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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

Race for The Governor's Office...

Politics, Wisconsin, Taxes, Education, Economy, Employment

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One More Cut To Make...

Quality of Life, Potpourri, People Making A Difference, Education, Employment

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A Blessing of Riches...

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin, U.S.

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Washington County Ranked 8th...

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Healthcare, Education

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Quick Hits: March 27, 2014

Politics, People Making A Difference, U.S., Healthcare, Education, Employment

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Things Important & Things Relatively Unimportant

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference, Education

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A Well-Oiled Machine...

Village Buzz, Education, People Making A Difference, Wisconsin

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Not a Good Week For Unions...

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Education, Healthcare, People Making A Difference

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Back-to-School Day

Wisconsin, Education, Quality of Life

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Fiscal Sanity...At All Levels

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, School Board, Political, Education, Germantown, County Board, Economy

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Budget All Nighters?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Education, Healthcare, Economy

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End the Dithering

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Education, Taxes, Economy

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A Mouse In The Corner...

Wisconsin, Education, Political

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School Choice?

Education, Germantown, Quality of Life, School Board

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Election Day Is Upon Us...

Wisconsin, Political, Education, Quality of Life, Germantown, School Board

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Residency Requirements?

Wisconsin, Political, Education, Fire Department, Police, Quality of Life

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The Hawks Have Their Game Going Bigtime

Village Buzz, Germantown, Education, People Making A Difference

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Political Pettiness

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Education, Quality of Life, School Board, Village Board

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Is It Time To Revisit?

Village Buzz, Village Board, MATC, Political, Wisconsin, Education

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3D Printers

Quality of Life, Potpourri, People Making A Difference, Healthcare, Education

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"WEAC back to drawing board"

Wisconsin, Germantown, Education, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Has MATC No Shame?

Germantown, Political, Taxes, Wisconsin, Education

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The Nanny State & Brick Walls

U.S., Wisconsin, School Board, Political, Quality of Life, Healthcare, Education

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Sobering Thoughts

U.S., Quality of Life, Political, Economy, Education, Healthcare

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The Debates Are Finished!

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Education, Employment, Germantown

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Will America Be Ready?

U.S., Potpourri, People Making A Difference, Political, Education, Economy

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Huge Election Next Tuesday

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy, Education

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Village Buzz - April 21st

Village Buzz, Education, Quality of Life

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Village Buzz - April 19th

Village Buzz, Education, Germantown

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MATC Changes Coming?

MATC, Political, Taxes, Education

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Election Decisions...

Political, Germantown, Education, School Board, Wisconsin

The races for Germantown School Board seats were about as I had expected in this largely conservative district.  The group of three who were touting their conservative perspectives won rather decisively (with margins of 2-1 or better).  This was a highly contentious set of races and we will now observe what this means for the School Board.  Will there be contentious issues through-out the terms of these new Board members, or was that discussion largely politically-driven?  Will these races prove to have been the precursor to a more contentious overall political climate, or was that largely the result of the 'education system' being the driver of those feelings?

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Things Political....

Wisconsin, U.S., School Board, Political, Education, Germantown

Governor Walker's Act 10 bill was hit by a federal judge who found that unions could not be required to re-certify on an annual basis, and who found that the State of Wisconsin must collect union dues as has been done for many years.  That was not quite the victory that it is being billed to be, but it does take a little of the sting out of Act 10 from the unions' perspective.  It is a long way from overturning the law.

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Village Buzz - March 19th (Updated)

Village Buzz, Germantown, People Making A Difference, Education

WHAT A  RUN!!!

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MATC Board Unaware of Need for Audits?

Education, MATC, Taxes

As the saga of the MATC employee and her use of an MATC credit card for personal purposes continues to unfold, the revelation that no audits had been performed for a decade is astounding.  John Williams, the new VP of Finance at MATC, who came on board in July, 2010, ordered a routine audit soon after making that discovery.  That audit resulted in the discovery of the theft that had been routine for seven years.  The audit found that the woman accused is suspected of running up more than $10,000 per MONTH in illegal charges.

