Public deserves vote on Fiber to the Home

To the editor:

To Sibley County residents: Late last month I shared my apprehension about the once-failed RS Fiber/Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project. It was humbling to hear from many of you about my letter.

Overwhelmingly the anxiety we all share about this largest-ever financial obligation on Sibley County residents is that we never get any say. A Joint Powers Board decided two years ago we don’t get a public vote and they won’t let us vote on it this time either.

Several of you asked me why. Candidly, I do not know what to tell you because I have been trying to get an answer to that very same question for two years.

Today, in Sibley County if you want reliable landline telephone service, hundreds of television channels, and high speed internet access, you can order it from numerous companies. And not one of them will make you pay their debts if they go out of business. On top of it each one pays a lot of taxes. One of the oldest companies in Sibley County, Winthrop Telephone, gives 42 percent of their profits back in taxes.

Please understand that with RS Fiber/Fiber to the Home you and I will be on the hook for every single bill, every single debt, and every single invoice piled up when this project does not pencil out. In fact, they’ve already used our money to try and sell this to us. Oh, there are two groups that will get paid off 100 percent: the Wall Street companies selling the bonds and the professional consultants.

Please let your city council or your township board and your county commissioner know politely that our Social Security widows on fixed income deserve a public vote on this enormous project.

Mark L. Santelman

Winthrop

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