Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Secrecy reigns in Orfordville

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Greg Peck
January 21, 2013

Not only did the Orfordville Village Board conduct a closed session last Monday that appears to have been illegal, but residents and the media have no way to contact board President David Olsen. He won’t offer a phone number where he can be reached.

Apparent miscommunications were behind the call for a closed session last Monday night “to start the process of finding a new Chief of Police due to the retirement of Chief Wickstrum.”

The trouble is, Chief Dave Wickstrum says he has no plans to retire and blamed the confusion on a discussion in an earlier meeting. Before last week’s meeting started, Wickstrum handed each board member a letter stating he intends to work beyond the end of this year.

The board went ahead with a 50-minute closed session anyway. So what did they discuss? We may never know.

When Gazette reporter Gina Duwe contacted Olsen by phone at work to ask him about the discussion, he said, “There’s nothing to talk about.” He said he couldn’t talk at work. When Duwe asked for a phone number to reach him when he’s not working, he replied “absolutely not” and indicated he doesn’t give his number to the media.

We’ll share our perspectives on these developments in our editorial Tuesday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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