July 22, 2020 Page 10
Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"
Extracted by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.
Index of "Oldies" Articles
Clark County News
June 23, 1953
June 23, 1953 School Electors Proceed Slowly in Deciding on Consolidation
School electors of 12 suspended districts in Clark County were giving a further demonstration this week that farmers, like most other Americans, do not like to be pushed around. With mutterings of distaste, they were making haste slowly to question the demands of a legal tangle which had them gasping and hanging to the ropers.
While the electors halted between the varying opinions, the wires were hot between Neillsville and Madison in an effort to secure a glimmer of light on this one proposition. According to the present view of the state department of education, it is legal for a suspended district to maintain its organization and to pay the costs thereof. This means that a suspended district may elect officers; pay the costs of organization, such as a bond for the treasurer; pay the salaries of members of the school board. But the interpretation is still definite that no suspended district may expend money, even from a full treasury, for tuition or transportation.
In an effort to shed light upon the situation, District Attorney Gorsegner talked at length Tuesday with H.H. Persons, the assistant attorney general who drafted the opinion earlier furnished to George E. Watson, the state superintendent. This conversation resulted in two significant revelations:
Revelation One: The administrative authorities recognize that a boner had been pulled in drafting and passing the new law on suspended districts. In recognition of this the legislative council, meeting in Madison Monday afternoon, decided that there ought to be enacted an amendment to the act which is making all of the present trouble. The amendment, it was agreed, ought to retain to the suspended districts for another two years their taxing power, thus giving them proper time to decide whether they will join other areas or set up their own schools.
Such an amendment, it was agreed, should be presented to the legislature when it meets in adjourned session next October.
The enactment of such an amendment would seem to be clarifying the real intent behind the recent enactment. That law contains language which seemed to give a period of two years for decision. The law, however, was loosely drawn and the supposed period of delay fell apart when subjected to the legal analysis of the office of the attorney general.
No Law For It
Revelation Two: The situation about the payment of tuition and transportation is no different now than it has been for a long time past. “There has been nothing in the law books for years,” as Mr. Persons is quoted, “that authorized districts not running a school to pay the tuition of children sent to neighboring districts.”
Meanwhile two districts of Clark County have done some voting in an effort to make more or less progress. In the town of Fremont, there was unanimity of view when the electors of the Franklin District got together. They decided, with no dissent, to join with Cozy Corner. This unanimous decision was taken in a meeting attended by not less than 75 percent of the electors of the Franklin District.
Town Board Acts
Following this vote, the Franklin Board immediately applied to the town board to effect the consolidation and E.W. Lee, the town clerk, proceeded forthwith to the county seat to start rolling the consolidating process. The Franklin and Cozy Corner districts were proceeding through the town board in consequence of the opinion of Clayton Wright, the county superintendent, that this is the only feasible manner in which to proceed promptly and effectively.
These districts have also been advised that it will be necessary for them, after fully consolidated, to have a legal meeting of the unified district and to adopt there a budget and tax levy. Whether or not the unified district has voted a sufficient budget is not the deciding factor. The point is that the levy will be made over the entire unified district, and that the new portion of the district cannot be levied upon except as the electors resident there have joined in the decision as to the levy.
Reed Electors Hold Off
The electors of the Reed District, lying immediately east of the Neillsville – Pine Valley District, voted 19 to 8 against a present consolidation. This action was taken Monday evening at an adjourned annual meeting, and another adjournment was taken for two weeks. The electors will then gather again, in the hope that time will bring a clarification of the situation. It now appears that the electors had something in view, for even then the administrative officials of the state were working toward a softening of the seeming compulsion.
The 19 electors who voted against immediate consolidation were probably proceeding upon various reasoning. One reasoning certainly was that the situation was confusing and that there was no fun in being pushed around. The other was that there is a crop of babies on the way toward grade school and some of their parents like the idea of sending them to the substantial brick building owned by the district and hand to their homes. Among these was Calvin Gerhardt, who was chosen director to fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Harold Huckstead.
They are Working Out the Destiny of the “Suspended” Districts
Here are some of the officers of the suspended school districts, taken last week at the meeting in Greenwood: Front row, left to right: Alvin Roehl and Lester Lindow of the Pine Circle School; Elroy Broeske, Herman Braatz, Don Bersell, Clayton Wright, R.L. Barnes, A.E. Bauer and Howard Crossgrove. Of the seven last named, all are members of the county school committee except Mr. Wright, who is County Superintendent of Schools. Second row, Marvin Jahr and August Foemmel of Franklin district No. 5; Roy Portz, Mrs. Freeman McHone and Milton Rand, Cozy Corner; Albert Hilgert and Eric Amendt, Maple Ridge School; Isabelle Backe, Lillian Koplitz and Harry Baehr of Oak Vale School. Back row, Russell Roehl, Wally Rudall and Leonard Noeldner of Joint 6, Loyal and York; Marvin Tauchen, Paul Tischendorf of District No. 1, Mayville; Mrs. Conrad Barth, District 3, Town of Mead; A.C. Miller, Wallace Wood and Donald Hawks, Willowdale No. 5. The Clark County Press Photo.
Right to Spend $5
A point upon which most of the Reed electors had their backs up was their right to maintain their board organization and to keep their treasurer properly bonded. The bond of Arnold Drescher as treasurer expires August 2, and the board, consisting of Gerhardt, Drescher and the clerk, Mrs. Roy Suckow, signed a school order in the amount of $5 to pay the premium on the bond. When they signed they had no way of knowing that they would not be shot at sunrise, but it appeared later that they were being given a reprieve even when they thought their doom might be sealed.
