Coming up in sunny Brookfield…

Nice to SEE the sun for a change, huh?


I’ll get you a little bit about my visit with Mike Sprinkel’s personnel file later today. It’s not a lot because I don’t want to tip my hand before the district answers another question. It’s funny sometimes that you get interesting bits you never thought of before when you ask questions.


In the “hope they weren’t watching” category, last night’s Brookfield Finance Committee meeting had something on the agenda I plan to check out today. No, it really never ends.


I’m planning to blog live from Saturday’ s conservative conference. More about that soon.


I have a prediction and a challenge regarding Elmbrook.

Prediciton: Expect Superintendent Matt Gibson to magically find $3 to $4 million in the next 12 or 18 months to put gyms on at Tonawanda and Hillside grade schools. It’s his last piece of unfinished business before he retires. Of course, the money’s been there all along.

Challenge for the 52% majority YES crowd: Can you specifically tell me what we bought yesterday? It’s an important question I’ll keep asking until we get the full list.

Perhaps they already know it, but the burden certainly is on this group of voters to deliver a project equal to what the district promised.


  1. BrkfldDad says:

    I heard the $50k, assuming that’s what you are chasing :), is to take the green panels from BEHS now that the referendum is approved and install them in the Director of All Things new colonnade!

  2. Cheri M. says:

    I have three lines of thought this morning:

    1) The vote was really close. Hopefully the district understands people will be watching them.

    2) I can hardly wait ’til they get started on the middle schools…

    3) Anyone up for writing an article which muses about ROI (return on investment)? A business, for example, would always seek measurable results from a course of action.
    – Can our community expect to see higher test scores per dollar of expenditure?
    – Can our community expect to see the homes which have been languishing on the market sell quickly now?
    – Can our community expect to see homes sell for prices which indicate the planned HS upgrades have increased the homes’ value?
    – Or will we just see more non-residents flocking to take advantage of our schools without buying into our community and paying our level of taxes?

    Businesses also typically consider “opportunity cost”. In this case, at a cost of $163/yr for 20 years, that’s $3,260. Other possible uses of that money per residence might’ve been… a new roof? …a nice vacation? both if you do it yourself? (BTW, we have a new roof, don’t need one, so contractors please do not call.)

    Perhaps we need to author a tongue-in-cheek piece, thanking the district for padding our retirement by raising our property values so we are all living in piggybank$.

  3. Kelly Frank says:

    The challenge is not on the voters, it is now on the district to deliver on what they promised. It is up to the voters (YES and NO) to hold the district/board members accountable for the spending.

    I can not control how many dollars are spent on any specific item – as the authority has already been granted. I can be a part of a movement to allow someone to keep their job, or elect someone new into the position when all is said and done.

  4. Kelly Frank says:

    As for the sun comment – I agree that it is OUTSTANDING to see the sun!! I almost forgot what it looks like.

    I should have expected this comment is some form, but yesterday I was driving with my three year old. After a quick glimpse of the sun, then the clouds covering it back up she (in an exasperated voice only perfected by a three year old) informed me that “Wisconsin is too gloomy. Mommy, we NEED to move to California……or maybe Arizona….those places are not so gloomy!!”

  5. Kelly, you nailed it pretty quickly. Whatever you were promised was a promise. All we actually bought yesterday was a bigger tax bill.

    I disagree that it’s up to the district. That’s worked very poorly in the past.

  6. Kathryn says:

    I agree with Kelly Frank. The burden to deliver is not on the voters but on the school board and the administration. The whole idea that we cannot cooperate in representative government when we don’t get our way is not a good trend. I despise the Bush administration, but I’m still gonna salute the flag and pay my taxes.

    Digression: spell checker is content with “gonna.”

  7. Kathryn says:

    You may be right about the magic money.

  8. Kathryn, this isn’t about cooperation, it’s about accountability. No one held the district accountable in the past and it’s cost us $62 million. Are we inclined to repeat the mistake?

  9. An excellent idea on measuring ROI (Return On Investment). Exactly what my business unit is measured on. Any business (school district) with an expenditure of this amount must have measureable results and those overseeing it must be held responsible for meeting it or failing to meet it. What is a fair return from those magical new bricks and mortar ? 15% increase in average test scores, gpa ? Less water needed for showers because we will have gyms w/ ac ? Please feel free to propose measures.

  10. Kathryn says:

    Ok, but how is it only the yes voters are accountable? The no voters were here when the train derailed as well. This is our mess, and its ours to fix.

  11. Touche. I suppose I’ll still be around. Kyle and I were in fact talking about that last night…

    Let’s narrow it to the YES crowd is 1) expected to guide a finished product equal to the promise, and 2) expected to honestly measure the ROI from this expense.

    We can talk later about another potential accountability measure.

  12. Cheri M. says:

    I think it would be nice if the YES voters took a look at ROI, etc, but not everyone has the same learning style, affinity for numbers, etc.

    There are many people who do not check a receipt to verify that what they paid and what they purchased match.

    There are many people who will accept anything if you smile and shake their hand.

    Then again there are many people who will use the restroom and not wash their hands before going to greet others with a warm smile and a handshake.

    Some of us are more about handwashing, checking receipts, and asking tough questions. While some may regard us a pebble in the shoe, we are more of a corrective orthotic.

    In the end, everyone wants to shake our hand… ;o)

  13. Kathryn says:

    Now there’s a scary metaphor. I hope you aren’t questioning my hygiene, Cheri.

  14. Oh, Dan. Cheri’s a nice person. We’re just kidding around.

  15. Cheri M. says:

    Kathryn, I think we need to meet at Panera for a very long time so I can see if you are a hand-washer! ;o)

    I agree with you that it is up to the community at large to hold the district accountable (not up to the YES voters, only). I also believe the district should be PROUD to be in a community of interested citizens. I also agree conceptually with Cindy’s thought that it would be nice if the YES voters saw it through… in the same way it would be nice if my daughter took all the responsibility for her pets. Alas, this is the real world and there are things she learns when I work alongside her.

    There are 3 things which kept me from voting YES, things which I’d’ve preferred to see addressed in one more refinement of a referendum. I still believe that most of us, if not all of us, have more in common than we have as disagreement. Time to move forward!

  16. Cheri M. says:

    Dan, I thought those pretzels were TOO GOOD! Now I know we can make ’em at home! ;o)

  17. El gator says:

    Should “I’m’nt” have been “I’mn’t”?

  18. Oh, dear, I feel guilty. It appears there is need of a new post on the blog. This one certainly found an odd ending…