I feel bullied by the city in which I grew up. I feel betrayed by the town in which I have lived my entire adult life.

If the boundary agreement between the city of La Crosse and the town of Shelby is ratified as it stands, our farm will be annexed to the city in 15 years. The resulting tax increase would, almost certainly, force us to sell our land to a developer.

Last winter, my husband and I attended a meeting for landowners. Jeff Brudos, who led the meeting, repeatedly assured us that, if our land remained undeveloped, it would remain in the town. Only if land were developed would it be annexed to the city.

I believe that a landowner should have the right to determine whether the land, which he or she has cared for and paid taxes on, should remain as farmland and woodland, or be turned into a housing development.

To arbitrarily annex our farm is inherently unfair and disrespectful of our rights as property owners. In addition, it shows a lack of understanding and appreciation for the role that green spaces play in our environment and our communities.

The proposal heavily favors the city of La Crosse, while giving limited reward to the residents of Shelby.

How does a few hours spent sitting in meetings compare to 113 years of stewardship of a family farm?

I ask that the proposal be restored to the original terms which were presented to us.

Lorna J. Schmitz, Town of Shelby

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