Paris School referendum resources

parispantherlogoStill trying to make up your mind on the Paris School tax levy referendum?

There’s still some time to make a decision before Tuesday’s vote.

Here are some resources:

Fact sheet 1 from the school district.

Fact sheet 2 from the school district.

Flyer 1 sent out by advocates of passing the referendum.

Flyer 2 sent out by advocates of passing the referendum.

Flyer 3 sent out by advocates.

Flyer 4 sent out by advocates.

A flyer sent out in April from opponent of passing referendum.

A flyer sent out recently from opponent of passing referendum.

UPDATE: I don’t know of an organized literature campaign being done by opponents. If you know otherwise, share the material with me and I’ll get it up too. (See above)

Here are links to stories we have posted related to the issue at

Paris School Board votes to consider dissolution

Paris School Board approves another referendum

Paris Yes voters paint huge signs

I also encourage you to add your views on the referendum as a comment to this post (click on number of comments under headline). You don’t have to use your real name, but you do have to put in a valid email address, which will not be published, but can be used for verification purposes. Comments are moderated for obscenity and libel. If you do not see your comment right away, I may have been away from the computer. I will try to be vigilant about staying on top of this thread if comments start coming in.

Let us know how you feel about the Paris School referendum.

UPDATE  June 9: No additional comments will be allowed to this post today since it is the day of the referendum.



  1. Northwestern Mike says:

    One flier for the opposition arrived today June 5, another flier
    will arrive tomorrow if the mail is on time.
    I will email the flier to you once it has arrived at my house.
    Kenosha News has stopped comments because inappropriate
    comments were posted and not refused by the moderators.
    I hope you can do better than they can.

  2. Northwestern Mike says:

    If the board can’t educate children with Revenue of $13,252 per student in FY2010-11 we have a real problem? It’s NOT about DISSOLVING the school it is about controlling costs.

  3. Northwestern Mike says:

    I don’t want more property taxes that will go up 25.7% in 2009, an additional 13.79% in 2010, and an additional 18.18% in 2011.

  4. Northwestern Mike says:

    Two board members have been on the board at least three years because they were just re-elected. Two other board members have been on the board at least 2 terms or six years.
    The full board signs the teacher contract, so there is no excuse to blame another board. Some of these board members signed the contract that gave away the store. They can’t use the excuse they didn’t know what they signed

  5. Northwestern Mike says:

    If the teachers will bargain in good faith why did they not show up for the June 2 meeting? The paper says they were not ready to negotiate. They are waiting for the referendum to pass.
    If the referendum passes, during collective bargaining, the union will say “there is money in the Fund Balance you can afford to give raises” and “We don’t need to make any concessions”.
    If it fails the school board can say “there is no money for raises”, so why would we want to pass a referendum to alter this leverage. We don’t.
    The teachers don’t want to make concessions otherwise they would be at the bargaining table.

  6. Jim Putz says:

    The decision is simple if you use your head, look at the numbers and put your emotions aside. NO I did not attend Paris School which is why I can be objective. Some of you are way too close to these teachers you love, to think clearly. You (and your children) will do anything to please them. Recent photos in the local paper show child labor working for teachers. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. Come on teachers fight your own battle, leave the children out of it. VOTE NO, balance the budget, don’t dissolve.

  7. 4 paris says:

    This referendum isn’t about pleasing the teachers, it’s about saving the school. The children want to help save their school, they don’t want to go anywhere else. If you vote NO, there will be no budget to balance,because the school WILL close. We will be forced to dissolve, no other way out of it. We need the 3 years to get the budget under control. The paper said the UNION was not ready to negotiate. You don’t know what the teachers want to do, it’s not time for them to be at the barganing table yet. Contracts are not up yet. The UNION has control over what they can and can’t do right now.

  8. Northwestern Mike says:

    To 4 paris. Read my flier in the mail. Check out the Three NOs(green first line). You can vote NO and the school will not dissolve. Go see for yourself.
    The budget can be controlled in this negotiation session, not over the next three years. Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?

  9. In Paris says:

    Northwestern Mike, what part of “dissolve” don’t you understand? You argue that if everyone does what you want, the school will not dissolve. What makes you the expert? Why do you, Northwestern Mike, profess to know more than ALL of the professionals involved in this referendum?? I guess I missed your campaign for School Board. You are but one person with one narrow view. Unfortunately, you do not have the best interests of our community in mind. Six NO signs and two NO bloggers are hardly competition for all of the YES voters proudly displaying their VOTE YES signs in their yards like beautiful, blooming flowers. I would bet that you’d gladly offer your unsolicited input to Unified as they face their own budget issues in the near future. But, hey, if the referendum fails, you could always become School Board Advisor at Kenosha Unified, Paris campus! P.S. Your flyer makes my head hurt. This is NOT the April referendum. It’s a new day, Mike.

