Received this email/blog comment today from Kevin Scheunemann, owner of Kewaskum DQ and Village of Kewaskum Trustee.
As a Village Trustee in Kewaskum who asked for a courtesy copy of the open records West Bend for Safe Libraries requested, I am very proud of two things in Kewaskum Village government:
1.) Our village staff immediately worked diligently on complying with the Wisconsin Open Records Law on this request!Unlike West Bend, there was never a talk of lawyers, or the need to hire a lawyer to stall or block open records of this nature. I find West Bend's position of stalling and delaying release of open records unacceptable. This is NOT good government.This is a clear sign West Bend is ashamed of its mature material labeling and locating policies in its library.
2.) After reviewing the open records produced in the Village of Kewaskum I am very proud of our Librarian! He treats constituents and library patrons with courtesy and respect. By comparison, in the Kewaskum open records request, emails from the West Bend librarian are rude, discourteous, and demean the very public constituents the director is supposed to serve! I WAS ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED BY THE WEST BEND LIBRARIAN COMMENTS! If any member of village government staff acted this way toward constituents, I would push to have that person removed.
The Library Director's behavior in West Bend fails the most basic standards of public service.
West Bend's problem is lack of good government and city officials willing to tolerate bad government. Clean, honest, and open government is essential. I wish and hope West Bend would start down that path.
Kewaskum Village Trustee
I will agree that my interaction with the Village of Kewaskum was pleasant and respectful. All was in order and turned over in a timely fashion by personnel that ensured they were doing their best to fulfill our request.
I met with Steev Baker and found him to be honest, personable, a good listener, a proud dad (smile!), extremely likeable, and cares very much for the community he serves. He is not afraid to do what he feels meets the needs of the Kewaskum taxpayers, patrons and children, regardless of the fiasco our West Bend Library put taxpayers through when parents asked for this same courtesy. Baker recognizes that even though the Kewaskum Library is part of the SHARE library system, he is under no obligation to bow to the American Library Association and its' persistent misleading harangue concerning censorship. He also recognizes that the ALA does nothing for the public library financially or legally; therefore, no loss here. His top priority is to serve his patrons according to their community standards. What a novel idea.
The fact that our mayor rejected our request from the very onset of the library issue to openly dialogue with the city attorney on our behalf is evidence we need CHANGE (not the Obama kind) in West Bend.
Methinks change is a-comin'........
Thanks for the honest commentary, Kevin.