Letter: Didn’t talk about action
Thanks for reporting on the March 12 Hudson Board of Education candidates forum. Voters may watch the entire Q&A on Public Access Channel 15. One of the candidates, Sandy Gehrke, stated that her qualifications included service on an ethics board for realtors.
But Ms. Gehrke did not mention that in 2003 she was the subject of a disciplinary action for her self-dealing as a realtor, for which she was fined $6,000, ordered to take a Business Ethics course, and had her realtors license suspended for 30 days, all as a result of complaints about her unethical behavior in real estate transactions in 1999 and 2000 (see, State of Wisconsin Real Estate Board, Final Decision and Order LS0303073REB, 4/24/03, at https://online.drl.wi.gov/decisions/2003/ls0303073reb-00075873.pdf).
In brief, Ms. Gehrke’s 2003 disciplinary proceeding before the Wisconsin Real Estate Board found that she had committed six violations of Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Code that require realtors to exercise duties of honesty, fairness, good faith, loyalty, and full disclosure, as well as abstain from misrepresentation and unfair self-dealing, all of which requirements are for the purpose of protecting the public from fraud, misrepresentation, and unethical practices.
Ms. Gehrke may be expected to claim that she has since reformed her practices as a realtor.
But when Ms. Gehrke chooses to cite her experience with a realtors ethics board as a qualification for service on the Hudson Board of Education, then, in the service of honesty and full disclosure, Ms. Gehrke also should share with voters that she was the subject of discipline, and she should explain to voters what lessons she has learned and how she has corrected her character in the time since her professional behavior was found ethically wanting.
Celeste Koeberl, Hudson
Letter: Back Bell for board
When you go to vote in the school board election, vote Brian Bell in for another term.
Brian and I met as members of the 2004 Facilities Task Force. What was true about Brian then is true now. He is thorough, thoughtful, and independent thinking. He works though reason and logic.
Having attended school board meetings, I’ve seen Brian be a clear and independent voice. At the same time, he is that “good listener” that, even if he disagrees with you, you never feel that he was not open to your information or your opinion, or that he is not up for a healthy debate. Also, at the candidate forum, he stood out with the clearest, most knowledgeable, and most articulate answers.
All the candidates at the forum expressed in one manner or another that the quality of the schools continues to be very high if not improving. That is a tip of the hat to the incumbents. Incumbent Tom Holland also deserves credit for the excellence in education Hudson residents seem to take for granted as the norm.
School board members in this district get beat up pretty badly if not mercilessly, yet when in office they produce high quality results and conduct themselves with dignity. They deserve credit for that.
Dan Bushman, Hudson
Letter: Back Bruch for board
I’m in a unique position because I met Liz Bruch over 26 years ago. In fact, one of my first memories is of Liz working diligently on her dissertation. All that I thought at the time was, “Geez, this woman is always researching, reading, and writing.”
Now I realize she pursued this huge undertaking because she cared passionately about education. Then I watched her develop and grow a cutting edge college program geared solely for returning adults. From there she continued in college academics as a dean and is presently a part-time professor for Capella University. At every educational institution she has been associated with, she has worked to enhance the schooling for the learners. She is always exploring options to better meet the needs of the students she serves.
There are few other things I’ve learned about Liz Bruch during the past 26 years. If she says she’s going to do something, she does. She is very prudent and makes informed and educated decisions when finances are involved. Liz has a heart of gold and feels that education is best investment in our future. As a parent and tax-paying citizen of Hudson, I can’t think of a finer person to represent our children and our community. Please join me on April 3 as I vote Liz Bruch for our School Board.
Brian Burbach, Town of Hudson
Letter: Dislikes one candidate
On April 3, voters will elect three school board members to the Hudson School Board. It is vital that all citizens choose candidates that will support our excellent teachers in doing an important job. We have five outstanding candidates who are well-educated and supportive of public education.
Unfortunately, we have one candidate, Sandy Gehrke, who is not a good candidate for school board. The disrespect and bullying behavior she shows on her blog, http://americasmrsright.blogspot.com/ is unacceptable for a leader in our community to show. She has contempt for union members, calling them “union thugs,” so I am concerned that she will not respect teachers since they are union members and, therefore, “union thugs” to her. Remember that a teacher’s working environment is his or her students’ learning environment. If we want our children to excel, our teachers need to have supportive working conditions.
She also shows contempt for our public schools and said in her blog that our “socialist public school system” teaches “Socialism, Marxism, and Communism.” I am concerned that she plans to undermine the teaching of critical thinking skills because of this erroneous belief.
Another reason that I am writing is that, as a real estate agent, she violated ethics rules, https://online.drl.wi.gov/decisions/2003/ls0303073reb-00075873.pdf, by not revealing to her clients that there was interest in their properties, then buying the properties herself and selling them at a profit. As a result of this, her real estate license was suspended, she paid fines, and was ordered to take a business ethics class.
As Mrs. Gehrke’s friend, Lee Christiansen, said, “Respect is earned, not given.” Mrs. Gehrke’s character and integrity have not earned my respect. For the above reasons, Sandy Gehrke, “America’s Mrs. Right,” is wrong for school board. Please consider the other five candidates carefully and vote on April 3.
Joyce Hall, Hudson
Letter: Back Bruch for board
I encourage you to listen carefully to all the school board candidates, especially with regard to who exemplifies the desire to have children be “fired up” learners.
I have been both informed and encouraged by the perspective shared by Liz Bruch whom I have known for well over a decade. She understands the immediate nature of our space issues, the long-term alternatives for facility usage, and the priority of good teachers and sufficient funding. Her education, experience base, and age all give her the judgment and wisdom to make informed decisions on our behalf regarding those matters. But it is her “value-added” passion for our community’s children and their 21st century education that makes her distinctive among the rest. The insights, ideas, and practical solutions that are necessary to best prepare our children facing a complicated future are obvious in her words and in her professional life. In my judgment, Liz is surely worth one of your school board votes.
I encourage you to join me in that opinion as you cast your vote on April 3.
Will Savadge, Hudson
Letter: Support incumbents
I am writing to urge you to vote for Brian Bell and Tom Holland at the April 3 school board election. Both have been members of the school board for six years and have served this community and our students very well.
Over the past six years they have been instrumental in bringing new curriculum to the district which helps our students compete in today’s global economy. These new courses include things like Mandarin Chinese and pre-engineering, called Project Lead the Way. The leadership that Tom and Brian have brought to the district allowed Hudson schools to address the most challenging economic times in recent memory without massive layoffs and while preserving sports, music and expanded curriculum. They accomplished this at the same time Hudson has been one of the lowest cost per student districts in the entire state of Wisconsin. The experience they have in managing our district is an asset to our community. Please vote to return Tom Holland and Brian Bell to the Hudson School Board.
Barb Van Loenen, Hudson
Letter: Bruch is choice
It is exciting to read about all the interest in the upcoming elections and the number of candidates who are willing to commit to the many different areas of service in our community. I appreciate that so many of our citizens feel the call to community service as being so important.
As a parent with kids in the Hudson School District, I am particularly interested in the April 3 School Board election. I am happy to see Liz Bruch’s name as a candidate — actually Elizabeth Bruch. She is just the type of person with new ideas and forward thinking that is needed on the school board. Elizabeth Bruch has current teaching and research experience that would be so valuable to the board as the field of education becomes more complex. Now, more than ever, Hudson’s schools need to prepare young people for the challenges that today’s ever-changing society present.
I know one person who will get my vote on April 3, and that is Liz Bruch.
Megan Laney, Hudson