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.
Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Members of The Vanguard had the privilege of participating in and observing some of the most wonderful Christmas music known to mankind during the recent Christmas Season.
On December 4th, an ecumenical choral group from some 15 local churches presented selections from Handel's Messiah at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Richfield.
Over 800 people packed the church and enjoyed a beautiful presentation by vocal soloists along with wind, brass and string instrumentalists.
Plans are to make this an annual event. The Vanguard will keep you posted for 2010.
Falls Baptist Church also presented Handel's Messiah with their Youth Choir, Orchestra and Adult Choir along with vignettes throughout the presentation with a gospel message of what Christmas is really all about on December 19th and 20th.
Falls Baptist Church is the only organization in Menomonee Falls that has a college and is very rich with talent and purpose.
Menomonee Falls is fortunate to have so many wonderful churches with so many talents and gifts.
A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Let's hope that 2010 is better than 2009.
We can meet, beat and exceed any challenge that is put before us.
We'll do the same this time too.
Go Scott Brown in Massachusetts!!!!!!!
Former Optimist and North Hills Country Club Member Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Charges
Jeff Stadelmann pleaded not guilty to the 3 felony charges on December 11, 2009 in federal court.
His trial will begin on March 8th in federal court in downtown Milwaukee.
The US Attorney General's Office commented to The Vanguard there is always the possibility of a plea bargain before the trial begins.
Stadelmann and his female partner were charged in November 2009 with either bank wire fraud, mortgage loan application violations and or misuse of investor's funds.
For more details on this troubling and revealing case, please visit the attached link (http://www.menomoneefallsnow.com/blogs/communityblogs/78338987.html).
McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds Lead Village Board on $600,000+ Spending Spree at Taxpayer's Expense Before Year's End
Unbeknownst to taxpayers, Trustees McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds, who are all on the ballot in this year's Spring Election, led the way in late 2009 to milk taxpayers out of some $600,000 of their hard earned money during severe recessionary times for what has become very controversial governmental public sector spending sprees for retirees.
This tactic is what started the recall of former Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament that has buried Milwaukee County Taxpayers for years to come because of the excessive spending by the Milwaukee County Board in backroom deals.
Thank goodness Scott Walker became the new County Executive for Milwaukee County and hopefully our next governor of Wisconsin.
At a time when most every private and public sector employers are asking for concessions, freezing or lowering wages, implementing furloughs, laying off employees and downsizing their operations, the Menomonee Falls Village Board is spending taxpayer money like there is an endless supply similar to what the Obama and Doyle Administrations are doing at the national and state levels with their failed stimulus, cash for clunkers, home tax credits and TARP programs.
Unfortunately, the 4 local newspapers refuse to report any substantive news about what the Village Board is doing at taxpayer's expense on matters such as this.
With the support of McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds, who are all on the ballot for this year's Spring Election, the Village Board also prevents citizens from asking any questions at Public Hearings with their "180 second" speaking time limit, which is by design to make sure information about Village Board policy and financial decisions are kept from taxpayers until it's too late.
Maybe if citizens were allowed to ask questions this type of public policy could be debated and prevented from being implemented in the first place.
This is similar to what has been happening in Washington D.C. and Madison with backroom deals and the total lack of transparency when voters were promised by Obama and Doyle to have the most ethical and transparent administrations ever.
How's that working out?
Village Board Establishes New Policy for Retirees in Late 2009
Taxpayers have been forfeiting their hard earned money since the early '90's for some $5,000,000 funded and unfunded liabilities in unused sick leave cash payouts to Village Retirees.
The Vanguard has been writing about this issue since 2008.
Most non-village employees don't have sick leave.
Village Employees get 15 days of paid sick leave a year.
If a non-village employee gets sick, they usually aren't paid.
They have to take time off without pay.
If a non-village employee has sick leave at their place of employment, they can only use it if they are sick. And then they may only receive 3-4 days a year and are not allowed to accumulate unused sick leave days like government employees can.