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Election Thoughts

Education, Germantown, People Making A Difference, Political, Quality of Life, School Board

Sheboygan voters decided they wanted to end the saga with their current mayor and turn a new page.  To his credit, the mayor stated that he had now been sober for 200 days, but the damage was done.  I hope he will continue to be sober.

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Village Buzz - February 2nd

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

I read of the Milwaukee School Board's refusal to permit the food service work to be outsourced in spite of the fact that these union employees were being favored with "fringe" benefits equal to an additional105.8% of their compensation.  That is right; if they are earning $10 per hour (and I feel certain that is way too low but it is easy for comparison purposes), their benefits are costing another $10.58 per hour for a total of $20.58 per hour.

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Haves vs. Have Nots

U.S., Quality of Life, Political, Economy, Education, Employment

We are witnessing one of the worst types of political campaigns this year.  We are watching as politicians try to convince one group that it is being intentionally victimized by the other group, and that it would really be part of the "Haves" if it weren't for the political tricks being played on it.  Class warfare, pure and simple.

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Goodbye 2011

Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference, Economy, Education, Employment, U.S., Wisconsin

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Village Buzz - December 9th

Village Buzz, Education

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GEA Recertification Voting Begins Tomorrow

Germantown, Education

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Recall Mania - Round Two

Wisconsin, Political, Economy, Education, Quality of Life

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"Educational" Debate

Wisconsin, Political, Education, Quality of Life, U.S.

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Student Loan Changes

U.S., Education, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life

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MATC Grabs the Front Page Again

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, MATC, Education

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Stench From UWGB

Wisconsin, Taxes, Quality of Life, Political, Education

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Village Buzz - October 8th

Village Buzz, School Board, Political, Germantown, Education

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Are You Using the Tools?

Wisconsin, Germantown, Education, School Board, Taxes, Quality of Life, Political

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Village Buzz - August 30th

Village Buzz, School Board, Quality of Life, Education, People Making A Difference

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Village Buzz - August 29th

Village Buzz, School Board, Education, People Making A Difference

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Village Buzz - August 24th

Village Buzz, School Board, Germantown, Education, Quality of Life

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Silver Linings

Education, Wisconsin, Political

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Will WEAC Survive?

Wisconsin, Political, Education

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An Inner City Obituary

Quality of Life, Political, Wisconsin, U.S., Education

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"Longhand" Writing Going Away?

Potpourri, Education

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Vote on Tuesday!!

Wisconsin, Village Board, School Board, Political, Education

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Neighbor vs. Neighbor

Wisconsin, Taxes, Quality of Life, Education

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Village Buzz - March 7th

Village Buzz, School Board, Germantown, Education, Taxes

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Random Thoughts on the State of Our State

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political, Education, Taxes

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Coming Visit to Madison

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Education, Taxes

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Hoop It Up!

Germantown, People Making A Difference, Education

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Village Buzz - February 23rd

School Board, Education, Germantown, Political

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State Teachers Union Drops Bombshell

Education, Germantown, Wisconsin, School Board, Taxes, Quality of Life

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Bits & Pieces for January 13th

Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Education, County Board

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What Would You Do?

School Board, Germantown, Education

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Hope and Change Revisited

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy, Education

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What Cuts Would You Make?

Germantown, Education, School Board, Village Board, Wisconsin, Taxes, County Board

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Joining the Military Appears Quite Difficult

U.S., Wisconsin, Education

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Don't Tell Us How to Parent Your Child

Education, Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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A "Class Act"...

Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Education

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Village Buzz - October 14th

Village Buzz, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Germantown, Education

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Interesting Times...

Economy, Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S., Wisconsin

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Village Buzz - June 3rd

Education, Germantown, Quality of Life, School Board, Village Buzz

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Village Buzz - May7th

Education, Germantown, Quality of Life, School Board, Village Buzz

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Village Buzz - April 30th

Fire Department, Germantown, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, School Board, Village Buzz, Police, Education

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Kline Joining Board Soon

Education, Germantown, School Board

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Bits and Pieces - April 8th

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board

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Village Buzz - April 6th

County Board, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Village Board, Village Buzz

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Winners & Losers - March 2nd

Education, Germantown, People Making A Difference, Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Village Buzz - February 9th...

