We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

"Milton should release records to avoid lawsuit"

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John Eyster
Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Milton should release records to avoid lawsuit" (see p. 8A, Janesville Gazette, 12/2/2012), COMMENDATION & GRATITUDE to our Janesville Gazette for this VERY meaningful editorial today! Forewarned is forearmed! How do YOU advise our MILTON SCHOOL BOARD?

Starting the first full (all 7 days) week of December 2012 today, I shifted from one topic/issue to another for my WE THE PEOPLE blog post today as I read through the newspapers online.

When I read the Janesville Gazette’s editorial today, I KNEW which topic/issue I would focus on TODAY: Our Milton School District's “MESS” and the Gazette’s warning of legal action for the release of documents as required by Wisconsin’s Open Records Law.

I am truly interested to learn how readers of my WE THE PEOPLE blog feel about this very significant public policy issue. Please COMMEND with CANDOR and CIVILITY! I will be reading.

COMMENDATION & GRATITUDE to the Janesville Gazette for the VERY VALUABLE editorial today, “Milton should release records to avoid lawsuit.” The editorial is published in the format of a “Memo.”

"To: Rob Roy, president, Milton School Board "From: Gazette Editorial Board "Re. Superintendent Mike Garrow."

The bottom-line of the editorial is specific statement that the Gazette disagrees with Roy’s assertion that WI State Law protects a public employee (Garrow) while the Gazette asserts that WI State Law gives weight to the public’s right to know. I agree with the Gazette. With whom do YOU agree?

I think it is VERY TELLING that the Gazette has NOW communicated with our Milton School Board that it will file a lawsuit IF the Board does NOT release the records which it has requested using our WI Public Records law.

I have NOT understood the Board’s secrecy. WHY so UNwilling to communicate with WE THE PEOPLE of the MILTON SCHOOL DISTRICT – we who are citizens, parents and grandparents, we who are voters and taxpayers? I am a grandparent of 2 students in our Milton School district and the parent of 2 alumni of Milton School District who attended from Kindergarten graduated from Milton HS. I am a long-time citizen of the MILTON SCHOOL DISTRICT who has voted regularly.

Again I assert that the relationship of our MILTON SCHOOL BOARD with the community has been HEALTHIER through the years since I moved into the Milton School District in 1972.

I am baffled by the dramatic CHANGE in attitude on the part of our MILTON SCHOOL BOARD with this “MESS.” (I use the term used by Board President Roy.) I agree with Roy, it is truly a “MESS”! And the MESS is getting worse and worse due to the failure of our MILTON SCHOOL BOARD to release records as REQUIRED BY WI STATE LAW!

NOW, HOPE that the threat of a lawsuit by The Janesville Gazette will awaken the MILTON SCHOOL BOARD to follow WI State Law with ALL DELIBERATE SPEED!

Let me request the MILTON SCHOOL BOARD to release the legally required documents NOW! Do NOT waste more of my tax money on a LEGAL BATTLE! Again, I must tell the Board, I shall vote ANY REFERENDUM which comes to WE THE PEOPLE of the MILTON SCHOOL DISTRICT until there is FULL clarification of the “MESS” and the FISCAL COSTS are FULLY calculated and reported ACCURATELY.

IF the Board is holding documents secret in response to the threat of legal action by Garrow, PROCEED to release and take on Garrow’s legal action. I would prefer to pay for a legal battle with Garrow rather than with The Janesville Gazette. I wonder what READERS of my WE THE PEOPLE blog think. How about YOUR comments?

I do want to alert readers to a VERY MEANINGFUL comment posted by “birdman” yesterday at 8:09 am responding to Greg Peck’s “Opinion Matters” blog in which he alerts readers to the fact that the Gazette’s editorial to be published on Sunday, December 2, will assert that Milton schools should release Garrow records. You can read Greg’s blog using this link, “Milton schools should release Garrow records,” “Opinion Matters” With Greg Peck. There are now 11 comments, including my own enthusiastic agreement.

I totally agree with “birdman” statement thanking PEG EKEDAHL for her conscientious and dedicated service to our MILTON SCHOOL DISTRICT. “Former Superintendent Peg Ekedahl served the school district for many years. During much of this time she and her family struggled with her husband’s many bouts with cancer, several surgeries, and related treatments.

“Unlike Garrow, Mrs. Ekedahl stayed at the helm throughout it all, serving the tax payers to the very best of her ability.

“From what has been revealed about Mr. Garrow’s situation: no apparent health crisis; no accusations of impropriety with children or staff; no fiscal wrong doing - - in my opinion, he ought to have been sent on his way. Instead, the tax payers have to fund his lucrative salary and benefits, all the while with no return for their money. He should “man up” and resign. Immediately.

“I feel the board members who support this nonsense should also resign, immediately.

“Tip of the hat to Mrs. Ekedahl!”

I tip my hat to Mrs. Ekedahl too! What is YOUR comment?

I hope that before the end of this first full week of December 2012, WE THE PEOPLE of the MILTON SCHOOL DISTRICT will KNOW “the rest of the story” to the FULL extent that WI STATE LAW REQUIRES for WE THE PEOPLE! I am NOT holding my breath. Are YOU?

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 10:33 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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