Student urges support for referendum

Dear editor,

I am an eighth-grader at North Middle School. As a student in the district, I hope you educate yourself on the impact the referendum will have on students. One of the major effects of not passing the referendum will be increased class sizes. Even a slight increase in class sizes will lessen one-on-one instruction. Individualized instruction from my teachers has been important to me. Students rely on one-on-one guidance to fully comprehend what is being taught in the large group setting. I know every student learns in a unique fashion, and it would be truly disheartening to see students not getting the instruction they require.

Another effect of not passing the referendum would be a reduction in course offerings and extracurricular options. The variety of classes has been fundamental to my success. The many options allow students to acquire skills that cannot be learned in the core classes alone. This year I am the president of the North chapter of FBLA. I have gained a greater understanding of business concepts and learned leadership skills. The district offers more than 80 clubs and sports.

Reducing course offerings will mean fewer rigorous courses are available. As an incoming freshman, I intend to take the most challenging courses possible. Menomonee Falls High School offers more AP classes than neighboring districts. This allows students the potential to save on college tuition, but they also encourage students to learn about subjects in more depth. Colleges insist students take rigorous classes and participate in extracurricular activities. Colleges want students who have the academic intuition taught through these course. In the competitive applicant pool, it is important Menomonee Falls’ students are given the opportunity to challenge themselves.

I urge you to see this referendum as an investment in the future. I encourage you to vote yes.

Sara Booher

Menomonee Falls

Library board thankful for resolution

Dear editor,

The Pauline Haass Public Library Board remains deeply grateful to Pauline Haass for providing the generous and thoughtful bequest that made it possible to create this highly regarded library for residents of Sussex, Lisbon and surrounding communities.

Although state statutes specify that any gift, such as the Pauline Haass bequest, which is given to a municipality for library purposes, must be under the exclusive control of the library board, the town of Lisbon controlled the assets of the Haass bequest.  As trustees, we take seriously our responsibility to protect the library’s financial assets and to honor bequests; therefore, we sought court input on this issue. After more than three years, however, the court had yet to hear the basics of the case. The library board determined that the best decision for protecting the library’s assets, including the Haass bequest, was to reach an out-of-court settlement.

We thank the Sussex Village Board for its strong financial support to keep this library whole and thriving. It is a real testament to our Sussex elected officials’ dedication to provide excellent municipal services for our citizens. As library users, residents of surrounding and neighboring communities are, of course, also beneficiaries of the Sussex Village Board’s long-term commitment to library services. We’re now looking forward to returning our full focus on continuing to make this library the best it can be.

Tim Dietrich, president, and Pauline Haass Public Library Board

Praises Martens’ credentials

Dear editor,

I was a trustee in Germantown for seven years, then served as village president for 14 years.

Judge Todd Martens was an attorney for Quarles and Brady when I first met him. The work he did for the village was always professional, successful and timely.

The village had more dealings with Judge Martens while he served as Washington County district attorney from 1999-2010. As district attorney, he was always thorough with his work. His workload was heavy but always completed.

As a judge, Todd is fair and impartial. No matter how big or small a case is that comes before him, he treats it the same. If it has to come to the court level, he knows it is important to someone, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others.

Judge Todd Martens has an excellent track record and I totally support his re-election to the position of Washington County circuit judge.

Charlie Hargan


Supports two candidates for trustee

Dear editor,

Please vote on April 4. Many of us have election fatigue. But in some ways, your vote in this election for Menomonee Falls trustee will have the most direct impact and is the most powerful vote you can cast. I recommend voting for Randy Van Alstyne and Paul Broesch for village trustee. Both of these men are high-integrity, trusted people. Menomonee Falls is their hometown. They are part of multi-generational families that call Menomonee Falls home. They have graduated from Falls schools and maintain great friendships with their former classmates. When they make a decision on the board, they will see the faces they impact in their homes and neighborhoods. Through their education and profession, they have developed the critical thinking skills necessary to not only consider the impact today, but the long-term success of our wonderful Falls.

Van Alstyne and Broesch possess concepts of controlling costs and keeping our taxes to a minimum. They understand the Falls has a rich history that ours and their parents built and must be respected, but they also realize we must make informed and positive decisions to insure the future for theirs and our children.

Lately, the options on ballots seemed to be a decision between the lesser of two evils. We are fortunate to have two great candidates in Van Alstyne and Broesch, who have high character with a deep and respected reputation acknowledged by many of the citizens of Menomonee Falls.

I appreciate the many years that the citizens of Menomonee Falls cast their vote for me. I ask you to do the same for Randy Van Alstyne and Paul Broesch, two gentlemen I trust to carry out the values and direction that make Menomonee Falls the greatest place in the world to live.

Randy Newman

Menomonee Falls

Supports passage of referendum

Dear editor,

As a member of the 80 percent that lives in Menomonee Falls on a fixed income, with no school-aged children, and hopes to sell our home in the future, I need to decide on the referendum.

Will I vote yes to provide funding to sustain neighborhood schools, class sizes, and course and elective offerings? This question is limited to three years with a tax impact on a $250,000 home of 34 cents per day.

I have lived here for 37 years. My husband owned and ran a business for 17 years. I taught art for 25 years. Our children went to these schools and my daughter’s family returned.

We pay our taxes as our responsibility for the lifestyle we choose to enjoy in Menomonee Falls.

It is up to us to become informed.

