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Your Views: Milton School District's hiring of Schuetz raises suspicions

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July 11, 2014

In the 20-plus years I covered Milton School Board meetings for a local newspaper, I saw first-hand how frugal past boards and administrations acted toward the district's nonteaching positions.

Through the years, boards repeatedly made difficult decisions to eliminate nonteaching positions in favor of the commitment to a high teacher-student ratio at our district's elementary schools. Some of the positions that fell to budget cuts included the high school's second vice principal, the dean of students and counselors.

Because of this history of frugality, it surprised me when I saw the district job posting for a new public relations position—but not because of the need in this age of competitive school choice. I was surprised at the position's $80,000-per-year salary. It can be argued the district would have attracted many highly qualified candidates from the public relations professional world at two-thirds that salary.

When I learned former Milton Chief of Police and current City Administrator Jerry Schuetz was offered the position, my inner red flags of cynicism went up—not because I question Mr. Schuetz's abilities but because these are questions that once were expected of me by taxpayers of Milton. Was this all preordained? Is this what used to be termed a “good old boy” hire?

Those questions were only intensified when The Gazette broke the story early this week and the article, seemingly, was all about this position being able to allow Mr. Schuetz to find “balance” in his personal life.

DOUG WELCH

Milton



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