Saturday, August 20, 2016

Brief Filed In Crivitz School Cell Phone Suit

Below is a copy of the article on the front page of the Peshtigo Times Newspaper Wednesday August 17, 2016 edition. This article is available for free online at http://www.peshtigotimes.net/

Not all of the local one day a week paper is available free online unless you subscribe to it for $10.00.  Next day mail delivery of the printed edition is available and well worth the $29.00 (locally) I am pretty certain.  Of course you have to read it to get the information.  I have not read the 45 page brief but I will as soon as I can lay my hands on the public information.  I wonder what Mike, Kam and Sophia are thinking now?  Do you think it helps their business, careers or educational pursuits?

Do not forget to check The Truth According To Dave for his thoughtful posts.
https://davekopp.wordpress.com/

Brief Filed In Crivitz School Cell Phone Suit

The lawsuit brought by three Crivitz athletes against Michael, Kam and Sophia Dama, Crivitz School District, and its insurer, Employers Mutual Casualty Company in protest of punishments imposed as a result of a locker room cell phone incident on Feb. 18, 2014 continues to make its slow way through the Wisconsin Court System.

On Friday, Aug. 5, Green Bay Attorney Richard E. Nell filed a 45-page brief with Wisconsin's 8th District Appellate Court explaining why he believes Oconto Circuit Court Judge Michael T. Judge erred when he dismissed the suit on March 11 of this year. The appeal asks that March 11 decision be reversed and the case be remanded to Circuit Court.

The original suit was filed by Nell on Nov. 13, 2014 on behalf of plaintiffs Brianna Kopp, Jennifer Kempka and Victoria Neuman, who were all minors at the time, but now are all adults. Sophia Dama was also a minor, and all four were members of the school's high school girls' varsity basketball team. Mike Dama, president of Crivitz School Board, was a volunteer assistant coach for the team.

The three judges of District 8 Appeals Court have already agreed to hear the case. The school district now has 30 days to respond, after which Nell has 20 days to rebut. Nell predicted that due to length of the brief and the complexity of the case it may be six months or more after the rebuttal is filed before the Appeals Court makes its decision.

The long and detailed brief gives a history of the events, starting with relationships of the girls prior to the locker room incident on Feb. 18, 2014, while the girls were preparing for their game that evening. The three plaintiffs were punished by the school district for allegedly taking photos of Sophia Dama over the wall of a bathroom stall and other allegedly improper conduct in the locker room.

In his brief, Nell states the school's investigation declined input offered by teammates Amanda Pickett and Katie Naud, and "excluded everyone that would have added neutrality, some protection for the accused girls, or an unbiased report of the events that occurred."

An investigation by Marinette County Sheriff's Department resulted in a District Attorney decision not to prosecute for any alleged legal offenses, but school authorities determined rules had been broken and imposed punishments that the plaintiffs contend were imposed unfairly. Their suit contends that the punishments and actions of the school and the Damas damaged the remainder of the plaintiffs' high school careers and their reputation in the community.

Nell said that when requests for summary judgment are filed law requires judges to consider the facts presented in the way most favorable to the non-moving party, and it is their position that Judge Judge did not do that. He said Judge had chosen which facts to believe, which is the job of the jury, while the judge decides if there are sufficient facts argued by each side to bring the case to trial. "He chose not to believe any facts we presented," Nell said.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

What's going on at the Crivitz School Board?

It has been a couple weeks since the last regular meeting of the Crivitz School Board and not long until the next one.  Nothing in the newspapers though.  Not much from The Truth According to Dave either.   I wonder what they are trying to sneek thru or hiding?  Perhaps no one on the school board or at the school remembered to send anything to the papers?

A couple weeks ago the Wausaukee School Administrator resigned at a special meeting.  It was front page in the Peshtigo Times on July 27, 2016. Her husband also resigned as they have accepted jobs abroad. Their search for a interim administrator is under way.  Maybe Crivitz should lend or sell them the services of our administrator on a part time basis?   He might have enough work to do then!  I am sure there are many areas that overlap and less time would be wasted by two tax payer supported entities doing school functions where all he'd have to do is cut and paste the name and addresses, etc.  Maybe even save postage in the process?  After all we share other employees with other schools for music/OT, etc.  Not that long ago we had a part time administrator and that worked well as he and the school board got us into a lawsuit that they lost to a person that is now on the school board.  So why do we need a full time administrator anyways?  Anyone care to respond on the School Board?  Board President?  Dad?  Dave?  Feels like the public comment period at the board meetings . . . . . . .

I know the legal briefs are due to the Appeals Court Judges for the Three Girls Punished by the School lawsuit.

So what's going on folks?  Anyone attend the last meeting?  Dave?  PLEASE HELP as I need some info to comment on!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Someone can read, write and replies.

