Jefferson Davis is a longtime resident of Menomonee Falls. He is the proud parent of two wonderful boys. He enjoys singing, volunteering, reading, gardening, politics, antiques, history, guitar, violin, piano, officiating, helping neighbors and yard work. He served as Village President of Menomonee Falls from 2003-05. He is a member of Northbrook Church and serves on the Advisory Council for the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center. He is an independent registered representative practicing in the areas of insurance, investments and retirement.
Vanguard Updates and Follow-ups
As is often the case with the mainstream media and press, stories are published and splashes are made with very little follow-up for the truth or concern for the parties whose names and reputations are unnecessarily dragged through the mud because they ask questions and challenge the status quo. There is, however, follow-up when it fits the biased agenda of the mainstream media and press to sell papers or get ratings.
The same is true of Menomonee Falls and its local coverage of various issues.
Readers of The Vanguard are aware of this and often make comments to the effect, "It's sure good to know that someone finally does a thorough job of covering the local news and isn't afraid or intimidated by the local power brokers and enablers of the status quo."
This week's posting has a lot of unresolved updates, so let's get started.
The Police Chief has invited The Vanguard to stop by Village Hall to view requested documents without any "location costs" being imposed which is in compliance with Village Resolution 997-93 that allows any citizen to view any documents for copying requests at $.25 per page.
"Location costs" kick in at nearly $40.00 an hour if the requested documents take more than four (4) hours to locate.
The Vanguard is intimately familiar with how documents are stored and or filed at Village Hall. They are easy to "locate" and take only seconds and at the most minutes to find.
Government is required by State Law to keep track of all meetings (closed/open), business transactions, agendas, minutes of meetings, communications, etc. There are big time consequences for the altering, misplacement and or loss of government documents by government officials.
It is inconceivable to think that any Village Hall document would take more than four (4) hours to locate with the meticulous filing system that should be in place and is required of government entities with the Village Hall state of the art computer systems and technology purchased by the taxpayers as well as manual filing programs.
Often times, government officials try to implement their "location costs" policy in an effort to discourage and prohibit the release of documents requested by the public that government officials feel could or may be damaging to themselves in the revelation of their certain policy implementation or a total contradiction as to what has been said by them publicly that may reveal inconsistencies and or outright untruths by these officials.
Providing documents to the public simply requires Village Hall employees to hit "send", "copy", "print", "run" or "start" with their computers and or storage programs.
This takes seconds, not hours. If it took hours, then taxpayers have paid for employees and filing systems that are totally inadequate.
The taxpayers have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for state of the art equipment for the Police Department to protect our community and to administer their daily duties.
One computer program within the Police Department, The Phoenix, has been the subject of many questions and concerns regarding its viability that came with a huge price tag for the taxpayers. This program was recommended by the recently retired Police Chief.
The Police Chief has "located" the requested documents involving The Phoenix computer program without any "location costs" and has invited The Vanguard to visit her office to view them.
We will let you know the results of the review to make sure the taxpayers are getting the most out of their taxes and why the computer program may not be working.
There are a number of unanswered questions posed to the Police Chief over the last two (2) months now that we hope will be answered soon involving various issues with the Police Department.
Police Chief Admits Error in False Arrest Story
Another follow-up with the Police Department involves the false arrest by the Menomonee Falls Police Department of a person who falsely had a warrant out for their arrest (http://blogs.menomoneefallsnow.com/the_vanguard/archive/2008/08/09/quot-sir-please-put-your-hands-above-your-head-and-spread-your-legs-quot.aspx) earlier this year due to what we now know was human error within the Police Department.
To the Police Chief's credit, she now admits in an October 15, 2008 letter that, "...the Menomonee Falls Police Department has taken measures to ensure this error does not reoccur."
Unfortunately, the person who was falsely arrested by the Menomonee Falls Police Department had to contact an attorney to get this matter resolved to get it expunged from their record.
As of today, it appears the matter has still not been resolved, even though the Police Chief has publicly admitted there was an error, due to highly inconsistent and sensitive information being given out by the Police Department to the individual's attorney that hopefully, when it is brought to the Police Chief's attention, will be resolved.
In the meantime, the individual who was falsely arrested because of human error within the Menomonee Falls Police Department, is still in the national law enforcement network (NCIC) as being arrested and fingerprinted.
We will let you know what the Police Chief is doing with this matter as well.
The Vanguard has also learned the Police Department has purchased a $40,000 SUV for tactical purposes that appears to have never been part of the department's fleet of vehicles before.
We will keep you posted on this purchase as well.
At the invitation of the School Superintendent, The Vanguard recently met with school district officials involving a number of unresolved issues that have been made public by readers of The Vanguard.
The superintendent and his staff attendant were very professional, open and helpful in the taped meeting.