It is about truth and trust. As a parent and a school employee, I watched district leadership navigate decisions in the face of economical and educational challenges. The state-imposed revenue limit does not keep pace with inflation as costs increase. SDMF has cut spending by $11.15 million since 2011.

The governor has proposed increased school funding over the next two years but the stipulations are still unclear.

So here is the trust part. We plan for the future, based on today’s truths, we make decisions for tomorrow. Our yes vote will give the district time to see how enrollment changes in the Falls, see what our legislators decide and, after year three, district leaders will make new budget decisions. Spending priorities will be based on the community voice.

I trust that when the referendum passes, those values will be supported.

I trust this is my opportunity to support a cohesive community atmosphere of responsible citizenship and quality education for our children. I will yes April 4.

Kathy McBride

Menomonee Falls

Supports Martens in judge race

Dear editor,

I urge the citizens of Washington County to vote on April 4 to re-elect Judge Todd K. Martens. Spring elections sometimes have low turnout. But this April 4, it is particularly important for citizens to get out and vote to re-elect Judge Martens. I have known Judge Martens for many years. He is a fair, kind man of strong integrity, and is blessed with a keen intellect. He is also a man devoted to his family, and has spent countless hours in service to his community.

Judge Martens has handled tens of thousands of cases in his 26 year career as prosecutor and judge. He has tried hundreds of cases to juries, and is a leader in Washington County's efforts to curb heroin-related crime and repeat drunken driving. He has been a leader in Washington County non-profit agencies, serving as President of the United Way of Washington County, the Washington County Council on AODA (now known as Elevate), the Washington County Bar Association, and received an "MVP" Award from Friends of Abused Families for outstanding leadership in fighting domestic violence and sexual assault.

Judge Martens also works to improve the criminal justice system. He designed a "fast track" Owl program which gets repeat drunk drivers into court faster. The program reduced the average delay from arrest to first court appearance from 137 days in 2015 to just over 5 days in 2016.

Judge Todd K. Martens is exactly the kind of judge Washington County needs: tough, fair, smart and experienced. Please join me and his many supporters across Washington County in voting to re-elect Judge Todd K. Martens on April 4.

Carol Miller


Has questions for school district

Dear editor,

The School District of Menomonee Falls sent out one glossy blurb that told the taxpayers of the district that it is going to below unless the plan is approved.

I believe there are some questions that should be answered truthfully.

What is the money going to be used for from the proceeds of the land? Eight hundred thousand dollars is not chump change.

Also, the increase of $200 per pupil from the state. What is the projected student population in 2018 and beyond for at least three years in the future?

Does the district have a reserve? How much and what is it earmarked for?

I would hope we will not follow the West Allis district.

How much was spent to advocate support for the plan and to whom?

The truth would help.

Reuben Held

Menomonee Falls

Endorses Martens in Washington County

Dear editor,

I am writing to endorse Judge Todd Martens for re-election.

I have known Judge Martens for many years and as county supervisor and later county board chairman, I have had the privilege of working with him on various occasions both as district attorney and as a judge.

Judge Martens has always shown excellent judgement in his careers and is a honest hard-working individual.

I have also been selected on one of his juries and found his insight and direct approach to be fair for the litigants.

I urge you to vote for Judge Todd Martens in the April election

Kenneth Miller


Urges vote for referendum

Dear editor,

My kids finished their public school educations some years ago and have been successful since. I believe that their accomplishments are a direct reflection of that good start. I intend to vote yes on the upcoming Menomonee Falls school referendum as a way to say thank you to all who paid the bills when my kids were in school. It is the American way.

High-quality schools, which we have, are important to all of us. They give prestige to our community and attract new businesses and commerce. They increase the value of our homes and investments, and attract other to want to live here. We can and should all be proud of the successes of our schools.

It is therefore in our interest to maintain this. The schools produce our future workforce, teachers and other professionals, armed forces members, and all good citizens and contributors to our society. The changes that will occur if the referendum is not successful are not being considered because they improve our schools and opportunities for kids. They are being considered as necessary planning if the money is not available. I do not think we should let that happen. Our kids deserve the best that we can provide.

A yes vote on April 4 is in the best interest of each and every one of us.

John and Marge Sauerberg

Menomonee Falls

Supports Martens for judge

Dear editor,

I write to urge the voters of Washington County to vote to re-elect Judge Todd K. Martens. He is smart — degrees from Harvard Law School and UW-Madison. He is experienced — hundreds of jury trials under his belt, including over a dozen homicide trials. He is innovative — developing and implementing court programs to fight heroin abuse and speed prosecution of repeat drunken drivers.

Judge Martens has lived in Washington County nearly 25 years. He and his wife Lori raised their daughter here. His parents have lived here for over 30 years. Judge Martens was a tough but fair district attorney, and he has served us well as a judge for the past seven years.

Judge Martens is deeply committed to helping maintain the great quality of life we enjoy here in Washington County. Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals judges, all the Washington County judges, as well as dozens of other judges statewide all support Judge Martens. These people are in the best position to evaluate how well Judge Martens does his job.

But Judge Martens also has wide support outside the legal community. Law enforcement, legislators, county board supervisors, local officials, community leaders and everyday citizens throughout Washington County believe our community needs a judge like Todd Martens.

Please join all these people in voting to re-elect Judge Todd K. Martens on April 4. Thank you for your consideration.

Debra Klug


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