Many people have asked over and over for responses to questions from County Boards, Town Boards, Village Board, School Boards, etc.   In the July 6th edition of the Peshtigo Times a person questioned the Wausaukee School Board on some decisions they made.  She also invited people to come to school board meetings and stay informed.  This blog writer commented on the letter and posted it on this blog.  It is titled:

Is Wausaukee learning bad manners from Crivitz?

http://www.crivitzschooldistrict.com/2016/07/is-wausaukee-learning-bad-manners-from.html

There seldom are any responses and I do not remember any one writing a response.  However in the Peshtigo Times July 13 Edition history has been made by a board member from Wausaukee.  Here is the letter.  I hope but seriously doubt that any of the other school districts, County Boards, Town Boards, Village Board, etc. will follow one members lead.

From Our Readers

Letter to the Editor:


Re: School District of Wausaukee Taxpayers

I would like to thank the person who wrote in the July 6th edition regarding recent expenditures by the School Board for the interest in the appropriateness of some of that spending. Public interest in the workings of the District are always welcome and we encourage members of the community to be more actively involved by attending Board meetings, especially the annual meeting which is held in late September or each October each year. I would also like to point out that each member of the Board of Education is also a taxpayer of the District and as such are equally affected by the budgetary expenditures and revenue sources that the Board deals with.

Having been a Board member since 2008, I have been here through the worst of times resulting from a deficit General Fund such as a potential dissolution of the District and the need for a referendum in order to keep the District viable. Because of the fact that the school building debt was paid off three years into that referendum, the tax levy was reduced to below the levy rate which existed prior to the referendum. Also during the past nine years all other outstanding debt has been retired resulting in elimination of debt interest and cash flow borrowing at a savings of several hundred thousand dollars over that time.

While it would seem that an item by item response to the expenditures noted might appear to be defensive, my purpose is primarily to inform not defend those expense items mentioned in the letter. Suffice it to say that all expenditures by the Board are related to one or more of these criteria: safety, health, efficiency (cost savings), long term maintenance of the facility, or perhaps most importantly a positive impact on student achievement. We have in place a ten year facilities plan for maintenance and capital expense for a building that is now nearly 25 years old. Three years ago the roof was replaced at a cost of over $800,000 because there were leaks that developed and for years had been "patch worked" at a continuing expense and proved ineffective. It is extremely difficult to provide first rate educational opportunity to our kids in a facility that is crumbling. Twenty year old vans break down and playground equipment, installed when the school was built, becomes dangerous and impossible to maintain with reasonable expense.

The Board takes very seriously the fiscal burden it bears and I believe that the record shows that we have been prudent in that regard. In everything we do, transparency is foremost. There are no hidden agendas and all aspects of what we do as a Board are an open book. We have excellent people on staff who execute their responsibilities in a professional manner. Any occasional errors in judgement result from human fallibility and not incompetence or subterfuge. A nationally known financial services company, during a visit last year, praised the District for its fiscal responsibility and financial stability. The most efficient use of taxpayer dollars remains a foremost concern and the Board will continue to exercise its best judgement for spending your (our) money!

Dave Kipp

The above is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of either the Board or any other of its members.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What can you do?

If you are frustrated by the Crivitz School District or any other government body and want to know what to do to get change there are no quick or easy answers here or anywhere else.  There are many things that can be done though.  Rome was not built in a day.

First there is using the legal system. However the many lawsuits filed against any of them have taken or are taking years to go thru the complicated legal system.  The legal system works very slowly as does most local, state and federal government.  Using lawyers costs lots of money.  Not using lawyers means certain defeat.  Sadly these are facts of life and unlikely to be changed ever.

Perhaps the best way to get change is vote the people in office out of office?  Change might be better or it could be worse but not changing bad elected officials is insane.  Nothing will happen without changing them.  Do not even vote for them if they are the only candidate running as they will think they are doing a great job.  Think of not voting for them as a no confidence statement.   By the way the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Another way and perhaps faster method to get change is to keep pounding them at their meetings and to voice your displeasure to them and about them in any way possible to anyone that will listen.  If they own a business do not patronize it.  Tell everyone you know not to do business with them and any businesses that their extended family owns.  Hit them and their relatives in the pocketbook to get them out of politics.  The old saying than money talks is very true.  Having no business or less business is very tough.

Recalling elected officials is a method that will work sometimes but you need to have all your ducks lined up in advance.  The latest Crivitz School District recalled failed because the recall committee did not have a good candidate and forgot to mention to petition signers that signing the petition was the first step.  Voting was the next step and even more important.  When you recall someone you also need to be aware of when the election will be held.  There is an exact formula and timetable for this political action. Having any election a couple days before a Holiday is not a good idea.  

Circulating a plain old petition may work but it is a rather outdated method unless you are a college student.  That is another story for another blog perhaps?

Maybe a good old fashioned sit in or protest might work?  Should we think about this?

You could start your own blog like Dave and I did.  It is fairly easy and cheap.  The best address was taken by me but it can be bought.  Dave cannot be bought so check out:
  
"The Truth According To Dave" at https://davekopp.wordpress.com/

 Like this blog his is well worth your time also.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Is Wausaukee learning bad manners from Crivitz?

