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Yacoub says partisan politics played a role in city election

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Yacoub says partisan politics played a role in city election
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

District 2 Alderperson Mary Yacoub gave a statement at the end of the April 7 Hudson City Council meeting denouncing the role that she said partisan politics playing in the recent city election.

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Yacoub took particular aim at city resident Roy Sjoberg, co-chair of the St. Croix County Democrats, who was elected to the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors in the April 1 election.

Here is Yacoub’s complete statement, followed by a response from Sjoberg.

Mary Yacoub’s remarks:

“I would like to express my frustration with this last election and how some members of the community chose to make it partisan. The City Council is a non-partisan body. We do not make decisions based on whatever political party we may or may not be affiliated with.

“The city as a whole has been divided ever since Mr. Sjoberg began the recall process on our state senator, Sheila Harsdorf. He has continued his tactics with our local government, going as far as calling residents in my district off the recall Walker list and placing a quarter-page ad in the Dec. 19 paper in search of someone to run against me in the past election. I will add to that by informing residents that he does not, nor never has, resided in my district.

“My problem with all of this is not with the challenge, but the bullying behaviors of Mr. Sjoberg and his followers. They continue to divide this city through spiteful tactics. Now, since the council results were not as they were hoping, a new threat of recall has begun on the other members who were not recently in an election.

“It is time to move forward and let the elected body serve, and our community heal. If our constituents are not happy with decisions we make, then contact us or choose to do as we have, and run for public office.

“Our term is not made up of one vote, and if you plan to run with an agenda, then I suggest you rethink that decision, as it is a duty to serve the city, it is not an avenue to push through personal agendas. We work tirelessly to serve and we do so with pride, even though we are mostly criticized, as most public servants are.

“That being said, local government can be very taxing, however, we serve because we care. Let’s not undermine this, and to quote Mr. Sjoberg himself, we deserve better. Thank you.”

Roy Sjoberg’s response:

“I agree with Ms. Yacoub that the Common Council is a non-partisan body. Despite that, no one would be naïve enough to assert that it is not politically influenced. When I served as president and trustee of the Hudson Area Joint Library, every one of my earnest appeals to the council for sustainable funding for our library was met with flat, uninterested rejection, despite the showing of popular support from our residents. The library was forced to close on Mondays soon after.

“Then when the council dismissed the community’s appeal to rezone the dog track property, after the school funding referendum had passed by a double-digit margin, (the largest being in Ms. Yacoub’s District 2), I and many others in our community said, ‘Something has to be done with the make-up of the council.’

“To my knowledge, there was never any talk of a recall of the local council representatives. (That is still true to this day.) Instead, last September I reached out to members of the community to seek candidates to run for local office who may view our library and our schools in a more favorable light.

"I did not use a recall list as that would have eliminated several qualified candidates. As a result of the search, the voters were to have a choice in each of the districts. Choice is good. Unfortunately, the qualified challenger in District 2 received a job offer that required him to suspend his election challenge and for that reason Ms. Yacoub ran unopposed and the voters in her district were not presented a choice.

"I will continue to put my heart into building a better community for all of us in Hudson.”

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Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
(715) 426-1066
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