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Letter to the editor: Township should be more proactive

At times, I have been very critical of local government, but I actually applaud their day-to-day work of taking care of maintaining roads and bridges and snow plowing: For the most part, the road crews do an excellent job under some trying circumstances. My Thomson Township board also does a very good job of administering our fire department with its fiscal and moral support.

What I am critical of is the “beyond day-to-day” routine issues the board deals with twice a month.

More generally, many local governing boards are usually reactive to developing situations and tend to overreact by instituting very restrictive ordinances without involving stakeholders other than themselves.

Recently, there has been extensive discussion as to what involvement they should have with the proposed installation of fiber broadband access into the northwest part of the township as part of Cloquet’s proposal to do so involving telecommunications service provider CTC.

I recently sent them a letter critical of their involvement with Cloquet on this matter, when they did nothing to work with CTC on the Proctor/Midway/NE Township proposed fiber broadband expansion in March of 2022. Their reaction was to simply say that CTC had not contacted them, period.

Our local government entities need to be more proactive, particularly now, because there are billions of dollars in federal grants available. If we don’t use it, others will! If necessary, spend money to hire grant writers to take advantage of those monies — that is very consistent with the recently passed 2040 updated Township Plan (of which I was a part).

Rather than being defensive over being chastised, those folks need to go further and say something like: “CTC didn’t contact us … but we’ll recontact them in conjunction with the Cloquet proposal and discuss their Proctor proposal as well.”

Furthermore, my township has several people with expert advice and guidance available: Jerry Frederick, Mat Gerard, and me, to name a few. Set up another committee of stakeholders and be proactive about this issue, as it affects all of the township’s citizenry for education, business, entertainment, etc.

John Bergman,

Thomson Township