We the People

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

Why does Milton Board President want Gazette to stop investigating?

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John Eyster
Saturday, January 5, 2013

Why does Milton Board President want Gazette to stop investigating?

I asserted in a WE THE PEOPLE blog post previously that where there is smoke, there is fire! I am the MORE sure of real fire NOW with President Rob Roy's statement telling the Gazette to STOP INVESTIGATING our "Milton Mess." What do YOU think?

Why does Milton Board President Rob Roy want to continue secrecy on the “MESS” which he and the Board created? I do NOT know with whom Rob has been talking, but I do KNOW that he has NOT talked with me OR the network of MILTON SCHOOL DISTRICT citizens (taxpayers and voters) with whom I have talked. Are citizens unwilling to speak TRUTH to the Board President? Does the Board President have a self-selected network?

I do HOPE that the Janesville Gazette and our Milton Courier will NOT leave the Milton School District “MESS” in the closet. I am among Milton School District citizens who pay taxes and vote who want to know THE REST OF THE STORY. Yes, we do need to move on, but that will NOT be healthy until the Milton School Board comes CLEAN or, perhaps, COMES OUT OF THE CLOSET. What do YOU think?

The Gazette article today reveals that our Milton School Board has been wasting our taxpayer money on $12,000 LEGAL FEES! The TOTAL cost of the Milton “MESS” continues to increase. WHY?

I have never had a clarification as to why our Milton School Board chose to go to FENNIMORE, WI for an attorney to investigate its superintendent. Note that in the informative article by Neil Johnson there is the documentation that the Board paid $2,669 for an October 2012 investigation by Fennimore law firm Kramer and Brownlee.

The article also cites documents which finally identify the Board’s attorney, Shana R. Lewis of Madison. She billed the board for $9,500. for work related to the “mess.” I myself am still NOT able to understand why our Milton School Board does NOT have a LOCAL (ROCK COUNTY) attorney, do YOU? Do YOU know a competent SCHOOL LAW attorney in ROCK COUNTY? I DO!

WE THE PEOPLE of Milton School District OWE Neil Johnson, Gazette journalist along with his editors gratitude for investing the time to review the invoices – PUBLIC RECORDS! – to identify the costs of the “Milton Mess.”

I find it self-serving and offensive that Rob Roy asserted in his e-mail to the Gazette’s Neil Johnson re. continued investigation that NO ONE in the community has asked for more information since the last Gazette story, asserts that citizens are telling him that they are glad this is behind us and that the district finally move on. He then states, “I wish you would do the same.” Please do NOT stop investigating our “MILTON MESS,” Neil and Janesville Gazette and Milton Courier! WE THE PEOPLE of the School District of Milton deserve to learn the rest of the story – ALL of the story – the WHOLE TRUTH and nothing but the truth.

I wonder whether board members are considering the benefits of FULL DISCLOSURE with APOLOGY to citizens of the Milton School District.

I think it is significant that our Milton School Board spent $1,069. To deal with open records requests from local media seeking details of Garrow’s leave. WHY? WHY did the Board NOT just come clean?!

VALUABLE that the Gazette summarized the costs in addition to legal fees which have already been reported: “The district has agreed to pay Garrow his full salary of $122,000 to remain on leave the rest of the school year, along with a severance agreement which pays Garrow $35,000, but crops off the second year of his two year contract.”

Additionally, there is the additional cost of $20,000 to compensate Principal Theresa Rusch to be interim superintendent the remainder of this school year.

Neil has expertise in the whole situation and brings to the report the perspective of our situation, “The costs all came as the district was scrambling to bolster staffing at its elementary schools, some of which have had class sizes that have swelled to as many as 29 students—and amid hints by the board that it could propose a spending referendum later this year.” I must again state that the BOARD HAD BEST NOT send a spending referendum to WE THE PEOPLE of MILTON SCHOOL DISTRICT after its wasting at least $179,000 on the Board’s “Milton Mess”! Just say, “NO!” I vote, “NO CONFIDENCE!”

If you want to read the review of the “Milton Mess,” I urge you to read the whole Gazette article on p. 5A today (Saturday, January 5, 2013), “District agrees to pay legal fees: Milton also will pay Garrow’s full salary, severance package.” If YOU are a Gazette subscriber, you have access to the ELECTRONIC edition. If not, get a PRINT edition.

Keep in mind that our Milton School Board has NOT YET coughed up some of the documents which have been legally requested under PUBLIC RECORDS filings. WHEN will the Board release those? Are they going to waste MORE of our tax money to keep the secrets? I hope not, but I am NOT holding my breath. Are YOU?

Waiting for FULL DISCLOSURE and REAL TRANSPARENCY by our Milton School Board! What do YOU want?

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 9:25 am Monday, April 29, 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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