cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The vacancy on our Germantown School Board was the subject of a MacIver Institute release on October 3rd titled “Germantown School Board Vacancy Attracts Union Supporters”.
This piece identified the people who have indicated interest in being appointed to fill the seat vacated by Dr. Michael Erdmann. The seat is expected to be filled when the Board meets on October 10th. The process requires a majority of the six members (four votes) to select the one person on whom they have agreed is best suited for that position. If one or two members are absent, then the winner would need to get at least three votes. The votes continue until the field has been reduced essentially to the ‘last person standing’ with a majority of the votes.
The list of applicants and the MacIver description of each follows:
Dan Campbell (no relation to me) who has worked for the Teamsters Union and who signed a recall petition and collected signatures to recall Sen. Darling in the recent special election.
Paul C. Adair (registered to vote at the same address as Sylvia Adair who appeared in an advertisement attacking Alberta Darling) who signed a recall petition to recall Darling. He also participated in collecting signatures against Darling in Menomonee Falls.
Karen Reiss who was an instructional specialist in the Germantown School District and also signed a petition to recall Darling.
Cari Lin Brust who works for the West Bend School District as the Director of Human Resources. She was appointed to the Germantown Board to fill a vacancy but lost the election in April, 2010 when she ran for that seat. She lists experience as the West Bend Education Association Labor Relations/Negotiations Representative and the West Bend Education Association Council Representative.
Greg S. Anderson about whom the MacIver Institute had no background information.
Sarah Larson who has attended several meetings of the Board and who has stated her support of the Walker Repair Bill and Budget.
Against this backdrop, it is also interesting that the current Board President, Lester Spies, signed a petition to recall Darling.
There is more than simple political orientation involved in the process of selecting a replacement for Dr. Erdmann, but there seems a decided attempt on the part of the labor movement to gain influence through this seat. While the changes made by the Republican majority in Madison have altered the landscape of negotiations for school boards, there are still many ways in which a labor influence could be brought to bear. Employee handbooks would be an example.
Germantown is a politically conservative village and the school district is comprised of politically conservative communities. Even if a person with loyalties to organized labor is seated, there is always the next election as was demonstrated when Cari Brust lost by a 3 to 2 margin. That being said, the incumbent usually does have some advantages.
I have no idea of the way this will play out on Monday evening but thought the mix of candidates was interesting. Given the fact that the wounds from the recent past are obviously not yet healed, this also may say something about a potential recall effort aimed at Governor Walker. He is taking that threat seriously given staffing changes made in his office.