April 5, 2020 – West Bend, WI – I am voting for only one candidate for West Bend School Board – true conservative, Jody Geenen. She is honest, accountable, transparent, smart, and works hard.
While on the board (2011-17), I voted on the merits of each proposal and was accountable for my own vote. Thus, it is only fair we hold incumbents Ongert, Justman, and Schmidt accountable for each of their own votes and mistakes. Each voted for a poorly designed and pricey $74 million referendum last spring that failed.
Last summer, a volunteer task force of leading residents put together an innovative, efficient, and affordable school facilities plan that was well received (I went to many of the public meetings). The board, including the three incumbents, has done little if anything to use it.
When I was on the board, the superintendent ran each district mailing by the board before being printed. On occasion, there was an error I caught before it went out. The three incumbents could have done that as part of their required duty of district oversight.
Instead, they allowed a mailing to all district residents for the last referendum that clearly violated policy 615, Disclosure of Financing and Total Costs of All Referenda. The district only corrected it after complaints. So much for transparency and accountability from those three.
I was at the February 24 policy committee meeting. The board is considering watering policy 615 down by removing requirements that all four disclosures (i.e., principal, total interest cost, total cost, interest rate) appear when referenda are mentioned. Instead, only a link to the district website few people will use would be required. They are also considering adding the mill rate, which would make the policy confusing.
Policy 615 works well and should be left as-is. Jody Geenen gets this. She alone has my vote.
Letter submitted March 27, 2020
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