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Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Mr. Conway’s ill-advised and childish attacks over the course of the recent campaign for Marathon County Board.   Mr. Conway has attacked my ethics and moral character – this seems rather odd for someone who consistently lied about his opponent and misrepresented my positions.

LIES about Book Bans: Bill Conway specifically lied, saying that I called for banning books from the library system and defunding the library system.  At no time did I call for banning books from our library system or defunding the library system.  Being an engineer and not a lawyer, I did ask the Corporation Counsel for legal opinions and guidance as to what options might be open to the County Board.

For about 3 or 4 months 50+ people were attending each of the Library Board meetings to protest the placement of sexually explicit content books in the Children’s Libraries.   After several months of trying to present their concerns, and being ignored – these concerned parents approached the Marathon County Board.

Their concerns are that children are being exposed to sexually explicit content that they are not mature enough for –  after all, the Children’s Libraries are aimed at Elementary Age children.  The suggested solutions were framed around the compromise of moving these books out of the Children’s Libraries over in to the Adult Sections of the libraries.   As a longtime user of the library system – we have never had any sexually explicit materials in the Children’s Sections to my knowledge – until now.

I stand solidly and proudly behind the compromise solution of moving all sexually explicit materials (regardless of orientation) out of the Children’s Libraries and in to the Adult Sections of the libraries.

Perhaps Mr. Conway can explain how moving books from one section of the library to another, somehow bans the books?  The 2024 Marathon County budget, which I supported, provided all of the funding as requested by the Library Board and Library Director.

LIES about Defunding the Police: In February, I voted to approve the final Marathon County budget resolution allocating Marathon County tax dollars for the project.  I support the Regional Forensic Science Center – RFSC – project that Vice-Chair Craig McEwen has championed over the past 7 years.  

Having the Regional Center located in Wausau means that the Marathon County Sheriffs Department and surrounding Law Enforcement agencies will no longer have to travel back and forth to Madison and Milwaukee.  Being able to conduct all of the forensic studies locally means that Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputies will spend more time on patrol and reduced overtime tax dollars spent transporting evidence to Madison and Milwaukee for examination.  This is better value for our tax dollars.

As part of the debate on the details allocating the requested funding, several different amendments were offered.  Some of those amendments I opposed and voted No, while other amendments I supported and voted Yes.  My objective has always been to get the best possible value for your tax dollars on every county project we fund.  A Supervisors job is to represent all of the people in their district and to ensure wise use of your tax dollars.  It is not to blindly approve every single request that comes from every county department.  At no time did I ever vote to “Defund the Police’.  Strange –  Defunding the Police seems to be the Democrat Party position?  Would you care to comment, Marathon County Democrat Chairman Conway?

While on the Marathon County Board, I worked to bring the City of Schofield,  Marathon County and the Everest Metro Police Department together in a partnership to clean up the abandoned trailer park on Grand Avenue. With over 40 abandoned, dilapidated trailers the site has become a public health hazard as well as a magnet for crime and homeless activities in our community. 

The owners have abandoned the property and display no interest in cleaning up the mess left behind.  Everest Metro has increased patrols  –  documenting criminal activities including drugs, squatters living in the condemned trailers, and harassment of local businesses  –  issuing citations when appropriate.  Documenting these conditions is part of building the legal case to force the owners to clean up the property.  There is work to be done and I continue to focus on getting this blighted area cleaned up.

Finally, let’s turn to the election and subsequent recount.  Poor Supervisor Conway, he only won by one vote.  Does anyone really believe that if Supervisor Conway had lost by a single vote that he would NOT have asked for a recount?

Mr. Conway complains that it took too long.  The recount was completed in less than 24 hours.

Again, being an engineer and not a lawyer, I consulted with experts in Wisconsin Election Law regarding the details of how, where and when to request a recall.  I also spent time discussing the issue with my family and friends.  I submitted my Recount Petition on Thursday after the initial canvassing was completed.   With her customary professionalism, County Clerk Trueblood and the appropriate team finished the recount before noon on Friday.   Ironically, this increased Mr. Conway’s margin of victory to three votes.

Upon completion of the recount, the County Clerk and Corporation Counsel advised me regarding the additional option available to me of having the Circuit Court review the Recount.  After understanding and considering the options, I decided that it was not in the best interest of the people in District 16 to pursue any Circuit Court review.  Does anyone really believe, that had our positions been reversed, that Mr. Conway would not have asked for a recount?

One final question regarding campaign ethics.  I wonder how a large number of my yard signs magically disappeared during the course of my campaign?  In a few locations two or even three signs just magically disappeared – very strange, must have been the wind.

But you are right about one thing Mr. Conway….I am a PROUD CONSTITUTIONAL CONSERVATIVE.

Tony Sherfinski, Schofield