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The Not-So-Daily Union

One reads that local Daily Union will begin delivery by mail, and that this will push forward the publication deadline by twelve hours.  While the change of delivery matters to subscribers, the change in publication deadline will matter more. The Daily Union will no longer be able to get a story on an evening meeting or…

The Broad Outlines of 2019

For many years, I would begin the year with predictions for the twelve months ahead.  Events since 2016 have made predictions harder,  but one can still discern some short-term developments for the city.  These prospects, of course, form an online of topics to ponder, and about which to write (often requiring that one return to the…

School Board Meeting of 11.19.18

The City of Whitewater’s Vimeo page now has a copy of the school board meeting of last night. (For more about the cable access programming that took the place of the live meeting Monday night, see After the Referendum.)  The meeting had a significant agenda, and the session is likely worth watching more than once.…

After the Referendum

In response to an email last night and two more today, here are some quick thoughts on the school district and Whitewater. The gist of these messages is similar: was support for the referendum a good idea, in light of district report cards, and the airing of a Shirley Temple movie (The Little Princess, Twentieth…

The Whitewater Schools’ Operational Referendum

The Whitewater Schools have an operational referendum on the ballot this November. The referendum figures, for a conventional four-year term, will allow the district to continue regular programming and services without interruption. Nothing in this operational request involves more capital (construction) or expansion of services – the amounts authorized will simply allow Whitewater’s schools to…

No Principle But Principle

Over these years that I have written, Whitewater has seen two city managers, three chancellors, four district administrators, and dozens upon dozens of other municipal, school district, and university officials. During this time, this ilk has relied on projects, press releases, committees, and conferences to advance itself at the expense of the community it professes…

That’s Not What “Great Opportunity” Means

Minor children shouldn’t be using any sort of drugs or medications without parental approval and medical guidance, legal or otherwise.  And yet, in rural communities across America – and other places, too – use of drugs without sound medical guidance is a scourge for adults, and sometimes minors.   The Whitewater Schools’ district administrator, Dr.…

A Bit More on Examples

I’ve written about Milton as a bad example for Whitewater, and I’ve written about Jefferson this way, too. See Sunshine Week 2018 (The Bad Example Nearby), Attack of the Dirty Dogs, and Thanks, City of Jefferson!. The Milton-related post prompted two readers to ask about my connections to that troubled school district’s politics. I’ve replied to…

Sunshine Week 2018 (A Methodical Approach)

Writing about a topic is a deliberate, often slow, process. Something happens – perhaps of concern – but one may not address it immediately. A bit of waiting can be a sound response. Along the way, an original perspective may change, and a project grow larger (or smaller). See Steps for Blogging on a Policy or Proposal.…

Sunshine Week 2018 (Some Years Ago, in Whitewater)

In 2010, the City of Whitewater considered an ordinance to publish video recordings of principal public meetings. The first reading of the proposal was in August, and a second reading led to its approval in September. One may find the ordinance at Whitewater, Wisconsin, Municipal Code, Chapter 2.62 (Whitewater Transparency Enhancement Ordinance). This ordinance did not…

The Limits of Community Surveys

It’s expensive to survey opinion, scientifically, using standard statistical principles. Whitewater, like many small places, understandably relies on community surveys (for the city proper, for her school district). Surveys of this kind are an approximation of overall sentiment. One wouldn’t expect an end to these surveys, but they have obvious, significant limitations. (This is true of…