We the People

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

TOO MANY LOOSE ENDS in Milton School District!

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John Eyster
Monday, January 14, 2013

TOO MANY LOOSE ENDS in Milton School District!

I realize that Milton Board President Rob Roy asked the Janesville Gazette to stop reporting on the Milton School District “MESS,” BUT I think that the Milton Board needs to tie up LOOSE ENDS with WE THE PEOPLE of the School District of Milton before we can agree, “CASE CLOSED.” What do YOU think?

I noted the Board’s request – I assume it was the BOARD since Board President Rob Roy speaks for the WHOLE board – “Why does Milton Board President want Gazette to stop investigating?"

I read with interest the reprint of several of the COMMENTS on my WE THE PEOPLE blog by The Janesville Gazette last Friday, January 11, 2013 (see p. 4A):

To John Eyster:

"As a Milton School District taxpayer, I want to know the whole truth. I’ve read every story in The Gazette and Milton Courier and see no reason why Mr. Garrow should have been let go. The only thing I take away from all the information so far is that Mr. Garrow displayed a lack of judgment/maturity. There has to be more to the story. —sleeponit"

"Just wondering if it is true that nobody on the Milton School Board ever saw the picture that the superintendent had shown to others. It would be nice to clear the air on that one: 1. Did you see the picture? 2. Was it in bad taste/nudity? … The social thing that they were concerned with sounded pretty silly. —yada"

"I suspect that Garrow did not 'click' well with the 'clique' and they (the board) went on a mission to find something to hang him on. The 'clique' had influence over the board and pushed to get the ball rolling. The board reacted by going off half cocked and really screwed things up. —hooters"

"I also think someone had it out for him. I wish Mr. Garrow the best of luck wherever he goes. I'm sorry we're losing him, but I can't blame him for leaving. —in_my_opinion"

From me to the Milton School Board: How about a FULL DISCLOSURE FULFILLING the requirements of our WI STATE OPEN RECORDS law?

I hope you - the Board - and your attorney have now reviewed the decision of our WI SUPREME COURT on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Wisconsin Supreme Court backs newspaper in open records dispute.” Again, OUR WI SUPREME COURT has stressed the legal requirements of our WI state open records law! Does one need to sue the School District of Milton to gain FULL FULFILLMENT of the LAW? I HOPE NOT!

In this context, how about a straight forward OUT OF THE CLOSET confession as to what REALLY happened from the Milton Board? Did the Board really get inadequate legal advice from its board attorney? Why did the Board go to FENNIMORE, WI to hire an attorney for an investigation of hits superintendent? Why did no one in the whole investigation see the “alleged picture” which was allegedly “inappropriately shown” on a school computer somewhere (location NOT disclosed!) in Milton schools? Why has our Milton Board as a WHOLE – each and every member – joined the SECRECY CONSPIRACY? WHY? WHY? WHY?

As I stated when I first blogged re. our Milton School Board, “Vote of NO CONFIDENCE! Milton Board of Education,” I was totally shocked by the attitudes and behaviors of the Board. I thought I knew the board members and I had had total confidence in their integrity. Now that confidence has been totally undermined. Remember: The Board does NOT operate legally as individuals but ONLY as a BOARD with participation of a quorum. So? What happened?!

Reading and studying the comments coming from readers of my WE THE PEOPLE blog, I am convinced that they have astutely analyzed the information available and come to the CORRECT clarification as to what REALLY did happen. I would assert that IF the Board had been forthcoming with FULL DISCLOSURE when the crisis erupted, the whole situation would NOT have become such a MESSY “MESS” and would NOT have cost WE THE PEOPLE of the School District of Milton – taxpayers and voters – over $179,000!

What is the TRUTH? WHY will our Milton School Board NOT tell WE THE PEOPLE of the School District of Milton? WHY have the remaining documents requested under PUBLIC DOCUMENT filings not been made public?

AND NOW, is the whole “MESS” going to be swept under the carpet? Consider the fact that we learned from our Milton Courier last week (issue of January 10, 2013) that ONLY the 2 incumbents have filed for candidacy for our Milton School Board with the election coming on April 2, 2013.

Not only does this mean that barring a successful write-in campaign, but a quiet/silent time between now and that election with the candidates running unopposed. No public discussions with the candidates as to their attitudes and behaviors during their present term with reasons for re-election. No public discussion of what the 2 candidates will be doing for WE THE PEOPLE of the School District of Milton IF re-elected both in terms of cleaning up the “MESS” they helped make OR in terms of moving ahead to a healthy and effective K-12 school district again. Do WE THE PEOPLE of the School District of Milton prefer IGNORANCE to KNOWLEDGE & TRUTH? What do YOU think?

I have been told in comments to my WE THE PEOPLE blog that I ought to be a candidate for the Milton School Board with a general attitude of “put up or shut-up.” I understand that expectation. I need to clarify that I did assess candidacy. With careful consideration, I decided that I would not be the person needed to be an active school board member. I know from experience the intensity of serving on a school board. I would NOT be able to do justice as a Milton School Board member in terms of energy and time. I have significant personal (parent and grandparent) and professional (Adjunct Professor, UW system) commitments which are on-going. I am not able to ADD to my commitments. I want to note in response to comments that I am the parent of 2 alumni and the grandparent of 2 current students of the Milton K-12 school district. I do have personal interests and involvements in addition to being a voting and taxpaying citizen of the district.

I am hoping that our MILTON SCHOOL BOARD will now be PROactive to tie up the loose ends of the “MESS” so that it does NOT dominate our school district for the remainder of school year 2012-13. I am waiting. I am NOT optimistic. I am NOT holding my breath. What do YOU expect?

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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