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Norgaard responds to Vox Pop writer’s comments

Vox Pop

In Ward v. Rock against Racism, 491 U.S. 781 (1989), the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of New York City, as Rib Lake writer Jerri Cook asserted in her 1/2/2020 Star News Vox Pop. Unfortunately, her comprehension of the ruling is flawed. The rock band, Rock against Racism, sued based on the city’s new rule or regulation that the volume of their band shell music was too loud. The Supreme Court affirmed that their decision maintained a ‘content neutral’ status as required by the First Amendment. My wife, Renee, has never been loud and disruptive at a village of Rib Lake Board meeting. Former police chief Gary Krueger said it best on 10/12/2018, “The only person that was loud and disruptive was president Schreiner.”

Concerning chief Beckstrand; as Renee correctly stated, “He’s inexperienced.” On the morning of 12/12/2019, chief Beckstrand sent me a text with the following quote, “Let me assure you, I stand by the side of Wisconsin State Statutes and the Constitution of the United States.” Chief Beckstrand was responding to my previous text that morning describing his relationship with village president Schreiner, as ‘too willing to go into the weeds with a snake’. The night before, chief Beckstrand violated Renee’s civil liberties when he attempted to intimidate her with Schreiner’s order to remove her from the meeting. Renee was reading her comments from a written script, a protocol that she’s followed at village board meetings 100% of the time. Renee had every right to express her displeasure with the board regarding our $5,000 tax exempt equipment overpayment. Our U.S. Constitution free speech laws trump “Schreiner’s Rules.” Citizen comments were listed as an agenda item for that board meeting, and the First Amendment protects a speaker’s comment contents. Our tax overpayment is defined by Wisconsin lawmakers as an illegal tax. Our local government doesn’t have the right to spend illegal tax dollars any more than they’d have a right to rob the bank. We aren’t taking two minutes of their precious think tank time to talk about the price of tea in China. Our local government budget is all about tax dollars and, therefore, our tax refund is relevant. When we were still in business, we helped a few other Rib Lake citizens pay their taxes because they needed a little help. We have always kept that information private, because we gave our word for anonymity. We’re honest, generous, professional people and we’re orderly, but that doesn’t mean we want our government shearing us like a couple of sheep. What is going through the minds of all of these Rib Lake personalities?

Please be careful Star News opinion writers. When you’re not in attendance at a village of Rib Lake Board meeting because you reside in the township, try to keep your guess at what transpires accurate. Coffee shop gossip isn’t your best fact-based sourcing. Unfortunately, village of Rib Lake Board minutes aren’t a reliable source of information anymore either, at least whenever that official record relates to our public comments at a board meeting. Refer back to the incorrect use of case law by the recent opinion page writer; the Supreme Court clearly explained in their decision that the rock band’s lyrics or words are protected ‘content neutral’ speech. It was the volume of the band’s instrument amplifi ers that was disruptive to the neighbors surrounding the band shell. Using that particular case law to justify Schreiner’s rule is nearly as bad as the village attorney citing the Public Purpose Doctrine to acquire the village board’s vote to steal our taxes in the first place. It had no place in any Wisconsin tax law. Lastly, Schreiner’s Rules aren’t the law of the land, especially, when he and the new, inexperienced police chief are trampling the United States of America free speech law. — Ken Norgaard, Rib Lake