We the People

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

Vote of NO CONFIDENCE! Milton Board of Education

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John Eyster
Friday, November 16, 2012


Milton Board of Education lost my confidence this week due to its lack of TRANSPARENCY as it extended its superintendent's leave through the remainder of this school year into JUNE 2013 without telling us - taxpayers - whether or NOT they are paying Dr. Garrow. What do YOU think?

Through my decades of being a taxpaying and voting citizen of the School District of Milton, I have had a VERY STRONG CONFIDENCE in our Board and the administration! I had the benefit – BLESSING – of moving into the Milton School District when Dr. JON PLATTS was superintendent. The STUDENTS, PARENTS, TEACHERS and ALL the citizens of the SCHOOL DISTRICT OF MILTON had very, very special benefits through 30 years with SUPERINTENDENT JON PLATTS! COMMENDATION & GRATITUDE TO JON PLATTS!

NOW the failure of our Board to be forthcoming with INFORMATION after its meeting last MONDAY night, I have LOST confidence in our board. I have carefully read the OFFICIAL communications as reported by our MILTON COURIER and the Janesville Gazette.

If you have not read the information, I suggest you read James Debilzen’s article published by the Courier yesterday, “Milton schools admin. continues leave of absence.” THANK YOU to the Courier for this feature article. Also, THANKS for filing the OPEN RECORDS REQUEST.

The Janesville Gazette’s feature article by Neil Johnson was published on Tuesday, November 13, 2016 too. FRONT PAGE article with headline, “Garrow to stay on leave: Superintendent out for 2012-13 school year.” This article reports that the Janesville Gazette has filed an OPEN RECORDS REQUEST. THANKS to the Gazette for its OPEN RECORDS REQUEST.

Garrow has been on leave since mid-October with the explanation being that he is dealing with the death of his father. I KNOW that WE THE PEOPLE of the School District of Milton express sympathy to Michael and his family. I consider it appropriate and reasonable that the Board would give the superintendent an UNpaid “approved leave of absence” for a few weeks to mourn and adjust. EMPHASIZE: UNPAID = NOT PAID! The extension is VERY suspicious. I do NOT accept any reason to PAY Garrow for this time UNLESS this is a suspension WITH PAY during a disciplinary investigation. That is one of the “reasons” on the grapevine. TRANSPARENCY is needed to regain reasonably healthy credibility for our Milton Board of Education. SOONER than later…

JUST THINK: Our Milton School Board agreed to continue School District of Milton Administrator Michael Garrow’s “approved leave of absence” through the end of the school year (June, 2013). NOTE: Garrow’s contract expires in June, 2013.

The BOARD has NOT been transparent as to whether or not it is paying Garrow’s during this leave. WHY NOT?! To me, this lack of transparency creates suspicions. The UNofficial information is TROUBLING! It will grow like a cancer as long as the Board fails to be TRANSPARENT!

I ask our Milton School Board to be forthcoming WITH ALL DELIBERATE SPEED! I want to assume that the Board will fulfill the OPEN RECORDS LAW without delay. I am concerned that our Board does NOT waste OUR TAX MONEY to fight the OPEN RECORDS REQUESTS from the Milton Courier and Janesville Gazette.

I am grateful for the strong editorial published by The Janesville Gazette today, “Milton residents deserve answers about Garrow’s pay.” It is printed on page 4A. I am not allowed to provide a link here on my blog.

I totally agree with the Gazette’s discussion of our Milton School district situation vis-à-vis the BOARD and the Superintendent, “We sympathize with Garrow over the loss of his father. If that’s the sole reason for his leave, however, the district shouldn’t be paying him. Many of us have lost loved ones and would like to take months off to reflect on what’s important in life and pursue our dreams. We don’t have that luxury while getting paid.

“Whatever Garrow and the board aren’t saying, we hope that, absent a disciplinary problem, the issue can be cleared up and Garrow returns to work.

“In the meantime, taxpayers deserve to know whether they’re paying him.”

I am among the TAXPAYING & VOTING citizens of the School District of Milton WAITING IMPATIENTLY for the response of our Milton School Board. What do YOU think?

If you want to find out more about the members of our Milton School Board, use this link to “The Board” section of the district’s website. YOU will find a full list of board members along with biographical statements. I note that Board President Robert Roy states that his stated GOAL is: “I will work hard to honestly and effectively put the needs of children first." I do NOT see this situation as reflecting that GOAL. What do YOU think?

WATCHING with the audacity of HOPE for the OFFICIAL TRANSPARENCY of OUR Milton School Board. I am not, however, holding my breathe! (Sorry to those of you who had the ALL CAPS writing style! HA!)

How do YOU vote? Confidence? NO CONFIDENCE?

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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