Sodemann to step down from Janesville School Board presidency

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, April 11, 2013

— Bill Sodemann will step aside after three years as president of the Janesville School Board.

Sodemann said he and others have approached board member Greg Ardrey to take the position.

Ardrey said he would run for president when the board reorganizes at its April 23 meeting. No other candidate has emerged so far.

Sodemann said he spoke to Ardrey about the possibility before the April 2 elections, but afterward Sodemann didn’t think he could get elected to another term.

“Not that they’re upset with me but probably because of the politics,” Sodemann said.

Sodemann is openly conservative, while all three of those elected—incumbents Karl Dommershausen and Kristin Hesselbacher and newcomer Cathy Myers—have displayed liberal tendencies.

School board votes often are based on considerations other than ideology, however.

Sodemann has been evenhanded and respectful in moderating the board’s debates while not shying away from expressing his positions when the time came.

Ardrey’s politics have been difficult to peg. He is an engineer by training and a manager for Alliant Energy. He spent countless hours in recent years investigating the condition and capacity of district buildings, producing data to help the administration and board make decisions.

Ardrey also has been a strong advocate for creating a long-range capital maintenance and improvement plan.

Ardrey has abstained on votes that affect the livelihood of his wife, who is a special-education aide in the district.

Ardrey said he would work for unity on the board and in relations between the board and employees, with the goal of putting the best possible teachers in front of students.

Ardrey was appointed to fill an unexpired term in July 2008 and was elected twice since then.

His latest three-year term runs out in April 2015.

Sodemann’s term runs out in April 2014.

Last updated: 10:27 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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