The superintendent confirmed the high school athletic director is the veteran administrator who had been rumored to have been the subject of numerous questions and concerns involving a senior female student brought to the attention of the high school principal near the beginning of the 2007-08 school year on the Mark Belling Show earlier this fall.
The superintendent did not know about this matter until after the 2007-08 graduation ceremony when the parents and young female student brought it to the superintendent's attention because they felt very strongly they had literally been ignored by the high school principal when they made him aware of the matter near the beginning of the school year. The parents also went to the Mark Belling Show with their concerns.
The superintendent confirmed that a staff member of pupil services at the high school tried to intervene on behalf of the young female student to help her through the situation for the remainder of the school year with the understanding the athletic director would not be near or on the stage during the graduation ceremony at the request of the parents and young female student.
That request was not honored and that is when the superintendent first became aware of the matter after the graduation ceremony when the parents contacted him for intervention and resolution.
Everyone agrees the parents and the young female student were not out to "get" someone. They just felt this matter should have been handled in a much better and more sensitive way than what it was. The parents never filed an official complaint with the district.
The Vanguard knows the parents and the young female student. They are good people and have moved on from this experience.
Once the superintendent got involved, things started to happen immediately.
He directed one of his lead staff members to conduct an investigation into the matter which resulted in a some 30-40 page report that was signed off on by all involved parties.
As a result of this experience, the superintendent stated very strongly there was a "failure of communication" by the district that has been addressed for the entire district going forward.
He also stated, the district's "sexual harassment" policy will or has been reviewed and the approach will be much more different in the future as a result of this experience.
The Vanguard and the readers who have raised various questions about the consistency and fairness of staff discipline based on who you know and how long you have been in the district, are not interested in the "uncomfortable" details of the some 30-40 page report that took an inordinate amount of time to complete at the taxpayer's expense.
The Vanguard has simply requested a copy from the superintendent of the original communication from the parents and young female student to the high school principal early on in the 2007-08 school year and the subsequent notice that has been placed on file for the athletic director as a result of the investigation that was completed at the direction of the superintendent's office.
The community needs to know that all school district personnel will be disciplined fairly and equitably when it comes to providing an excellent learning environment for all students without the fear of coming forward with their substantiated concerns.
The meeting with the superintendent also revealed the following outstanding issues that were brought to the attention of The Vanguard:
Superintendent confronted the athletic director's wife, who is also a full time staff member at the high school, involving a situation where she told a student that she did not know, did not have in class and did not have any dealings with, that, "...I don't hate you in spite of how I feel about your father." The athletic director's wife recalled the conversation and the superintendent directed her to "cease" any conversation at the school involving the student's father as it was the superintendent's opinion that it was not necessary for her to make such references about the student's father. Nothing was placed in the teacher's file as a record of the incident during the 2007-08 school year.
The Falls Cable Access Director, housed in the high school and earning nearly $90,000 a year as a part-time employee with the school district and Falls Cable Access at the taxpayer's expense, had a very similar incident during the 2007-08 school year involving a student that he admitted to and was ordered by the high school principal to stop the behavior. The high school principal, just like the issue with the athletic director and the young female student, did not respond to the parent's concern which is common courtesy. Nothing has been placed on file involving the Cable Access Director's behavior toward the student.
Two high school varsity athletic coaches had to be immediately relieved of their duties within the last 2-3 years because of "conduct" that would prevent them from continuing on in their positions. The coaches are no longer allowed to coach in the district even though they are still on staff. They have been put on notice that any future mishaps may jeopardize their employment with the district.
The district intervened on behalf of a teacher that was given the entire 2007-08 school year off in order to resolve some "personal issues" who is now on staff at Thomas Jefferson for the 2008-09 school year. The district's concerns were of personal nature for the teacher and did not involve students or other staff. This teacher is a veteran of many Washington DC trips and according to the superintendent is doing very well this school year.
The Facilities Committee is recommending the closing of Valley View School for the 2010-11 school year. The taxpayers just spent $1,000,000 for the installation of air conditioning in 2007 at Valley View. The superintendent is hopeful the district can sell Hiawatha School, home of the administration offices, and move the administration offices to Valley View.
Enrollment numbers continue to decline (http://www.menomoneefallsnow.com/story/index.aspx?id=808214). It's a good thing the taxpayers voted down (60%-40%) the February 2004 Referendum that included a new $10 million elementary school which would now be in jeopardy of maybe being closed due to declining enrollment.
Menomonee Falls is blessed to have a lot of good people on staff in our schools who work really hard and are very committed to their profession.
Taxpayers put out in excess of $50 million a year to educate around 4,000 students.
Accountability, oversight and consistency are a must for any organization especially when it is funded with the taxpayer's money.
