We the People

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

UPDATE: Election Cliff (Milton School District) – Fiscal Cliff (US) - GOING OVER BOTH CLIFFS TONIGHT INTO 2013!

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John Eyster
Saturday, December 29, 2012

UPDATE: Election Cliff (Milton School District) – Fiscal Cliff (US) - GOING OVER BOTH CLIFFS TONIGHT INTO 2013!

I am sure YOU have been following developments on our NATIONAL "FISCAL CLIFF" crisis. I suspect that our LOCAL "ELECTION CLIFF" in our School District of Milton has been flying under the radar... I HOPE NOT! With the deadline for filing nomination papers coming next Wed., 1/2/2013, the "ELECTION CLIFF" comes next Wednesday! Forewarned is forearmed! Is too late?!

I AWAKENED TODAY with MORE AUDACITY of HOPE that the FISCAL CLIFF will be avoided when our representatives in our US CONGRESS are ALLOWED to vote UP or DOWN on a bill to deal with the IMMINENT FISCAL CLIFF. I am VERY HAPPY that our US President Obama is demanding action by the CONGRESS without giving the store away. He was ELECTED by WE THE PEOPLE of the US in part on the basis of his promise to increase taxes on the wealthy earning more than $250,000. GO FOR IT!

I am reassured by WARREN BUFFET’s assertion to BBC Radio 4 yesterday morning reported online by Huff Post Business, “Warren Buffett On Fiscal Cliff: ‘We’ll Get It Solved.'"

Warren Buffett is reported to have said, "We're a rich country. It can be solved... We'll be able to overcome this problem. America has faced a lot tougher problems than this one. We'll get it solved."


I know that Congressman Tammy Baldwin and Senator Herb Kohl will vote FOR legislation to protect MIDDLE CLASS citizens, but I am NOT AT ALL confident in Senator Johnson’s vote. I did send an e-mail to Senator Johnson. IF you too want to communicate with Senator Johnson, you can use the following link to access the official e-mail form, “E-mail Ron.” Communicate YOUR request to Sen. Johnson.

AT THE SAME TIME, I am concerned about the challenge of a local situation in our SCHOOL DISTRICT OF MILTON which I consider an “ELECTION CLIFF.”

The report in this week’s MILTON COURIER, “Nomination papers circulating” states, “For the school board, president Rob Roy and treasurer Betsy Lubke are up for re-election. Each school board position is a three-year term. Roy and Lubke have filed declaration of candidacy papers and are collecting signatures.

“Joe Martin has picked up a nomination packet, but has not filed any paperwork with the school district. Nomination packets can be picked up at the school district office at 448 E. High St. until 3:30 p.m. on Friday. The district office will be closed for winter break from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1.”

I was STUNNED to realize that both board incumbents have declared that they intend to run for reelection and are seeking nominating signatures. I would NOT sign either petition because I do NOT think that either incumbent should be re-elected.

MORE WORRISOME is the fact that there is ONE & ONLY ONE person who picked up the nomination packet. JOE MARTIN – he ran for the Board last year. I talked with Joe and he has NOT yet decided as to whether he will choose to run. I totally respect whatever decision Joe makes.

The Courier article reports the fact that the Milton School District Office is closed from Monday, December 24, 2012 through Tuesday, January 1, 2013. This means that the ONLY opportunity for a citizen to become a candidate for our school board would be during the day on Wednesday, January 4, 2013. So far as I am able to ascertain, the office closes at 4 pm CST.

FRUSTRATING that the Courier does NOT report to citizens on alternatives as to how to gain access to the official forms to file a nomination petition. WHY NOT? WHY has our Milton Board of Education NOT done MORE to make sure that citizens were INFORMED so that citizens would have easy access to obtain the nomination packet?

In fact, why does our BOARD NOT set-up a LOCAL source for access? If none of the Board Members are willing to VOLUNTEER to hand-out the packets during the Winter Break, I am sure there are other persons who would volunteer! I ask the MILTON SCHOOL BOARD to take action to make sure that NOMINATION PACKETS are available to citizens EVERY SINGLE REGULAR WORKDAY (Mon-Fri) from December 1 through January 1 in future years. WHY NOT?!