But No Lawsuit
In postponing final action, the Reed electors took into consideration a communication from the Wisconsin Rural School Association, which advised deliberation and to not be scared into an undesired course. The electors did not, however, go the full length with that organization, which suggested that the district authorize a legal test and send $50 as the cost of helping to make it. Somebody along the line evidently did some figuring on the ambitious program thus outlined, for the number of suspended districts in Wisconsin is about 700 and $50 from each of them would amount to $35,000 – a very tidy war chest even for electors who do not want to be pushed around.
The Other Reasoning
The reasoning behind the eight votes for unification in the Reed District was evidently about this: The Reed District will inevitably and quite soon become part of the Neillsville High School District. Consolidation of the grades is trend. There is no point, ran the debate, in postponing a decision which is ultimately inevitable, and which has definite points of merit.
The sharp interest in the problem of the suspended districts was evident in the attendance at the Greenwood meeting of last week. That meeting was primarily for the 36 officers of the 12 districts, but the attendance was just under 100.
They Talked Together
A few of those attending privately expressed regret that there was not extended opportunity for them to relieve their feelings by adequate expression. Instead, they mostly listened while Mr. Wright told what the state authorities said had to be done. But if the disturbed electors did not gain the floor and address the whole gathering, they did collect in groups and relieve their minds to one another.
Jacob Hoesly Debates Taking Post of Mayor
Representation on City Council of the Second Ward is Involved
Jacob Hoesly, elected by the city council as mayor of Neillsville, is debating acceptance. Involved in his decision is the representation in the council of the second ward, of which he is currently alderman.
Upon the retirement of Leo Foster as mayor, Mr. Hoesly, as president of the council, automatically became the acting mayor. In that capacity he exercises all of the functions of mayor and at the same time is able to vote as the representative of his ward.
If he accepts the mayoralty, Mr. Hoesly would of necessity resign as alderman. The difficulty about that is that qualified candidates for the council are not easy to find.
Mr. Hoesly has at various times stated to his associates on the council that he would prefer to continue as acting mayor, but the other aldermen have been earnest in their desire that he become full mayor, without the word “acting” in front of him. His election at the last session of the council was unanimous, except for his own negative vote and was accompanied by verbal expressions of good will from all of his associates.
County Will Remodel Home for the Aged
A remodeling of the Beeckler home for the aged is projected by Clark County, which owns the property. The purpose, as outlined by the general property committee of the county board, is to make changes on the first floor in such manner as to accommodate some of the old people there. That would make possible the abandonment of the third, or attic, floor, as a place of habitation.
The remodeling includes a fire escape from the second floor, fireproofing the furnace room and installation of a bath on the first floor.
These changes have been necessitated by the requirements of the state authority, The license heretofore issued by the state provides for 12 inmates, a number reported to the general property committee as too small for profitable operation.
In view of the shortage of accommodations for the aged, the number has been stretched to 16, but the state is now requiring that the home receive only the licensed number. The remodeling is intended to make possible a license for 15 inmates.
Neillsville Hospital Births:
A boy to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Krause, Neillsville, July 14
A girl to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Mott, Neillsville, R1, July 15
Levis by Mrs. Fred Palmer
Seaman 2/c Bill Opelt and his wife came up from Key West, Fla., where he is stationed, to spend his furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Opelt.
A birthday party was held for Carl Opelt Friday evening. Those attending were Mr. and Mrs. Donald Schutte and son, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Opelt and family, Mr. and Mrs. Rudy Opelt and family, Mr. and Mrs. Bernie Opelt and daughter, Kenneth Opelt, Mr. and Mrs. Arne Opelt and family, Mr. and Mrs. Art Opelt, Mr. and Mrs. Louie Lautenbach and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Palmer.
Northern Clark County
Lt. and Mrs. Hubert Glenzer have returned to Owen from Jacksonville, Fla., where he has been stationed. After a visit with their respective parents, they will leave for Monterey, Cal., where he will be stationed.
Lt. Bill Niemi, who has been spending his furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Niemi of Owen, will soon be leaving for a camp in New Jersey and then will be sent overseas.
Work has been started on the new addition to the Clark County hospital at Owen.
Cadet David S. Loos, 21, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Loos of Colby, is attending air force maneuvers at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas.
Daughters were born to Mr. and Mrs. Harold Miller of Colby, July 9, and Mr. and Mrs. Edward Strathman of Colby on July 11.
Withee By Mrs. Harvey Rosenquist:
Friends were with the Albert Schultz family of Curtiss route last Wednesday evening, July 15, in honor of Mrs. Schultz’s birthday anniversary. They were Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Schultz and family, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Kuegler and daughters and Mrs. Bertha Kuegler of Dorchester route, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Rosenquist and daughters, Withee, Mr. and Mrs. Emil Laabs, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Klessig and Karen, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Kasper and family of Colby, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Ludwig, and Mr. and Mrs. George Peissig and family of Dorchester route.
Mr. and Mrs. Hjalmar Heikkinen have received word that their son Tovia was married on June 6. The newlyweds are making their home in Le Sueur, Minn.
Pvt. Ray Shannon of Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky, arrived for a week’s visit at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Warns. On return, he will go to New Jersey and then to Germany, where he will be stationed.
Mr. and Mrs. Pete Schaefer have sold their farm and are moving back to Neillsville soon.
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