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
Special School Board Meeting...
Tom Kertscher's article in the Journal Sentinel indicates that the school board will convene at 5:30PM today to consider referendum questions.
He reports that the school board has voted to end the full day kindergarten effort for the 2009-2010 school year because of the space limitations that necessitated a lottery approach. Michael Schultz, Vice President of the board was quoted as saying that he didn't make this proposal to persuade voters to approve a building referendum but saw that a connection might be made by voters. His attributed quote in this article was, "They are not unrelated".
I am not aware of who voted in favor or if there were votes in opposition but I hope commenters may flesh that out for us.
Without taking a position on the matters that we may be voting for or against (since I don't yet know my position having not seen the actual items) there is, I think, a very real potential for a public relations backlash coming as the result of the recent vote against. This approach, as described by Kertscher, is a typical reaction as we've seen over and over again when a school board loses a referendum request. I have said before that I think a follow-up question without any changes made will be met with voter angst without regard to the needs.
It appears that there may, in fact, be some changes to the question or questions. First, apparently the $16.5MM request will be bumped to $22.5MM so that cost increases in the original plan and safety and technology upgrades to other buildings can be accommodated.
A second question is apparently going to be part of the debate at today's meeting (which I'll not be able to attend). The school district apparently will seek approval of the second question that would permit the district to exceed mandated revenue limits by some $750,000 annually. Whether or not there is a limit to the number of years or if this is intended to be open-ended is not clear. If open-ended, I suspect the voters will nix this request.
Does this $750,000 represent the battle between district administration and the school board? There has been quite a bit of 'back and forth' on a somewhat similar amount that seems to be a constant in spite of board direction.
Mid-Moraine Municipal Court...
Judge John Grundahl appears to once again find himself embroiled in some controversy. If you recall, he was involved in an issue brought to the fore by various police chiefs in his jurisdiction over the length of time he required to process warrants with some of those having taken three to four months. There was also a question about his holding juvenile convictions open for months.
In spite of that adverse publicity, Judge Grundahl was re-elected in the following election defeating Janet Heins.
The latest issue involves municipalities having approved a $50 fee for each time a warrant is issued with $25 going to the court (as is now the case) and the additional $25 going to the issuing municipality. The person named in the warrant would be obligated to pay this fee. Germantown is among the 14 municipalities that are perturbed by his refusal to collect the additional $25 fee. Judge Grundahl has been quoted as saying, "My concern was and is that this is an attempt to expand the authority of the Municipal Court without statutory support."
Is this simply a continuation of the most recent brouhaha? Is the judge simply being obstinate to demonstrate that he is the judge? Attorneys for the communities involved indicate that this practice is in place in other areas of Wisconsin.
This will probably end up being taken to the Circuit Court for a ruling. That seems a real waste of time for a court system that has not a lot of extra time available. Maybe the Attorney General can clear this matter up quickly.
Is it simply happenstance that we find Judge Grundahl involved in yet another dispute with the communities that comprise this court's jurisdictional district or does he lay in wait for such an issue to surface so that he can be disruptive?