We the People

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


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John Eyster
Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I must again express GRATITUDE to our Janesville Gazette for its STRONG ACTION for WE THE PEOPLE of Milton School District to FORCE our Milton Board of Education to release LEGALLY REQUIRED PUBLIC RECORDS!

I hope the Board will clarify for WE THE PEOPLE of the School District of Milton WHY it requires the threat of legal action to make them do their DUTY to WE THE PEOPLE of the Milton School District? Tell us, please, Board President Rob Roy! What do YOU expect from our Board?

The follow-up report after the STRONG GAZETTE EDITORIAL published on Sunday, December 2, “Milton should release records to avoid lawsuit,” (p. 8A) is published on p. 3A today.

Gazette reporter Neil Johnson, who has conscientiously followed our Milton School District “MESS” (as stated by Board President Rob Roy), “The Milton School District plans to release records that will shed more light on Superintendent Mike Garrow’s leave and agreement that allows him to be paid while not working for the rest of the school year.”

Johnson reports that School board President Rob Roy said yesterday that the district has mailed copies of the records to Garrow, along with an open records request The Janesville Gazette filed last week.” According to Roy, Garrow has 5 days to add information to the records so Roy estimates that the records will be available early next week. FINALLY!

I think WE THE PEOPLE of Milton School District owe the Gazette special GRATITUDE! I note that this is a second Open Records request! WHY has the Board been so secretive?

In response to the first Open Records request, the Board released ONLY some of the details about Garrow’s leave. The Board claimed at that time that other information requested by the Gazette in its Open Records filing with Roy stating that state statute protected the privacy of Garrow and his family.

NOW, the additional PRESSURE from the Gazette threatening legal action, Roy seems to have gained a BETTER UNDERSTANDING of the real meaning of our WI State Law. WHY does the Board continue playing games?!

Let me underscore the fact that while Rob Roy is President of the Board, he is NOT THE BOARD! There are 6 other board members. WHY are they NOT speaking up for WE THE PEOPLE of the Milton School District? What do YOU think? Want?

IF you want to identify the board members and get their contact information (e-mail and phone number(s)), you can use this link to our Milton School District website which will take you directly to “The Board” webpage.

I have been following the “MESS” in our Milton School District since it first became “public.” IF you want to review my WE THE PEOPLE blog posts, they are:

Friday, November 16 - “Vote of NO CONFIDENCE! Milton Board of Education.”

And then on Monday, November 19, we had the confirmation in the Gazette that our Milton Superintendent was actually being paid while on leave until the end of the school year, June 2013! “Milton Superintendent being PAID.”

I followed up with MORE information as the Gazette’s NEIL JOHNSON provided more information in an article in the Gazette on Tuesday, November 20, 2012. “Milton Superintendent is being PAID – Part II.”

We gained MORE information with perspective on the “MESS” in our Milton School District after our Board met on Monday, November 26 with reporting by two local journalists, James Debilzen of the Milton Courier and Neil Johnson of the Janesville Gazette. “Update on our Milton School District ‘MESS’”

And then, I posted on Sunday, December 2 after I read the VERY IMPORTANT GAZETTE EDITORIAL, “Milton should release records to avoid lawsuit”! THANKS to the Gazette!! “Milton should release records to avoid lawsuit.”

WHY does it take such legal action to convince YOU, our Milton Board of Education, to do YOUR duty to WE THE PEOPLE of the Milton School District?

I’ve talked with several district citizens – taxpayers over the past weeks and we agreed that we WISHED we had the MONEY to SUE YOU for the records. Were you banking on WE THE PEOPLE of the Milton School District NOT having the money to bring legal action?

FORTUNATELY, the importance of the LOCAL NEWSPAPER was demonstrated again by The Janesville Gazette when it announced that it would use its resources (money and expertise) to take legal action! THANK YOU, BLISS COMMUNICATIONS – The Janesville Gazette.

I am a daily reader of both the electronic and print editions of The Janesville Gazette. Yes, I am a subscriber to both the Gazette and the Courier. I hope YOU will consider being a SUBSCRIBER to our local newspapers – both The Janesville Gazette and Milton Courier. WE THE PEOPLE need local newspapers to bolster our ETERNAL VIGILANCE as part of the PRICE of liberty.

My WE THE PEOPLE blog post on Sunday stated, “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?”

Well, it will NOT be before the end of this first full week of December 2012… I am shifting my HOPE to before the end of the second full week of December 2012, but I am STILL NOT HOLDING MY BREATH! Are YOU?

FOOTNOTE: The end of the second full week of December 2012 will be Saturday, December 15. Let’s put our hope in context by noting that December 15th is BILL OF RIGHTS DAY! This special date remembers the RATIFICATION of our BILL OF RIGHTS (first 10 amendments to our US Constitution of 1789) as of December 15, 1791. Thanks to the Anti-federalists for this very significant contribution to our US Constitution and our RIGHTS!

If you want to review information, you can use this link to Wikipedia’s article, “United States Bill of Rights.”

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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