No Lisa, not quite

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Lisa Sink has surprised me by using my name in her article that will be in tomorrow’s paper. (Of course, there’s no link to this Web site, or actually any mention of it.)

Unlike last year, no group has formed to publicly oppose the revised plan. But two local bloggers – residents Kyle Prast and Cindy Kilkenny – have criticized plan details on enrollment capacity, amenities and costs.

Led by Prast, the two have cited a mantra of “academics, not athletics,” saying the new plan fails by using new construction for gyms instead of classrooms.

The last concept is incorrect. I don’t care about the new construction. I do care that 1/3 of the expenses being bonded for the next twenty years are for pe/athletics.

Maybe if she had called I could have clarified.


  1. kathleenm says:

    Oh, well, Cindy,

    Live and learn. I thought Lisa Sink was one of your sources, along with the long gone Reid Epstein.

    At least Lisa mentioned you, and gave you and Kyle Prast credit.

    That should be worth something.

    Reporters usually aren’t in the habit of crediting tips or sources.

    It’s just the nature of the news business.

    Which isn’t very nice.

  2. Nope Kathleen, Lisa’s never been a source for this blog. I have linked to columns she’s written for the paper since Brookfield is (was?) her beat.

    The long gone Reid Epstein is well, long gone and happily planted on Long Island. I do keep a few MJS connections, though.

  3. Well, this is quite the post by Cindy, complaining about her nemesis, Lisa Sink, a recognized, professional journalist.

    This is the direct quote from Cindy’s blog: “I don’t care about the new construction. I do care that 1/3 of the expenses being bonded for the next twenty years are for pe/athletics.”

    This is a great example of ‘Cindy-having-it-both-ways-doublespeak.’

    You’re all for building the new space shuttles that are needed (new gym spaces). All the other rockets in the space program are being intelligently renovated, allowing us to not build new ones. So, your opposition is to the amount being spent on the new (not that we’re building new), without regard to how much is being saved by renovating all the other.

    More “Silly Cindy Nonsense.”

    Moreover, you don’t have a single positive thing to say about the space program overall, and have nothing but complaints, critcism and ridicule, but by golly you’re all for the new space shuttle.

    It’s all a lot of bull — your focused and determined effort is to work to defeat the proposed referendum.

  4. Morning “Walter.”

    I wouldn’t call Lisa Sink a nemesis. And I am reminded after Kathleen’s comment about something Reid used to say. “Don’t argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

    Your quoting the blog confuses me, though. Don’t I have a right to clarify a point someone implies I made, especially when they didn’t ask me? It’s not like I get to use the widely circulated paper to do so. My focused and determined effort is to remain an active and engaged member of this community, by the way. That I don’t agree with you really doesn’t bother me as much as it appears to bother you.

    Andy Smith, if this referendum vote goes down you might have to question whether or not your tactics as a public relations specialist for the district are effective. Feedback like this, for example…

  5. Terminator says:

    Am I the only one that thought Walter’s comment didn’t make sense? He thought he was being clever, but he was actually obtuse.

  6. I am voting “NO” to the school referendum for several reasons:
    1) While the district states the proposed high school building upgrades are needed to maintain high test scores, a significant portion of the expenditure is actually going toward athletics, not academics.
    2) The facilities are being sized for continued increases in out-of-district enrollment, which is already excessive.
    3) Brookfield Academy is building a new high school for $12 million… considerably less than half the cost the district wants to improve each of 2 high schools. (Elmbrook referendum at $62.6million for 2 schools = $31.3 million each on average… nearly three times the cost of BA’s new high school).

    Please consider voting “no” to the high school referendum April 1st. Although we are getting closer, it is not the right plan or the right price for our community at this time.

  7. Quotable, you need to compare enrollment numbers if you are going to hold up Brookfield Academy for comparison.

  8. Elmbrook SD has about 2700 students between both high schools. Brookfield Academy has 237 according to their website.

    Just for fun let’s assume BA has 270 students (to simplify my math).

    At $12 Million, BA is spending $44,444 per student on their project.

    At $62.6 Million, Elmbrook Schools will pay around $23,185 per student.

    I had never thought about this before, thanks for pointing it out Kathryn.

  9. So, Elmbrook’s project would serve 10 times as many students, for about half the cost per head. If we spent that much, we might be able to reduce class sizes to somewhere near BA’s level too. That would be nice. Brookfield Academy, by the way, doesn’t require PE.

  10. Terminator says:

    I believe Shawn and Kathryn are comparing apples and oranges….new vs. repair/remodel at ZERO cost to taxpayers no less.

  11. T–apples and oranges: that was the point. There is no validity to including Brookfield Academy’s project in arguments about the Elmbrook referendum.

  12. Quotable, you mentioned us getting “closer” but I’m left to wonder… how much closer can it get? Lots of people are not pleased with the amount of money potentially spent on PE facilities, which I understand. But is anyone willing to compromise here? At what point will it be at least “reasonable” to some? I’m not saying this in favor of or against the referendum, I’m just wondering how many times we have to go back to the drawing board.

  13. Shawn, Brookfield Academy does not have to finance their cost. It is my understanding that they have been raising the funds for two or three years now and are ready to proceed after creating a budget to do so. For easy calculations you can almost double your 23,000 per student with interest. That is pure out of pocket expense.

    Change the amortization schedule to something less than 20 years and the out of pocket number decreases substantially per year of decrease. Bonds then also become much more marketable with even maybe a better interest rate.

    As a supplementary comment to the above I would foster a program as being a requirement for graduation from High School classes in Finance, Stock Market, Budgeting, Home and everyday budgeting. All of these classes only require simple math to understand the numbers . But understanding them will keep ones rear end out of financial trouble for the rest of your life.

    To do this we just need a class room , not 4 gyms and a running track unless you want to tune your legs up on the running track to out distance the bill collector from poor grades in the above mentioned venues. Of course if you stumble and fall on the track what good is the track, they caught you anyway. Have a nice day.

  14. If you look at the BrookfieldNow article, Shawn is correct…the current BA high school population is around 237 students. The new school, however, is being built for a 35% increase in enrollment. The numbers Shawn provided in spending per student are then slightly off.

  15. “The numbers Shawn provided in spending per student are then slightly off.” Slightly? Calling that percentage “slightly” is what gets lots of people in trouble financially. Of course if one is a YES voter that kind of percentage is within reason.

  16. You all are missing the point Kathryn and I were trying to make–that this type of comparison was apples to oranges.

    Now we’re arguing over whether it was apples to cantelopes.

  17. No – got the point. I just felt the accurate figures should be stated just in case someone has not read the article. Otherwise, before you know it, people will be quoting your $44,444 figure left and right. 🙂