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A3 Thursday, October 20,

Harley-Davidson tops LCS, Johnsonville brats Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest now complete MADISON, Wis. — In the end, Milwaukee Hogs topped Sheboygan brats and Marinette combat ships to win the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, with voting done by the people online, the sponsors announced Tuesday. “This was a classic Wisconsin battle of bikes, brats and boats, and the bikes won in fierce online voting,” said Kurt R. Bauer, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) President and CEO. “We are the premier manufacturing state in the nation and the nearly 300 nominees for the award are a testament to the strength of our manufactur-

ing sector and the prowess of our manufacturing heritage.” In voting that concluded over the weekend, Harley-Davidson’s new Milwaukee-Eight engine, which powers the company’s iconic motorcycles, defeated Johnsonville brats and Marinette Marine’s Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) to claim the coveted prize of “The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.” “We are excited to be honored as the coolest product in Wisconsin,” said Randy Christianson, general manager of Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations, “Where nearly 1,000 employees work together to create the Milwaukee-

Eight engine. These products and Harley-Davidson motorcycles are a testament to great manufacturing in Wisconsin and the United States of America.” The contest was run by WMC and sponsored by Johnson Financial Group. The Milwaukee-Eight engine is Harley-Davidson’s ninth Big Twin and the first new engine built in nearly two decades. It has a four valve head, is more efficient and produces more torque. It is built in Wisconsin along with 90 percent of all Harley-Davidson engines in a state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing facility. The winner was announced

Tuesday at WMC’s State of Wisconsin Business luncheon in Madison. Governor Scott Walker has declared October in Wisconsin as Manufacturing Month, as the state celebrates its manufacturing heritage of high-wage jobs. Manufacturing employs almost 500,000 Wisconsin residents, and the state consistently ranks among the top manufacturing states in the nation. In September, more than 20,000 votes were cast for the nominees. Every product received a vote, and more than 30 products received hundreds of votes. The three top vote-getters were:

■ Motorcycles, HarleyDavidson, Inc., of Milwaukee ■ Littoral Combat Ships, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, of Marinette ■ Brats, Johnsonville Sausage, LLC, of Sheboygan Falls Tom Bolger, president and CEO of Johnson Financial Group, said during the awards ceremony that manufacturing is critical to a strong economy and Wisconsinites should celebrate their heritage. “At Johnson Financial Group, we value manufacturing and our manufacturing clients,” Bolger said. “And like many of you in this room, we value the success of Wisconsin’s manufacturers.”

Marinette school levy will decrease

By CHELSEA EWALDT EagleHerald staff writer cewaldt@eagleherald.com

EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Brick by brick

Del Hollern (right), WODA construction, lays brick with Justin Field as they put the brick back up on the Lloyd House II building Tuesday in Menominee. The main wooden beam and steel beam were replaced Monday with laminated veneer and the new beam has a water-proof plastic covering for a long-lasting fix, according to the men. The beam is visible at the bottom.

FROM A1

ASSESSOR:

Council member Frank Pohlmann, chairman of the Finance Committee, said at the Oct. 11 committee meeting that he wanted to schedule a meeting with Negro to discuss “past assessments.” Jamo said the proposed meeting has not yet been formalized, nor has the agenda. He did not know if Pohlmann had other issues he wanted to discuss with Negro. According to an April 26, 2016, letter from Heather S. Frick, executive director of the State Tax Commission to members of the commission, 1,015 local units in 55 counties were included in AMAR Phase 1 and Phase 2 reviews during 2014 and 2015. “Follow up reviews are conducted according to the corrective action plan submitted by the local unit.” Menominee’s 2015 tax roll was seized by the state in March 2015 because it was not been signed by an assessor of record — following the loss of the city’s longtime assessor Jill Schwanz and the hiring of a part-time assessor, Robert Desjarlais, after her departure from city employment. Negro was hired as a part-time, contracted assessor, in October 2015, and assured the city that she would be able to address the concerns brought forward in the AMAR review. A Sept. 28, 2016, letter from Sobel stated that Tax Management and Associates had recently conducted the AMAR review of the City of Menominee’s 2015 tax roll. She wrote: “The City of Menominee does not meet the minimum requirements in one of more of the following areas and will need to be corrected: Policy regarding public inspection of records must be approved by the board; lack of documented Economic Condition Factor Determinations; lack of Land Value Maps; a lack of documented Land Value Determinations; and the current year’s assessments do not include new

construction from the prior year.” The city requested a 30-day extension beyond the Nov. 6, 2015, deadline, and a corrective action plan was filed Nov. 27, 2016. According to former City Manager Ted Andrzejewski, the State of Michigan Department of Treasury State Tax Commission accepted the plan in January 2016. Andrzejewski told the Finance Committee March 14, 2016, that Negro had completed the corrections and he had not heard back from the state. He also stated that Negro had corrected 610 properties without reasons listed for adjustments, and that she “went back and put the assessed value at 100 percent.” The follow-up review was conducted by the state June 28, 2016, according to Sobel’s Oct. 4 letter and determined the land value adjustments were removed “without reasons.” According to the Michigan Department of Treasury State Tax Commission website, during analysis of Phase 1 and Phase 2 AMAR reviews ( in 2014 and 2015), “is was noted a large number of local units have land value adjustments without reasons listed in the local unit records. While land adjustments are often appropriate, a reasonable explanation needs to be included in the local unit records. This will allow taxpayers, township officials and other interested parties to easily determine why an adjustment from the ‘normal’ land value determinations was made for a specific parcel. “When noted in an AMAR review that a local unit has an excessive number of land adjustments without reason, an assessor should first review all of those adjustments to determine if they are necessary and then note a reasonable explanation for the adjustments in their records.”