  10. Northwestern Mike says:

    I understand the Wisconsin State Statues that control dissolution. I’m not an expert, but I understand numbers and I can think. As for a professional, the school board is made up of residents like I am and have been corrected by residents several times when they have been wrong. I have been in constant contact with Roger and have talked to the Baird consultant.
    Be proud of your Yes signs, but consider this. If the Yes committee went door to door to every resident and convinced them all of their position, why are there more homes without any sign than Yes signs?
    Try to understand my flier because it logically explains the school financial situation. It is the actual school numbers causing this debate. Please use reason and not emotions to understand what is going on. It does no good to attack the messenger and remember there is no reason to dissolve the school. The Three NOs solution makes your emotional dissolution arguments irrelevant. It does NOT raise taxes, which is in the interest of the community. It involves NO LAYOFFS, which is in the best interest of the community. It does not involve DISSOLVING the school, which SOLVES the problem as your signs say, and it MAINTAINS LOCAL CONTROL, which you signs also, say.
    It does what your signs say so what is wrong with it. Address the issue.

  11. Proud Paris Resident says:

    In response to “why are there more homes without any sign than Yes signs?”
    A few people from the opposing side have been out of control during this whole refferendum process. Whether that be posting hurtful “No” signs right near my children’s school, in which I had to explain to my very young child who was deeply saddened by this. Is that sign even placed there legally? There have been nasty remarks in blogs on Kenosha News targeting specific people. Someone even had the audacity to place comments on there signed with other people’s names. So, to answer your question, people most likely don’t want to be personally attacked.

  12. Paris Parent says:

    This referendum is not about anything other than control. Do we want to retain control of the school or do we want the state to step in and decide for us? The sad reality is either choice likely means higher taxes. there is no doubt the school board would vote to dissolve, as historically they have taken the easy choice. This way they can say they ‘tried’.

    Think there are a lot of mistakes by the current board. For years this board has paid for expenses relating to this school out of it’s reserve for years. It waits until the reserve is gone to get around to addressing funding problems. Waiting until April 2009, a little over 4 months to the deadline for resolution is precious little time for anyone to secure alternative solutions. They put the referendum for site improvements before a budget crisis that has bankrupted the school. They have stated declining enrollment was a problem, but raised concerns about the Strawberry Creek development. They have clearly swindled time and opportunities, but the fact is residents voted to these positions so as residents we have responsibility.

    I also agree that there is an issue with the teacher benefits/salary. However, these teachers are represented by a union. Even if every teacher in the school was willing to make a concession, the union is not going to allow this without a fight. This kind of change will take time, time we don’t have. Besides it is hugely impacted by the bad decision to pay retirees a stipen of their salary for several years after retirement, this is not a pension but a negotiated benefit. Thanks school board for making sure the teachers have a very comfortable retirement.

    If you think that the state solving this problem is the solution, think again. Ask some of those people who were around when Somers joined Unified and how the school changed. Since all districts are faced with tight budgets, it’s unlikely Paris would even remain in one piece. The state would not want another district to be faced with these same choices by forcing them to take Paris as a whole – assets and liabilities. Likely several districts will get a piece. After so long I’m sure people will question the value of Paris staying Paris.

    Bottom line, vote Yes to retain control of the school then vote NO at every opportunity change the landscape of the school board. The heart of Paris is it’s rural landscape, let’s not let the mistakes of others cause us to loose it’s rural school. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.

    For those of you who wish & hope that the town of Paris may help with this problem, with its 20 million surplus, think again. They will not even entertain the idea no matter how small a percentage this would take. Seems to me this is what the referendum should be about, raising taxes for a limited time and allowing the town to pay the raise in taxes for residents. This would violate no state laws and does not require a foundation. Too bad there’s not enough time for another option.

  13. Northwestern Mike says:

    I think people from both sides have been a little out of control. I have received many nasty comments myself, but I want to talk about the real issues. As for placing signs by the school I call that the Right of Free Speech and a good opportunity to explain that to your child. I do not approve of what has transpired in the Kenosha News. It has cut off an avenue for useful debate. I have not seen the impostor’s postings so I cannot comment. I think it is appropriate to point out non-Paris residents are advocating for a Paris tax increase they will not pay. All of this has happened long after the Yes signs have bloomed and still does not explain the majority of homes without any signs. I also see you have avoided talking about the real issues. If you are in the Paris school district, I will assume you have received my flier. In your opinion will the Three NOs work? Do not give me emotional arguments. Think about it and give me some reasoned answers. I’m trying to have a debate the professional school board never allowed to happen.

  14. Northwestern Mike says:

    Paris Parent. Identify yourself. I have been out-ed in the KN and at the Annual Town meeting. I am Mike Cavalenes. Identify yourself, so others can see your connections and use the appropriate filters. Some of the things you say I can agree with, others I do not, but I don’t agree with your conclusion.

    Convince me the school will dissolve if I vote NO. Voting Yes will take away the leverage the board has to get the union to make concessions NOW, not in two years at the next contract negotiations. Why give that up?

    Find fault with the Three Nos. You say there is no time to make this happen.
    I count almost 7 weeks to make this happen.

