Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

New Ozaukee Christian School to open in Town of Trenton

There’s a new school for K3 through eighth graders opening in Washington County. Ozaukee Christian School will open in the Town of Trenton, 1204 Highway 33 across from West Bend Lakes Golf Course.

Ozaukee Christian School describes itself as “offering outstanding, Christ-centered, non-denominational educational opportunities for students from K3 to eighth grade. We are dedicated to academic excellence with a uniquely Christian perspective—one that places Jesus at the center of everything we do and acknowledges the Bible as our ultimate authority.”

The school is opening in the former Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club.

“The unusual building conversion is an answer to prayer that ends a years-long search for a building to call our own,” said Dave Swartz, OCS Board President. “God has given the leadership of OCS a big vision for growth while providing us what we need for each step of this project.”

OCS is a non-denominational Christian school founded in 1990. It has had several homes over the years. It started at Portview Christian Center in Port Washington, then moved to Friedens Church in Port, back to Portview and then to St. John XXIII in Saukville for the last 19 years.

Details released by Ozaukee Christian School: But we have felt God leading us to a building of our own that will allow us to grow, to expand our ability to work with special needs children and to reach families of Washington County.

The property will allow us to do all this and more. We are purchasing a strip mall that we will renovate into classrooms, offices, a cafeteria and a multi-purpose room. Future additions include a gym with stage and locker rooms, and a new classroom wing.

We reached an agreement last week, March 18, 2019  to purchase the property from California-based Spearmint Rhino. We hope to occupy the building in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

We are trusting God to provide the funds for this project, just as He cleared the way for us to buy this building. We have raised $425,000 so far and are seeking a total of 2.2 million to complete the purchase and initial renovation of the property. At this point we have hired a general contractor, and we also have many volunteers planning to assist in the building project. Anyone interested in helping with this work is encouraged to contact us.

“We have felt God leading us to a building of our own that will allow us to grow, to expand our ability to work with special needs children and to reach more families in Washington County, all the while maintaining strong ties with our families in Ozaukee County,” said Kris Austin, OCS Administrator.

How it came to be: Several school leaders became independently aware the property in January 2017, and after visiting the site and felt it could be a great fit. OCS reached out to Spearmint Rhino but were initially told they weren’t interested in selling. In July 2017, however, the company reached out and offered to sell the building.

The price was beyond what OCS was prepared to pay, but nevertheless the board began meeting with architects and contractors about potential designs. “We also launched a fundraising drive in April 2018 so we would be ready when God opened the door for us. In the meantime, we have done prayer walks at the property with staff, parents and alumni. Students regularly gathered to pray for the process. And we had a group of 140 ’email prayer warriors’ doing the same,” said Austin.

“After months of phone conversations, emails and the abundant prayers of God’s people, we were blessed with a signed purchase offer at a price we could handle. We have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Peter Garrell (attorney for Spearmint) and Ms. Joann Castillo (senior executive assistant) over these many months — and praying with them as well. It is a journey unlike anything we could have imagined. It is a story only God could write.”

Anyone desiring to help with the funding of the building project or donating time/talent/materials to the renovation can contact the school through its website, click HERE or by calling the school office at 262.284.6980.

History of Ozaukee Christian Academy courtesy the school website.

Ozaukee Christian School started because a group of parents wanted to make a difference in the lives of their children. They wanted an educational opportunity that offered sound academic, as well as Biblical, instruction. They also understood the importance of the bond between the home, the church, and the school, and wanted an educational environment that embraced this. The momentum behind Ozaukee Christian School began in the late 1980s, after much prayer and hard work, by this group of parents. The doors of the school opened for the first time in August of 1990, with thirteen students in grades K-4.

Today, the school has grown to over 80 students in grades K3-8. We are located in Saukville, the heart of Ozaukee County. OCS students are carrying the experience and education they receive at OCS to high schools and colleges around the country, where they continue to excel academically and serve the Lord in their homes, schools, and churches.

Guest Editorial: Member of CFAC Committee to vote ‘No’ on $74 million total West Bend School Referendum   By Dan Krier

As a long-time resident of the West Bend School district, and an advocate for quality education in West Bend, I need to share my experience in regard to the proposed referendum. I have read and heard so many say it’s for education so we have to vote for it.

