Community conversation on referendum goes well


The League of Women Voters’ Community Conversation on the school referendum went off without a hitch last Saturday at the Barn Burner. Panelists Emily Tracy, Superintendent of Brown County Schools and Alyson Hanus a kindergarten teacher at Sprunica Elementary joined school board members Amy Oliver and Doug Payne to speak in front of a full house with approximately 30 people in attendance. The panel addressed what the referendum would mean for the school system and how it would affect taxes.

Shari Frank, President of the League, was handing out information to individuals as they left the meeting and Sunny Leerkamp, League Vice President, was the event moderator.

Tracy said that the money is for retention and recruitment of new and current teachers. She began the conversation with a PowerPoint that displayed how much the salaries of Brown County teachers vary in comparison to other school districts.

Some people in the crowd voiced concerns about how much their taxes would increase with the referendum, especially for individuals on a fixed income. Tracy encouraged people to visit the referendum calculator on the Brown County schools website. There were also concerns about teachers needing a higher salary even though they are off holidays, breaks and teacher days.

“We’re teachers, but we’re people too.” Hanus said.

She also said that during all breaks she is preparing and educating herself on how to be a better teacher for her students.

People attended the meeting for various reasons. Many had ties to teaching. Brown County Prosecutor Ted Adams told the Democrat that he came to the event because his wife is a teacher and education is important to him.

“We came as parents and people,” Adams said. He added, “I am viciously anti-tax but pro-school. I’m here to reconcile those two things and keep money local.”

Payne also told the crowd that he does not like paying taxes, but believes that some things are important enough to pay extra for.

Bill Todd a member of the crowd told the Democrat that he was a former teacher and even if people need to scrimp in other areas of their lives, prioritizing education is something that should be taken seriously.

“We believe in the referendum. We believe in the school district,” Todd said. He added, “I think the enthusiasm here (in the community conversation) is going to go out and spread through the community.”

Frank said the turnout and response was productive. She said the League wanted people to have a chance to ask questions with school board members present.

Tracy said she would love to speak with anyone to address any questions or concerns regarding referendum. She can be reached by email at [email protected].

No posts to display