Education, Germantown, Quality of Life, School Board

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Village Buzz - January 6th - Updated

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

Interesting Candidate Mix For Village President...

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Columbus Day Has Changed

Education, Political, Quality of Life

Admittedly, my youthful days in school are long past, but Columbus Day, when we honored the man who 'discovered' America has apparently changed.

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Village Buzz - September 15th...

County Board, Education, Political, School Board, Village Board, Village Buzz, Police

Mel Ewert Recovering From Surgery...

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Miscellany...

Economy, Education, Germantown, Healthcare, Political, Potpourri, Quality of Life, U.S., Wisconsin

There are simply too many items to sort down to one, so...

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Village Buzz - September 3rd...

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

More Than Meets The Eye...

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President Obama's Address to Students

Education, U.S., Quality of Life

President Obama will address the pre-K to 6th grade students all across America on Tuesday, September 8th.  On the one hand, that sounds like a neat idea.  On the other, it sounds somehow Orwellian.

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Village Buzz - August 26th...

Village Buzz, School Board, Quality of Life, MATC, Education

School Board Moves HS Principal...

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G'town School Funding Follow-Up

Education, Germantown, School Board, Taxes

The July 16th blog dealt with the dilemma that is faced by the Germantown School District as it works to make ends meet in the face of significant reductions in state contributions.  Ric Ericksen is the Business Manager of the District and has written the following in response to the blog (and possibly to one or more of the comments):
 
~~~~~~
 
"Maintaining a fund balance is necessary to meet the district's cash flow needs until such time as state aid and taxes are received. It is NOT a rainy day fund and, in my experience, most districts try to maintain a reasonable balance for only cash flow management purposes. By having some reasonable amount it helps minimize the need for short-term borrowing.
 
There are some experts (municipal bond advisors, auditors, GASB officials, DPI accountants) who strongly encourage schools and other local government agencies to maintain about a 30% fund balance as measured against the total general fund expenditure budget. If Germantown hit that target, the figure would be about $12 million. That would be nice, but it is a lot of tax dollars.
 
Without the borrowing and including the roughly $4.5 million on hand at the end of the fiscal year (June 30) our greatest deficit each year is in early January. That cash flow deficit is about $6.5 million dollars. Therefore, to meet our cash flow needs in 2008/2009 the district borrowed $6.5 million. Proceeds are invested until needed.
 
As a veteran school business manager it will be my suggestion to the Superintendent and Board of Education to minimize the impact on local property taxes resulting from the large reduction in state general aid. One way it could be done is to use fund balance with the intent on paying it back over several years. A bit of a "crap-shoot" ... yes, I suppose. But these are the most extraordinary economic times that most of us will ever be confronted with in our life time. Inasmuch as interest rates on both the borrowing and investments are very low and have been for the last year the option seems reasonable. It also seems prudent to help the local taxpayer with some sort of effort, this being one option.
 
Due to revenue controls imposed for over a decade, Germantown schools (like most) have cut significantly through the years.
 
For what its worth I have sat on my state association's accounting committee for over the last four years. We provide leadership and advise the state in all areas of school finance, accounting methods, and budget development."
 