In the Peshtigo Times July 6, 2016 issue the following letter to the editor was printed.  From reading the letter in the paper it seems like Wausaukee may have learned some undesirable techniques of the Crivitz School Administrator and his School Board.  I wonder how the tax payers and voters will react?  Will a couple blogs appear on the web?  Board member recalls?  Lawsuits . . . . . oh wait I doubt or hope they are not that dumb. Word on the street is the appeal paperwork is due in about a month.  The girls attorney is a good brief writer.  The judges are not locally elected and easily influenced people.

Editor:

Re: Wausaukee School District Taxpayers

I encourage everyone to become informed about what the Wausaukee School Board and Administrator are doing with our tax dollars. Lately, there has been a lot of activity with purchase of larger items. Is this part of a planned list of regular upgrades? Just nine years ago the school was going to close due to a negative fund balance, and a referendum was passed to keep the school going. I hope we are planning expenditures well in order not to reverse our financial progress.

Here are some recent big ticket items:

* Replacement of all the cafeteria tables (what was done with the old ones?)

* Hiring consultants from California, Pennsylvania and across the state.

* Sending teachers to New York and California for Professional Development.

* Building upgrades: digitalizing building automation, rewiring the gym, replacing flooring, outdoor lighting, football scoreboard, window flashing.

* $30,000 for a new lawn mower (the last mower was purchased only 4 years ago and to my knowledge appears to be in good working condition).

* $49,000 playground equipment.

* $30,000 for a 2016 brand new van.

* Purchase and placement of 11 "No Parking' signs in front of the school.

One thing you can do as a taxpayer is be aware of the board agendas. They are posted on the school web page or available through the school office.If there are agenda items that are confusing, or there is not enough information as to what the issue for discussion is, contact a board member or the administrative offices at school for clarification. I also encourage you to attend the board meetings. The next meeting is July 13.

Taxpayers are allowed to speak for up to 5 minutes at the beginning of each meeting. This is a great opportunity to voice your thoughts and concerns. Please be aware that not everything that is covered is reported on. Main meeting minutes can be found on the school website, but usually are brief and after the fact. As a concerned taxpayer, I urge you to pay attention to what is happening at our school!

Susan L. Klump

Sunday, July 3, 2016

I wonder why?

Have you noticed that lots of actions by the Crivitz School Board we learn about after the fact?  The headline in the Peshtigo Times on June 29th says they have decided to share an OT with Wausaukee.  I read both papers pretty carefully and I never saw a job posting or even discussion of adding this position or many of their new positions of late.  They promoted part time employees to full time or gave them more work, etc. Even made some cuts.  I wonder why?

Another interesting thing is how when a long time employee leaves they say wonderful things about the board in the newspaper.  However if you talk with the individual they are very happy to be leaving the administration behind and have little if anything good to say about it or him and the board.  I think I know why on this one.

We are sharing the services of the elementary music teacher again for the third year.  Music used to be a strong extra curricular area in Crivitz.  The K - 8 teacher is part time and the music program is not what it used to be.  I wonder why?

The do it my way or hit the highway administrator conned the school board into spending $8,500 to hire a firm to do some "first time ever strategic planning".  No mention of what this service actually entails.  Makes me wonder what does this overpaid under worked employee (administrator) do all summer?  I wonder why we now need "strategic planning" and what it really is?   Interesting that this is the same amount spent on researching "free" drug testing before they shoved it down our throats.   Testing we don't know if they are doing, if it is working or anything about it.  Why do we need these outside services?  

The School District has advertised for bids for various services and things that need replacing.  Sometimes they get no bids.  Perhaps they should place a couple phone calls or send a couple emails to firms that offer these services and products?  I am pretty sure that not every company reads the local papers looking for bids from the Crivitz School District.  I would suggest that you do not build your next house or buy your next vehicle by placing a couple ads in the local papers asking for bids.   Sometimes they don't take the low or the best bid.  They do not even follow the wishes of their staff like they did not for the Food Services Director concerning bread and buns.  They assume that the new local supplier will provide the information the employee needs to do her job and meet USDA requirements.  She is concerned about passing the "audit"!  Never mind  the long time relationship they had with the previous supplier or that their products meet the USDA requirements!   The boards solution is for the school employee to ask the new local supplier to furnish the information.  Really?  Why bother with bids?  Most bids have specific requirements that are supposed to be a part of the bidding process.  If you do not meet them your bid is thrown out.   Obviously the person that wrote the requirements of the bid did not do his job again.  Do you wonder why?

A board member questioned spending $400,000 for computer replacement which the paper reported was an annual expenditure.  It appears there was little discussion as he was told it was "necessary".  $400,000 and "necessary" was the reason?   I wonder why?

Last time I checked this blog has had close to 35,000 views over the years it has been available.    One would think that the Crivitz School District would have had the address www.Crivitz School District.com as their own?  I wonder why they did not?  Currently when you search Crivitz School District guess where this website comes up or better yet look for yourself.  Maybe I should sell it to the school district?  Any other bidders?  Maybe I should place an ad in the local papers for bids?

