10/22/14 - The candidates for Dodge County Sheriff will be our guests this Friday on WBEV’s Community Comment program. Incumbent Sheriff Patricia Ninmann is running as a write-in candidate after an unsuccessful effort in the August partisan primary. Sgt. Dale Schmidt is the only candidate whose name is printed on the November 4th ballot. The two will join us in separate segments Friday on AM1430 WBEV. Schmidt will appear first at 12:35pm followed by a one-on-one interview with Ninmann around 1:30pm.
10/22/14 - Attendees aboard this past weekend’s Badger Honor Flight were greeted by a legendary Washington DC legislator. Honor Flight is a nationwide program that flies vets to their memorials in Washington DC. The Madison-based hub held its fourth and final trip of the year on Saturday. The 85 Wisconsin veterans on the flight had the opportunity to visit Arlington Cemetery, the National Monument and Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Wall, the Korean War Memorial and the Air Force Memorial. Also included on the itinerary was the World War Two Memorial, where former Senator Bob Dole was stationed at the entrance. The 1996 presidential nominee was sitting in a chair, personally meeting every veteran that passed through gates. The 91-year-old was active in getting the memorial built and says he makes it a point to be there every Saturday to thank the veterans for their service. Dole told us (quote), “This is where I belong.” Meanwhile, our guests on WBEV’s Community Comment this afternoon were on this past weekend’s Badger Honor Flight. Board member Jim Bublitz will be joined by Korean War vets Richard Tomashek of Beaver Dam and Gerald Tolsma of Fox Lake. Community Comment begins at 12:35pm on AM1430 WBEV.
10/22/14 - The Dodge County Board of Supervisors was presented with the proposed 2015 budget at last night’s meeting. County Administrator Jim Mielke says that the proposed total for the coming year’s budget is increased from the current year so that the board has the funds to invest in one particular endeavor. He says that the total budget is up $5.3-million from 2014 to a total of $106-million. The main reason for this increase is to focus on infrastructure, primarily county highway maintenance. Mielke noted that the levy in the proposed budget is in excess of $32-million, which is an increase of around $650-thousand. This total is $141-thousand less than the maximum allowable total of $791-thousand. He also notes that there will be a two-and-a-half cent decrease in the mill rate, from $5.70 to $5.675. This is the first mill rate decrease since 2009. A special meeting of the finance committee will take place this coming Tuesday at 6 p.m. and will be open to the public. Formal action will be taken on Wednesday, November 12 at 9 a.m. at the budget hearing. Anyone who would like to review the proposed budget can do so on the county’s website.
10/22/14 - Much has been made about the work history of the candidates leading up to Election Day. So far, the focus has primarily been on Sergeant Dale Schmidt as Sheriff Patricia Ninmann has requested he make his personnel file public as she has done. Now, Schmidt is saying that while Ninmann has made her file available online, certain information is being withheld. He says that he is referring to twelve letters of complaint against Ninmann that were written by dispatchers who worked under her when she was an administrator in that department. Schmidt says that these are some of the key complaints that were made in the collection of documents. These claims include: Ninmann not having the best interest of the department in mind, many division members suffering from migraines, and home lives of some of those under her being affected by her demeanor towards them. The sergeant says that he has written confirmation from the writers of five of those documents stating that they in fact were the person who wrote the corresponding letter. Ninmann reacts by saying that she does care about her employees and that Schmidt is continuously harping on the past. She says that while she expects workers to perform to the best of their ability on the job, she wants them to have happy, productive lives at home. The sheriff cites that these matters were well in the past and that Schmidt’s constantly rehashing them so those involved cannot forget them is what keeps morale low in the department. Ninmann says that she has taken it to heart when someone who works for her comes to her saying that they feel mistreated by her. She says that she was not a perfect supervisor when she first took the job but has improved vastly since then.
10/21/14 - Sheriff Ninmann did respond in a phone interview to the comments made by Sergeant Schmidt on yesterday’s program. One of the topics that Ninmann commented on was Schmidt saying that her leadership made for a hostile work environment. She says that she does not intend to do any of her employees wrong and has seen vast strides in her leadership ability. Ninmann says that she takes it to heart when an employee tells her that they feel she mistreated them. The sheriff also spoke to not being satisfied with Schmidt’s comment that he will make his personnel file available via a meet-and-greet. She says that he should put the file online for all to view and explain its contents. The current sheriff feels that he is only sharing the file on his terms and that only two items have been placed in that file by her, one of which has been removed. She cites that the other documents in the file were placed there by the previous administration and calls for him to explain those items. Ninmann says that she does not approve of the way Schmidt is proposing to handle budget matters. She describes his method as “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” The election is just two weeks away, on November 4.
10/21/14 - The Horicon School District Board of Education adopted its 2014-15 budget at last night’s meeting. District Administrator Gary Berger says that the total budgeted amount is slightly less than it is in the current year. The decrease is around $20-thousand. As a result, the total levy dropped from $4.3-million to $4.1-million. The mill rate also declined from the past year. It lowered from 11.23 to 10.43 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This means that a person who owns a property valued at $100,000 would pay $1,043 for the school portion of their tax bill. Berger says that part of the decrease in these numbers is due to an $11-million increase in school district property values. Enrollment and revenue remaining steady were also cited for the drop in levy and mill rate. As a result of this happening, only a few minor cuts had to be made in the coming year’s budget.