The West Bend school board is a tax-and-spend entity. Many have said the current members are good stewards of the taxpayer money entrusted to them. Here are examples of school board expenditures in the last few years:
- The school board rewarded all teachers with a $1 million raise, without considering merit like private industry.
- The board gave salary increases of about $20,000 to the last two superintendents. In addition, Supt. Erik Olsen received $300,000 as an early buy out.
- Last summer the board voted to re-pave the high schools’ tennis courts for $360,000.
- The referendum survey mailed last June cost taxpayers $16,500. Three referendum postcards were mailed to each district home, and now a fourth one will be sent because of a major mistake. The district neglected its own regulation to cite the amount of interest on referendum paperwork.
- Maintenance was deferred at Jackson Elementary for years, because of plans for a new school. Under the April 2 referendum, $24,400,000 will go towards a larger school at Jackson even though enrollment is declining there and throughout the district. In 10 years the district is projected to lose 500 pupils or more.
This April 2 referendum will obligate our community with a debt of $74 million (including interest over 19 years). The previous referendums for Silverbrook and Badger won’t be paid off until 2028, and that debt is currently $31 million.
Do you think our school board is thoughtfully managing our money, given declining enrollment and the desire to saddle taxpayers with a total debt of $105 million? I answer “No,” and I ask you to vote “No” on the April 2 referendum.
John HegerDisclaimer: Opinions and letters published in http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher. The http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com reserves the right to edit or omit copy, in accordance with newspaper policies. Letters to the Editor must be attributed with a name, address and contact phone number – names and town of origin will be printed, or may be withheld at the Editor’s discretion. During the course of any election campaign, letters to the editor dealing with election issues or similar material must contain the author’s name and street address (not PO Box) for publication.
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