Am I starting to sound more like Dave Kopp with this post?  You can check for yourself  "The Truth according to Dave" at https://davekopp.wordpress.com/   Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Maybe we should have recalled the top two school board officers like they are doing in Sevastopol?

 It seems that Crivitz is not the only place in Wisconsin where the public is unhappy with their elected school board members.  The same problems we are having in Crivitz have been going on to our south.

Maybe we need to move the Highway 64 line that Dave's mentions as a "divider" south to Green Bay?  Check out "The Truth According to Dave" His blog is at: https://davekopp.wordpress.com to see what he might have to say on this and many other subjects.

The story below is from the Channel 5 Website.  The direct link is listed below it.  I don't know how long the TV station keeps their stories on their website so I cut and pasted the article.  

The parents in the Sevastopol School District put together a petition that over 800 people signed in an attempt to force a recall election for the President and Vice President of the Sevastopol School Board.

This group of parents has grown after coming together to support Principal Mary Donaldson who got removed from the school back in February, that was just the beginning.

Parents voiced their concerns on the matter at board meetings, in the media and teachers wrote letters, but this community movement felt the board wasn't listening to their concerns.

"There was no other option," said Ben Rikkola a parent who has three children who attend Sevastopol. "People signed their names and that was a bold thing to do."

So the group of parents are using a democratic process to pursue a new election as a last resort, they needed 743 signatures for the recall election and got over 800.

This group states lack of transparency, inappropriate us of taxpayer' money and broken lines of communication as the reason for the petition.

The clerk for the Sevastopol School District told Local 5 that she has to review the petition to make sure that the signatures came from people who live in the district and are old enough to vote, she also said that the school board has until June 26 to challenge the petition.

The community group already has candidates ready to run against President Sue Todey and Vice President Bill Behme.

"We are kind of waiting and holding our cards before we name our candidates," said Rikkola.
The group of parents said they never wanted it to come to this, but have grown tired of being ignored.
"It is simply a case of a small minority that is calling the shots at Sevastopol and not willing to listen to the majority," said Rikkola.

Sevastopol has won a pair of blue ribbon school awards and those flags fly in front of the school.


 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Doing things the smart way?

An excellent Opinion Letter was in the Eagle Herald on Friday June 17, 2016.  I am guessing that not all of you read the decent local newspaper so I have scanned it and will give my comments after the article.


While the Menominee school district like other school districts around here often does strange things I think this is an excellent move on their part and makes good fiscal sense.  They are spending the tax payers money wisely it seems.  Peshtigo should learn from them.  Crivitz needs to check out the old building they are using as a grade school and middle school to inform the parents and tax payers of the condition of the building and any short term or long term needs.  I think the new Crivitz high school was built in 1999 so it is 17 years old already people.

What do you think the highly paid administrator and highly paid building, grounds and transportation manager do all summer long?   Surfing the internet?  Snap chatting?  Face booking?  I wonder what video games they play?   I would bet the administrator plays solitaire or chess against the computer.  I doubt he plays on line poker with his money but he likes to gamble with the tax payers money with lawsuits.  They lost the firing Amy lawsuit and now she is one of his bosses.  Ironic or justice?  One has to wonder what his chance of keeping his job long term is?  Will any or all of the three girls run for School Board?  What about their parents?

I am guessing that none of the local big fish in a small pond can influence the judges that will decide the three girls lawsuit.  Hopefully the judges will decide based on the law as it is written and not the little bit the Oconto Judge took the time to actually read.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What will they do?

It seems like schools and other government operations need to start thinking, planning and adding bathrooms and facilities for kids that identify with a different sex than they were born or are physically.  When or where will this start in small schools and the like?  What will the local school boards need the school administrator to do?  Oh wait in Crivitz the administrator seems to think he is in charge so I am wondering what he will tell them to do?  Any way you slice it this will cost a lot of money to the tax payers.  Come to think of it I don't think I have even seen a "family" bathroom in either school. While many locals will choose to ignore the new needs and I don't even know if we have any students that need special bathrooms and facilities yet I am suspecting the government is not going to let that be the solution.  I wonder if the Peshtigo dream school has plans for the extra stuff needed?  Oh wait they don't have any real plans as they just want the tax payers to pony up the money and their high priced design firm (that won't tell us how much money they will make) will plan the new $34 million dollar + school.  With no short term or long term plans for the Crivitz School District I cannot help but wonder.  What do you think?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Drug testing in our school . . . . is it working? Are they even doing it? Why no results?

Drugs are a problem in Marinette County and all across the US it seems.  Marinette County even has a drug court.  Don't kid yourself that legalizing marijuana will reduce the drug problems.  Legalizing marijuana just means there will be more people under the influence driving vehicles and fewer dollars coming in for court fines for awhile.  Legalizing marijuana will just make law enforcement more difficult.

The Crivitz School Board was forced by the Athletic Director to spend $8000 (that we know of) researching implementing "FREE" drug testing.   We have been provided with no results.  NOTHING!  We do not even know if they are doing any testing.

