Thumbs up to take-home cars. It's not popular to run on a plank promoting the use of government-owned vehicles for personal use, but we see no problem with it so long as the perk isn't abused. Providing take-home cars to Rock County Sheriff's Office leaders allows them to respond quickly to emergencies and also gives them instant access to law enforcement databases. The sheriff, chief deputy, two commanders, three captains and two sergeants all have take-home cars, along with the three deputies who have police dogs. Some readers have alleged gross abuses of the cars, and driving them to happy hour after work, for example, would be inappropriate. But voters are facing much more important issues--such as how to handle this county's opioid epidemic--than take-home cars. Take-home car use should be scrutinized, but the sheriff election shouldn't hinge on it.
Thumbs up to candidates' focus on roads. The four Democratic gubernatorial candidates who visited Janesville last week made roads a priority in interviews with The Gazette. Republicans and Democrats alike have criticized the Walker administration for failing to invest more in road construction and maintenance, and we hope the November election will push Gov. Scott Walker toward taking this issue more seriously. The poor condition of Wisconsin's roadways has become a political liability for Walker, and Democrats are looking to exploit it. In this case, we're glad Democrats are hammering on the topic because the state needs better roadways to continue its economic progress.
Thumbs down to Kelda Roys. The Democratic field aiming to beat Walker this November has latched onto the Delavan-Darien School District's problems, in large part, because Walker graduated from there. Yes, candidates should discuss the district's financial challenges but not like Kelda Roys did in a recent campaign video highlighting Walker's connection to Delavan-Darien. Interim Superintendent Jill Sorbie, who is trying to rebuild the district's image after the school board laid off 39 teachers and closed Darien Elementary, was justifiably irritated with Roys. "Instead of casting further potential negative attention, I would greatly appreciate the candidate reaching out to me to discuss viable solutions," Sorbie told The Gazette.
Thumbs down to new Milton High School option. We thought the Milton School Board had learned its lesson from two failed referendums and was committed to narrowing the scope of any future referendum. But on Thursday, a strategic planning committee agreed to make a new high school one of three options for the committee to consider for a spring referendum. The board shouldn't waste time considering building a new high school, knowing the proposal failed twice and would likely fail again. The new high school option should be a nonstarter, but some members appear to be seeking an opening to resurrect the issue. They should focus on developing a security-and-maintenance referendum that would have a realistic chance of gaining voter approval.