Village Employees can accumulate unused sick leave for up to 120 days for a lump sum cash payout at retirement ranging anywhere between $20,000-$70,000.
Village Officials have been saying for years that the reason the Village Board has had this lump sum cash payout policy for unused sick leave was because Village Employees didn't have disability income and the Village Board didn't pay for retiree health care.
The truth is that taxpayers have paid for Village Employee Disability Income through the Wisconsin Retirement System (etf.wi.gov) at no cost to Village Employees since the '60's.
Now, thanks to Trustees McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds, who are on the ballot for this year's Spring Election, Village Retirees are now having their health care paid for in retirement by taxpayers and no cost to the retirees.
New Retirement Health Care Plan and Unused Sick Leave Lump Sum Cash Payouts Revealed
Led by Trustees McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds, who are on the ballot for this year's Spring Election, the Village Board either knowingly or unknowingly slipped in the approval of $434,000 in unused lump sum cash payouts to Village Retirees for 2009 at taxpayer's expense.
Maybe if citizens and taxpayers were allowed to ask questions at Public Hearings these types of payouts could be debated in the open and not covered up in the $30,000,000 total budget.
McDonald and Steliga's track record for these lump sum cash payouts since 2007 are as follows:
$142,000 (5 employees) highest payout $70,000
$56,000 (3 employees) highest payout $27,300
$434,000 (17 employees) highest payout $47,500
Total taxpayer expense for lump sum unused sick leave cash payouts since 2007 : $632,000
The Village Board asks taxpayers for $120,000 of their hard earned money each year to make these payouts.
It is unclear where the extra money from taxpayers will come from to make up the deficit for the $434,000 payouts in 2009.
One thing is clear though, the taxpayers will pay for this and not the Village Board.
It gets better........
It's always easy to spend someone else's money.
Put another way, "Would you spend money this way if it were yours?"
It's unimaginable that elected officials would spend money this way if it were their money or their business operations.
In a 2009 undated memo obtained by The Vanguard titled "Voluntary Enhanced Retirement Program", the Village Board, led by Trustees McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds, who are on the ballot for this year's Spring Election, either knowingly or unknowingly slipped through the $30,000,000 budget a new policy that now pays for Village Retiree Health Care Plans for 2 years after retirement.
The 2 year cost for taxpayers with this new Village Board Policy for health care will be approximately $200,000 for 9 retirees even though 2 retirees opted out of the plan presumably joining their spouse's plan in retirement to make sure they had coverage.
The overwhelming majority (approximately 70%) of these employees do not reside in Menomonee Falls.
McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds' Policy Establishes a Costly Precedent for Taxpayers
By establishing this new health care retirement policy, the Village Board has now set a precedent that all future Village Retirees will ask for when they retire.
The Village currently employees approximately 200 people.
This new policy will be extremely expensive for taxpayers to fund in the future.
At a time when Americans are facing 10% unemployment, having to make major concessions at their work place, a credit crunch and a tightening of their belts at home, this type of reckless policy making by Trustees McDonald, Steliga and Raymonds couldn't come at a worse time.
These elected officials have always said that these types of benefits and salaries are necessary in the public sector to attract and keep employees because the private sector has so much better benefits.
This of course is not true as has been borne out by a USA Today analysis (http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20091211/1afedpay11_st.art.htm?loc=interstitialskip).
For the Saul Alinsky Progressives who always chime in with their, "These are negotiated benefits that employees are entitled to and they can't be changed..." excuse, please save your breath and don't waste reader's time with your defending the status quo.
The City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and Waukesha County are just a few of the many local governments who are restructuring their union and non-union contracts to save taxes and make employees have an ownership in their salary and benefit packages instead of making the taxpayers always pay for nearly 100% of employee benefits.
What do you think?
1. Should the Village Board repeal this new policy of paying for retiree health care?
2. Should the Village Board restructure the lump sum unused sick leave cash payouts?
Contact the Village Board with your opinion at the following link (http://menomonee-falls.org/index.aspx?nid=292).