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2058, 21 Jul 17

West Bend School Board Prepares to Appoint New Principals

Well, well… the West Bend School Board posted its agenda for its Monday meeting. It includes this:

Action Item 6:45 a. Possible Board appointment of East High School principal and appointment of West High School principal

So here’s where we are… Sometime late Wednesday, the school board president posted notice of a special meeting for Thursday afternoon. On Thursday afternoon – without any public input, study, recommendation from the administration, cost estimate, job descriptions, org structure, or any other details – the school board voted to change from one to two principals for the West Bend High Schools. And now on Monday afternoon, they intend to appoint those principals without any time for people to submit applications, public input, interviews, etc.

This has all the hallmarks of a board that has already colluded to create and then ram a couple of people into these positions. Such collusion would be illegal and a violation of open meeting laws. The lack of any real discussion of the issue on Thursday, or even asking the superintendent to weigh in, indicates that they had either already discussed it, or they have such a passive interest in asking tough questions that it borders on incompetence.  They already demonstrated astonishingly poor governance on Thursday. They appear to be about to compound that on Monday.

I will state again that two principals may indeed be preferable to one. I can certainly see the rationale for it. But the lack of transparency, nonexistent communication, eschewing of public input, failure to do even a rudimentary study of the costs or consequences, and disregard for even basic principles of good governance being displayed by this board is deplorable.



2058, 21 July 2017


  1. Mark Hoefert

    During the election a former Board member did a personal Facebook post that had a public setting so that it could be visible to “friends of friends”.  Concern was expressed by the former Board member that with a slate of 3 candidates closely aligned with an incumbent, the potential existed for the creation of a quorum.  Can not recall if it was referred to as a “walking quorum” or “social quorum”.

    Here is the definition of a “walking quorum” from the Wisconsin DOJ site:

    A “walking quorum” is a series of gatherings among separate groups of members of a governmental body, each less than quorum size, who agree, tacitly or explicitly, to act uniformly in sufficient number to reach a quorum. A walking quorum may produce a predetermined outcome and thus render a publicly-held meeting a mere formality. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has commented that any attempt to avoid the appearance of a meeting through the use of a walking quorum is subject to prosecution under the open meetings law. Furthermore, the requirements of the open meetings law cannot be circumvented by using an agent or surrogate to poll the members of governmental bodies through a series of individual contacts. The series of gatherings need not be face-to-face. For example, phone calls, email exchanges, and other electronic messaging may suffice.



  2. Mark Hoefert

    It is possible that the Principal candidates could have come from the pool of applicants recently solicited for the Executive Principal position or some existing WBSD principals that would be offered a permanent position or appointed as “interim” principals.  In any event, the way the process has occurred seems to be suspect.

  3. billphoto

    Owen – this is SOP for many governmental bodies so you might as well get used to it.  The WBSB does not seem to be as bad as others.  Private meetings, telephone lobbying and other shenanigans don’t seem to bother some after they have been elected.


  1. Some Further Thoughts on the West Bend School Board | Boots & Sabers - […] occurring with the West Bend School Board. You can catch up with my earlier posts (post one and post…

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