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Website: The place to air not-so-neighborly grievances?

The Town of River Falls has received a flurry of complaints about its website.

While questions and comments are encouraged, Town Board members now find the website has become a place for residents to air frustrations about neighbors.

At its June 2 regular meeting, the board discussed some recent complaints from residents, including a neighbor’s dog barking too much and a neighbor “shooting guns” from 11 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on the complainant’s day off.

When a board member contacted the resident over the alleged barking dog, the resident wanted to know who’d written the complaint.

Supervisor Brad Mogen doesn’t think the town is obligated to reveal a person’s name when the complaint is written in confidence.

Obligated or not, Supervisor Joe Mahoney said, “You have a right to know who your accuser is.”

Town Board Chairwoman Diana Smith isn’t sure there’s an answer.

According to Smith, the website is a “deep hole that things go into,” and she questions whether the town is required to respond to each complaint.

Using the example of a resident shooting guns legally on his or her own property, Mogen suggested stating on the website that unless there’s a violation of a town policy, the board will not take action on a complaint.

Supervisor Siri Smith stands by what the board has told residents in the past, which is, “Come to the board meeting.”

Said Siri Smith: “The board meeting is a place to air it beyond their hiding behind their whining online.”

For now, the board has decided to tell residents that complaints are not handled through the website.

Residents will be instructed to contact a Town Board member if they would like the board to consider a complaint.

More town of River Falls news can be found in the June 12 print edition of the River Falls Journal.