After facing a loss of about 75% of its room tax dollars income with the closing of Heidel House, the Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce was hoping for financial assistance from the Green Lake City Council to support the chamber’s events next year.

   The City Council sustained this hope when it pledged its entire contingency fund for 2020, totaling $20,000, to the chamber, but the chamber’s hopes were dashed when Mayor Jon McConnell vetoed the council’s decision.

   In its official statement to the Commonwealth, regarding the veto, the chamber noted “it was disappointed to learn of the Mayor’s decision to veto funding approved by the City Council for next year’s Independence Day fireworks and Harvest Fest community events. For the past 32 years, the Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit entity, which is officially recognized by the City of Green Lake and the Town of Brooklyn as the entity responsible for marketing the area as a tourist destination, has hosted these and other events, and which are considered by many local residents to be part of the fabric of our community.”

   In an earlier story, McConnell explained to the Commonwealth his decision to veto the financial aid stemmed from the inaction of the town of Brooklyn’s town board along with his opinion that taxpayer’s money should not support a private organization.

   “The town of Brooklyn did not give the chamber any money whatsoever, so we have no guarantees that the Fourth of July or the Harvest Fest continue,” he said. “There’s no guarantees of that, especially since the town of Brooklyn didn’t [financially support the chamber] ... I don’t feel it’s right for taxpayers to give to an organization; I don’t think it’s right to take taxpayers’ money and give it to organizations.”

   Read the full story, including why the chamber hopes the mayor will reverse his veto, in the Dec. 26, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.