VOTE YES on November 2

VOTE YES on November 2

Posted in the Muskego Forum

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ABC XYZ

Brookfield, WI

#1 Oct 24, 2010
It's is only a extra 150 dollars a year in taxes for 20 years!

You can afford it!
rglazier

Milwaukee, WI

#2 Oct 26, 2010
To anyone opposed to rebuilding our elementary schools I would suggest you actually tour them before voting. The knee-jerk reaction is to oppose all new taxes. I too oppose taxes however I would challenge anyone to actually look inside the schools and say that "yes" - I could work / learn in this environment day in and day out. And, I would challenge you to agree that "yes" allowing free access to the students to anyone walking in the front door (no line of sight to the office) is a good thing. And further, that "yes" I have furnace, electrical and plumbing, in my house that is well beyond the expected life span. I'd also like you to agree that "yes" it's okay if kids with disabilities are not provided access to the building.

These are all real and current conditions within our Muskego elementary schools. What do people think; that a school never requires replacement - ever?

I think we tend to drive past these schools and think that the goal of the referendum is to make nice, pretty, new schools. When in reality the goal is to retire schools that have served our community since before most residents were born and replace, or enhance, them with the schools needed to educate the next generations(s) of children. If you think that is important then I ask you to vote "Yes" to the upcoming school referendum
Suzi Link

Germantown, WI

#3 Oct 29, 2010
I am opposed to spending $39 Million on a new school at this time. That is right,$39 Million, not just $34. Just because the School Board plans to “dip into an existing fund” for the other $5 Million does not reduce the true cost of this proposal to taxpayers. Now is not the time to double our already huge school debt obligations.

If there is truly a “capacity/space” issue in the elementary schools, some of the middle schoolers could be moved to the high school (use that enormous football weight room as a classroom).

Demographic data indicates that student enrollments have been flat for 5 years and demographic trends forecast continued flat to declining enrollment. This means that there is no need to expand the capacity of our current schools.

Regarding the condition of our existing grade schools, if they have been properly maintained they can be used indefinitely. Part of maintenance is periodic replacement of various systems. Scheduled replacement of various systems is part of competent administration. In fact, I am relatively certain that a “fund” already exists explicitly for this very purpose.

Lastly, as a person with physical disabilities (I use a wheel chair), I am completely sympathetic to the needs of disabled students. What I cannot understand is that, as public buildings, our schools have been required by the Federal “Americans With Disabilities Act” to meet accessibility standards since the mid-1970’s. This is commonly referred to as being “ADA-compliant”.

If the accessibility issue in our grade schools is really as bad as it is described above, our School District has been worse than negligent for nearly 40 years. How can that possibly be true? And, if it is true, how can we trust them now?
ABC XYZ

Brookfield, WI

#4 Oct 29, 2010
Johnson our liberal mayor supports it!

Finally a Liberal mayor in Muskego!

I heard Belling telling people to vote no today and what does he know!

It's for the teachers and kids and 34 million is not a lot of money.
Muskego Tax Payer

Menomonee Falls, WI

#5 Oct 30, 2010
Vote "NO" to more debt. Let's not follow in the footsteps of our national government and think we can just borrow our way out of problems. That is the easy way out. Each year the district should be allocating funds to maintain the schools. Just because the cost of money is low at this time, does not give us the right to spend like a drunken sailor. Force the district to live within its budget and make hard choices. Now that Walmart is here (and probably more stores to come), it will drive up more tax revenue for the district. Let's set a good example for our children and live within our allowance.
rglazier

Milwaukee, WI

#6 Oct 30, 2010
Unfortunately I've yet to see any informed opposition to the referendum. Simply saying "No" we should not spend money on schools leads me to believe that people are not paying attention nor have they read any of the reports coming from over 2 years of debate and deliberation.

The district held a series of informational nights at the schools over the past month, or so. Almost no one attended. Had you been there you could have picked up copies of the Facility Study Team (FST) report, for one, and talked with the people that have done the research that led us to the referendum. The district officials were there, members of the FST were there, the architectural firm that inventoried the schools was there. Where were you?

Sending middle-schoolers to a classroom in the high school weight room or simply saying that no we resolve to never spend money on schools again are not informed decisions.

The hard choices have been made to get to the current plan. But again, you wouldn't know that if haven't been engaged in the debate. Only roughly 40 people showed to the board's annual meeting. Kind of a pathetic showing when we're talking about making hard choices.

Where has the opposition been while this was discussed over the past 2 years. The report from the FST was completed in Dec of 2008. It was presented at a board meeting in January of 2009 (again almost no attendance from the public). Has anyone bothered to read it?

The FST for example was comprised of 18 community members meeting bi-weekly for 3 months. They poured over the data and debated hard choices. They made the commitment to learn more and make an informed decision. Will you do the same?