It is good to know that Menomonee Falls has a superintendent who takes his position seriously and is accessible to the public.
Big Pig Gig Spends in Excess of $700,000 in First Two Years
The Vanguard has obtained, not from the Chamber itself, the 2007-08 numbers for the Big Pig Gig after having been promised the numbers for 3-4 weeks now by the Chamber's Director.
The Big Pig Gig is an excellent idea whose time is long past due in Menomonee Falls. The more people in the Falls the better for local businesses.
The Vanguard is simply disclosing what is being done with the taxpayer's money and what is being reported for the event.
Through the support of a three year declining (75%, 50%, 25%) taxpayer grant from the State Department of Tourism, the Big Pig Gig was the recipient of a JEM (Joint Effort Marketing) Grant to start the event in 2007 of $34,130 and $28,000 for 2008 for promotional expenses respectively.
The goal of the grant is to expand tourism in Wisconsin for the economy through non-profit groups. The program has been around for 20 years and handed out $845,000 of the taxpayer's money around the State of Wisconsin for some 35 individual programs in 2008.
The following are some interesting observations of what is being reported for the event:
60,000 attendees each year in 2007 and 2008. To put that in perspective, that is more than Miller Park (43,000), Wrigley Field (41,210) and just a little under Lambeau Field (72,500) and Camp Randall (80,321). The area of the event is maybe 300' x 500'. Anyone who has been to any major sporting event knows what it's like to be around 50,000 - 70,000 people in a small area. Irish Fest reported attendance this year of 124,000 and that was at the Summerfest Grounds.
The local economy benefited $500,000-$750,000 from the event this year according to the Chamber.
Sales of $232,781 for 60,000 attendees in 2007 for an average of $3.88 per attendee. Sales of $264,428 for 60,000 attendees in 2008 for an average of $4.41 per attendee.
Bus shuttle service fees of $6,895 in 2007 and $3,000 in 2008 for 60,000 attendees.
Beer costs of $24,621 in 2007 and $21,720 in 2008 for 60,000 attendees.
$97,395 for Entertainment and Production costs in 2007 and $65,740 in 2008.
$39,500 taxpayer grant in 2007 and $30,000 in 2008 which differs from the State of Wisconsin numbers by ($8,000) less.
Media buys of $56,674 in 2007 and $40,276 in 2008.
Tent costs of $16,798 in 2007 and $15,789 in 2008.
Kansas City Barbecue Expenses of $29,207 in 2007 and $28,812 in 2008.
$27,000 in Additional Entertainment and Production Expenses.
$34,000 in Additional Expenses.
$22,000 in generator expenses.
$9,000 in booklet expenses.
$5,000 in electrical costs.
$22,000 in signage costs.
$11,000 in promotional items.
Food Vendor Disbursements $152,000.
Volunteer Contribution $10,000. 2008 not paid yet.
Tokens and Counter $8,000.
Cash Sponsors $94,000.
Vendor fees $29,000.
Contestant fees $28,000.
When the volunteers are paid this year, the event will have netted over two years about $4,000. The Vanguard is aware the former Greater Menomonee Falls Committee cash account had to pay some of the volunteer organizations last year because the event lost nearly ($17,000) in 2007.
24th Assembly Race
The Knodl Campaign continues to be under investigation by the Ozaukee and Waukesha County DA Offices for illegally putting some 300 names on their literature without anyone's permission which is in direct violation of State Statute 12.05 during the September Republican Primary which they narrowly won.
Knodl was the handpicked successor for Sue Jeskewitz by the establishment of Menomonee Falls.
Published reports have it the Knodl Campaign and their attorney are trying to work out a deal with the DA's. Too bad something probably won't be done before the November 4th Election. The voters deserve to know if the Knodl Campaign is guilty of what they have been accused of with numerous complaints.
We will keep you posted.
Knodl is charged in Campaign Complaint...(http://www.menomoneefallsnow.com/watch/?watch=23&date=10/24/2008&id=47993). If convicted of the charge, the misdemeanor could carry up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail or both.
$42 Million Taxpayer Bailout of the Menomonee Falls Village Board
Unless something is done soon, the taxpayers of Menomonee Falls will once again be asked to bailout another government entity for promises that were made they knew could not be kept for the Village Board's $42 million Municipal Facilities Fund that started in 2000.
It is widely known by now, even though attempts have been made to cover it up, the Village Board in 2000 saddled our community with a $42 million debt (http://media.menomoneefallsnow.com/images/the_vanguard_595313_Municipal-Facilities-Fund.png) for the new library, village hall and police station that will hit the tax rolls as early as 2016 with some $416 to $2,218 in new taxes for the average homeowner (http://www.jefferson-davis.info/images/Documents/MEst-Effect-on-Property-Val.pdf) unless voters let the Village Board (http://www.menomonee-falls.org/index.asp?nid=292) know they will not pay for this when they were promised in 2000 it wasn't going to cost them anything.
