Brown Deer — Two newcomers scored an upset over an incumbent and another newcomer serving on a School Board committee in Brown Deer. Lisa Zielinski and Barry Godshaw, riding a wave of voter dissatisfaction with taxes and poor standardized test scores in the village schools, swept out incumbent Gary Williams and Michael Bembenek, who has served on the district's Finance Committee.
Reached at Zielinski's home where they were celebrating with family and friends, both newly elected School Board members said voters were tired of paying high taxes and seeing low test scores.
"They want a good value for their dollar," Zielinski said.
Godshaw, who made an unsuccessful run for the Village Board in 2006, said he had hoped he and Zielinski would win but he was having a hard time believing the results.
"People are just fed up with high property taxes and the financial decisions made by the board over the last three years," he said. "They are upset with the demolition of Algonquin School and the superintendent's high salary."
Godshaw said one of his first actions on the board will be to ask the superintendent to take a pay cut.
He aims to target what he calls wasteful spending in the district.
"We are spending too much for teachers and principals to attend conferences all over the country," he said citing $800 air fare for a recent conference in Arizona that was attended by two teachers. "They make enough money. Let them pay for the trips themselves."
Voter turnout in the village was 17 percent. School board members serve three-year terms and earn $3,100 a year.
In other school board races:
Fox Point-Bayside Referendum: Both of the school district's referendum questions passed by narrow margins.
The first question, asking to borrow no more than $3.255 million in energy and facility improvements, passed with 64 percent of voters approving.
Question two passed with a narrow 51 percent approval. It asked to borrow no more than $3.7 million to fund post-employment benefits.
Mequon-Thiensville: Incumbents Robert Perry and Mary Cyrier defeated Lisa Steinman for a seat on the School Board.
Cyrier, 47, has been on the School Board since 2006. Cyrier said she sought re-election because she wanted to continue working toward building stronger partnerships in the community.
Perry, 52, is a 10-year member of the School Board. In the next term, Perry said he wanted to address declining enrollment and finding new means of offsetting revenue shortfalls.
Nicolet: Ellen Redeker garnered more votes than opponent Joseph Kasle in the School Board race.
Redeker has served as president of the Glendale-River Hills School District Foundation, while Kasle has been president of the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School Board.
Redeker, 56, said she wanted to continue providing students with the best education possible with the money available.
Shorewood: The School Board will get a makeover this spring with newcomers Colin Plese and Rob Reinhoffer beating incumbent John Carlton and Linda Jacobi, who withdrew from the race but still appeared on the ballot.
Plese, 38, said he is running for office to restore the long-term fiscal health of the district and preserve and grow liberal arts education. He cited the school funding formula as a key issue.
Reinhoffer, 45, said he threw his hat in the ring because he wanted to have a role in being proactive about budget cuts. He said a thorough review of why declining enrollment is taking place is important.
BROWN DEER SCHOOL BOARD
Gary Williams (inc.)…529
FOX POINT-BAYSIDE REFERENDUM
Question 1: Borrow no more than $3.255 million for energy/facility improvements
Question 2: Borrow no more than $3.7 million to fund post-employment benefits
MEQUON-THIENSVILLE SCHOOL BOARD
Robert Perry (inc.)…133
Mary Cyrier (inc.)…119
NICOLET SCHOOL BOARD
SHOREWOOD SCHOOL BOARD
John Carlton (inc.) …659
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