Architectural inventories describing every possible infrastructure detail on each of the elementary schools was completed before that. Have read that?

The school board openly discussed/debated the needs of our buildings while crafting this referendum. They made some hard choices after conducting a second community survey. Did you attend any of the meetings? Have you reached out to talk with any of the district officials, board members, FST?

I think, frankly, the easy decision is to say no. Or offer flippant comments about the integrity of the deliberation that has been done or about the work that goes into maintaining buildings built 85 years ago.

If you've read all of the documents (not just the postcards in the mailbox) and have an informed decision please offer it up. If you have some solutions please offer them up. Get engaged. Posting a blog entry from the comfort of your home is the easy choice. Help us with the hard ones.
Another Concerned Citizen

Hartland, WI

#7 Oct 30, 2010
Cousin Suzi, ABC XYZ, and Muskego Tax Payer,

Before you jump all over my case and say I'm a liberal supportting the new schools, i have not decided which way to vote yet.

Cousin Suzi, if you had bothered to go to the school boards annual meeting last week, you would have seen that our expenditures for teachers went up about 3 million, while taxes and state moneys went up only 700 thousand.(and before you jump on me saying ONLY, i'm using it as a comparison to the 3 million)

So if we keep paying teachers more, and getting less, how are they suppossed to save money for new schools or updating the old ones. Should they have taxes us more over the last 20 years or so?

Cousin Suzi, I am suprized that you are not aware that you only need bring buildings up to ADA code if you do extensive renovations. I don't think that any of those schools have been modified since the 60's. And bringing a school like Muskego Elementary up to code would be very expensive with all of it's levels.

And Cousin Suzi, I know your comment about the 39 vs 34 million is directed at me. They are asking US for 34 million. The other 5 is our money that they have some discretion on how to spend.
Dont Tread on My Lake

Milwaukee, WI

#8 Oct 30, 2010
Some information for those still wondering:

http://www.mnsd.k12.wi.us/content/view/1367/1...

Informational, behind the scenes, look at the schools.

Or,

http://www.mnsd.k12.wi.us/content/view/1230/1...

Search under "Facilities referendum" -> "Background"

All of the reports are there as well as survey results from 2 separate surveys.

Tons of info for those still not sure. Take a look! At least take advantage of the time, money and resources already spent...
OPM

Pewaukee, WI

#9 Oct 30, 2010
Ah yes. Suzi Link, I thought you and the Damaske crowd had finally left Muskego. Too bad we can't recall you and send you packing. Considering your background, I find it strange that property values aren't a concern for you. Also, most people define community as all of Muskego rather than your backyard. Ever since our weed harvester sunk years ago, I think your ability to reason and any compassion for community went along with it. I'll pray that your "mental health" improves.
Suzi Link wrote:
I am opposed to spending $39 Million on a new school at this time. That is right,$39 Million, not just $34. Just because the School Board plans to “dip into an existing fund” for the other $5 Million does not reduce the true cost of this proposal to taxpayers. Now is not the time to double our already huge school debt obligations.
If there is truly a “capacity/space” issue in the elementary schools, some of the middle schoolers could be moved to the high school (use that enormous football weight room as a classroom).
Demographic data indicates that student enrollments have been flat for 5 years and demographic trends forecast continued flat to declining enrollment. This means that there is no need to expand the capacity of our current schools.
Regarding the condition of our existing grade schools, if they have been properly maintained they can be used indefinitely. Part of maintenance is periodic replacement of various systems. Scheduled replacement of various systems is part of competent administration. In fact, I am relatively certain that a “fund” already exists explicitly for this very purpose.
Lastly, as a person with physical disabilities (I use a wheel chair), I am completely sympathetic to the needs of disabled students. What I cannot understand is that, as public buildings, our schools have been required by the Federal “Americans With Disabilities Act” to meet accessibility standards since the mid-1970’s. This is commonly referred to as being “ADA-compliant”.
If the accessibility issue in our grade schools is really as bad as it is described above, our School District has been worse than negligent for nearly 40 years. How can that possibly be true? And, if it is true, how can we trust them now?
OPM

Pewaukee, WI

#10 Oct 30, 2010
Ah yes. Suzi Link, I thought you and the Damaske crowd had finally left Muskego. Too bad we can't recall you and send you packing. Considering your background, I find it strange that property values aren't a concern for you. Also, most people define community as all of Muskego rather than your backyard. Ever since our weed harvester sunk years ago, I think your ability to reason and any compassion for community went along with it. I'll pray that your "mental health" improves.
Charles K

