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Village Board

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Richard Heidel

Village President

rheidel@hobart-wi.org

(920) 771-3110

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Dave Dillenburg

Village Trustee

ddillenburg@hobart-wi.org

(920) 655-1442

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Vanya

Koepke

Village Trustee

vkoepke@hobart-wi.org

(920) 604-9233

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Tammy

Zittlow

Village Trustee

tzittlow@hobart-wi.org

(920) 604-9231

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Melissa

Tanke

Village Trustee

mtanke@hobart-wi.org

(920) 771-3044

The Hobart Village Board consists of 4 Trustees and a Village President each elected "at-large" to 2 year overlapping terms.  The Village President serves a term of 3 years.  The elected officials are entrusted by the public to create and enact policies that uphold the health, safety, general welfare, morals, and principles of Village residents. Your Elected Officials are always willing and ready to hear your comments, questions or concerns.  Please feel free to contact them at any time.  The Village Board meets the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Board Member Email Access

January 2

January 16

February 6

* February 21

March 5

March 19

** April 3

*** April 16

May 7

May 21

June 4

June 18

June 24 (A)

July 2 (B)

July 16

March 19, 2024

April 16, 2024

May 7, 2024

May 7, 2004

June 4, 2024

July 2, 2024 (A)

A - CANCELLED (Applicant withdrew application on June 13th)

A - Special meeting

B - To be held at the Fire Station (2703 South Pine Tree Road)

* - Moved from February 19 due to Spring Primary Election

** - Moved from April 2 due to the Spring Election

*** - Agenda Amended

REBUTTAL OF FEBRUARY 26, 2024 ARTICLE IN MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL

 

Readers of Frank Vaisvilas’ February 26th Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article regarding the lawsuit being brought by the village of Hobart, Wisconsin against the US Department of the Interior (“DoI”) deserve better reporting and more information than what was provided.  Hobart is challenging the DoI for its decision to accept approximately 500 acres into federal trust.  The suit challenges the decision on constitutional and other grounds.  Despite, or in addition to, Mr. Vaisvilas’ reporting, more history and information is sorely needed.

 

The US Congressional Dawes (or Allotment) Act of 1887 allotted 65,000 acres of, what was then considered, reservation land to Oneida tribal members in Wisconsin.  Individual tribal members took clear title to their respective allotted acreage.  Tribal members were then able to pursue their interests with the land, e.g., farming, logging, improvements, selling to non-tribal parties, etc.  There were both legitimate and fraudulent purchases of land, to be sure.  However, Congressional intent and popular sentiment for assimilation seemed aligned: tribal and non-tribal residents lived side by side, shared resources, intermarried, and contended with the challenges of the era.  By the early 1900’s, tribal and non-tribal residents alike were interested in county, state, and federal aid, primarily for roads.  The Town of Hobart, Wisconsin was thus incorporated in 1908 - with Oneida tribal members as the first two town chairmen.  (The town of Hobart was incorporated as a village in 2001.)

 

Mr. Vaisvilas reports that Hobart’s legal bill to fight the tribe amounts to $1M over a ten-year period.  Here are a few salient points that are not reported:

  • Hobart not only has a right to bring legal action in its own defense but has a responsibility to do so.

  • Despite myth and urban legend, not once has the village of Hobart ever sued the Oneida Tribe during Vaisvilas’ ten-year period.

  • As a result of Hobart’s legal challenges since 2008:

    • Approximately $6.3M of property tax revenues have been preserved since 2008 – revenues for the county, the public schools, NWTC, and the village.  That’s an enviable return on investment!

    • More than $200M of new tax base was created by the village of Hobart, for all taxing entities, when it successfully defended itself in federal court against tribal claims that tribal land – owned by the Tribe but not in federal trust - could not be condemned for public use.  The Tribe had intentionally tried to obstruct Hobart’s development plans, which were only intended to offset loss of property tax revenue due to so much land going into federal trust at the time.

    • Storm water utility fees and any special assessments were determined by the federal court to be appropriate for tribally owned land not in federal trust.

    • Hobart confirmed that the United States does NOT show that the abandoned railroad along Cty Hwy J through the Village is in federal trust – despite the Oneida Tribe’s claim that it is.

  • Mr. Vaisvilas fails to report an audited legal cost incurred by the Oneida Tribe, comparable to what he reported as Hobart’s $1M legal bill (which includes more than just tribally related legal costs).  What were the Tribe’s legal fees and where is their transparency?  (By the way, the village of Hobart is proud to provide first-class municipal services for its 11,000 citizens – tribal and non-tribal alike - with an annual operating budget of approximately $4M.  This compares to the Tribe’s bloated $400M(+) budget for a reported enrollment of 17,000 members.)

 

Mr. Vaisvilas is accurate in reporting that the village of Hobart DOES allege that a conflict of interest exists between the Oneida Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (the federal government).  But here’s what he doesn’t report: the Oneida Tribe pays the salaries of the BIA officials that processes its fee to trust applications. The Bureau of Indian Affairs maintains a Minneapolis, MN office wherein tribal applications for federal trust land are processed and decided.  That BIA office is subsidized by a consortium of several Indian tribes, one of which is the Oneida Tribe of Indians.  This is a flagrant conflict of interest.  It’s inexplicable as to how it has been allowed to exist.  How is this any different than Mrs. Jones paying the judge’s wages and the tent, table, various ribbons, and PA system for the county fair’s pie-baking contest in which Mrs. Jones has entered her own apple pie?

 

Finally, Vaisvilas reports that other governmental bodies on the former reservation have entered into service agreements with the Oneida Tribe.  These agreements are intended to describe and quantify governmental services provided to the Tribe for which the Tribe, in turn, reimburses those governments.  The reimbursement is essentially a “payment in lieu of taxes” for non-taxable trust properties.  What is not reported is that the Tribe will not enter these agreements without the governmental party waiving all future opposition to Tribal trust applications.  Why should that have anything to do with the Tribe paying its share of the tax burden to the governments rendering the services?  The service agreement should be nothing more than an invoice mechanism.  The village of Hobart decided a while ago that it cannot participate in its own incremental dissolution.  While the Village is wrongly being deprived of just compensation for its municipal services, we enjoy an amazing amount of freedom and discretion in our relations with the Tribe.  We will not be bought!

 

Our concerns are not solely financial, i.e., property taxes.  We are as much concerned with the inability to plan responsible municipal growth, enforce ordinances, provide public safety, and secure the common good for ALL village residents regardless of whether they’re tribal or non-tribal.  These are legitimate jurisdictional issues.

 

What kind of sovereign government refuses to pay for services provided to it by its good-willed neighbors, or continues to engage in claims of victimhood while holding “hat in hand” for yet more federal grants, subsidies, and programs - all financed by the very Americans it claims to be its “victimizers”?  Throughout history, what ethnic group or nation or government has been spared brutality, or even perpetrated it itself?  Whether it be in government, education, sports, entertainment, or our very US Constitution – ethnic identities and blood quantum should have no role to play.

 

- Hobart Village Board

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