Janesville72°

Referendum key, but not only, issue facing Milton School Board

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Stacy Vogel
April 1, 2008
— The two candidates in favor of a new high school won spots on the Milton School Board on Tuesday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean voters support a new school, said Jon Cruzan.

“The race was pretty darn close,” he said. “I don’t know that you can call it a mandate for the new school or not.”


Cruzan, a newcomer to the board, finished first in voting, 29 votes ahead of incumbent Al Roehl and 231 ahead of Fred Hookham out of nearly 3,900 votes cast.


Besides, there are more immediate issues facing the board, Cruzan said. The district superintendent, Peg Ekedahl, is retiring at the end of the year, and board President Sue Johnson chose not to seek reelection this year.


“Just regrouping the board and getting that new leadership in place is a big issue,” Cruzan said.


The board hired a new superintendent, Bernard Nikolay, to start July 1. It probably will vote on a new board president at it meeting Monday, April 28, Roehl said.


Roehl said the growth of the district and planning the new high school are probably the biggest issues facing the district right now.


He said he hopes the election results show some support for a new high school among voters. The high school issue formed a key difference among candidates, with Hookham favoring other options such as a second middle school or a new gym for the high school.


Cruzan already has some experience with the growth issue as co-chairman of the high school design team. He’s not sure if he will continue his chairmanship because the team is a citizen effort meant to advise the board, but he’d like to remain involved, he said.


Mostly, he’s just eager to dig into the day-to-day operations of the school board, he said.


“There’s work to do, and we just need to get on with it now,” he said.



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