Herald and Journal, August 24, 1998

Direction for new school task force debated

By Andrea Vargo

Opinions differed among Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) School Board members, Monday, about the original charge given to the long range facilities task force in its investigative work on the future needs of the school district.

Board member Carol Fury said she felt the task force was supposed to coordinate all the reports and studies that had been done and give a summary report.

Superintendent Riley Hoheisel said the architect strongly recommended the task force work in specific detail with sites recommended.

"I would take a different tack," said board member Randy Heuer.

"Ultimately we, the board members, are responsible for the decision," he said.

Board member Charles Weber said, "I think it is the task force's job to pick the sites. We appointed them. Let's stay out of their way."

Heuer said, "I'm very uncomfortable with allowing the task force to make decisions the elected officials of the taxpayers are responsible for."

Said Fury, "I don't think the task force has even recommended a new building yet."

Board member Richard Lammers said, "It's alright for the task force to report on the sites they've seen, but I don't think they should make recommendations."

"They should submit a report stating good and bad points of each of the available sites," he said.

Mary Pettit, board member, said she would like to see the task force make a recommendation based on hard discussion about the merits of the sites.

Board Chair Jim Raymond said, "The only reason we tossed this out is so the task force can get some direction with its final report."

Board member Michael Steckelberg said the public is going to have to think about what the report means.

Task force member Jim Fowler said, "It is my impression the task force was initially headed for more general recommendation, including site content."

Said Fowler, "My gut feeling is that the report will draw you to some reasonable conclusion."

Leo Weber said, "The task force has done a super job, and we are the ones that have to sell the public on this. We have to take the heat if anything goes wrong."

Hoheisel assured the board there would be a full board review before any decision is made.

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