~~~~~~
Thanks Ric for taking the time to write this piece.
 
~~~~~~
The Curmudgeon Blog today is titled Time For A Deep Breath.

It's The Law. Really?

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

There is new federal give-away program called "Race to the Top" that involves stimulus funds for schools that have innovative proposals for improving teaching and learning.  Wisconsin may be one of few states unable to qualify due to a law that sits on our books.

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G'town School Funding Dilemma

Education, Germantown, School Board, Taxes

The Germantown School District is, as discussed last week, between that proverbial "rock and hard place" that confronts us all from time to time.  Ric Ericksen, whose responsibility is the business side of school administration, was quoted in the article posted on July 14th on the Germantown Now website, indicating that the district is wrestling with the various options.

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QEO Out...Property Taxes Up

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes

Tomorrow the world of education in Wisconsin changes.  The QEO will be a thing of the past and school boards will be tested when bargaining with their union members.

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Village Buzz - June 3rd...

Education, Germantown, Village Buzz

Kennedy Middle School Discussion...

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Village Buzz - May 21st...

Education, Quality of Life, Village Buzz, School Board

GTA Job Actions Reported...

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Schools Advised They Can Re-Open

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

The Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, has put out the word today that the Swine Flu has not been as bad as had been feared.  She said that schools were no longer being told to close when a positive case had been found.

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Federal Control Of Student Lending

Economy, Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes

President Obama is moving headlong into national control of more and more essential areas of our lives.  We have seen nationalization of banks and auto manufacturers and insurers.  There is a heavy push going on today for a national health plan that would ultimately wipe out the private sector.

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More Milwaukee Schools Closed...

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin, Germantown, School Board

I continue to be amazed that the politicians, and their public health department, are closing even more schools in Milwaukee over the "Swine Flu" pandemic.

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QEO Virtually Dead...

Economy, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

The QEO, qualified economic offer, is virtually dead since the language inserted into the state budget by Governor Doyle to reward WEAC has survived Joint Finance Committee review.  Given that the Democrats control both the Assembly and the Senate, anything in the budget bill after the committee finishes its review will pass.

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State Budget Expectations...

Economy, Education, Germantown, Healthcare, Light Rail, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes, Village Board, Wisconsin

The Journal Sentinel staff has assembled its overview of some of the key issues that will be decided by the Joint Finance Committee in Madison as the "budget" process goes forward over the next days and weeks.  One of the things that should jump out at us all is just how much of the budget deals with things that aren't budget items, but instead with things that the Governor chooses to hide where they'll not be subject to debate on a free-standing basis.

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REMEMBER - VOTE

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Village Board, Wisconsin

Remember to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, for the several offices that are found on the ballot depending upon where you live in the village.  Those races appear as follow:

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What's The State Superintendent Position Worth?

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

The totals spent by WEAC on behalf of Tony Evers, current Deputy State Superintendent and their pick for the state superintendent's position on next Tuesday's ballot, have been made public.

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Village Buzz - March 25th...

Education, Germantown, Healthcare, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Village Buzz

I have received some details concerning the Germantown Education Association's negotiations with the Germantown School Board that give a better overview of that process.

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Year-round School?

Education, Political, Quality of Life

The Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent has indicated that he may favor year-round schools as part of the solution for poorly-performing students.  There are many things that come to mind, but, initially, I'd simply have to wonder if this is a solution if parents of those poorly-performing students don't buy into the importance of education today.  What's going to change in the current equation other than getting more teacher time with each student (who attends) before they simply drop out, thus continuing the roughly 50% rate of graduation in that system?

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Teacher Merit Pay...

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, U.S., Wisconsin

If this can be made workable on a uniform and well-defined basis, I am absolutely in favor of rewarding those teachers who exceed the requirements.  I've listened to what passes for both sides of the argument, and it seems there are ways in which this could be accomplished without creating a subterfuge where all students suddenly become "above average" as was the case in the fabled Lake Wobegone.

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Village Buzz - March 9th...

County Board, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Village Board, Village Buzz

Term Limits?

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State Superintendent Race...

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

It would appear that, for the first time in a long time, we'll actually have a race for this post.  The top two vote gatherers were Tony Evers and Rose Fernandez.

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Village Buzz - February 27th...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

Germantown Schools Update...

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After QEO...Do We All Just Get Along?

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

What will it be like after the QEO program is killed?

