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Curmudgeon's Corner

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

Village Buzz - November 6th...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz

GEA Members Protesting...

I have learned that teachers in Germantown, members of the Germantown Education Association, are apparently protesting by wearing black clothing, or black armbands and pins over their lack of a contract that expired a few months earlier.

The offer from the Board/Administration was in accordance with the QEO (qualified economic offer) rules still in effect in Wisconsin that cite a maximum of 3.8% compensation increase including benefits according to my information.

I Blogged yesterday about the QEO going away in Wisconsin given Democrat control and WEAC support.

Could this be the first salvo in that battle?  Is it just coincidence that this occurs the day after the election, or is it part of well-planned scenario to force that issue sooner rather than later.

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GOP Voter Turn-Out Down In Washington County...

I learned from an benefits industry newsletter this morning that voter turn-out on the GOP side of the race for president were off from the most recent similar race.

Washington County showed 50,641 votes for Bush in 2004 while there were a total of 47,725 votes cast for McCain.  Waukesha County showed 9,837 fewer votes for McCain versus Bush in 2004, and Ozaukee County reported 2,744 fewer votes for McCain versus Bush.

Given the intensity of the campaigning and other races that were involved, this would seem to suggest that conservatives were really 'put out' over being forced to cast votes for the least desirable of the Republican candidates that started the race.

These three counties are solid conservative counties typically.  Maybe this was a backlash or maybe there were more casual Republican voters who were swayed to cast their ballots for Obama because they liked him rather than as a protest of their selection.

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MATC Response Opposing The Germantown School District Petition Filed...

A 54 page response is available for your review on the MATC website if you like.  I've gleaned some of that information as follows:

  • "MATC offers the highest quality and greatest variety of programs and learning opportunities in the most diverse college in Wisconsin.  Germantown has benefited enormously from MATC's resources."
  • "As discussed below, reorganization would certainly not be in the best interests of the hundreds of Germantown residents who attend MATC, utilizing programming and coursework that is unavailable at Moraine Park."
  • "...Germantown has not presented any compelling reason to sever its productive, long-standing relationship with MATC and realign Germantown with Moraine Park.  To do so would-in effect-place an unfunded mandate upon MATC by reducing its revenues without any corresponding reduction in costs.  Programming and enrollment data strongly suggest that Germantown residents will continue to attend MATC and utilize its resources, even if reorganization occurs."

This could, and does, go on and on through the course of the 15 page letter signed by the MATC President, Dr. Darnell E.Cole, and the MATC Board Chairperson, Lauren Baker.

It asserts that there is no real reason for the petition other than our desire to get out from under the $5.7 million annual tax burden (that MATC fails to acknowledge has climbed exponentially over time).  It complains that the sole reason for the petition is financial and it says that isn't permitted as a reason for consideration.

I was struck by the fact that MATC can decry the petition on the basis of the financial havoc that would be visited on MATC but the citizens of the school district are denied the same opportunity.

MATC brags about the unique courses available, and the commuting distance differences.

That rings hollow to me since there has been no indication that Germantown students, as few as they are in total number, are seeking out MATC for those "unique" courses.  The discussion of "distance" rings hollow for me since I can drive "more quickly and more easily" from Germantown to West Bend than to either the Mequon campus or the downtown campus.

MATC points out the $2.7 million investment made in the Mequon campus over the past ten years but fails to acknowledge the $40 to $50 million in taxes paid by us citizens over that same time span.  Again, the point of money is made by MATC but cannot be used to defend the petition.

MATC says it would have to engage in "substantial" program/job cuts" if the petition were to be approved.  What a novel idea for this organization contrasted with the endless tax increases that have been and will continue to be levied.  Once again, they can use the fiscal fact set they create to defend against our petition but we cannot use the fiscal fact set we create to auger in favor of our petition.

I  have long maintained that the likelihood of a ruling favorable to the Germantown School District in its petition to move to Moraine Park was a long shot, at best.

Reading the story put together to defend the poorly run MATC organization makes me ill, as it also helps me see that the likelihood of a favorable ruling is probably much more remote than I had ever supposed.

This is such a classic case of a non-elected governmental body with taxing authority being judged by its own parent to the detriment of us citizens.  This simply has to change...but that isn't going to happen for the time period during which the Democrats control state government.  I'd simply better come to understand that and forget trying to tip windmills.

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