I know that because they are testing juveniles they are not supposed to disclose names or identify the kids or adults and giving out any medical information is a big NO NO because of HIPAA Laws and Regulations. The School Board should at least tell us how many kids were tested don't you think?  Are they catching any kids violating their policy?  But more importantly are they getting help for kids that are violating their policy?  They did not help the girls they punished that filed the ongoing lawsuit against them or the one that seems to have lied and started the whole mess.  I wonder what their drug policy even is.  Think any School Board members know what their drug policy is or even care?  Wonder if any of the school board members use drugs?  They way they vote often makes me think so.  Is alcohol a drug . . . . . . .

The school could have bought a lot of things with the $8000 the School Board spent with lawyers.  Perhaps we would have better testing of the volunteers if they used this money to pay for that?

Here is an article I found on the subject:

The Short of It

South Carolina's Beaufort County School District will start random drug testing of student athletes in the fall, a policy that has parents divided.

The Lowdown

While prohibited from giving random drug tests to the general student body, teachers or staff, the law allows the school district to test students with special privileges, such as participating in athletics and extracurricular activities as well as having a campus parking permit. The Beaufort County School District will begin the new policy by drug testing at least 38 students at each high school each month, and phasing in testing of extracurricular participants in 2016 and parking permit holders in 2017. Drug testing will cost the district up to $50,000 the first year.
The school is implementing the new policy to identify students struggling with substance abuse to provide them with services and counseling. If a student fails a drug test, he or she will not be able to participate in athletics for 365 days unless they receive an assessment by a licensed substance-abuse professional, complete at least one treatment session within 10 days of the positive test, pass another drug test within 90 days of the first failed test, and meet with their parent and principal.
Second and third offenses carry increasing levels of consequences, and corresponding consequences will apply to the privileges of extracurricular participants and parking permit holders when their drug testing begins. Students will not be reported to law enforcement or disciplined by the school unless they are under the influence at the time of the test.
In a local news survey of about 620 people, 55 percent said they opposed the district's plan, while 41 percent were in favor. Some parents in the South Carolina school district think the school is overstepping and unfairly targeting certain students, while others think student drug abuse is a significant problem that the school needs to monitor.

The Upshot

While it is admirable that the school wants to provide services and counseling to students struggling with substance abuse, I'm not sure if the school's policy is fair or useful. It seems like an invasion of students' privacy to be able to randomly test them without cause, and it's an inappropriate condition of participating in athletics and extracurriculars or parking on campus. The kids who want to get away with it will probably find a way, and it seems like the school district's money would be better spent on another method of addressing students' substance abuse issues.
What do you think?

I wonder what Dave has to say and you might also so check out

The Truth According to Dave 

https://davekopp.wordpress.com/


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Where to find it on the web.

There is a ton of information on the internet.  It is available to anyone at any time. The addresses I posted here are not opinion websites so the information is accurate unlike some information you will find on the internet and various opinion sites.  When you get bored you can look up lots of things that you may find useful.  If I think of some more I will add them or post another blog article.

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access  Look up your friends and neighbors or use it to do a cheap (free) background check like the Crivitz School District does. Keep in mind it is only for Wisconsin residents.  It is not often up to date for some counties as I suspect the people responsible for updating the information put in their time and leave unlike people in the private working sector. They get to it when there is nothing else to do most likely. 

https://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl

School District Government which is chapter 120 of Wisconsin State Law,   Substitutes published and certified under s. 35.18. June 1, 2016. This is how a school district government is required to be set up by the Wisconsin State Government.

http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/120.pdf

General School Operations Everything from the duties and powers of school boards; construction of statutes thru parental choice program for eligible school districts and other school districts. Items of interest include: Tests for alcohol use, policy on bullying, locker searches, 

http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/118

WIAA Website has everything and more than you might want to know about Wisconsin School Sports.  It even covers the requirements for coaching.  No mention of what WIAA stands for though.

http://www.wiaawi.org/Sports.aspx

Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations  It starts with Sovereignty, Jurisdiction and Civil Divisions of the State and last of the index is Construction of Statutes, Repeal of Existing Laws, Curative Acts and Miscellaneous Statutes.  This is a huge list of laws for everything and anything in Wisconsin. You have to go to the actual website to link to one area of interest to readers of this blog as it is on Public Instruction and includes:
 
115. State superintendent; general classifications and definitions; children with disabilities. (PDF: PDF)
116. Cooperative educational service agencies. (PDF: PDF)
117. School district reorganization. (PDF: PDF)
118. General school operations. (PDF: PDF)
119. First class city school system. (PDF: PDF)
120. School district government. (PDF: PDF)
121. School finance. (PDF: PDF)


http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/prefaces/toc

Recall Elected Officials information which includes school board. It has been used on two Crivitz School Board members successfully so far.  I wonder who is next?

http://www.gab.wi.gov/sites/default/files/publication/64/recall_of_local_elected_officials_manual_2015_06_p_58025.pdf

Wisconsin State law Library you can find most anything of a legal nature that you might want to look up.

http://wilawlibrary.gov/

The Truth According to Dave 

https://davekopp.wordpress.com/

Monday, May 30, 2016

Rearranging the chairs . . . . .

