Write-in candidates oust long-time Brodhead School Board members
--Allen Schneider (write-in). 1273
--Paul Donovan (write-in).. 1105
--Carol Kloepping (I) 814
--Peggy Olsen (I) 644
BRODHEAD Paul Donovan and Allen Schneider say they will bring the change voters want to see on the Brodhead School Board.
The pair of write-in candidates surged ahead of incumbents Carol Kloepping and President Peggy Olsen, who served a combined 25 years on the board.
“I’ve heard this now for several weeks … the most popular comment (was), ‘We need change,’” Schneider said. “I think that with this type of voter turnout, it’s very obvious that people don’t want this (referendum).”
Tuesday’s $1.76 million referendum to exceed revenue caps was voted down 1,255-960.
Donovan said he’s excited to take on the new role. He and Schneider will join the board at its April 26 meeting.
“I think the community needs to know that the school is very important to everybody here, very important to me,” Donovan said. “We can do more with less. Money does not solve all of our problems. There’s plenty of room for improvement.”
Donovan said Tuesday’s election speaks “loudly to the public officials that the community is paying attention, and we need to remember who we’re working for.”
The board first must deal with the projected $393,00 shortfall for next fall, he said.
The board doesn’t have to follow through on the cuts it said it would make if the referendum failed, he said, and they shouldn’t be made without input from Schneider and himself.
“I think we can find that money,” he said.
He said the proposed cuts should only be made if they’re necessary, not because the money isn’t there to support the programs or staff.
He said the bottom line is he will never support exceeding revenue caps.
Teacher contract negotiations will be the first big event in Schneider’s mind, he said. Teachers paying part of their insurance is his biggest issue, he said.
In the private sector, employees typically pay 25 percent of their health insurance costs, he said.
“Obviously, here we’re a long ways away from that,” he said. “I think we need to work toward that.”
The board has approved eliminating one administrative position in 2011, which Schneider said is a good step, but he would like to look at cutting another position.