Minority WAPS Board members, ‘Let it go’


(4/29/2019)

From: Gabe Dybing
Winona

The will of the Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) Board majority appears to be changing, and members of the old view are betraying their anger and vindictiveness. At the latest meeting, Tina Lehnertz ranted at whom she repeatedly called, “those people.” Those people, Lehnertz, are members of the community simply pursuing, through a normal appeal process (as any of us should), what they think is most right and just for their families and neighborhoods. This is why I appreciate Jim Schul’s comments and consequent action about being neighborly. I hope to see more decisions like this, based on reason and conscience.

We often hear justification for anger toward Save Our Schools (SOS) on the grounds that that body is costing WAPS money, yet the SOS appeal is covered by insurance. It’s not costing the district anything. However, the WAPS’ lawsuit against SOS is not covered by insurance, and the board and public have no idea of the cost. The lawsuit is unnecessary, unless you want to discourage public input and scare future citizens away from their right to appeal. But the public has the right to appeal.

The schools are sold; WAPS owes no one anything. The WAPS Board argument that the lis pendens depreciated the value of the sale is without merit. WAPS initially was eager to sell these public properties for much less money; the deed restrictions reduced property values; and the whole process was rushed not once, but twice. The WAPS Board’s reasoning is porous.

The term “double standard” was used many times during this latest meeting, but the only accurate demonstration of it was when chair Nancy Denzer claimed to be “slighted” by Allison Quam’s action on an information item. Later, Denzer appeared to overlook a similar outrage and voted to make Slaby’s briefing an action item.

Because of these evidences of anger and hostility, I imagine that superintendent Dahman and certain members of the board now might be hard at work strategizing how, in spite of it all, they might continue to deny justice to the Madison and Central communities. So I ask you, School Board (to quote Quam), just “let it go.”

 

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