LLOYD MITCHELL’S descendents attending a Sept. 10 Common Council meeting are, in the foreground, Ripon resident Becky Craig Glaeser and her father and Lloyd Mitchell’s cousin, Madison resident John Craig. 		    Ian Stepleton photo
LLOYD MITCHELL’S descendents attending a Sept. 10 Common Council meeting are, in the foreground, Ripon resident Becky Craig Glaeser and her father and Lloyd Mitchell’s cousin, Madison resident John Craig. Ian Stepleton photo

     The Ripon Common Council’s decision last week to “acknowledge and appreciate” surviving members of the Lloyd and Grace Mitchell family’s wishes appeared to be a gracious gesture made in the midst of the City Hall maelstrom that has risen out of a wonderfully unexpected windfall granted to the people of Ripon.

     The vote made Tuesday night to honor the Mitchells’ descendants’ desires appeared to be a thoughtful courtesy paid to the loved ones of a generous man.

     But it also had some other attributes.

     It was unnecessary, misdirected and a deflection.

     Aldermen voted unanimously to embrace Ald. Aaron Becker’s motion, which showed respect for preferences expressed by several relatives of the Mitchell couple, specifically recognizing their public endorsement of using Lloyd Mitchell’s money for a cultural center.

     Through the unexpected generosity of his estate, Lloyd left the city a gift of $484,811.93 almost 11 months ago to be spent toward construction of “any non-sectarian building for public use, and to forever maintain the same, or purchase land for a park under the same conditions [with the] building or park to be known as Grace & Lloyd Mitchell, building or park.”

     Let’s repeat that first part.

     The gift was from Lloyd Mitchell’s estate. It was his gift to make, unilaterally.

     It was not from his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends or next of kin.

     What they would like to see done with his gift to the city is of no relevance in this matter. None. ...
                                          — Tim Lyke  

     To read the entire editorial, see the Oct. 17, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.