County Board Chairman candidate Paul Gorski speaks out

In the spirit of equal space, County Board Candidate Paul Gorski explains his viewpoint.

Let’s revisit leaf burning. I used to think we should be allowed to burn four months out of the year, seven days a week, dawn to dusk. But even my pro-burn friends thought that idea was too extreme. I don’t like weekend-only burning, too much smoke all at once. So when a County Board majority voted to ban burning after two years of study, I didn’t argue (too much). I thought the issue was dead. I mulched.

Recently, my opponent and I were asked to break a tie vote on leaf burning: ban or burn? I said keep the ban. I’m not a dictator. I want consensus. A split vote would only lead to more split votes, one vote overturning another. My opponent refused to answer the question. He wants to use government equipment (and your tax dollars, I suppose) to pick up leaves, but only for a few neighborhoods. That’s avoiding the real issue.

This is a close election. I could easily say “Yes, let’s burn” to buy votes. I have more integrity than that. I encourage the board to consider the leaf burning & disposal options that residents and board members have offered, but I want to hear all sides, all options. I support public meetings and even advisory referenda on the subject. I want to hear your opinion.

But while I encourage the leaf burning debate to continue, I will not let it interfere with discussions on the other important issues of impact fees, casino gambling, and economic development. Please feel free to call or write with your concerns.

Paul Gorski is the Democratic nominee for Winnebago County Board Chairman.

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