If it were about education I could vote for it, but it isn’t. It is about buildings, and more specifically the maintenance of and lack of planning in regard to the buildings. And, the fact that some just want a new school to provide the fancy alternative work spaces that Bray Architectural Firm is flashing before them. We had an alternative learning program in our charter school and we chose not to fund that. Yet we want to push for the alternative space, which is what the new school is really about. Is our school district in the business of buildings, or is it education. I would choose spending on education. I went to a school built in the 1800s and when I entered West Bend East HS I was ahead of most of my class. The building certainly didn’t deter from my education.

I have been very active in getting information in regard to this referendum as I was on the Citizen Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC). I believe this referendum will do more damage to the district than good. I was at the city council meeting when superintendent Kirkegaard presented the plan. Many of the Aldermen were concerned with the level of debt this would levy on the district. They know the city was strapped for several years under massive debt. And it was only when they got the debt under control they are able to now repair the roads that so desperately need it. They and I know that this debt will strap the district just as it did the city. The approximate $105 million of debt would dwarf that of the entire city of West Bend.

Besides the debt issue, at least one alderman had issue with the presentation stressing need. He said to Kirkegaard that while you claim you are not dictating which way to vote, it certainly sounds as if you are. Yes it was definitely a sell job as I was at several of the presentations.

This district continues to be dishonest with the citizens. And while many support the decisions, I wonder how many wouldn’t, if they knew just how dishonest this process has been and the truth behind the spending. The level of dishonesty is to the point where the lack of credible planning to address objective issues, is a detriment to the district. Even many of the School Board members either don’t know enough to realize it, or are just taking an administrators word. Some said these fixes will prevent spending on maintenance in the future. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many of the real issues have not even been addressed when instead we are fulfilling someone’s wish list. Poor planning got us to where we are today, just as the current lack of credible planning will have the district back at the table for more money in the near future. Yes another referendum in just a few short years.

Back to CFAC. We took tours of both Jackson and the high school during the first couple meetings of the CFAC. The committee was supposedly assembled to address the objective needs. But on the 4th meeting Bray presented a list of needs to the committee including 113 items from Jackson and 76 From the HS most of which we never even discussed. Objective needs like “dated doors.” Not worn, rusted or unusable, but dated. When questioning where they came from, there was a lot of uncertainty and the Bray representative finally even admitted that we were not there for what we were told. We were there because the 25 year plan said Jackson and the HS are the items to address next, and we were gathered to decide on how to sell it to you the people.

That was not the first but certainly the most telling statement, that the district has no intention of being honest with its citizens. The committee ended up not having all of the meetings we were supposed to and was never even allow to report to the school board. Apparently they did not care what we had to say. We were just window dressing.

I can assure you, that while the district led you to believe the CFAC committee’s findings led to the adoption of the questions in the survey, it was absolutely not the case. And the survey report was definitely insulated from all of the real issues addressed in the survey. This whole process is sleazy.

Think about this, why would the district hire an architectural firm to run meetings to tell the district if we should spend more money with them. In what business model is that acceptable? There are many resources in the community that would be happy to give their time to help with the real issues. I have talked to many of them. That would also open it up to a trusting relationship and gain community buy in and support.

As far as the conditions of the buildings, let me first say that the person in charge of maintenance at the HS is doing a phenomenal job. I just wish his boss that oversees the district was as good. The mechanical that they say has outlived its life is in good condition. Yes we could certainly do some updating of controllers and such, but the general condition is decent. Even many of the committee members didn’t see the concerns the administration seems to have. The restructuring of the offices is definitely something that was planned poorly in the past. Who would put these separate school offices in the middle of the building away from the main entrances? While security wasn’t as crucial when that was done, it was certainly a factor.

The other main issue at the HS is the updating of the STEM area. There have been many opportunities over the years to update that area and some of the administrators and even teachers turned the money and assistance away. Looking beyond past mistakes, The real needs within the HS certainly wouldn’t come near $25.5 million. Keep in mind we are not getting any additional space, just re-purposed space for that large sum.

