Write-in candidates hope to add local controls to incoming frac sand mine in Glenwood City, WI

We are fast approaching an important election day: April 1st.

The fate of public schools, county institutions, libraries, and so many services to the public hinge on who gets elected.

In Glenwood City, the outcome of the April 1st election will determine whether Texas-based mining company Vista Sand can keep its license to call the shots for the community and install a thinly regulated 384-acre frac sand mine one half mile from the local school.

Julian Bender has announced that he is a write-in candidate against pro-frac sand mayor John Larson.

Chris Schone has announced write-in candidacy for the city council.

In December Schone lost by only two votes in a recall election against city council incumbent David Graese.

Please see their press release below for details:

Bender and Schone To Run As Write-in Candidates for Mayor and Council on April 1

Julian Bender and Chris Schone announced on Friday that they will be running as write-in candidates in the Tuesday, April 1, Glenwood City election.

Bender will seek the Mayor position and Schone will run for a seat on the City Council.

“We have both been both been asked by a number of our fellow citizens to consider running as write-in candidates so that Glenwood City residents can have a clear choice in this important election,” said Julian Bender.

“Over the past few months, it has become clear that Mayor and Council are pushing to sign a mining and annexation agreement with Vista Sands that may not protect the interests of our community, or those of our neighbors in Downing,” Bender said. “We need to step back and make sure we are doing the right thing, and do it the right way.”

He pointed out that the Citizens Advisory Group spent several months drafting provisions for a mining ordinance. However, the Council has, in a pending agreement with Vista Sands, decided to waive key provisions like limits on hours of operation and truck traffic.

Schone, who lost by only two votes in the December recall election, also said that he is running again because the Council has not kept its promises to the community and has not stood behind the mining provisions agreed to by the Citizen Advisory Committee before the December recall election. “There is a clear sense in the community, that the Council is not listening to citizens and that changes are being acted on too quickly,” Schone said.

“When this whole thing started,” Schone points out, “there were big promises of up to $250,000 in annual payments to the City. Now we are told the reality is that total tax and royalty payments may be only $90,000-$115,000. Instead of over 70 jobs, there may be 40, and no guarantee of how many will be local. The Citizen’s Advisory Committee recommended mining hours be limited to 10 hours/ five days a week. The Council is now allowing 24 hours/ seven days a week operation and truck traffic will be nearly constant. Air quality issues for our schools are not being adequately assured, and we have parents who are clearly stating that they plan to transfer their kids to other districts.”

Bender and Schone said that their campaigns will rely on friends and neighbors spreading the word, knocking on doors and asking for support over the final week before the election. “This will be a very grassroots effort,” Bender said. “If Glenwood voters think that we need to take to the time to make sure our community interests are protected, then we ask for their support.”
Bender and Schone state that they are not “anti-mine”, but that they are opposed to this mine, at this time. Both believe that Glenwood City can provide other opportunities for local economic development.

Both candidates are happy to answer questions and talk about their positions. Julian can be reached at 715-265-7362 and Chris at 715-977-0200.

Contacts: Julian Bender (715-265-7362, 952-467-8941), Chris Schone (715-977-0200)

glenwood city

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Continued Reading:

An article on the December Glenwood City recall from Wisconsin Watch

Recall vote results from WIvoices

An interview with a local Glenwood City business owner who spoke out against frac sand mining

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