Support DASD referendums
In the last month, this paper has provided detailed coverage on the DeForest Area School District’s upcoming referendum. As a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) member and a Vote Yes for DeForest Area Schools committee member, I would like to stress the importance of this April 2 referendum.
Many factors make up the foundation of a thriving community and one of the most important is our schools. While schools attract new residents and businesses to our communities, they also play a pivotal role in our future. Through the CAC, I spent numerous hours studying detailed information on our school facilities, the district’s financial state, current and projected enrollments, and other related data. The CAC brainstormed, discussed, and evaluated how to best meet the needs of our future while balancing the fiscal needs of our fellow community members.
This referendum take cares of all our anticipated facility needs for the next 10 years based on projected enrollments and does so in the most fiscally responsible way possible. It narrows the gap in equitable learning environments for our students at the elementary level. As our elementary schools and middle school reach capacity, a new intermediate school is the most cost-effective way to increase capacity at our schools at all levels. It addresses the high school’s crowding issues in common spaces through renovation and additions. The new cafeteria, three-station gymnasium, and natatorium opens space in the remainder of the school to accommodate updated educational space. The referendum truly serves the community, as these common spaces will be more readily available for public use. It allows the physical education of our students to not be compromised when common areas such as gym space is needed for other functions during the school day. As a nurse, every day I see the adverse health effects from a lack of physical education. I have also seen the great benefits from things such blood drives that are held in our school gyms.
I have personally looked at the proposed referendum through all the lenses I hold: a father of three children whom have all been educated in the district, as a fellow community member, a homeowner and taxpayer, a spouse of a teacher, and a nurse. No matter which lens I use to look at the challenges we face, I come to the same conclusion: to vote yes on April 2.
Kind and caring regards,
Brian Tisch, DeForest
Lowery is right for trustee job
If anyone has knocked on your door and asked your opinion about the challenges facing DeForest and what we can do to improve our village in the future, it was likely Abigail Lowery. After serving for two years as a village board trustee, she still understands that she is working for us and needs our input to do her job.
Abby has been deeply involved in recent improvements to our parks and infrastructure and going into the future with more ambitious projects ahead of us, we are very fortunate to have a responsive public servant like Abby who will listen and make sure the needs and desires of all of us will be addressed.
Please join me on April 2 in supporting Abigail Lowery for a second term as DeForest Village Board trustee. She has earned it.
Daniel McClain, DeForest
Referendum can determine area's future
DeForest and Windsor area voters have a referendum presented in the April 2 election that can determine the path of our growing, thriving communities. Community members may wonder why there is another referendum on the ballot when a referendum was presented and passed in 2014.
Those who live here know this area has experienced explosive growth in the last few years. However, many residents may not realize how fast our community is growing. Corporations and small businesses have chosen to put down roots and expand here. New homes are being built at a quick pace, and older homes are experiencing the “30-year turnover.” This area has experienced year-over-year growth of 8-9 percent per year in each of the last few years. Not only are the DeForest and Windsor communities growing, the entirety of Dane County is growing exponentially. We are just one of 15 districts in Dane County to go to referendum since Nov. 2012, and most of those districts have gone to referendum twice in that time period.
Concurrent with this growth, the DeForest Area School District is expected to gain almost 1,000 new students by the year 2025. That is nearly a high school’s worth of students moving into our district! By 2021, all of our elementary schools and middle school reach capacity. By 2025, as these larger classes move up through their schooling, the high school will be at capacity. Coupled with aging facilities that have reached the end of their life and are no longer repairable, the need for a comprehensive referendum is clear.
Additionally, there is vital need for community space. At least 75 community organizations and sports clubs not affiliated with the school district use district facilities each year. While our villages work hard to improve their facilities, the school district is the largest provider of indoor community space in our area.
As many residents know, a Community Advisory Committee convened in August 2018. This diverse group of community members representing business owners, residents, and community leaders met in 20+ hours of meetings. The CAC recommended a comprehensive referendum that solves most issues the district is expected to face in the next decade. The committee evaluated the information and made decisions congruent with the direction of our communities. Just as our communities are looking toward the future, so should our school district with our community’s support.
Emily Muscato, DeForest
I am writing this as a resident and my experience as a village trustee. I am asking for your support in voting for and re-electing Jason Kramar as your trustee. Jason brings common sense and a ton of experience to the board. Jason has been on the board since 2009 and is well versed in the operation, budgeting and all other aspects of the village. He has served or is currently serving on CARPC, committee of the whole, DeForest Area Community & Senior Center Commission, public works committee, Half Century Club, joint room tax commission, and planning & zoning commission. There is no reason not to re-elect him to the position of trustee as a balanced village board is a good way to keep all facets of the village on point. His experience, intelligence and compassion for not only the village, but for every resident in our village speaks volumes. Jason has represented every resident of our village without fail and I am hoping the word gets out that his re-election is critical to the continuing progress of our village. I recommend you look at each candidate and understand what the future will look like going forward.