    I can envision something like this. The town board would approve a $100,000 donation based on the condition the teachers make a $160,000 concessions in salary and benefits.
    A further condition would be another donation would not be considered for another 10 years. The $107,000 retirement savings is a reality right now. It is money not spent available for other expenses. The Fund Balance deficit in FY2010-11 is gone. The reason to dissolve is gone. Talk of local control and splitting Paris’ assets is irrelevant.

    Even the Three NOs has a long-term structural problem that needs addressing. To address this, in FY2011-12 a referendum to increase the Revenue Limit $100,000 for recurring purposes would be proposed. This would be a tax increase of $37 for a Property value of $100,000 or $111 for $300,000. This should cover salary and benefits raises of 3.8%. In addition the debt for school renovations should be paid off in FY2016 and I would propose that tax decrease be left on the books for school funding.

    This scenario would provide for ten years of school funding with a very modest property tax increase of 5.9% in FY2011-12 after this recession should be over.

    This all happens NOW not in three years and not a 25.7% tax increase during a recession.

  15. 4 paris says:

    We ran out of signs pure and simple. Also people were afraid to put signs in their yards fearing repercussions.

  16. Northwestern Mike says:

    You may have run out of signs, but not for all the patches without any signs.
    People also put signs in their yard fearing repercussions.

    The sign issue is a red herring. How about the real issues? Can the Three NOs work and make all your emotional arguments irrelevant because dissolution never happens? Your emotional arguments are gone because reason solved the problem NOW not during the next teacher negotiations.

  17. 4 paris says:

    Still way more YES signs than NO signs no matter how much open space there is. If the sign issue is a red herring why do you keep harping on it? There is no reasing with you.

  18. Paris resident says:

    I’m undecided and find these extreme postions in both directions hard to muddle through. I’m going to have to make up my mind before tomorrow.

    I do have to address your comment about the non-Paris resident campaigning for Yes. Anyone who has a student that attends Paris has every reason to have an opinion on this issue. Particularly someone with experience from when Somers experienced budget problems and became part of unified.

    With the issues the crisis we are facing, it’s really bad that you would chose to make that a point of discussion.

  19. jim putz says:

    While the yes committe member stood on my front porch, quoting the state superintendant of schools as his source for information regarding dissolution. I found that hard to believe. After 3 minutes of research online I found that Tony Evers (the state superintendant of schools) campaign in April was funded to the tune of 685,000 dollars by the teachers union. He’s a mouthpiece for them (the teachers union). I now believe perhaps someone on the yes side may have spoken to him. If he (Tony Evers) had information that could have enlightened us, I wish he would have presented it to all, in a town hall style meeting. DON’T BE FOOLED VOTE NO.

  20. jim putz says:

    While the yes committe member stood on my front porch, quoting the state superintendant of schools as his source for information regarding dissolution. I found it hard to believe. After 3 minutes of research online , I found that Tony Evers (the state superintendant of schools) campaign in April was funded to the tune of 685,000 dollars by the teachers union. He’s a mouthpiece for them (the teachers union). I now believe perhaps someone on the yes side may have spoken with him. If he (Tony Evers) had information that could have enlightened us, I wish he would have presented it to all, in a town hall style meeting. DON’T BE FOOLED. VOTE NO…..AGAIN. BALANCE THE BUDGET, DON’T DISSOLVE.

  21. Northwestern Mike says:

    Dear 4 paris and Paris Resident,
    I am not making them an issue, you are. I have stated signs and non-residents are not the issue.
    Evaluate my Three NOs solution or my ten year vision and make those the issue. It’s a third solution that is ignored, but solves the PROBLEM.
    Please direct comments at that.

  22. Proud Paris Resident says:

    With all due respect, I am not willing to put all my eggs in one basket in hopes that your solution would work or that the town would bail us out, if it didn’t. I would rather vote YES and ENSURE control over the fate of the school. RETAIN CONTROL, BALANCE THE BUDGET, DON’T DISSOLVE BY VOTING YES. If the Three No’s were to fail, I’m not so sure the opposing side would really care if the school dissolved.

  23. Northwestern Mike says:

    You finally voiced a valid concern and then you make a snide remark. Shame on you. You are very presumptuous assuming we don’t care.
    I have a can do attitude. I believe all things are possible.

    I don’t believe the teachers will make concessions if money is available for raises, which will happen if the referendum passes.

    They are two ways to reduce teacher expenses.
    One is through concessions, the other is using a stick, layoffs, to get concessions.
    Either of these will remove the FY2010-11 deficit. Announce preliminary layoffs for FY2010-11 of the Physical Education and Arts teachers. Total savings $180.000.
    This and the $107,000 savings from the retired teachers is enough, without MONEY FROM THE TOWN, to SOLVE the deficit problem. Check the numbers yourself. This can happen tomorrow and No Tax Increase, No Dissolution.
    Give the teachers a choice of $160,000 of salary and benefits concessions or layoffs of $180,000.
    I prefer NO Layoffs, but a concession is necessary for long-term financial security.

    You obviously believe only a Yes will solve the deficit problem, but you still have a major spending problem. I do not trust the board to solve this problem.

    I believe if the board implements spending controls first, my trust will be restored.

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