Pewaukee, WI

#11 Oct 31, 2010
I wasn't sure about this post, but thanks for clarifying. I almost forgot about the whole weed harvester fiasco. Suzi did well as chairman of our Lake District, at first, then it went all downstream.... so to speak. Suzi, I'm sorry, but you sure know how to take a simple fact and twist it to fit your personal agenda.. which seems to be to complain about everything without offering any reasonable alternative. Anybody can do this... I hope you don't consider yourself clever. I don't.
OPM wrote:
Ah yes. Suzi Link, I thought you and the Damaske crowd had finally left Muskego. Too bad we can't recall you and send you packing. Considering your background, I find it strange that property values aren't a concern for you. Also, most people define community as all of Muskego rather than your backyard. Ever since our weed harvester sunk years ago, I think your ability to reason and any compassion for community went along with it. I'll pray that your "mental health" improves.
<quoted text>
OPM

Pewaukee, WI

#12 Oct 31, 2010
Ah yes. Suzi Link, I thought you and the Damaske crowd had finally left Muskego. Too bad we can't recall you and send you packing. Considering your background, I find it strange that property values aren't a concern for you. Also, most people define community as all of Muskego rather than your backyard. Ever since our weed harvester sunk years ago, I think your ability to reason and any compassion for community went along with it. I'll pray that your "mental health" improves.
ABC XYZ wrote:
It's is only a extra 150 dollars a year in taxes for 20 years!
You can afford it!
Muskego Tom

Brookfield, WI

#13 Oct 31, 2010
As a long time resident and downsized by my employer I can not support any tax increase. If you believe in Scott Walker and Ron Johnson you must also understand this is not the time to support any increase in taxes.

I agree with Mark Belling and we should vote this referendum down.
Muskego Rob

Arlington Heights, IL

#14 Nov 1, 2010
Muskego Tom,

With all due respect....

Who then is expected to support our local schools? Scott Walker and Ron Johnson are on a entirely different agenda. They do not believe in ZERO taxes simply oppose unnecessary taxes and unnecessary government control and bureaucracy.

And, much as I agree with Belling on most issues I think he's not the person to make up our minds on what we do with our schools. He has never approved of a school referendum. But that's his angle and he speaks to a large regional audience. And, I'm willing to bet he has done no research. He's probably never set foot in one of our schools or attended any listening sessions or read any of the reports.

If you do no research the referendum appears to be something it's not.

This is very much a local issue and these are necessary expenditures. They in no way represent increased government control. They represent the community taking care of it's own.

Again, please read the copious background material. After you understand the situation our elementary schools are in the please offer solutions rather than the knee jerk "NO".

If you have time to listen to Belling, you have time to do some research. Then let's, as a community, figure out how we address the problems.
Vote Yes

Brookfield, WI

#15 Nov 1, 2010
Just saying no is not an option. To those of us that have spent hundreds of hours researching and debating over a good balanced solution just saying no without spending the time to find out facts is an insult. We are all in the same tax boat together. The School Board has done an amazing job taking $65 million dollars in needs and getting it all the way down to address the most pressing needs at $34 million. These are not new needs. Our schools are in bad shape and have been for many many years. If you vote no and this referendum doesn't pass, then you better be ready to roll up your sleeves to sit down and constructively work with the School Board, Administration and the rest of the community to come up with a solution to these never ending problems because I do not want my tax dollars being poured in to maintaining these old overcrowded inefficient buildings anymore. Your tax dollars will pay for these schools whether old or new where would you rather invest them?
Suzi Link

Germantown, WI

#16 Nov 1, 2010
Just for the record, all of the information to support/oppose proposed school referendum is readily available on the Muskego-Norway School District’s website ( http://www.mnsd.k12.wi.us/ ). Attendance at the informational meetings is not the only basis to determine if any individual has developed “an informed opinion” or is simply reacting without due dillegence.

Secondly, the comment that Federal “ADA Accessibility Critera only apply to renovations “ is the rule for PRIVATE sector. ANY structure which recieves the benefit of Federal funding, SPECIFICALLY INCLUDING SCHOOLS, has had a MANDATORY COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENT SINCE 1992. Please check your facts.

Next, I was not “targeting” anyone with my factual statement that what we are actually discussing is a $39 Million Dollar construction project. I do not consider $5 Million to be a “minor variance”. I do question why the referendum is worded to skirt this issue.

Addressing the alleged “increased property value” the referendum supporters are claiming, please note that, as a general rule, property values DECREASE as taxes increase. People tend to consider the relative tax rates in different communities when making home purchase decisions. Again, check the facts.

Our School Board seems to believe ‘only new will do” They purchased the land for future schools WITHOUT as referendum.

Using the argument “this project is for the kids” is an emotional claim similar to “Mom, Apple Pie and The Flag”. In addition to the various specialists used for this project, the School Board WASTED our tax dollars when they retained a PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM to “sell” Muskego residents on this project. If the new school was really needed , we would not need to be “sold”.