The Village Board, in a partial response to this problem they created in 2000, passed a new $1.2 million, 3% indexed, $85 per household annual garbage tax in 2006 without ever having to vote on the new tax again. Garbage pick-up was always a part of the property tax bill and now those taxes ($1.2 million) are being used for something else and the taxpayers have to come up with an additional $1.2 million in new taxes for a service that should be done for free.
The garbage should be picked up for free in Menomonee Falls especially when the corporation (Waste Management www.wm.com) picking up the garbage is making millions of dollars each year in our backyard at our expense that will ultimately cost us dearly when the dump closes and the tax revenues and tipping fees are gone forever.
Now, the Village Board wants to expand the life and size of the existing dump to try and make up for the $17 million dollar shortfall (http://media.menomoneefallsnow.com/images/the_vanguard_595313_Municipal-Facilities-Fund.png) that was attempted to be swept under the rug when it was exposed in 2003-04.
The Vanguard will continue to ask voters to require the Village Board (http://www.menomonee-falls.org/index.asp?nid=292) to do the following things to resolve this unfortunate issue:
Repeal the annual $1.2 million garbage tax and have Waste Management pick the garbage up for free just like many other communities across America require corporations do for the privilege of domiciling their businesses in that community. Let's keep the $1.2 million in our local economy each year.
Get a piece of the methane gas selling rights from the Waste Management dump that currently provides energy for 15,000 homes through We Energies.
Have Waste Management pay the entire $42 million debt service for the Municipal Facilities Fund that our community was promised by the Village Board in 2000 wasn't going to cost us anything.
$700 Billion Federal Bailout Revelations
Talk about a bailout, readers have made us aware of a number of additional interesting revelations involving the truth about the financial crisis that we are currently experiencing.
Enjoy the following links that put this mess in proper perspective:
Obama's cover-up of the financial crisis ( http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjY3Y2VmNTZkYjhhYzdjYzNmZTMyN2M0ZDJmZDEyYjA=&w=MA).
How special interests allowed this crisis to occur by pressuring politicians to not support reform (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081020/ap_on_bi_ge/the_influence_game_housing) which would have prevented this from happening.
Obama's cesspool of slimy housing deals (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/06/27/grim_proving_ground_for_obamas_housing_policy/).
This crisis didn't come out of nowhere (http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/charliesykes/32256244.html?blog=y).
Like all government revelations, those who speak up or try to look out for doing the right thing are often times destroyed by those who have selfish self interests.
Clerk's Office Finally Admits to Voting Irregularities in Menomonee Falls
In a letter released to The Vanguard, the Clerk's Office, through the Village Attorney, admits to having some "matters" in 2004 with voter registration in Menomonee Falls. We are aware of what those "matters" are and we will continue to follow-up on what, if anything, the Clerk's Office did with those "matters". The Clerk's Office is required to report all irregularities to the DA's Office in Waukesha County.
The Village Attorney's letter also disclosed that the Clerk's Office is in compliance with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 through the assistance of the Government Accountability Board with it's statewide data base that cross checks voter lists for deceased people, felons and duplicate matches.
The Village Attorney's letter also stated that he is not aware of any "outside" groups, like A.C.O.R.N., that have attempted to register voters in this election cycle even though several "outside" groups were present in the Falls in 2004.
Let's hope that is true and we can have a safe and honest election in Menomonee Falls on November 4th.
Other communities aren't so lucky:
Fear instilled in A.C.O.R.N. workers in Ohio (http://www.nypost.com/seven/10202008/news/politics/acorn_instilled_fear__workers_134390.htm).
A.C.O.R.N. mess in Ohio, Missouri and Washington (http://michellemalkin.com/2007/07/26/acorn-falls-again-the-worst-case-of-voter-registration-fraud-in-washington-state-history/).
We will continue to get a response from the Fire Chief on some personnel matters within the department.
The latest revelation is that work hours for the remaining two lieutenants have been reduced from 56 hours a week to 42 hours a week for the same pay while part-time staff is being added under a time of "budget constraints".
The Vanguard also learned that the Fire Chief ordered his staff a short time ago to find ways to spend the money in the budget because they had about 25% left over and that if they didn't spend it before the end of the year they wouldn't get it for the next year's budget.
We will let you know what we come up with.
Falls Cable Access
Falls Cable Access responded to our Open Records Request and questions about their tax returns, expenditures of the taxpayer's money and penalties being paid.
We hope to get some straight answers.
Have a great week and thanks for taking the time to read The Vanguard. We know you have a lot of options and we appreciate being one of them.
See you next week.