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QEO To Be Killed...

Economy, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

Governor Doyle has included the ending of the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) provision in the new biennial budget that he announced last evening.  This would presumably happen coincident with the beginning of this biennium which would be July 1, 2009.

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Public Data Available...

Economy, Education, Germantown, School Board, Taxes

The Journal Sentinel has maintained "data on demand" databases for some time and I noted that the Germantown School District data has been refreshed with more current information.

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Village Buzz - February 16th...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

There are four races that we will be able to vote on in Germantown on Tuesday.  Those are:

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Schoolyard Bullies?

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Taxes

As I read the article written by Thomas J. McKillen in the February 14th edition of the Express News, I couldn't help but think of the old-time "schoolyard bullies".

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Germantown School Board Issues...

Economy, Education, Germantown, Healthcare, School Board, Taxes

Our school board is dealing with a range of issues from kindergarten to school upkeep to wage and benefit negotiations.  All seem thorny and all seem to require more money.  Our board members are, I believe, genuinely trying to do their best to fairly resolve all their issues however some are more vexing than are others.  The coming elections provide the opportunity to retain one member or replace that member, and to select the replacement for another who has decided not to continue his service.  I must confess that I would not want that responsibility, and I am very happy there are those who are willing to accept it.  These people do not get rich doing this.  

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Village Buzz - February 12th...

Education, Germantown, Potpourri, Quality of Life, Village Buzz

Attendance Highest Ever at Drug Talk...

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New Education Coalition...

Economy, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

A new education coalition known as the Wisconsin School Finance Network has been formed to lobby for more state aid for education in spite of the serious financial situation we now find ourselves attempting to work out from under.  This coalition counts the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), the American Federation of Teachers - Wisconsin, Fair Aid Coalition, School Administrators Alliance, Southeastern Wisconsin Schools Alliance, Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, Wisconsin PTA and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards as its members.

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It's Back...MATC That Is...

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

Tom Kertscher reported yesterday on the business incubators that are owned and operated by MATC (Milwaukee Area Technical College for those of you new to the area) on the south and north sides of Milwaukee.  We wrote about these money-consuming abuses last year.  At the time, of course, we were hopeful that we'd be out from under this 'stuff' by now given the effort then underway to be permitted to move from this taxing district to another.

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Drugs: What You Need To Know

Education, Germantown, Police, Quality of Life

The Germantown Youth Futures organization is sponsoring a program that I previewed during my Citizen Police Academy experience last year.

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Three, or Four, or Five...

Education, Wisconsin

Those are the number of potential candidates for the State Superintendent position in Wisconsin this spring.  The number is assured of being at least three.  Two others are attempting to "rehabilitate" the signatures ruled as irregular.  Those two are Lowell Holtz who is the Superintendent of the Beloit School District, and Todd Alan Price who is a professor at the National-Louis University.  Holtz had 1,930 signatures that met the requirements and Price had 1,884.  2,000 is the magic number.  They have until tomorrow to make the necessary changes/corrections if they hope to be in the race.

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Village Buzz - January 7th...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Village Board, Village Buzz

Village Board Races...

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Village Buzz - January 5th...

Education, Germantown, School Board, Village Buzz

School Board Action...

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Coming Winners & Losers...

Economy, Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S., Wisconsin

I do not intend to take any sides in this piece, but to simply state the facts as I see them.  If you feel that I stray, please express your thoughts in a comment.

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Zellner Case Shows WEAC Clout...

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

The case concerning Robert Zellner, a former Cedarburg teacher who has been in and out of the news for some 3 years over the viewing of pornography on a school computer on a Sunday afternoon, shows the clout that is wielded by the state teachers' union, WEAC.

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Village Buzz - December 3rd...

Education, Germantown, Police, School Board, Village Board, Village Buzz

Open Seats...

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Schools & Education, Part Five...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

Today we'll explore the WEAC insurance companies called WEA Insurance Group.

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Village Buzz - November 19th...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz

Surprise, Surprise...

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Schools & Education, Part Four...

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

I want to shift the focus now to the Wisconsin Education Association Council, or WEAC as it is commonly known.  Following this, we'll look at the WEAC affiliate that delivers health and other insurance coverages.

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Schools & Education, Part Three...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Taxes

While we are discussing the area of compensation, I want to take a 'hypothetical' person whom we'll name Jane Doe, and look at her compensation package.

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Schools & Education, Part Two...

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes

First, there was a story by Thomas J. McKillen in the November 15th edition of Germantown Express News concerning the November 10th School Board meeting.  In that story there were quotes attributed to Jon Stachowiak who is the President of the Germantown Education Association.  The article stated:

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Schools & Education...

Education, Germantown, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

The angst that followed the election concerning the defeat of the referenda items has subsided a bit.  I want to explore the whole subject of education in our community and state, and have been discussing many issues with those involved including school board members from communities in Wisconsin, educators and taxpayers.  I have no idea how long this series will run, but the input of the citizenry is important and I hope this might provoke some additional rational discussion.

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$5 Billion? From Whom Will That Come?

Economy, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

A few short weeks ago, our governor mentioned that we would be contending with as much as a $3 billion budget shortfall in the next biennium.

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Village Buzz - November 10th...

Education, Germantown, MATC, School Board, Village Buzz

Reminder:  MATC Secession Hearings Tomorrow

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Village Buzz - November 7th...

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

Sendik's Food Market 60 Days Later...

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Further Glimpse At Our State's Future...

Economy, Education, Healthcare, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

The voters in Wisconsin have decided that the Democrats are going to run the state for at least two years.  They control state government and can, if they choose, push their way past any Republican opposition.  That remains to be seen, however I suspect the power vested in the Democrats will be too much for them to resist.  Just as there is a 'pent-up demand' in the Democrat majority in Washington, there is also that same force at work in Madison.

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Village Buzz - November 6th...

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

GEA Members Protesting...

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Village Buzz - November 4th...

Education, Germantown, Healthcare, Police, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

Wow, voting day is finally here and my telephone will quit ringing so much, my mailbox will be less cluttered and I can either celebrate or cry in my proverbial beer.  This election 'season' has seemed to go on forever.  Several things are at top of mind this morning...

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Village Buzz - October 31st...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, School Board, Village Board, Village Buzz

Trick or Treat from 5:30PM to 7:30PM...

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Clean Sweeps On November 4th?

Economy, Education, Healthcare, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, U.S., Wisconsin

There is more and more speculation as to the potential that we'll see a 'clean sweep' by Democratic candidates on Tuesday, November 4th at both the state and federal levels.  I hope that isn't the way it turns out, but I'm tiring of being beaten about the head and shoulders every time I read a newspaper article or watch the bulk of the television news items.  Maybe that is the intent.  If us conservatives can be sufficiently demoralized, maybe we'll just stay home.  Not this conservative!

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Village Buzz - October 15th...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Taxes, U.S., Village Board, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

I had intended to scan a copy of the sample ballot for Germantown however that wasn't sufficiently legible.  So, we'll list the offices for which there are candidate selections to be made by all of us who are registered to vote in the village.

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Counterintuitive Argument...

Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes

The Sunday Journal Sentinel contains a story by Tom Kertscher that discusses the school referenda with interviews of Bruce Warnimont, school board member, and others representing both sides of the debate over a new elementary school and the operating cap 'forgiveness' that would permit an additional $500,000 for operations of the new school.

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Village Buzz - September 17th...

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

New School Support Group Formed... 

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Village Buzz - September 15th...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Village Buzz

Special School Board Meeting...

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Village Buzz - September 9th...

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

Vote Today...

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Village Buzz - September 3rd...

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

Special Board Meeting Follow-Up...

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Village Buzz - September 2nd...

Education, Germantown, Political, School Board, Taxes, Village Board, Village Buzz

Special Board Meeting Follow-Up...

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Not Worth The Cost...

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

That was the title of an editorial appearing this morning in the Journal Sentinel.  It went on with a header that read: "Germantown officials should drop the effort to secede from the Milwaukee Area Technical College.  The savings aren't worth the cost."

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Village Buzz - August 27th...

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

MATC Secession...

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Village Buzz - August 21st...

Education, Germantown, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz

Proposed School District Budget...

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2008 State Fair Experience...

Economy, Education, Political, Potpourri, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

Bus Instead of Drive...

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Village Buzz - July 30th...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Quality of Life, Village Buzz

MATC Board...

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E Pluribus Unum: The Bradley Project On America's National Identity

Education, Quality of Life, U.S.

The July 25th edition of the Small Business Times includes a great article featuring an interview with Michael Grebe, President & CEO of the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation based in Milwaukee.  The Foundation has spent something in the range of $250,000 to develop the project referred to in the title.

