Polar opposites?

Oh, I don’t think so.

You see, Waukesha MJS columnist Laurel Walker finished today’s* piece with this comment:

“But when polar opposites – individuals who opposed last year’s $109 million referendum measure and individuals who supported it – work for seven months on the plan and come together with a solid, reasonable alternative, it deserves better than a knee-jerk no.”

Yes, the group labeled first by the district as “Next Steps” and then later as “HSST – high schools steering team” worked for seven months. No, no one should make a knee jerk reaction to the proposal.

But here are two points Ms. Walker, who is not local, has missed:

1) There’s no proof that individuals who opposed the proposal were in the group. HSST co-chair Jerry Theder once labeled the small “baby steps” group that was assembled post referendum a group of “growsers.” The group was assembled of the core of the VoteNoApril3 team. I know that team intimately. I updated the Web site!

The group that assembled had 3 and a half self-professed no voters. Theder had contacted me prior the his assignment regarding non-resident enrollment. He worked hard to address the issue. The board, however, pulled omniscience and added total students to the estimates.

Former Brookfield Alderman Richard Brunner is a retired Waukesha County bureaucrat that never voted against city spending raises. He and I did side not to raid an independent utility fund for retirement once, but that was it.

Another former local politician – Jim Nortman of Elm Grove – was a no voter I’d never met either.

Roger Johnson, the 1/2 voter (no on schools, yes on gyms) earned his keep in my opinion.

2) The “solid, reasonable alternative” the HSST finished was a little more than the group had discussed previously. Then the board got a hold of it and added 5%. It’s inaccurate to suggest that this referendum is what the group agreed upon. We don’t get to choose on that one.

*The article posted online Saturday and in print Sunday.


  1. Yes, this proposal deserves “a fair shake” and that’s why it will be presented to voters to make a decision. I think that’s “fair”. Laurel Walker often misses the mark in her editorial comments.

  2. Did you catch the JS article today on open enrollment and ch 220 students? It’s got a nice table for future reference.

    If I guess right, the latest n greatest referendum will cost us about $1800 per high school student per year. That’s about a half a million per year for open enrollment and ch 220 students.

    How are we to recover that?

    Merry Xmas Greater Milwaukee Area!

  3. I did. I had covered the same info from the DPI (Department of Public Instruction) some time ago for Elmbrook. The whole thing is on my list for next week.

    You’re the mathematician, do you think the previous “VoteNo” group could manage to articulate the cost of each non-resident student and the point of equilibrium? Of course the district would ignore any findings outright just like they always do, but WE would finally know. I remember there was a business analyst in the group, too. WineGirl is one smart gal. Mr. Baeurle always understood the numbers.

    What do you think? We could even ask Mr. Theder to join us.


  1. […] Kilkenny blogging at Fairly Conservative corrects some errors in fact with this Laurel Walker […]