In Jackson, only the oldest portion of the school really needs to be addressed. Most of the school is in good condition. Yes it can use some updates but is certainly workable. Once again my biggest concern was with some of the poor quality planning and work of the past. The main electrical room has giant sump pumps in it. And they are positioned in a way that if you did that at your house it would be illegal. I cannot understand how this work could have been allow by inspectors or anyone within the district that knows code. Much of Jackson could be efficiently and effectively reworked. But none of that was seriously looked at. They just want a new school.

The main reasons were the extra alternative space which I already mentioned. And the others were due to traffic situations and a landlocked parcel that was too small. But now they want to build a bigger school while enrollment is declining. They are building on a landlocked parcel that is smaller than recommended for an elementary school. That lot is also chopped up with a residential property in the middle and utility access on the south side. And it is by the Rec. Center where there is already somewhat of a traffic issue. If we truly need to build a new school, can we not plan better than that? Moving to the same issues we trying to move away from?

Once again to spend the kind of money we are spending, without the real sincere planning needed to accomplish any specific and objective goals, is irresponsible. I have heard several say they need this money because they don’t have enough for maintenance. Yet we constantly see waste. We spent $300,000 to push out a superintendent someone didn’t like. We spend hundreds of thousands on non-essential issues that should wait behind the needed maintenance. And we often don’t hold contractors accountable for their work. Why should the district pay extra for contractors mistakes.

I will be voting NO to hopefully send the board and administrators back to the drawing board with the intent of coming back with objective goals and real needs for the betterment of education for this district.

Dan Krier

Stop sign swap at Eighth Avenue and Walnut Street in West Bend

Motorists in West Bend who travel Eighth Avenue and Walnut Street should pay attention to a switcheroo with stop signs. Motorists traveling east and west on Walnut Street used to have to come to a complete stop at Eighth Avenue.

This week the city changed the signs and now motorists traveling north and south on Eighth Avenue have to come to a complete stop at Walnut Street. The change at the intersection was discussed and approved at the January 22, 2019 Safety Committee meeting. The committee approved removing the stop signs on Walnut at Eighth Avenue and adding stop signs on Eighth Avenue at Walnut. In an effort to flag motorists the stop signs have red blinking lights around the perimeter of the octagon.

Date change for Record Store Day

The Exclusive Company in West Bend, 144 N. Main Street, is hosting its annual Record Store Day on Saturday, April 13. The event is a week earlier than normal because Easter Sunday is April 21. Jesse Averill, manager at the West Bend Exclusive Company, said the day will include sales, free food and live music as the store celebrates its independence.

The Exclusive Company opens for 12 hours of sales from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Holy Angels Rummage Sale is this weekend            By Mike Sternig

Don’t forget the Holy Angels Rummage Sale is this weekend. Doors open Saturday, March 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  This event not only helps raise funds for Holy Angels School, but it also connects the school with the greater community by offering much needed items at low prices. Each year the Holy Angels rummage sale draws families from West Bend but also Milwaukee and surrounding areas. This is also a great opportunity for high school students who need service hours. Many thanks to all for helping to support our school’s mission.

Flagpole parade in Barton-effort underway to name Edward F. Groth Memorial Park

There’s a bit going on behind the scenes in Barton. Early Monday morning, with temperatures a crisp 34 degrees, a small crew including Jeff Slais from Wisconsin House Woodworks, Dan Vrana from Vrana Body Shop and Michael Kohnke from Commonwealth Construction Corp. worked to save history.

Slais led the effort to recycle the flagpole that formerly sat in the yard at Barton Elementary School.  “We’re planning on adding it to Overlook Park on N. Main Street,” he said.

With the help of Kohnke who manned a forklift the flagpole was set on a trailer followed by the red rocket jungle gym.

Slais said the flagpole is being moved to the park overlooking Barton Pond. “We’re going to leave all the battle scars on it and put it back up,” said Slais.  The flagpole dates to around 1960. Salvaging the pole saved the Barton Association about $4,200.

