Boots & Sabers

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0952, 03 Apr 20

West Bend School Board Member Misrepresents Task Force Findings

In a letter to the editor today in the Washington County Daily News, West Bend School Board Member Paul Fischer said a couple of things that need some discussion. First, he said this:

Regarding our ongoing facilities discussions, various letters to the editor claim the School Board has turned a deaf ear toward the private task force’s recommendations. This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. The School Board agrees with many of their observations and continues to evaluate their suggestions.

Some of you might remember that I was a member of the Private Task Force that spent months evaluating the district’s elementary and high school facilities. I can’t get into the minds of the board members. What I can tell you is that they seemed receptive when we presented the findings to them at a board meeting. I presented the findings for a few groups after we presented to the board and several board members attended those presentations of their own accord. The Task Force offered to come back in committee format to do deeper dives on specific findings and provide all of the backend discovery and data. To my knowledge, the board has not taken up any task force members on that offer. So while the board members may be considering the Task Force’s findings in their deliberations, they have not dug any deeper into the details of those findings. Perhaps that is why Mr. Fischer made this incorrect statement:

Claims have also been made that the task force recommendations included guidance that our facilities issues can be addressed without raising taxes. To be clear, the report NEVER made that statement.

This is not true. The written task force presentation laid out a financial model for how to accomplish the facilities goals without increasing spending or taxes. Furthermore, it was verbally communicated during the school board presentation. It was also verbally presented several times at other presentations that board members attended. I happen to know that because I was the one presenting. Finally, I actually wrote it in the column I did at the time about the findings. I wrote:

Third, once the district has a valid long-range facilities plan and an adequate funding to execute that plan, the School Board must do the work to execute without increasing spending or raising taxes. The Task Force found that there is sufficient money in the current budget to pay for extensive upgrades to the district’s facilities without increasing spending or raising taxes.

I said virtually the same thing in a second column:

The best part is that by taking advantage of the operational efficiencies of a streamlined district infrastructure and making a few other easily identified operational efficiencies, the task force found that the district could do upgrade at the high school, modernize the entire elementary school footprint, and increase the ongoing maintenance budget to adequate levels without spending or taxing a dollar more than they already are.

As a member of the Task Force who participated in the discovery, discussion, and development of the presentations; and as someone who actually presented the findings multiple times; I can say with absolute certainty that the Task Force did find that the West Bend School District could address its facilities needs without raising taxes or spending. Perhaps Fischer wants to dance around how the written report is phrased, but this finding was presented to the Board and communicated multiple times in multiple formats. Again, perhaps if the School Board had taken up the opportunity to dig deeper into the discovery documentation, this fact would have been more clear. But then again, I thought it was already clear. Clearly it is just something that they don’t want to confront.

The complaints from some in the community that the West Bend School Board ignored the Task Force’s findings are well founded. While the board members might be taking the findings into consideration in their heads, they have given no outward indication that that’s the case.


0952, 03 April 2020


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    Standard public school dysfunction.

    Cannot say I am surprised.

  2. guinness

    Vote them out. One at a time if need be, but vote them out. This election has one new candidate to get the ball rolling. Vote them out.

  3. Le Roi du Nord

    And yet another erroneous and fact free generalization:

    “Standard public school dysfunction”.

    Do such claims make you feel more important?

  4. Kevin Scheunemann

    Does it make you feel important to deny the obvious?


  5. Le Roi du Nord

    Since I didn’t deny the obvious I don’t have any more, or less, feeling of importance.

    So k, afraid to answer the question?

  6. Kevin Scheunemann

    Now you doubled down.



  7. Le Roi du Nord

    I don’t find your deceit and exaggerations particularly humorous.  But if you are amused by your fact-free and erroneous claims, good for you.

  8. Kevin Scheunemann


    Did you even read Owen’s article?


  9. Le Roi du Nord


    I don’t give a rats patoot about what happens in WB. It is your generalizations and hyperbole that are untrue.

  10. guinness

    So Kevin and other like minded individuals,

    Why do you even respond to the liberal trolls? I joined this forum months ago and nothing has changed. Owen’s feeds are always informative, which is why I’m here. Any intelligent comments or attempts at conversation are met with constant criticism and political attacks. The best way to make these trolls go away is to deny them any and all attention. This blog site would benefit greatly from an ignore option.

  11. Mar

    Yes, Le Roi, public education is dysfunctional and I had a front row seat to the circus for over 20 years.
    It’s not all liberal dysfunction but it is about 3/4 of it.
    And yes, I admit conservatives have role in screwing things up.

  12. Kevin Scheunemann


    So you admit you are wrong in face of Owen’s direct evidence.

    Glad we had this chat.

  13. Pat

    “ Any intelligent comments or attempts at conversation are met with constant criticism and political attacks.”

    I agree. Kevin and Jason, take note!

  14. Le Roi du Nord

    Not at all, k. But I agree that your absurd generalizations and false claims about folks you disagree with are dishonest in nature and add nothing to the discussion. Perhaps you can become more knowledgeable by listening to folks with positions other than your own.

  15. Kevin Scheunemann


    You just admitted you ignore evidence…

    Don’t lecture us about how you claim to follow data, evidence or science ever again.

  16. Kevin Scheunemann


    Example on my part?

  17. Le Roi du Nord

    Not so, k. I just called you out again on your exaggerations, generalizations, and hyperbole. Oh, did I mention your pathological fear of those with opinions other than your own?

  18. jjf

    There’s been a few visitors here asking for civil conversation.  Where are they now?

  19. Kevin Scheunemann


    Fear no. Just alergic to stupidity.

  20. Letsgetreal

    Owen….you are lying…

    To quote what Kevin says in at least 60% of his posts (which is embarassing)…..Awful just awful…….yes Kevin…when you say that in most of your posts it makes you look like even more of a joke that most of us already think you are.

    You are awful…just awful



  21. Owen

    How am I lying, Ron?

  22. Kevin Scheunemann

    Ron aka “Letsgetreal”

    I’m a really funny guy.

    Thanks for the compliment.

  23. Le Roi du Nord


    This thread is about Owen and his disagreement with one member of the WB SB. You took that and ran down the rabbit hole, generalizing that one disagreement into a blanket condemnation of public schools. You provide no proof, no facts, no additional information, nothing to back up your claim but your fear of things you don’t understand. Your allergies are caused by intolerance and fear, and your inability to get along with others. Own it. Be responsible.

  24. Kevin Scheunemann


    This is just a microcosm of how public schools, by their structure, foster dysfunction.

    You are confusing. First you denied it happens, now you admit it?

    Make up your mind.

  25. Le Roi du Nord


    I denied nothing. You don’t have any defense for your intolerance so you attempt to blame others. Poor try.

  26. Kevin Scheunemann


    Confused again…what intolerance?

  27. Le Roi du Nord

    Of public schools. Your words, see above.

  28. Kevin Scheunemann

    Saying “of public schools” is intolerance?

    How thin skin are you?

    You must be triggered by everything.

  29. Le Roi du Nord

    “Standard public school dysfunction”.

    There, I fixed it for you.

    But to sharpen my point a bit, using the same theory as your quote above, what if someone said “all lutherans are racist”, or “all conservatives are cross-dressers” .  Sure some are, but that doesn’t mean they all are, or even a high percentage.  Or are you in full agreement?

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