Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear Editor,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to recognize the passing of my fellow county board supervisor and a true friend of Marathon County, Arnie Schlei.

I served with Arnie on Marathon County Board of Supervisors from 2010-2016. Arnie was a man who cared for his family and loved this community. Read his obituary for a small indication of his dedication to serve EVERYONE in Marathon County. https://www.tributearchive.com/obituaries/22672937/arnold-schlei/

Arnie always did his homework on key issues facing the county board. He was quiet, but when he spoke, I knew he had given the issue a great deal of thought in order to support the taxpayers in his trust.

Arnie will be remembered for all his accomplishments, not for the vilification of him by the New York Times, outsiders and others in this community who never knew who he really was.

I will miss his humor. Arnie’s contributions to this county are enormous and a loss to everyone, including those who didn’t know him. Rest in peace, my friend.

Sincerely, Joanne Leonard

(Former county board Supervisor District. #6 – 2006-2016)