Incumbent faces three challengers

Fiscal responsibility an issue for all four board candidates

Jan. 28, 2009

How to offer a high-quality education at as low a cost as possible is a question each of the candidates running for at-large seat seven on the Germantown School Board are looking to answer.

A primary election is needed to narrow the field; incumbent Tom Bowe will be challenged by Robert Banner III, Brian Palzkill and Erin Jex for seat seven.

Bowe said he will be running for a second term so he can help the board continue to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality.

“The community has spoken in response to recent school referendums that financial implications are extremely important right now,” he said. “So I’ve made it a goal to continue being fiscally responsible when making tough decisions.”

Jex said she hopes to use her background in financial planning and education to evaluate district finances.

“As much as we as a district need space and resources and money, so does everyone else,” she said. “The district has to do the responsible thing to the taxpayer and not spend money we don’t need to spend, look for ways to consolidate, cut costs and still provide education our students need when they graduate.”

Jex, who starting in September 2007 filled the vacancy created when Ric Ericksen resigned, was unseated in 2008 by Cari Brust.

Banner said he wants to find ways to control district spending because he feels the board is overspending in an already tough economic climate.

“In this economic time, the board continues to increase spending out of line with where everyone else is in personal life,” he said, “so I would cut whatever necessary to help families out at home without sacrificing the quality of education offered in the Germantown district.”

Palzkill said he would like to bring a sense of continued fiscal responsibility to the board and examine how to maintain and expand district facilities.

“We also need to re-examine some of the past referendums because there still is a need for improvements and space,” he said. “Whether or not it’s an additional school, we need to do something.”

Board members are elected to three-year terms and are paid $3,500 annually.

The primary election will be held Tuesday, Feb. 17. The two top vote-getters will advance to the spring election Tuesday, April 7.


Ty Finke can be reached at (262) 446-6621.

Tom Bowe (i)

Address: W12518 Westwood Road

Age: 42

Employment: vice president of marketing and engineering for Metrix, Waukesha

Family: single, three children

Years in community: almost 12 years, divided by an eight-year break

Erin Jex

Address: N11807 Daniels Drive

Age: 32

Employment: math teacher at Badger Middle School, West Bend

Family: married, two children

Years in community: three years

Robert Banner III

Address: N10730 Crabtree Lane

Age: 28

Employment: corporate project consultant for Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee

Family: married, two children

Years in community: four years

Brian Palzkill

Address: W14590 Raintree Drive

Age: 44

Employment: account executive for Kellogg’s Food, Milwaukee

Family: married, three children

Years in community: 12 years

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