Finally, to “OPM”(and, to a much lesser extent “Charles K”):

I suppose that the fact that you are not required to identify yourselves gives you the delusion that you can use outright lies to slander others because you can hide behind a pen name. So typical of cowards and bullies, especially when you have no valid response to the comments of people you attack.

Even when we disagree, both Rob Glasier and I are not afraid to “own our opinions” and express our viewpoints WITHOUT resorting to personal attacks. THIS IS HOW GROWN-UPS COMMUNICATE. I will accept valid criticism and disagreement, but will not tolerate baseless slander from faceless cowards who are afraid to identify themselves.

Grow up.
Another Concerned Citizen

Hartland, WI

#18 Nov 1, 2010
Suzi, Suzi, Suzi,

If public buildings have had a mandatory requirement, why are those three buildings NOT fully ADA compliant?

Also, I haven't heard the argument "it's for the children". Of course it's for the children, it's a school district. The question is do we as a community see the need to build new schools?

Nobody said five million was a minor variance. The administration is reducing the bond issuance by extra money they have built up over the years. They could have just as easily asked for the full 39 million and used the 5 for something else.

Property taxes are one factor in determining property value. Another is the quality of the schools (including the school buildings). Property value is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it. For someone with small children, new schools greatly outweigh higher taxes. Retirees would prefer the lower taxes. The market will decide.

What is the name of the public relations firm they hired? I know many of the architects have been working with the district, but they are hopeing to get the contract if it passes.

Cousin Suzi,ABC XYZ, Muskego taxpayer and Muskego Tom, thank you for helping me make my decision. You have not put forth one good reason not to go ahead, just the don't spend any more money argument. Government spends money, it inn it's nature to do so. It is also it's job to spend it wisely and effectively. Now it is up to us to make that wisely and efficiently decision, and since you or anyone else hasn't disputed any of the points Rob or anyone else has made, I will be voting Yes.
Suzi Link

Germantown, WI

#19 Nov 1, 2010
I have absolutely NO IDEA why the Muskego-Norway School District is allegedly non-compliant with the ADA Critera. I suggest that you ask them.

Regarding the name of the Public Relations firm retained by the School Board, ASK RICK PETFALSKI, who is a member of the School Board. His comments at a recent Muskego Finance Committee Meeting (listen to the audio's on the City website yourself) are the source of my information.

As far as the rest of your comments, I must respectfully disagree with your conclusions but respect your right to your opinions.

See you (whoever you are) at the polls.
Suzi Link

Germantown, WI

#20 Nov 1, 2010
To “VOTE YES 4 KIDS”:

Even though I am relatively certain you will not believe me, I am glad if I was able to assist you in arriving at your position regarding the School Referendum.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that voters need to make the time to educate themselves prior to arriving at the Polls on Election Day. I support and respect your right to your opinion, just as I am entitled to mine. This divergence of opinion is possible even after we have both after reviewing the same source information (in this case, the information provided by the Muskego –Norway School Board). This can and usually does occur in a democracy.

At the same time, I suggest that you educate yourself on the legal definition of SLANDER. Your posting states that I “probably” engage in multiple types of criminal conduct (violations of anti-stalking and Federal Election laws) with ABSOLUTELY NO BASIS IN FACT. That is a serious matter, and a practice that could very well have legal implications.

While you have every right to disagree with my OPINIONS, that does not entitle you to defame my character. You are absolutely entitled to comment factually on actual events, but THIN-AIR ACCUSATIONS are not a protected form of “free speech”.

You stated that your suspicions were the justification for ANNONOMOUS POSTINGS. With more respect than you have shown me, I disagree.

Please just look at the “circular logic” in your comment. Any objective outsider reading this thread would have to conclude that I AM THE ONE BEING HARRASSED FOR IDENTIFYING MYSELF. The fact that I know not everyone will agree with me HAS NOT CAUSED ME TO HIDE BEHIND A PEN NAME.

I have the INTEGRITY to publicly “own” my opinions. Based on your posting, you appear to lack that conviction of character. While that greatly disappoints me, many people in Muskego (on both sides of almost any local issue) share that same fear of reprisal. That is a very sad commentary on our local politics.

Please do whatever you can to “help the kids” become more open and rational than some of the parents. The basic rule of thumb I was raised with was “IF THERE IS SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO BE CAUGHT DOING IN PUBLIC, DON’T DO IT IN PRIVATE JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU WON’T BE CAUGHT”.
(This rule is a variation of the “What Would Jesus Do” concept.)

P.S. These comments also apply to “OPM” and any other individuals who need a refresher course on character and honesty.
Rick Petfalski

Milwaukee, WI

#21 Nov 2, 2010
I'm not going to enter this debate. I believe the board has laid outs it's case and now is the time for the public to decide what direction it would like to head.

For the record the only contracts that we have entered into is with our architect and general contractor. Both of those contracts and their scope are dependent on a successful referendum.

Regardless of your opinions, please vote today.

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