Editor’s note: This letter was submitted in response to a story that published Aug. 12 regarding the attendance record and subsequent resignation of Marathon County Dist. 35 Supervisor Jacob Langenhahn from the County Parks Commission. Read the original story here.
I want this to be a message to all other young professionals who have ever thought about getting involved in government. Alderman Peckham’s attacks directed towards myself are the result of what happens when a young person wants to take an interest in his/her community. I am tired of being silent on his accusations, and I want my voice to be heard. The absences that Alderman Peckham refers to, did not occur until I started a full-time position. I made clear to the Park Commission that depending on my future schedule, we would need to discuss the meeting times. I had mentioned this in June of 2018. Even after I had made a commitment to attend the September 2019 Park Commission meeting (going so far as to take Personal Time Off from work), Mr. Peckham still demanded that I resign.
Considering that well over 50% of the Commission is retired, it’s almost funny how this situation has played out. Park Commission meetings are held at 2:00 p.m. every month. For someone who works within a 7-3 work schedule, this creates a conflict. Other committees such as the Executive and Environmental Resources Committees have made accommodations to fit this schedule. I would invite anyone to take a look at my attendance on other committees (and the County Board as a whole) that meet after 3:00 p.m. and you’ll see that my attendance is near perfect.
Further, if we are going to discuss Alderman Peckham’s comments on the conduct of a fellow Supervisor responding to phone calls, I’d like to point out that another City Alderman, in past, had missed a considerable amount of Park Commission meetings, but nothing was done. Let it be known that if you live within the boundaries of the City of Wausau, you are immune to Alderman Peckham’s attendance record keeping.
In addition, Alderman Peckham went so far as to mention a family member of mine in his statements. Those type of comments are unacceptable and disgusting in the public sphere. I really don’t care how Alderman Peckham’s father would’ve felt about him serving in government, but now I feel that I share a deep interest. Respect is only given when it is earned Mr. Peckham.
In light of Alderman Peckham’s comments, I understood that working with him would’ve been extremely difficult. Let it be clear, I resigned due to the environment that Alderman Peckham has created. I made the difficult decision to resign in an effort to move past this.
Unfortunately, Alderman Peckham is more concerned about forcing out a young person’s opinions, rather than trying to work with him/her.
I have moved on since my resignation, and I will continue to be the best County Board Supervisor that I can be. I really hope that the personal attacks on myself, my family, and other young professionals are done. Let’s start with a clean slate Mr. Peckham. I am willing if you are.
Editor’s note: The views of our readers and guest columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email us at email@example.com.