On Thursday, representatives from Barton Business Association went before the West Bend Park & Rec Commission to request permission that the bluff at 1305 N. Main Street be named Edward F. Groth Memorial Park.

West Bend Park & Rec Commission to review policy regarding dogs on the Riverwalk

The West Bend Park & Rec Commission reviewed a resolution Thursday, March 28 regarding a policy to allow dogs on the Riverwalk.

Dogs shall be allowed in the following parks, or the designated area within a park, but shall be restrained by a leash with a length of six feet or less. (1) Ridge Run Park- entire park (2) Glacier Blue Hills Recreation Area- Ice Age Trail only (3) West Bend Riverwalk- Sidewalk/Trail portion only (4) Old Settlers Park- entire park (5) Vest Pocket Park- Sidewalk portion only.

In December 2018 a request was made to allow dogs in the parks. Police Chief Meuler stated his department would be in favor of a policy in which dogs are allowed on the entire stretch of the Riverwalk, on trails only, and that this policy be extended across to the west side of the river, and through sidewalks of Vest Pocket Park and Old Settlers Park.

Commissioners present were also in favor of allowing dogs on a six-foot leash, on the marked trails, through the entire length of the Riverwalk, with installation of ample signage. Policy will also need to be approved by the Common Council on April 15. Policy should be in place for summer of 2019.

The West Bend Milwaukee Riverfront Parkway currently runs a continuous 3.1 miles along the Milwaukee River, beginning at River Road and extending northwest to Roosevelt Drive.

Check out The Gym WB opening in West Bend

 A neighborly welcome to The Gym WB, 820 S. Main Street, opening soon on the north end of the West Bend Plaza. The Gym WB is a partnership business. Nathan and Meghan Mueller are co-owners along with Ray Vazquez, MikenAbbe Somerhalder and Jackie Michaels. “This is going to be more of a kettlebell gym,” said Nathan.

The Gym WB is still a work in progress as equipment is being brought in and set up. This is a new business for the West Bend area run by people who live in the community. There will be a soft opening of the business in mid-April and a grand opening in May.

District 2 aldermanic candidates in West Bend appear at Common Sense Citizens

 Two candidates running for District 2 alderman in West Bend, Mike Christian and Mark Allen, spoke before Common Sense Citizens of Washington County this week.

Incumbent Mike Christian – Downtown area in West Bend is what makesup the district. Love participating in public service and have time and energy. Lived in West Bend since 1990. Started at a restaurant. Took job at Jeff’s Spirits on Main and volunteered with Washington County Youth Hockey, Washington County Humane Society and History Center of Washington County Board of Directors. Event planning and community relations. Most recently Christian started a music festival at Regner Park – Homegrown Music Festival. Now it’s in its fifth year. “When you’re passionate about your community you get a buy in from the community. I represent my community well. In one year, I was appointed alderman, when Steve Hutchins left and in that time I’ve taken hundreds of phone calls and emails.

“My mission is to listen to the issue at hand. Talking through issues with people is one thing I’m good at and not projecting an opinion but figuring out a solution.  It’s what makes sense for the whole. I am happy to gain your support for Dist. 2 alderman.

Mark Allen is also vying for Dist. 2 alderman in West Bend – After high school started career for 12.5 years at U.S. Coast Guard. Enlisted. Left service and moved into private sector and filled six jobs. Lived in West Bend since 1998. “Learned in Coast Guard is importance of following, leading and being part of a team. I will bring that to the position if elected.  My priorities are public safety, maintenance and training,” said Allen.

Need excellence in police and fire departments. Important to do maintenance and focus on infrastructure including potholes. We need to come up with a program for this. If elected I propose an easy streamline method for community to report with possible hotline. Propose stop new construction on roads without safety issue until we get 90% of potholes filled. Look at public private partnership.  Entire professional life worked in engineering including computers and electrical and mechanical engineering, civil engineering with bridges and tunnels. I’ve learned how to solve problems and approach it in a rational manner.  I’m a big believer in taking tax resources and making use of them effectively.