I am NOT sure that the present situation is LEGAL and am investigating since we’ve learned that our current MILTON SCHOOL BOARD only follows WI State Law when threatened with a law suit. WHY did it take the threat of a law suit from The Janesville Gazette for our MILTON SCHOOL BOARD to follow WI PUBLIC RECORDS LAW? I am waiting IMpatiently for our Milton School Board to TELL WE THE PEOPLE of the Milton School District. I am NOT holding my breath. There are still several records/documents which have NOT been made public as REQUIRED by WI PUBLIC RECORDS LAW.

I contacted our WI Government Accountability Board to find out about the availability of official documents to petition to be on a SPRING 2013 election ballot. I got a prompt and forthcoming response.

The response provided me the key information I needed in terms of HOW to ACCESS official documents to become a candidate for our MILTON SCHOOL BOARD in spite of the fact that the school district office is closed through January 1, 2013 now. The response reported that all of the paperwork is available ONLINE from the G.A.B. Use this link, “Local Candidates – Non-Partisan” and scroll down to “For School District candidates” and use the LINKS THERE. You can review the official information online.

Be sure YOU read carefully and follow the ballot access checklist which is posted as new for 2013. IF you want to declare candidacy, YOU must complete the official form GAB-162 form. It should be filed with the school district office FIRST THING on Wed., Jan. 2, 2013 when the office opens. One should file that form before circulating nominating petitions, but that is NOT possible in our School District of Milton. The only possibility is to file the declaration ASAP on Wed. morning when the school district office re-opens.

You will find that the various information sheets provide you with the DETAILS you need. AFTER THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICE opens on Wed., 1/2/2013, you will be able to call the office: 608-868-9200 with questions.

The official nomination petition form is GAB-169 – Nomination paper for non-partisan office. PRINT a copy. Complete the GENERAL lines and run copies to circulate for signatures. The state law requires that one submit at least 100 and no more than 200 legal signatures of CITIZENS for the School District of Milton. Be sure to follow the instructions for each item carefully so that you do NOT have signatures disqualified. YOU do need to file more than 100 to protect yourself since you will be filing your petition on or just before deadline on Wed., 1/2/2013.

If you want to read about the current Board of Education with bio and contact information, use this link for “The Board” on the School District website.

We owe a real debt of gratitude to our Milton Courier for its thorough GENERAL SUMMARY of the “MESS” in our Milton School District which was published on Wednesday, December 20, 2012. The feature articled by James Debilzen is NOT available online – the title is, “Records: Garrow resigning: District administrator signed agreement on Nov. 12.” IF you want to know the details of our Milton School District “MESS,” I think the most complete report is this feature article.

There are numerous QUESTIONS which have NOT YET been addressed by our Milton School Board. I would NOTE, with disappointment, that our board has not yet released ALL of the DOCUMENTS for which the Milton Courier and Janesville Gazette filed public document petitions. WHY NOT?

I have discussed our Milton School District “MESS” on my WE THE PEOPLE blog numerous times. I am frustrated when I review those posts and realize that MY FIRST POST was on November 16, 2012 which was ACTUALLY 4 days after we NOW KNOW the Superintendent resigned with not only FULL PAY & BENEFITS through June 2013, but also a $35,000 severance package! WHY did we NOT know this IMMEDIATELY?!?! It is NOT until one reads the Courier’s summary feature article published on December 20, 2012 that one finally gets the report that the superintendent did resign on November 12, 2012 with the severance package.

I continue to vote NO CONFIDENCE in our Milton School Board. Remember: IT takes the whole board acting as a board. This means that every member of the board is a participant in the “MESS.” I do wonder WHY we have NOT heard from our elected board members.

New Year 2013 is going to be a DIFFICULT year in our School District of Milton due to the “MESS” which our Board created in October 2012. There are MANY questions which NEED to be answered. I am sure they will be asked during the campaign cycle for our school board this spring 2013. I hope so.

I honestly have MORE HOPE that the “FISCAL CLIFF” will be resolved before MIDNIGHT December 31, 2012 than that our “ELECTION CLIFF” in our School District of Milton will be resolved. What do YOU expect?

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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