NOW the real work begins for the Milton School Board! Today’s Gazette editorial, “Milton’s problems solved (not quite)” puts into focus the challenge to the board, “When the school board meets this month, its members must make sure to implement the referendum in the most transparent way possible. The board can take nothing for granted with a beleaguered administration at the helm.” I agree wholeheartedly with the Gazette editorial! I urge you to read that editorial carefully.

The editorial articulates a cogent analysis of the passage of the Milton school referendum to provide needed updates and upgrades for the students. At the same time, voters expressed distrust of the Board President and Administrator. It is very troubling that the objections and lack of signature of the business manager. The removal of that business manager who had significant ethical courage means that the board must consider CAREFULLY the employment of the new business manager and to protect that manager from the Administrator’s manipulation! I would note that the Milton School District website lists the Director of Business Services who blew the whistle, Mary Ellen VanValin, but she is gone. I hope the Board will make sure the new Director of Business Services will be reviewed by the Board and given strong Board protection.

When the Board organizes on Monday, April 22 (Earth Day), there are several very significant actions which WE THE PEOPLE (taxpayers and voters) of the Milton School District need to watch:

1. Election of the Board officers = President, Vice-President, Clerk and Treasurer. I hope the board will vote for a difference President for the sake of transparency.

2. Set-up special review of the District Administrator to consider cancelling the contract with Dr. Tim Schigur. WE THE PEOPLE of Milton School District need an honest and transparent administrator to lead the management of the $59.9 million we have “given” to the district through the referendum.

3. The Board should hire an OBJECTIVE law firm to investigate the financial manipulation and its disclosure. I am now more convinced of the merit of the Janesville Gazette’s editorial/Our Views, “Milton School District leadership needs to go” published on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, p. 4A. The Investigation report with comments is available online on the Milton School District website. As I asserted in my WE THE PEOPLE column (Tuesday, March 26, 2019), “Lack of transparency in Milton unacceptable,” the investigation report is biased to protect the Board and District Administration. 

It is now, WE THE PEOPLE (taxpayers and voters) of the School District of Milton that must keep our eyes on our School Board and Administration as they spend our $59.9 million. KEEP IN MIND, “The referendum will cost district taxpayers $164 per year—$13.67 per month—per $100,000 of property value, raising the school tax rate $1.64.”

I continue to hope for resignations to facilitate the TRUST that WE THE PEOPLE can have in our School District of Milton. Your comments will be significant. I’ll be reading!

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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) and WI Academic Decathlon. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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