Spring election is April 2, 2019. Polls are open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Candidate forum at Common Sense Citizens – Town of West Bend Supervisor race

Two candidates on the April 2 ballot vying for the No. 2 Supervisor seat in the Town of West Bend participated Thursday night in a candidate forum at Common Sense Citizens of Washington County. Incumbent Frank Carr spoke first followed by Troy Zagel.

Frank Carr – supervisor Town of West Bend (I) – Has lived in the Town of West Bend since 2008. Two family places on Big Cedar Lake for 60 years. Familiar with the area. Serenity for Big Cedar Lake has been pleasant and spurred his following of conservation issues to preserve rural character of town. Experience and knowledge matter in this race. Town of WB Supervisor appointed to Town of WB Plan Commission and part of Big Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District. As Washington Co. Supervisor Carr is on Human Services committee, ADRC, Little Cedar Lake PRD and Silver Lake PRD. Active volunteer in community with History Center of Washington County, Richfield Historical Society, Washington County Visitor and Convention Bureau. Canvassing in the town and meeting people and has a lot of endorsements from all people he’s worked with. West Bend is a lake county sanctuary and given the experience and ability I’m best candidate.

Troy Zagel – running for Town of WB – Supervisor seat No. 2 – Wife Penny and daughter live in Town of West Bend. Third generation resident. Motivation to run came after leaving Town of WB meetings. Wants to maintain quality of life. Common sense approach to government. Fiscal responsibility and conservative ideals. My commitment to involvement in community is lifelong. Over 30 years working with budgets. Donate time to church and other local organizations. Self-funded campaign. Vote Brian Hagedorn and Troy Zagel.

Polls open for the Tuesday, April 2 election at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Weasler Engineering honored by Department of Defense for supporting employee who serves in USA Army Reserve | By Bonnie Shudarek

Tammy Riebe of Weasler Engineering has been awarded a Patriot Award presented by Kenneth J. Schuetz of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Tammy was recognized for her continuing support of one of our own employees currently serving in the USA Army Reserve.  Sergeant Corrine Miller is a member of the Army Reserve 826th Ordnance Corps Madison and has nominated Weasler Engineering because of their support for military employees and their families. We thank you Corrine for your service to our country and your ongoing dedication to Weasler Engineering.

Dodge Co. Airport receives government funding for project

Governor Tony Evers approved funding totaling $82,000 to acquire an aviation easement at the Dodge County Airport, in Juneau, to help protect the airport’s airspace. According to Lucas Ward, P.E., airport development engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Bureau of Aeronautics, the easement allows for the trimming and clearing of trees which are presently an obstruction to the runways.

Funds from the state, Dodge County and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be used for this project.  Funding Breakdown   State = $4,100  Dodge County = $4,100   FAA = $73,800

This project is currently scheduled to be completed by April 2019. Airport improvement projects are administered through the WisDOT Bureau of Aeronautics.

Dodge County Airport is one of 97 facilities included in the Wisconsin State Airport System Plan, which makes it eligible for state and federal funding.

Updates & tidbits

–  On Monday, April 1 at 10:08 a.m., Aurora Medical Center in Hartford, 1302 Sumner St., will host a flag-raising ceremony to raise awareness on the importance of organ donation.

– On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service (NWS) will conduct Severe Weather Safety and Spotter Training in the Gathering Hall at the Jackson Area Community Center, N165W20330 Hickory Lane. Two identical sessions will be held from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and an evening session from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

-Come out and help support your local fire department at the Fillmore Fire & Rescue Fish Fry on Friday, April 12 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

-On Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the West Bend Police Department will be selling approximately 70 abandoned bicycles. The bike sale will occur at the West Bend Police Department at 350 Vine Street.

– Tickets go on sale April 21 for the 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm. It will be held June 21 at Highland Dairy, LLC this year in Kewaskum. Mike, Linda and Corey Enright are set to roll out the red carpet and invite guests to tour the robotic farm, listen to live music and share in some eggs, ham, pancakes and applesauce.

-There is a public information meeting Thursday, April 11 for improvements to North Wacker Drive in the City of Hartford. The meeting will be from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Hartford City Hall. There will be a presentation at 6 p.m. Hartford is proposing to replace the bridge carrying North Wacker Drive over the Rubicon River. The project is approximately 0.2 miles north of the junction with WIS 60.  The project is currently scheduled for 2020. The roadway will be closed to through traffic during construction.

