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School Referendum, Voting Date Deemed by Many to be Good Timing

Board discusses the 'right time' for spending, and the right time for voting as November 8

The school board voted to approve resolutions that will pave the way to re-post a referendum question to Muskego voters on their elementary school consolidation plan.

A previous referendum in November of 2010 failed. It put a $40 million price tag on building a new school on Muskego's east side, closing Tess Corners, Muskego and Country Meadows Elementary Schools, and expanding Mill Valley Elementary.  The revised plan retains Country Meadows and comes in at a cost to to exceed $35.5 million.  

The school district is seeking approval to borrow $29.9 million in funds, and many on the board felt that the time was never better.

"What we are saying after all the time and planning, is that this plan is going to be the (least expensive) one we will be able to present," Jim Schaefer, Board President explained.

Others agreed, saying that the cost of waiting any further would cost hundreds of thousands in construction costs.

While resident Tom Nowicki expressed his unwillingness to vote for any referendum that exceeded $20 million, and said he felt the district should utilize more of their fund balance to pay for the project (current proposal reflects $5 million from the fund balance), another resident was emphatic in his support.

"I think we need to move on this," said Paul Oman.  "The bids have been great, interest rates are great - and I don't think we will ever see them as low as they are right now.  Now is the time to do this - let's go for it."

The school board also discussed the November 8 special election date stated in the resolution, with many feeling here, too, waiting was not an option.

Feeling that people are more used to voting in a November election, Superintendent Dr. Joe Schroeder said that "it falls into the normal patterns for people."  

Schroeder also felt the cost of a special election, about $10-$15,000, would be far less than waiting until April, again citing inflation and the costs for construction as a concern.

Board member Mike Serdynski agreed with the timing of the election as well.

"Our process has been deliberate all along, and we don't want to change anything outside the pattern," he said.

The board also felt that, while the only item on the ballot, the special election should be available to voters at all polling places throughout the city.  The last special election, which was held in May for the 83rd assembly race, had long lines at City Hall and late closures at the polls, which were restricted to that one site.

Muskegotom August 10, 2011 at 03:51 PM
This is nuts!!!!!! The people said no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People don't have jobs. Look at how many homes in Muskego are in foreclosure. The stock market is tankiing. People dependent on their investments have less money. This board needs a reality check. Talk about recalls. This whole board should be recalled. They're insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lisa August 11, 2011 at 12:38 AM
The middle school referendum failed. It eventually passed. The high school referendum failed. It eventually passed. It is routine for districts to revamp a referendum and try again. It is in the best interest of Muskego homeowners to vote yes on this. A good school district with good school (not ones that are approaching 100 years old) increase property value and makes Muskego a desirable place to live. My son will not benefit from the referendum but I know it is good for Muskego. For the great good.....
Lisa August 11, 2011 at 12:39 AM
oops - sorry for the typos! Trying to do two things at once! "For the greater good..."
Mike August 12, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Dear Ms. Konkol and Muskego/Norway Residents, I would like to respond to and clarify what I feel was an inaccurate paraphrase of my comments and a quote in the article that I feel did not fully capture the true sentiments of my comments and feelings regarding going to a referendum in November. First, I feel that the statement “Board member Mike Serdynski agreed with the timing of the election as well”, in conjunction with the heading on the article, “.....Voting Deemed By Many To Be Good Timing” infers or could infer that I shared others rationale or that my reasoning for bringing this forward to the public this November was based on “Good Timing”or " a never better time". I have clearly stated in past meetings and I believe I stated in my comments at Mondays meeting that the “Timing” of when and whether to bring this forward this November was one of the main things that I had concerns about and was still struggling with. While I did agree to the November time line I want to be clear that my reasoning was not based on what I felt was “Good Timing”. To clarify, my two main reasons for agreeing to a November special election were 1) After a 3 to 3-1/2 year process of deliberating on the size, scope, and costs; evaluating studies and feedback; responding to community input; holding info sessions etc. etc., I could not see any benefit or need of dragging the process out into a 4th year after the countless hours already given to it. continued...
Mike August 12, 2011 at 03:18 PM
...cont. 2) By putting it out to the voters of this district, and having it stand alone on the November special election, I believe the outcome will clearly tell us exactly how the majority of voters in this district feel regarding, addressing our elementary facilities on a district wide scale. Also, in regards to the quote pertaining to “Our process...and not wanting to change things outside of normal patterns”. I believe that was my response to a discussion regarding the possibility or idea of reducing or changing the number of voting locations due to the fact it was a special election. I did not feel this would be a good idea based on the possible perception of it, and people's typical voting patterns and habits. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. Respectfully, Mike Serdynski -Muskego Norway School Board

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