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1757, 05 Mar 20

Letter to the Editor from Jody Geenen

From West Bend School Board candidate Jody Geenen.

More school board transparency issues regarding the referendum for November replacing the one that was voted down last April! The board is so determined to pass it that they are purposely muddying the very understandable Policy 615, Disclosure of Financial and Total Costs of All Referendums. They don’t want the public to understand the significant interest cost and total costs. For example, the last referendum was $47-million; but, with interest, it would have actually cost $74-million on top of the $32-million owed on the last two referendums that passed, for a grand total of $106-million. Just before the election, they sent the public a mailing that violated Policy 615 by only mentioning the $47-million.

This time around, the board decided to change Policy 615 by insisting on forcing the mill rate into it to confuse voters. At the Chamber Public Forum on March 4, the 3-incumbents running for school board hoodwinked the public by giving themselves credit for the decreased mill rate. The school district cannot take credit for the decreased mill rate anymore than they can take credit for a booming economy.  The mill rate is the amount of dollars charged per $1000 of assessed property value, so we realize a decrease in mill rate because property values went up. The only way the school board could take credit for reducing the mill rate is if they had a less than maximum revenue budget. However, they have had a tax-to-the- max revenue budget of 2.5% for the last 3-years. By the way, there are about 45 school districts with lower mill rates than West Bend.

If you want honest, independent, and true oversight of our school district — with ALL stakeholder interests properly considered and balanced, then vote for me for school board on or before April 7.


1757, 05 March 2020

1 Comment

  1. Neenah

    Regarding your referendum, you guys are doing something wrong if you are paying that much in interest.  Neenah Schools are pushing a referendum as well and the District has told us we are barely going to have to pay any interest at all (net-net).  You should contact Roger at the State DPI to see why WBSD will not receive additional state funding when NJSD will (“supposedly”).

    How much interest will taxpayers pay on the referendum?
    The answer is about $90,000 over 20 years. That may seem incredibly low, but here’s the explanation: If the District takes the full 20 years to pay off the referendum, it is expected to result in slightly more than $55 million in interest payments. However, as stated earlier, the more money the District spends, the more it receives in state aid. By spending this additional money in interest and assuming the state aid formula remains at its current level, the District anticipates it will receive about $55 million in additional state aid over the next 20 years. The estimated difference in total payments and additional state aid is expected to be about $90,000.


    If you so desire, you can learn more by contacting Roger at the DPI.  Check out the DPI School Referendum Information; you’ll find Rogers contact information there.

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