DEBATE:

about exactly that. Trump denied the accusations anew Wednesday night, saying the women coming forward “either want fame or her campaign did it.” Clinton said Trump “thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their selfworth.” She avoided answering a question about her husband’s infidelities. Trump pressed Clinton on immigration, accusing her of wanting an “open borders” policy, a characterization she vigorously disputes. The Republican, who has called for building a wall the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, said that under a Clinton presidency, “People are going to pour into our country.” Clashing on trade, Trump said Clinton had misrepresented her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, noting that she had originally called it the “gold standard” of trade agreements. Clinton shot back that once the deal was finished, it didn’t meet her standards. “I’m against it now. I’ll be against after the election. I’ll be against it when I’m president,” she said. Both were asked if they would consider tax increases or benefit cuts to support Social Security and Medicare programs. Trump said he would cut taxes and repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but he did not detail any plans for Social Security or other entitlement programs. Clinton said she would put more money in the Social Security trust fund through increasing taxes on the wealthy and other methods and promised

not to cut benefits. She also argued that the Affordable Care Act has extended the solvency of Medicare and said she would work to bring costs down. On foreign policy, Clinton reasserted her opposition to sending a large-scale U.S. troop presence to the Middle East to defeat the Islamic State. She’s backed a no-fly zone in Syria, which would mark an expansion of the current U.S. strategy. For Trump, the debate marked one of his final chances to reshape a race that appears to be slipping away from him. Clinton’s campaign is confidently expanding into traditionally Republican states, while Trump’s narrow electoral path is shrinking. Clinton has struggled throughout the campaign to overcome persistent questions about her honesty and trustworthiness. In the campaign’s closing weeks, she’s begun appealing to Americans to overcome the deep divisions that have been exacerbated by the heated campaign, saying on stage Wednesday that she intended to be a president for those who vote for her and those who do not. Clinton faced debate questions for the first time about revelations in her top adviser’s hacked emails that show her striking a different tone in private than in public regarding Wall Street banks and trade. But she quickly turned the discussion to Russia’s potential role in stealing the emails. Underscoring the deep discord between Trump and Clinton, the candidates did not shake hands at the beginning or end of the debate.

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MARINETTE — The Marinette School Board Tuesday approved the 201617 tax levy and budget. According to Business and Finance Director Brian Walters, the tax levy is going down to $8.79 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Last year’s levy was approved at $9.44, which amounts to total decrease of 65 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation. “We’re having a pretty substantial decrease in the levy this year for two reasons — right now we’re at a little over a 3 percent increase in the amount of aid that we got from the state and property values went up,” Walters said. As an example, for a house that is assessed at $100,000, the total school tax would be $879 versus $944 from the previous year. As for the budget, it is projected to be at a $528,055 deficit. Earlier this year, Walters had given the board a higher projection. In order to reduce the deficit, the district took some measures to help save money, which included reducing administration by $100,000 and made other staffing changes which saved about $300,000. “This is better than we were expecting,” Walters said. “We aren’t happy that we have a $528,000 deficit, but last year we received zero dollars of funding from the state. This year we’re getting $100 per student. Throughout this year, we’ll be looking for ways to reduce for next year’s budget to have our ultimate goal of a balanced budget.” The board also eliminated long-term care insurance, which will help save the district around $420,000 a year, Walters explained. Walters said the district uses a zero-based budgeting.

“This (tax levy) is better than we were expecting.” Brian Walters Marinette School District Business and Finance Director “With zero-based budgeting, you start off at zero with everything,” he said. “Every department has to justify why they’re requesting what they’d like and they need to prioritize things as absolutely necessary, enhancement or a want.” In order to see what teachers and staff needed around the district, Walters met with departments at building levels and scrutinized the budgets, “until they got down to place where it is supporting our goals and the mission of our school district,” he said. “Now that we have the Marine Way, we’re trying to align our resources to accomplish all those things,” he said. “Sometimes it’s not the easiest because you have limited funding — it is what it is. You have to make tough choices and keep the things in the budget that are going to make the most impact on achieving our goals.” The school district is on the right path to balancing a budget, Walters said. “These are extremely tough financial times for school districts,” he said. “Many school districts across the state are going to operational referendums just to keep their doors open. We haven’t had to do that. We still have a very good fund balance and that’s something that was built up over time. We’ve been dipping into that, so it’s not sustainable. That’s why we need to have a plan to balance in short order.”

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