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Village Buzz - July 29th

Education, Germantown, MATC, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

Board of Education Meeting Review:

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Village Buzz-July 28th...

Education, Germantown, MATC, School Board, Taxes, Village Buzz, Wisconsin

Test Your Tax Knowledge... 

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MATC: "We Haven't Had Any Standards..."

Education, Germantown, MATC, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

The Journal Sentinel carried an article this morning about the Practical Nurse program offered by MATC.  This program has been on probation for some time and that continues.  Another evaluation visit is scheduled for the Fall of this year.

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Village Buzz - July 16th: Road Referendum This Fall?

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

News reports indicate that Village President Tom Kempinski is considering asking the Board to approve a referendum that would appear on either the September ballot or the November ballot.  This referendum would deal with just how Germantown voters desire to fund some $2,000,000 per year in road repairs, if they desire to do so.  The choices apparently would be borrowing, increasing property taxes or a combination of both or none.

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Hire Hispanic-Speaking Employees Or Pay The Price?

Economy, Education, Political, Quality of Life, U.S.

A pizza-crust maker in Green Bay is coughing up $188,000 to be paid to 500 Hispanic applicants.  This employer, TNT Crust, is accused of having received 500 applications and of not hiring anyone as the result.

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MATC Secession Editorial...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, School Board, Taxes, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured an editorial this morning concerning the possibility that Germantown will pursue the secession effort from the Milwaukee Area Technical College district.  They spoke of 'outreach' by MATC and re-established their position that Germantown should remain in the MATC district.

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MATC...Rubbing Our Noses In It!

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, School Board, Taxes, Village Board

I don't know if the MATC has a public relations agency under contract but, if it does, they deserve a raise..more than the president of MATC deserves the one he just received!  It is impossible for any PR firm to cover the smell of this institution.

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MATC...Iceberg In Search Of A Ship

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, School Board, Taxes, Village Board, Wisconsin

MATC has now ended the suspense.  Whew!  It has officially increased its tax take by the 4.9% that it miraculously managed to get down to from the original 'straw man' of 6.4%.  This codifies the fact that MATC's appetite for tax dollars has risen by some 30% over the past five years.  MATC's leadership, if it can be called that without demeaning the word, just can't seem to understand that, while it is impervious to the wants and needs of the citizenry it serves, it really has permitted its reach to exceed our grasp.

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State Senate 'Debate'...Chapter Four

Economy, Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

In keeping with the protocol we have established, we'll lead with the response of Senator Darling to each question in this chapter.

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MATC Secession Discussion...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, School Board, Taxes, Village Board, Wisconsin

The move toward filing the documents necessary to seek secession from the Milwaukee Area Technical College tax district has begun to draw some debate amongst the politicos in Germantown.

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Loans Cut For MATC Students...

Education, Germantown, MATC, Political, Taxes, Wisconsin

MATC students along with all technical college and two-year college students in Wisconsin have a more difficult time gaining their education as the result of lenders leaving this marketplace.

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UW Tuition To Rise By 5.5%...

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

The UW Board of Regents decided that tuition had to go up 5.5% for students at the four-year universities.  They laid the blame in large part (3% of the 5.5%) at the feet of the legislature that mandated free tuition for veterans.  There are some 3,200 veterans now registered as students under this program; the program was originally intended to pay 50% of the tuition and that was raised to 100% last fall.

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Random Subjects...

Education, Germantown, Political, Potpourri, School Board

Nicole Sell...

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Open Letter To School Board Members...

Education, Germantown, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes

There seems a very real sense in our community that bodes ill if the school board decides to pursue a re-vote on the same bonding issue from the spring election this fall.

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MATC's Draft Budget Proposed...

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

The MATC has developed yet another draft budget after the first such exercise produced the need for a 6.4% property tax increase (see Blog of April 23rd).  At the time of that budget draft, the governor apparently said he would not countenance such an increase.  MATC announced then that it would go back to the old drawing board and see what could be done to get down into the range of 'as little' as a 5.0% to 5.5% property tax increase.

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Is It Just Me, Or Is Germantown Changing?

County Board, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Village Board

It is difficult, at best, to process information and understand whatever bias one might've injected.  There may be bias or it might be imagined.  The bias, if present, could be caused by the processor or it could have been injected into the process itself through the data gathering effort.

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Germantown School District...

Economy, Education, Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, School Board, Taxes

I received an email from a regular reader this morning asking me what my opinion was concerning the announcement that the elementary school bond issue will be back on the November ballot.  He forced me to give thought to something I had managed to push from my mind for about a week, but that hiatus is over.

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Budget Bill Repairs To Be Voted...

Economy, Education, Political, Taxes<