They should be embarrassed!
The Eau Claire County Board members who recently voted to postpone action indefinitely on an advisory resolution in support of naming the space at Veterans Tribute Park should be ashamed and embarrassed.
The board members who voted against the postponement — Mark Beckfield, Steve Chilson, Gary Gibson, Ray Henning, Robin Leary, Pat LaVelle, Stella Pogonis and Gerald Wilkie — should be lauded.
The plan and naming was in place, the public comment period was complete and the overwhelming majority of people supported renaming the park, a park that honors people from the Chippewa Valley who served their country.
That’s got nothing to do with gardening nor should it. And quite frankly, the small but vocal group seeking to add their name to Veterans Tribute Park should attempt to get included somewhere else.
Nationally, there is an effort to erase history or minimize the sacrifices made by our military and this local effort to somehow tie in gardening falls right in line. Whether it's a lack of understanding or the “participation medal” mentality, it can’t be condoned.
The city of Eau Claire donated the land for the tribute and agreed to maintain it. Donations were and are coming in and there was plenty of transparency in communication; public comment was sought and there is overwhelming support for the naming of Veterans Tribute Park.
Chilson said it best about the postponement vote, “I’m completely disgusted by the lack of respect we’ve shown the veterans of Eau Claire County. I’m truly embarrassed as a member of the County Board for way we treated them last night”.
We couldn’t agree more. It is what it is and that’s all it should be.
Rickman is publisher of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.