Under the "conservatives" leadership, New Berlin Public Schools had a drop in student test scores. See my August 25, 2008 blog entry. See my May 10, 2007 blog entry about decline in proficiency. They hired a Superintendent with minimal experience at a very handsome salary. NBPS also has an Assistant Superintendent who gets a generous salary. The District took on mega-millions in debt for extravagant facilities that include a huge new elementary school with expensive wooden ceiling and mosaic floor tile, and NB West renovations that include a humongous auditorium and a field house. NB West's treatment plant is failing and needs to be replaced or hooked up to City sewer. Meanwhile NB Eisenhower needs a lot of expensive repair/renovation. The DNR charged NBPS with violating laws in the construction of the Ronald Reagan School and the contractor paid a fine. A wad of money has been spent on surveillance cameras at the secondary schools. Under the leadership of the so-called fiscal conservatives, a PR consultant was hired and money spent to implement the District's new Expect Excellence slogan.
As for people NBCRG has endorsed---Let's start with the elusive Donna Rathsack. Because Rathsack served on the New Berlin School Board but was rarely attending Board meetings in person, had filed for divorce, her house was for sale, and it was rumored that she was living out of state, I made an Open Records Request of the School Board and District for her address. I received no response from Rathsack or other School Board member. The only response I got came from the District's Human Resource Director, which was "no records exist". Rathsack's many absences got the attention of the press. She later resigned during her Board term.
Tim Cramer was another School Board member/officer who was too busy with work or other activities to go to School Board meetings. In fact, as Board Clerk he administered the oath of office to a newly elected board member by telephone. Like Rathsack, he quit before completing his 3- year Board term. He didn't even show up at the School Board meeting to announce his resignation--he did it by phone.
Matt Weiss Prior to his election to the School Board, Weiss was Treasurer of Wisconsin Coalition for Voter Participation, a group sued by the State Elections Board for taking in money and illegally coordinating their expenditures with (pro-voucher) Justice Jon Wilcox's campaign.
Jennifer Eitel claimed in fliers that she was running a "positive campaign" and had signed a pledge against negative campaigning, personal attacks. However, she publicly and falsely accused me (a politcal opponent) of harrasing the pastor of our church to get dirt on her.
After election to the School Board, Eitel argued she wanted to "get politics out of schools". Under the leadership of Eitel, the School Board revised Use of School Facilities policy to ban political speech and candidate forums. I filed a complaint and asked for a hearing with the School Board, but didn't get the hearing until almost 4 months later. And Eitel, the Board President, held that meeting on a Friday in early morning in violation of School Board meeting policy. When I protested, Eitel, who had been holding meetings for over 6 mths replied that she didn't know the policy. School Board members take an oath to uphold the Constitution when they take office. Ultimately, a lawsuit was brought against the School Board/District, alleging the revised policy violated Constitutional protections of free speech and assembly. When the School Board was legally required to respond to the lawsuit, it rescinded the policy.
Eitel and Weiss and three other Board members sought to intervene in a lawsuit about domestic partner benefits and were rebuffed by the Courts--including the Wisconsin Supreme Court. See my blog entry.
When he was Board President, Keith Heun flubbed his recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at a Board Meeting, confusing it with the Lord's Prayer.
He initially dismissed a parent's concern about mold at Eisenhower, ignorant of or in denial of the mold problem at Eisenhower.
Heun spewed vitriol and made false statements about me and others via the internet and misrepresented a lawsuit brought against the School Board. After I commented in my blog that I'd consulted attorneys, Heun posted a retraction of some of his statements.
When I made an Open Records request for his communications published on MyCommunityNOW online, Heun initially refused, even for those he'd signed with his Board title. But Heun must have changed his mind, because he later provided the requested records, unlike Matt Thomas who did not respond to my Open Records Request.
Matt Thomas frequently used his NOW blog to attack his constituents. After I commented on my blog that I had consulted attorneys, Thomas abruptly deleted his past blog entries and the comments that had been posted to his blog. He ended his blog shortly afterward. Thomas, who claims to be a "fiscal conservative", has had financial troubles--his bankruptcy records are public records.
Matt Thomas, John Kegel and Susan Manley voted no when the Superintendent they hired urged the School Board to allocate funds to take care of some urgent, dire facility needs, including a hazardous asphalt situation at Orchard Lane Elementary School that endangered children. See my blog entry.
Susan Manley never responded to emails I sent her when she served on the School Board.
NBCRG endorsed Roger Hegeman when he ran for alderman. But when he ran for re-election, they opted to endorse his opponent Don Counsell. NBCRG withdrew their endorsement after Counsell's conduct at a bar got a lot of negative publicity.
NBCRG endorsed Ron Seidl for alderman, despite his past OWI/other violations reported by Wisconsin Circuit Court Access.
Ken Harenda has had financial and legal woes. He's the owner of a company that was sued for violating regulations re: asbestos abatement. The case went to the Wis. Supreme Court and Harenda lost. There have been other actions involving the Courts, too. See Wisconsin Circuit Court Access.
Ald. Harenda, who has also been Council President for years, ran for mayor this year, but was eliminated in the Feb. Primary. His campaign reports listed contributions from himself and Vern Bentley. Bentley had also circulated nomination papers for Harenda .
Ken Harenda and Dave Ament voted to restrict City Hall and the City's Cable Channel to government units, thus ending candidate forums at City Hall. See my blog entry.
Our City's bond rating is higher than when Ted Wysocki was mayor and its not on the losing end of avoidable litigation.