With a recently released list that names Wisconsin residents who signed the , Patch took a look at which Sussex government officials jotted their names on the list — as have many of our readers.
The website iVerifytherecall.com lists every person in Wisconsin who signed a petition across the state, and it's been stirring up some controversy. Multiple Sussex Patch readers sent messages via Facebook, called us and shot over emails after learning that four elected officials signed their names. Because of the outcry, Patch wanted to give the four officials a chance to explain why they signed the petition.
While Village President Greg Goetz decided not to comment to Patch nor any other publication, Pat Tetzlaff, a village trustee, gave her full opinion. In addition, , a member of the Hamilton School Board who is up for re-election on April 3, was happy to comment in hopes of putting the topic to rest.
Finally, Trustee Tim Dietrich said he would prefer to speak with constituents on the phone to give a more in-depth response to concerned residents.
Here — in their own words — are what the four officials had to say.
Village President Greg Goetz
Signed recall petition Dec. 6
Village Trustee Pat Tetzlaff
Signed Dec. 16
"Before my possible re-election, it's a pretty hard decision to make. The reason I signed it is because I think collective bargaining is a right and a privilege. I think Scott Walker went too far, too deep and too fast. I have nothing against him at all, but I know a lot of teachers, policemen, firemen, and it has really cut into how those families are living their lives.
"I really think everyone should pay into heath care and retirement, but the way he did was a little far. My personal feelings don't enter into the way I vote as a village trustee. I still am a resident and a citizen, and I chose to handle the Walker recall the way I did, and I would do it again."
Village Trustee Tim Dietrich
Signed Nov. 15
"I think if someone wants to know why I did or didn't sign a petition, they need to call me and ask me myself. I really, really don't like the idea of being attacked in the paper when I'm just left out in the open like that without a way to defend myself. If someone wants to know, they should call me, and I would be very happy to explain and answer any questions they might have."
Dietrich's phone number as listed on the village website is (262) 246-4300.
Hamilton School Board member Lynn Kristensen
Signed Dec. 2
"I believe signing a petition is a private issue and that every individual should be able to exercise their full constitutional rights in the democratic process. I don't think any person should be forced to reveal their constitutional choices. What I regret is the state of divisiveness, disrespect and intolerance of opposing views that exists in Wisconsin today.
"What happened to our right to privacy? What happened to the ability to have open dialogues without fear of hatred resulting from them? What happened to not only tolerating, but actually being able to appreciate, differing viewpoints? Those are the things that make us Americans and differentiate us from many other countries around the world. The toxic nature of the public forum in our state right now deeply saddens me."