– Get your tickets today for the Saturday, April 13 Brunch with the Easter Bunny brought to you by the West Bend Kiwanis. The event is from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. at The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane in West Bend.

-The 2019 ArtWalk Sneak Peek Party at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. Get an up-close look at the 2019 hand painted banners by local artists before they are displayed on light poles in downtown West Bend.

– Auto Safety Center, 3700 W. Washington Street, in West Bend is offering a free Car Care Clinic on April 17.  There will be free food and drinks as guests watch master mechanics pass along some simple tips on how to keep your vehicle running smoothly. This clinic will be designed to help teach you the basics of car care. ASE Master technicians from Auto Safety Center will be on hand to answer any question. The clinic will be open to women, men, new drivers, experienced drivers, and even soon-to-be drivers. Please RSVP by calling 262-334-7241.

-Mike Darrow, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Russ Darrow Group, has been elected chairman of the Wisconsin Automobile & Truck Dealers Association (WATDA) for 2019.

Letters to the Editor | Vote ‘No’ on the total $74 million West Bend School District referendum | By Dave Weigand

Dear Editor,  I am voting NO to the $74 million-plus (including the interest costs) West Bend School District (WBSD) referendum on April 2. I ask all District residents to join me.

I served on the WBSD School Board 2010-2013. We unanimously passed Policy 615, which states in an indisputable manner in its last paragraph, “any additional communication (e.g., mailed materials to District residents, …) … must continue to disclose” the principal amount, total interest cost, total dollar amount (i.e., $74,037,838), and all major assumptions and factors.

The District deliberately violated this policy by only including the principal cost in its half-page postal card mailed to all District residents and received by us on March 22. What were they trying to hide?

Few may be aware the payback for this referendum is stretched out over 19 years. This is not a financially responsible decision. Most likely the building will need significant maintenance before it is even paid for. From where will that money come?

I will be voting NO to the referendum. The WBSD has not been good stewards of our public tax dollars; they have been the opposite.

No genuine effort was made to fix Jackson Elementary and/or update the oldest parts. Instead, the District deliberately let it run down by putting little, if any, maintenance into it the last several years to try to force taxpayers to approve this overpriced referendum. Now with declining enrollment district-wide and at Jackson in particular, WBSD wants us to pay for an extravagantly huge new school that is literally more than twice the size needed based on the District’s own cited Value of Good Design document from just 11 years ago.

Enough is enough. Please join me in voting NO to this irresponsible, unaffordable, and wasteful referendum. Thank you.

Most sincerely,  Dave Weigand

Letters to the Editor | Vote Judge Brian Hagedorn for State Supreme Court | By Rev. Joseph Fisher

To the Editor: I am writing because I am a pastor who teaches the Ten Commandments to young and old and this State Supreme Court race has troubled me because the breaking of the Eighth Commandment has reached new heights.  Just the refresh, the Eighth Commandment is You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.  Luther’s Small Catechism explains this What does this mean?  We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, slander him, or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain everything in the kindest way.[1] And I know I haven’t jumped into every political race in the past, but this race for the Court has reached some troubling lows.  As the attacks appear to be saying that anyone who is a conservative Christian should not be allowed to run for office, and that is truly troubling.  I will not dare to tell you who to vote for that is on your conscience.  I do encourage you to vote on or before April 2.

This response is to a series of articles published in the West Bend Daily News, in the commentary section calling into questions the suitability of Judge Brian Hagedorn because of his personal beliefs based on his conservative Christian views.  The commentary has continually promoted a false narrative that has been contrived by the “progressive left” to attempt to paint Judge Hagedorn as a hateful bigot who will possibly seek to discriminate against LGBTQ groups.  Yet, this view is not supported by facts but rather by statements being taken out of context or the worse possible meaning being applied.  Which at best is unintentionally misleading or a blatant smear campaign by those who desire to legislate from the bench rather than interpret the law.  In less than an hour of research, I was able to refute the claims made in the ads and “news” articles.

