We met for over an hour with both Lexi and I addressing the way the reduction in levy authority had impacted our district, Board Members Ross and Schmidt addressed their concerns relative to their roles as school board members and the attempts the Board had made through consolidation to provide continuing opportunities to our students. Mayor Ratzlaff expressed his concern of the importance of having a strong viable school district in the community and feared that ultimately without help from the state the newly consolidated district could eventually face dissolution. The legislators, and especially Representative Kestell, expressed the opinion that the failure of consolidation was something they did not want. They want to encourage consolidation and the financial failure of one district that did consolidate would be unacceptable in his view.
At the conclusion of the meeting the legislators agreed that they would work on both short term (next two years) and longer term solutions to maintain the viability of the consolidation process. There was some discussion that, if possible politically, an attempt would be made to draft and pass legislation that would address Chequamegon’s issues sometime in the remaining two and a half weeks of the remaining legislative session. I have to say that I, and I think others, came away from that meeting very encouraged that there was a bipartisan interest (at least in that room) to address fixing the problem we face on a short term basis (next two years) and long term (post consolidation). Representative Williams indicated she would keep me informed as to the progress being made on either or both problems. I want to thank both Mayor Ratzlaff and Frank Kempf for their efforts with the contacts they have at the capitol and their support of the school district as we face these financial challenges.