Thank you for coming to Jackson tonight to take part in the West Bend School District's "work session" for the School Board. As you may not have previously known, tonight was also the last night for outgoing board president Joe Carlson. I realize you were invited to this work session to discuss the changes taking place with the state budget that you have boldly supported on behalf of the majority of conservative taxpayers throughout Wisconsin. It was hoped that you would be able to share your ideas and suggestions in order to lend support to our local school board.
I'm sure you didn't expect to be taken hostage by our Superintendent, Pat Herdrich, our soon-to-be dethroned board president, Joe Carlson, and Kewaskum schoolteacher/board member Kris Beaver, who all repeatedly addressed both of you by your first names (though Carlson was sure to state "Dr." Herdrich when pertinent) and raised their voices angrily at you. Numerous times you were harshly demanded to come up with figures that were not yet determinable. Over and over again the condescending nature of the conversation was aimed at you until finally board vice president Tim Stepanski said enough was enough.
As if the bait-and-switch agenda for the evening wasn't enough, our local liberal recall election king, Waring Fincke, was front and center, and was aided by a young high school student who was trying her best to look intimidating with her video camera aimed on Sen. Grothman. The recall renegades were disruptively commenting as both of you tried to answer questions that were already rude and discourteous. What was worse, they followed you out of the room at the end of the meeting and waved signs in your faces and chanted, which prompted a police escort. I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. A police escort for our State Senator and Representative in order to safely leave a School Board Work Session at Jackson Elementary School!
I am terribly embarrassed by the representation of the people on the school board who disrespected you, downplayed your positions, and mocked you to a waiting crowd. It felt like a set-up. Perhaps it was. I know there are other school board members who did not appreciate what took place. It is not representative of the people in our school district - the ones who know what you stand for and support you 100%.
Our new school board members bring a refreshing new outlook and a positive attitude. Our superintendent has one foot out the door as she seeks employment in a neighboring district. The tide is turning in West Bend, and it is a deep breath of fresh air.
Your input is valuable and your dedication is admirable. You have endured much and it has not gone unnoticed.
My apologies, once again, for this evening's untoward outcome.
God bless your time and efforts as you go forward in Wisconsin.