The voters of Menomonee Falls will vote on a pair of school referenda in April. They are:
OPERATIONAL FUNDING ON A RECURRING BASIS
Operational funding would exceed the revenue limit by $1,250,000 in the 2016-2017 school year and by an additional $1,250,000 a year in each of the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years, for a total of $3,750,000 for the 2018-2019 school year and remain at $3,750,000 each year…
FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS ● $32,700,000
The district wants $32.7 million NOW to spend on a laundry list of items and a tax increase FOREVER to spend on whatever they can think of. Both of these referenda are ridiculous, but the one to permanently increase taxes above the state limit is downright offensive. But as West Bend begins the search for a new superintendent, it’s worth taking note of what’s going on in Menomonee Falls.
The superintendent of the Menomonee Falls district is Pat Greco, who used to be Pat Herdrich when she was the superintendent of the West Bend School District. During her tenure in West Bend, she pushed for multiple referenda – including what was the state’s largest ever at $119 million. It was always the same complaints about buildings falling down and education suffering. The constant turmoil created a lot of community strife and raucous meetings. But the teachers loved Herdrich.
Fast forward into Ted Neitzke tenure. We no longer hear about buildings falling down because the district has largely shored up maintenance and is even putting aside money to replace Jackson Elementary in the future without having to ask for more money. The district has implemented innovations like the very popular walk-in clinic for staff, a charter school, more vocational education and online offerings, and the district is much more closely aligned with the local business community and community in general. But there is a cabal of grumpy teachers (mainly at the high schools) who hate Neitzke and are cheering his resignation.
As the School Board looks for a new superintendent, they have to ask themselves… do they want another Neitzke or another Herdrich? While I don’t always see eye to eye with Neitzke on policy, I’ll take a Neitzke over a Herdrich every day of the week and twice on Sundays.