Letter-School vote not legal?According to “Referenda” law in Wisconsin, no superintendent or school board member may advocate for one side or the other on a referendum issue using district funds or resources.
By: John A. Windolff, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
According to “Referenda” law in Wisconsin, no superintendent or school board member may advocate for one side or the other on a referendum issue using district funds or resources. Such violations could negate a referendum’s outcome. The people may be informed; however, no attempt should be made to persuade. Our school administrators have crossed the legal line drawn in the sand by the state of Wisconsin.
The use of the Hudson School District website to promote the “vote yes” position on the April 3 referendum was, and is, a clear violation of Wisconsin referendum law. Not to mention the use of the superintendent’s column (also a district resource) to promote Mary’s self-serving agenda. Probably the most grievous violation was the flyer mailed out by the district that listed all the positives of the SCM property as seen by the board and all the negatives if the referendum was to fail. Again, paid for by the district. The mailing entitled “Your Vote Matters” clearly takes a position on the referendum.
On the pamphlet’s cover, an artist’s rendering of what seems to be a beautiful refurbished dog track with two school buses waiting majestically out front. Funny, I don’t remember seeing any drawings of how a school would look on any of the other possible build sites. Nor did I see listed the benefits of building elsewhere to allow the city of Hudson to retain its commercial tax-bearing property. The district is allowed to provide information to the public as to make an informed decision, but presenting all the pros of one issue and all the cons of another is not informing, it’s promoting.
No matter if you see the SCM purchase as a good thing or bad thing, it’s unacceptable to allow the laws of our state to be broken. The “Vote Yes” coalition supported the referendum because they felt it was vital to assure a quality education for our children. What kind of message will we be sending to our children if we look the other way when laws are broken?
If the new school even remotely resembles the artist’s rendering on the pamphlet, I will goose step up Main Street in January wearing nothing but an athletic supporter and a Kaiser helmet. On that day there will be no need to check your Farmer’s Almanac, the moon will be full.
John A. Windolff, Hudson