Chip Van Meter, DeForest
While I normally don’t get involved in the politics of other communities, one DeForest village trustee up for reelection should be elected to a second term. I first met Abigail Lowery after her presentation at last fall’s Dane County Housing Summit. I was impressed with her dedication to improving housing issues in DeForest, proven track record, and advocating for the DeForest community and its residents. I am appreciative of her efforts to support those with disabilities and work for inclusiveness through projects like the accessible playground at Fireman’s Park. Her Facebook page, a communication method no one on my village board takes advantage of, is a wonderful way for citizens to stay in touch with the state of affairs in DeForest. The efforts Abigail has undertaken to learn about local politics go well beyond anything I’ve seen in Waunakee. Abigail’s service as chair of the DeForest Housing Authority and willingness to share her knowledge on various topics has helped me have a greater impact as part of the Waunakee Housing Task Force. Her community service through delivering meals through the community center, the library board, and other projects is indicative of her commitment to the people of the greater DeForest-Windsor community. Please reelect Abigail Lowery as a DeForest village trustee on April 2.
Sam Kaufmann, Waunakee High School Student and Waunakee Housing Task Force Member
When this Wisconsin Supreme Court race began, it looked like a traditional left vs. right race, like we have seen several times before. Sadly, that is not the case. It turns out that this race is between the Chief Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, Lisa Neubauer, and a political extremist, Brian Hagedorn.
When Hagedorn's views became better known, a group supporting him, The Wisconsin Realtors Association, not only withdrew their support, but asked for their $18,000 back.
Lisa Neubauer is a well respected jurist, who will see that the law is interpreted the way it was written, not the way she thinks it should be written. Please join me in rejecting extremism, and supporting the best candidate by far, Lisa Neubauer, for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Dick Schultz, Fort Atkinson
Vote Jane for village trustee
I have known Jane Cahill Wolfgram for over 15 years. In that time, I’ve come to find what a compassionate, reasonable, results-driven, strong and selfless person she is.
Jane is a very modest person who has many qualifications. Being an active member in the DeForest-Windsor Business Development Group, a former consultant to the village and current vice president of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Jane has a diverse and inclusive view of how communities function and thrive. After a professional career spanning over four decades in the electricity and natural gas industries, time as a consultant to the private and public sectors and leadership roles in Legal Aid and national clean water project, she has decided to occupy her retirement volunteering with several organizations in the DeForest community. She is personable yet doesn’t let emotion get between her and facts. Her strong character and attention to detail would be great assets to the village of DeForest.
Please vote for Jane Cahill Wolfgram for DeForest village trustee, Tuesday, April 2.
Tara Linde, DeForest
Vote Jane Cahill Wolfgram
The DeForest area has an opportunity to new add some new energy and new ideas to the DeForest Village Board with this coming election. I am writing this letter in strong support of Jane Cahill Wolfgram in her candidacy for the village board.
Jane has been resident of DeForest for over 40 years.
She knows the community and the area though her many public and personal connections. She has demonstrated her commitment to our community and to our people over the last many decades. She understands our history and also shares a vision for our future with the current village board and administration. Our area is growing and we need strong, experienced and wise leadership as we move forward.
Many of us know Jane as the former president and board member of the Christ Lutheran Church in DeForest, also, as a co-founder of Norski Nibbles, the kids summer lunch program. She has served as a consultant to the village and worked successfully with the board and administrative staff to complete important and critical infrastructure projects in the village.
She understands the role of the board members in making those all important decisions that affect each and every one of us!
Many of us also know her as a friend, a business woman, a married woman with children and grandchildren.... or as a retired and actively volunteering community resident. After a 40-year professional career – first working in the public sector for legal aid and skilled jobs for women – then as a business consultant for 30 years to the private and public sectors, Jane has the proven rare ability to blend public sector experience and private sector experience into a wholistic view of how to move our community forward.
Please consider voting for Jane Cahill Wolfgram. She is a bright, energetic, and an experienced 40+ year village resident. Jane is the right person at the right time to work with the village board and administration in guiding our very bright and optimistic future. Your support is much appreciated!
Dr. Meredith Bakke, DeForest
Editor's Note: Due to press deadlines, Tara Linde's and Meredith Bakke's letters to the editor were not published in this week's print edition of the DeForest Times-Tribune. Per policy, additional letters to the editor of political nature will not be published before the April 2 election.