In the commentary published on March 23rd, 2019, in the West Bend Daily News, there were no rulings by Judge Hagedorn called into question.  No cases where he let his personal religious beliefs trump the law.  Not one ruling called into question his ethics or suitability for office.

Fact:  Judge Brian Hagedorn, is a current Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge and former legal counsel for Scott Walker.

Fact:  Judge Hagedorn “discriminatory” blog post is part of a summary of a dissent made by the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia.  The dissent was on a case about Texas sodomy laws, in which Scalia’s dissent was attempting to point out that by striking down a law against sodomy claiming states are constitutionally forbidden from banning any sexual activity citizens consider “immoral and unacceptable” also eliminates the legal basis for “criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity.”  Hagedorn simply was paraphrasing Scalia’s concerns.  In fact, Scalia went on to encourage LGBTQ groups to persuade their fellow citizens that sodomy bans were wrong and work to change the laws rather than seeking to eliminate the legal basis on which states criminalize socially disapproved sexual behaviors.

While the progressive media and campaign ads run against Hagedorn have claimed he supports “hate groups” it is based on the Southern Poverty Law Center labeling the Alliance Defending Freedom as a “hate group”.  This is the organization that helped defend the Colorado cake baker and seems to be part of the basis on which the Alliance is called a hate group.  This is itself an unfair and biased claim.

Hagedorn religious’ beliefs are most definitely being attacked.  Yet, to this date, I have not seen any proof that Hagedorn’s beliefs have clouded his judgments in any case before him. We must remember that the United State Constitution states in article six, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”.

Finally, to the question of the Christian school he and his wife help start and still support.  This school and the teachers and students are being smeared as some horrible LGBTQ hating organization.  When in fact it is a conservative Christian School that has a standard for sexual ethics for both heterosexual and homosexual staff that requires in the school’s conduct code forbidding “teachers from participating in immoral sexual activity (defined as any form of touching or nudity for the purpose of evoking sexual arousal apart from the context of marriage between one man and one woman).”

This is not “hate speech” or bigotry, it is simply a conservative religious conviction.  And yes, this is protected by the Constitution.  So, please stop the smears, we the people of Wisconsin deserve better.

Rev. Joseph Fisher

[1] Luther. (2017). Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation (p. 110). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House.

Letters to the Editor | Vote ‘No’ on the $74 million total referendum | By Jim Geldreich

Dear Editor: School referenda are reaching an epidemic level in Wisconsin including here in Washington County.  Local referenda saddle modest sized school districts such as ours with overwhelming debt, which translates to billions in new debt statewide.  This is not a sustainable trend, and brings me to the current $74 million West Bend school referendum, the third referendum imposed upon taxpayers in the past ten years!

Not only is this an obscene and outrageous amount of new borrowing, it is being proposed during a period of declining enrollment.

When added to the other two referenda in 2009 and 2012, it totals $103 million in total debt (source: WB District website).  This is 1/3 of the taxpayer portion for the construction of Miller Park ($310 Million), which took five heavily populated counties 24 years to repay!

The latest piece of mailed literature I received from the district doesn’t reveal the total amount of the borrowing ($74 million), thereby being neither forthright nor transparent with the constituents of the district.  I recall attending a candidate forum a couple years ago where the candidates (now members of the current board) all tripped over themselves proclaiming how transparent they would be if elected.

According to Policy 615 Disclosure of Financing and Total Cost of All Referenda document on the WB School District website, any information distributed on a proposed referendum must disclose the total amount of the referendum including principal, interest and associated costs.  This aforementioned mailed literature is in clear violation of this disclosure policy voted upon and approved by the West Bend School Board on January 23, 2012.

Additionally, some current school board members have been publicly cheerleading for the referendum, which is arguably inappropriate.

I urge the voters of the district to vote “No” on the current school referendum.

Jim Geldreich

Town of West Bend

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher.

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2 Responses to Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

  1. Mar says:

    $82,000 to clear trees from the airport? Is the runway in the middle of the forest?

  2. MjM says:

    @Mar….. good question. Look at the satellite pic….. what trees are “obstructing the airport”?

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