Over in the Marinette school district several administration positions will change July 1st.  Three people are retiring. The article in the Eagle Herald was a little difficult to follow but their very biased editorial cleared things up.  The positions people are retiring from are the Superintendent, Garfield Principal and the "activities director".  I don't know what an "activities director" does and I think they eliminated the position.  They have not hired anyone new for positions they have just traded chairs and buildings for positions with three people retiring.    

The old superintendent is retiring at age 58 after about 7 years as the boss.  58 seems real young to "retire". Wonder if he is headed to another job?  Double dipping on Marinette's tax dollars perhaps?

The new superintendent is a woman that steadily worked her way up thru their system with some time in Franklin, WI in an "administrative" capacity.  I'd guess if it was an important position she held that they would have told us so. Wonder why she left there in 2015?  She came back to Marinette to be director of teaching, learning and technology.  Wonder what that position does?  It does not sound very critical or important.

The former high school principal "steps down" to be the new "quality assurance director".   Why doesn't Crivitz have a "quality assurance director"?  Wonder if it pays more than principal?

The High School will get a recycled principal from the Menekaunee Sunrise Early Learning Center. So from little kids to big kids. Quite a big jump.

While another person will be moving from district improvement/assessment coordinator to principal of Garfield.  Another interesting change it seems.

It is sometimes great to promote from within for employee morale, still one has to wonder if this changing of chairs is in the best interests of the students or the tax payers? Sadly we won't know because they just did it without consulting the voters and parents or look at external job applicants evidently.

The Marinette district has a lot of non teaching positions it seems.    It does provide for more people to have at meetings and make decisions about spending tax payer dollars.  All these people seem to have gained most of their experience locally.  Many of them are also coaches for sports.  Most people learn from others that have been on the job for more years than they have.  No one to learn from it appears.  Look at how well that has worked for our plumber/school district president!  Lots of the experience he gets plumbing fits in with the school board no doubt.

In Crivitz the school board hires other districts school teachers and gives them their first experience in management.  A questionable practice in many people minds.

I almost forgot that way back on May 12th the Eagle Herald said Menominee Board of Education gave their superintendent an "effective" rating.  This means she passed and kept her well paying position but she was in the lower end of the school boards grading range again according to the newspaper.  I'd call that a C or C-.  The board was concerned about "communications and inaccurate information".  "They need to have information from the superintendent in a timely and accurate manner before decisions need to be made" the school board told her.  Hard to imagine that board members would want to know well ahead of time what the issues were and the facts.  They don't need to in Crivitz.  Not only that but they wanted to be involved with programs and staff being hired also.  Guess there is plenty of room for improvement for the current superintendent?  Wonder if the pay is tied to the evaluation?

Why doesn't the Crivitz School Board evaluate their administrator and put the results in the paper for all to read?  Maybe the evaluations are done in one of the many questionable closed meetings the board has?  Closed meetings other school district do not seem to have or perhaps need. Maybe they have less to hide than Crivitz does?

It is our kids, our school, our tax money and our votes that should be determining these things.  You should find the time to take in a school board meeting and see how little they communicate, discuss and decide. It might scare you given their budget.

Check out The Truth According to Dave  for his opinion on lots of local issues.

https://davekopp.wordpress.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

New School in Crivitz?

If you do not think that the Peshtigo School District Administration, School Board and Add Hock committee (not a spelling mistake) demanding a new school in Peshtigo won't be felt in Crivitz eventually you need to step back, take a look around and think.

The Crivitz Grade School building is old.  The two schools are not crowded since they built the new high school and moved the older kids away from the younger kids this along with the number of kids in the district declining some appear to have kept things good. The age of the Crivitz Grade School building should clue us in on what to expect.  Older mechanical and plumbing, not much insulation, leaky windows and doors, etc.  Realistically we should be getting regular updates from the administration including the buildings and grounds manager about the condition of the grade school.  I have always wondered why there is a buildings and grounds manager with only two small buildings?  I never see him actually doing any physical labor.  Over the years the staff to "manage" has been cut to the bone.

I am shocked that there is not a plan for a replacement building or an addition to the high school building of some sort with moving out of the old school the target.

Oh silly me that would require planning of some type.  There does not appear to be a short term plan or a long term plan for much of anything at any of the area school districts including UW-Marinette. The counties, cities, villages, towns, etc. do not seem to have a plan in place either.  They do all use the deferred maintenance system though.

I would think that a person running a large for the area old plumbing firm would have a grasp on what is needed.  It appears he does not and the guidance provided by the school administration is limited to their previous job experience which is only teaching classes.  A person can take and pass a lot of classes, classes that don't prepare them for the advanced real needs of a small school district with real world experience.  Education does not make you smart, it does not give you common sense either. Both seem to be lacking in many area government settings.

We still need more changes at all levels of management in our local school district as do the other school districts around here.

So do you see the hand writing on the wall?  We are going to be just like Peshtigo in the future if the school board and administration does not keep us informed and plan for the future.  Let's hope they are better at preparing our children for the future than they are at planning for the school district itself for the future. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Even more Peshtigo voters/taxpayers speak out.

