Dear editor,

For those who choose to not read the comments on social media, I wanted to respond this way to Lisa Rasmussen’s opinion piece on the proposed ordinance for downtown Wausau.

I don’t think the press left anything out. You haven’t really clarified anything regarding how you intend to deal with loitering downtown. It has always been clear. Part of your solution is to make homelessness a crime. Drug deals and assault you mention in your letter are obviously illegal. If law enforcement suspects such activity, there are already laws in place to address this and they respond accordingly.

A friend suggested I watch the video of the Oct. 21 committee meeting. The premise of the ordinance is stated clearly by Deputy Chief Barnes during the meeting:

“I think most of the committee realizes that we have been dealing with complaints from our downtown businesses in regards to people that are homeless sleeping and staying in the stairwells of our parking ramps which are used by our downtown businesses.”

The public is well aware of your reason for recommending the ordinance and they are telling you they disagree with your remedy. Your job is to listen to your constituents. They have spoken. Your letter of clarification gives the impression you are not hearing them. Perhaps the city council should work on messaging. Blaming the press????…I think informed citizens are tired of that excuse.


Christine Salm-Little

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 See the video referred to in the letter below. The discussion  begins about 45 minutes into the session.