reason was neither flood mitigation nor public sentiment. He said he voted to reject the bids because he thought they were not high enough. (The highest was $177,000.) Vick thought the resolution inviting bids should have set a floor of $250,000, a figure he said he’d had in mind “the whole way through.” If Vick had made his position clear earlier in this drawn-out process, it could have spared everyone (including bidders) a whole lot of trouble.


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