It seems that even more and more people are fed up with the Peshtigo school administrator, ad hoc committee and school board in Peshtigo and they are speaking out.  The letters below were in several issues of the Peshtigo Times Newspaper.  Some stories are online for free.  Address is: http://www.peshtigotimes.net   It is available by mail for $29.  The complete online edition of the newspaper is $10 last time I checked.  I have a feeling we have not heard the last on this issue.

Dear Editor:

Am I understanding correctly? Another referendum is in the making? You possibly had to turn your hearing aid up a bit in November to hear the taxpayers, but no hearing apparatus was needed in April, as the taxpayers came across loud and clear. NO NO NO!!! What part of NO isn't understood?

In a recent meeting it was mentioned to get rid of the Hoffman Co. and look for another company to handle the school project. Sounds great. When a taxpayer asks at a public hearing how much Hoffman was to make on the project, the representative from Hoffman got up to the podium and replied, "I'd rather not disclose that." Why such a secret, especially to a district taxpayer, who (in a round-about way) signs their check?

After a comment like that, I believe they deserve to be replaced. And while you are looking for another company for the school project, maybe you could also look for (2) higher-up school execs who are willing to pay their property taxes to the Peshtigo School District.

At one of the Ad Hoc meetings I asked where the money came from to pay the fees for the public relations company Leonard & Finks. The answer was, from the district. I then asked if a company was also hired to represent the NO voters. I was very rudely cut off by the School Board President, with that's enough of that - let's move on. It was published that this company was hired to help PROMOTE passage of the referendum. I requested to see the contract with this company but told there isn't any. So I then requested any paperwork that had to do with them. I only received generic monthly bills for some of the months. I then went to the School Board meeting and again asked for an explanation of charges.

After looking at the papers I had, I was told there were more and that our superintendent was under the assumption I had those also. What was it that you didn't want me to see? When there are multiple staple holes up in the corner, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the sheets had been separated at one time or another. I still don't believe I received ALL the paperwork I requested and have a RIGHT to see.

There were representatives from the Leonard & Finco Co. at the meetings in March, yet I received no billings from that month. With the paperwork I do have, the district has paid this firm in excess of $7,000.

This is pure and simple discrimination towards each and every taxpayer who voted NO for the school. You cannot use taxpayer's money to hire a company to favor only one viewpoint. You can change all the wording you want, to try to talk your way out of what was done, but to the best of my knowledge, no one asked for a retraction as to what was printed in the papers as being false information like with the big fuss made over an article with figures and no signature.

Now, all of a sudden the info printed is not true. In fairness to the taxpayers of the Peshtigo School District, all of you that are responsible for hiring this one-sided firm should dig deep into your own pockets and replace every penny spent. That money would go a long way in educating our children and was put there for that reason.

By the way, how can it be that everyone else's figures are wrong and only the Superintendent's are right? Going so far as calling people liars about their figures is becoming of a leader. I have not seen proof of numbers published which would verify that his are the only correct ones. Until that is published for the whole district to see, I believe an apology is in order.

I have been contacted by some concerned citizens and they wish me to convey their ideas and concerns for another possible referendum. Their ideas are fantastic and deserved to be looked at and considered.

I brought some of my own ideas and concerns to the Ad Hoc committee and was not even allowed to finish my questions, ideas, or comments. Why? Could it be because I was not in favor of a $34 ($57) million debt which by the way, many could not afford. They would only allow the "Pro" people to elaborate of their ideas. So, can you think of any reason why people are afraid to come and talk to any of you? Belittling is very becoming by some members of the Ad Hoc committee.

I refuse to have a one on one meeting with anyone. Anything I have to say can and will be said in a public setting. Maybe if some of you Ad Hoc people would just put on your (Listening Ears) for once, there are many people in this district that have good ideas. I am willing to pass along the ideas I received.

The taxpayers of the Peshtigo School District have a right to know.

Candi Buchenauer


Letter to Editor

Re: Peshtigo School Referendum

Again the referendum has failed. Again the school board, ad hoc committee and the district superintendent are confused why this has happened. There have been many good reasons given at the meetings and in the Peshtigo Times. It seems like only the taxpayers hear them. Also people don't like to be told lies and half truths (like the school will be condemned and closed). 

Maybe we don't need a new school: only a new board, ad hoc committee and district superintendent !!!

Buzz Davis

Grover

 

Times Editor:

In your lengthy article about why the referendum was defeated you failed to mention that some people simply cannot afford to have $200 to $300 added to their tax bill for 27 years just for the schools.  Not to mention other taxes and city costs that will also be going up.  Was this not even brought up at the ad hoc meeting?  Please don't say just give up restaurant meals for 27 years.  Some of us have had to give this up long ago. There are people in this community who have lost their jobs, working now just part time for minimum wages and others worried about their jobs.

It's great for the administrator and teachers living somewhere else to support $33 million for a new school. They won't have to pay for it!

