Here’s a good example of two local unit of governments deciding to merge in order to save costs and better serve the community.
After lengthy consideration and much input, the Friess Lake and Richfield Joint 1 school districts have agreed to consolidate into one district for the 2018-19 school year.
Both districts’ boards of education approved identical resolutions during their own recent regular meetings so the legal process can proceed. Friess Lake’s board approved the resolution last week, while the Richfield board approved the proposal Monday.
Richfield Joint 1 School District Administrator Tara Villalobos said both boards feel that the community’s students will be better served if the districts join.
On a side note, the the mergers of the administrations will necessarily mean that some folks will be looking for work. The superintendent of the smaller district, Friess Lake, is John Engstrom, who is actually a resident of the West Bend School District. Local folks may remember him because he was a vocal member of the local lefty establishment and ally of the teachers union fighting conservatives on the school board a few years ago. He even filed several ethics complaints against the School Board – including at least one in cahoots with then union president, Jason Penterman.
At the time, Engstrom had some comments that would apply to the current board:
“he said the board member had a duty to keep an open mind and refrain from making a decision until all the facts were in, according to board policy.”
“A school board member is not a city councilman; they’re not a pothole-fixer, they’re not a person who was elected by a group of constituents and their job is to take care of the people who elected them,” Engstrom said. “That’s hard for the general public and a new school board member to grasp.”
“I’m just kind of concerned that the new normal for the West Bend School Board is ‘We’re each going to go off and do our own thing’ and ‘Ideology trumps policy,’ ” he said.”
I would note that Engstrom and Penterman have been silent about the current board’s corrupt behavior – in fact, Penterman has been aggressively defending their allegedly illegal and undemocratic actions of late because they are ramming through initiatives he supports.
Given that Engstrom is a liberal superintendent who will likely be looking for a job and the majority of the West Bend School Board seems to be intent on pleasing the teachers union and local lefties, will we see Engstrom joining the West Bend School District?