Letter: Bicycle commission chairman should step down

To the Editor-

The chairman of the Stevens Point Bicycle and Pedestrian Street Safety Commission needs to resign his post.

After seeing a number of Facebook posts and stories about Mr. Roark running a local bicycle-based business, I’m curious how he has been legally able to remain on the commission. I am not a lawyer but I believe the city attorney needs to look into this issue; aren’t there laws against public figures financially benefiting from something they voted on?

As far as I can tell, Mr. Roark has been one of the main driving forces behind all the new bicycle lanes in Stevens Point for a long time, even if he’s not an elected representative. He has spoken “as a resident and not representing any group of commission” on several occasions at a city committee, the city council, and the plan commission. But he IS a representative of the bicycle commission because he is its chairman!

But Mr. Roark owns Curbwise LLC, a delivery business where he delivers items from the Stevens Point Co-op and other local businesses to your home. It’s a great idea, especially during a pandemic, but how should he be able to financially benefit from the system of bicycle lanes and infrastructure that he votes on? He shouldn’t.

Even if his continued participation on the commission is legal, it does not seem ethical, and that should be reason enough for him to step down.

Roseanne Phile
Plover resident, Stevens Point property owner

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