It's time for a plan B that is affordable for the whole community. How many times do the people have to vote NO to a $33 million dollar new school ?????

Ruth Meyer

291 N. Noquebay Ave.   

Peshtigo, Wi. 

Check out  The Truth According to Dave  as he weighs in on local subjects.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Why don't people speak up?

One of our many guaranteed freedoms is freedom of speech.  Freedom of Speech means you are allowed to voice your opinion.  Freedom of Speech does not allow you to be a bully though. Why are most people afraid to speak up?  I see it in the parents and kids alike.  Are people afraid of what other people will think if you voice your opinion?  HINT: Other people will think what they will no matter what your opinion is and what you say.  If you fail to express your opinion it is like not voting in an election or maybe worse.  I may disagree with you but I still realize that you are entitled to your opinion right or wrong, whether I disagree with it or not. People need to be reminded that everyone is entitled to their opinion and they are free to express it within some limits. Slander and social bullying is not a good idea unless you like being sued. 

It never ceases to amaze me the people that want someone else to do the dirty work.  I can understand if you are afraid of losing your job but few if any other reasons carry much weight.  Federal whistle blowers are rewarded and usually protected.  

Donald Trump isn't afraid to say what he feels. You may agree or not agree with him. Either way he gives the media plenty of material to make headlines with but none the less he is entitled to his opinion and to change it if he wants to.  IF he is elected president I doubt much will change as Congress runs the country folks. People must not feel that the current government is doing a good job which is why Mr. Trump is doing so well in the voting boxes perhaps?  We will know in November for sure.

Lucky for people around here that some people are willing to speak up.  I prefer to stay out of the limelight leaving it to Dave and Pete.

People would love to hear from the girls themselves and their parents or anyone else on any matter. How about some more of you Crivitz people starting to speak up?  People against building a new school in Peshtigo are starting to.

Check out  The Truth According to Dave  for what's on his mind.

https://davekopp.wordpress.com

Monday, May 16, 2016

No one wants to be in charge. WHY?

At the May 4th meeting according to the Peshtigo Times article it seems like no one wanted to be school board president or any of the other officers as there was no discussion despite member Gary Huc asking board members to discuss the subject.  I wonder why this is? I would not expect the new girl on the board to be president although she got way more votes than any of the other school board members ever got in any school board election.  In the end only one person was nominated to each position. Winning if you are the only one running for something does not say much.  Just like beating a candidate in a recall election that does nothing to try to get elected carries little weight. Maybe it is easier to just show up unprepared for the meetings and follow the lead dog and a plumber.  Or perhaps the fact that the school has been in three lawsuits in the last 10 years is starting to effect the conscious of some board members?  The new addition to the board was one of the lawsuit winners in the past so I wonder how that is going to play out long term.

There is no doubt that the community is divided about the current lawsuit, drug testing and a few other issues so just being on the board might be bad enough let alone being president or in charge in any way, shape or form may not be a good idea.  Board members do get paid for being on the board even if they do nothing.

For the record as I predicted there was an article in the Peshtigo Times stating the the ruling by the Oconoto County Judge is being appealed.  The lawsuit really should have gone to a higher authority than Oconto County to start with.  Social media bullying by a teacher, lying by a student's parents and stamping on the rights of minor girls should be addressed and not just blown off by some local court.  Local courts are for speeding, disorderly conduct, minor theft, bad checks, DUI, drugs and such. Cases that are complicated belong in the proper place and in front of a jury I feel.  

Why does no one want to be in charge?   Anyone from the school board care to comment?

Check out  The Truth According to Dave  for his spin on things.

https://davekopp.wordpress.com



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

No education needed.

There are no requirements for being on any elected government board just get enough votes to win. We have requirements to vote (an ID), drive a car (Drivers License), fish (fishing license), teach (4 year degree & license), sell real estate (State License), hunt (various hunting licenses), drive a semi truck (CDL), lawyer (lots of education and pass the bar exam) . . . . .  are you getting the idea?

Don't you wonder how qualified the members of the local school boards are?  I am guessing that we would all be in shock if we knew the few if any qualifications that they have or rather don't have.  At a minimum I would think having kids in the school might be a good idea.

Sadly there is no educational requirement to be on a school board. 

In Crivitz the administration at the very least went to school for 4 years plus some more.  Keep in mind that the advanced education we often reimburse them for getting and then pay them more money every year afterwards because they have it.  We don't know how they did in school.  Ever heard one of them mention their grade point or where they were in their graduating class?  Remember you can be in the lower half of your class and still graduate.  Matter of fact you can be last in the class and still get a degree, advanced or plain.

We know the school board president studied under his father to become a plumber.  Think about what plumbers work includes working with.  I will give you a hint: there are lots of septic systems in the area.  I know the school administration, school board members and many others all read this blog and Dave's blog so why not share your qualifications?  You are all public figures so you should not hide anything.  How did you all do in accounting?  Any experience in human resources?  Time management?  Building and grounds?  Afraid to come clean? 

If you are new to this blog WELCOME! and check out
   
The Truth According to Dave   for his thoughts and opinions. 
 

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