I recommend that the voters of the Evansville School District re-elect both incumbents to the Board of Education. Sharon Skinner and Tina Rossmiller have served the district well in their time on the board.
1-Tina and Sharon were part of the board that created and maintained the policy to increase the fund 10 balance to the levels recommended by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards. Because of this conservative approach, the district had funds available to close the $672,000 deficit this year.
2-There are so many variables in public school funding right now that the continuity of the board membership would be something that could be relied on as they forge ahead in these difficult economic times. Their experience (six years for Tina and 3½ years for Sharon) is valuable to the board. The incumbents already know a great deal of history of the district and this will save the board a lot of time necessary to describe certain situations and back-stories of a program.
3-Both Tina and Sharon are deeply involved in school and community volunteer programs. Their contributions there help them to make logical and informed votes for the board.
4-Tina and Sharon have similar philosophies and voting patterns as the challenger Mr. Reese purports to have. His addition to the board would not change the voting results in any way. If he wants to introduce change, Mr. Reese should do some research to find out which board member’s votes he would disagree with and run against them next time around.
5-In addition to not changing the voting results in any way, electing Mr. Reese will introduce a person who is unfamiliar with the specific budget details of the district. His failure to attend School Budgets 101 in January shows he either thinks he already knows it all or isn’t willing to put in the time necessary to learn if it takes away from his private time. From experience, I know school budget understanding comes as a result of experience, often requiring over a year of intense scrutiny. The board can’t afford to wait for him to get this experience under his belt.
6-Mr. Reese has run a contentious Facebook page on which he threw number of local citizens under the bus either by his own postings or those of his sycophants. Only when his niece became a topic of conversation, according to Mr. Reese, did he clamp down on the postings. For full disclosure, my employer and I were included in his public outrage. The items he became angry about (me not identifying his specific school district and indicating he had lived his whole life in the area when he has lived most of his life in the area) were trivial. How will he react when truly difficult problems cross the board’s path? The entire episode indicates a combative personality. The school board cannot afford this kind of divisive behavior.
7-Finally, I found it distasteful that Mr. Reese posted my questions and his answers on his Facebook page. Using my work product on his FB page is unacceptable. He was asked not to post items published in the paper but chose to ignore that request for the first four installments. Apparently he got the message from somebody else because he never posted the last question. Omitting 2/3 of the story by presenting only his answers is also pretty disingenuous.
So, there’s my recommendation in a nutshell. I’ll probably catch some flak for this posting, but I’m not worried about it. The positive attributes of Sharon and Tina and the political ramifications of re-electing the incumbents are more important than Mr. Reese’s behavior anyway.