Editorial: Mediate agreement with Oneida Nation
"When Brown County Judge Marc Hammer declined to issue a temporary injunction Wednesday that would have delayed the service agreement between Brown County and the Oneida Tribe of Indians, he also asked all parties to participate in mediation between now and an Oct. 27 trial.

Officials of the village of Hobart, which asked for the injunction, the county and tribe would be wise to take Hammer's advice.

Tribal Chairman Gerald Danforth offered a detailed history of the treaties and court rulings that validate the process that led to the service agreement. He concluded, however, with a shot across the bow.

"Our intent to enter into service agreements with our neighbors is conditional," Danforth said. "The conditions are simply: Recognize and respect our sovereignty as we do yours."

Hobart clearly has issues with the tribe's sovereign rights, but village officials are of the belief that the tribe, and now the county, have disrespected the village's rights as well. The way to resolve these differences is by sitting down with each other and having an honest discussion — by trying to reach an understanding — not by going to court.

By all accounts, the Hobart-Lawrence and Oneida police work well together. Focus groups show Hobart residents admire and respect the Oneida department, Danforth said. The key, then, is for the leaders of these governments to develop the same trust and respect that residents have for each other. A mediator might offer the fresh perspective needed to come to an agreement."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Service agreements are a matter of trust, not one for the courts (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 6/22)

Gerald Danforth: Recognition, respect keys to cooperation between Oneida, neighbors (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 6/17)
Tom Hinz: Service agreement good for county, tribe, Hobart (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 6/17)
Rich Heidel: Hobart under siege (The Green Bay Press-Gazette 6/10)

Related Stories:
Oneida Nation set for agreement with county (5/28)