Some School Board Members Rebuff Moves to Keep Labor Costs in Check, Help with Darling Recall Instead

MacIver News Service | June 16, 2011

[Madison, Wisc… ] Local school board officials were among those who signed recall petitions against Senator Alberta Darling, the MacIver News Service has discovered.

Lester Spies, Vice President of the Germantown School Board , signed page 808 of the Alberta Darling Recall Petition.

Signing page 779 of the petition was the Vice President of the Menomonee Falls School Board (and Chair of the Personnel Committee) Gina Palazzari.

Leaders of the effort to recall Alberta Darling have cited her efforts to repeal collective bargaining privileges for teachers as the cause for their recall.

So some may find it ironic that school board members, charged with a fiduciary duty to seek the fiscal health of their districts, were trying to recall a state Senator who sought to give them the ability to keep labor costs in check.

Yet, Palazarri is also Assistant Director of the “Institute for Wisconsin’s Future,”  a group dedicated to championing “progressive” tax policies.

Palazarri was one of two board members who negotiated the two-year contract with the Menomonee Falls teacher union in May.

After the negotiations the Menomonee Falls School Board released some details of the agreement to the public, they did not release the full text of the agreement.

At the school board meeting, some board members admitted they had not even read the contract that they ultimately approved.

Radio Talk show host Mark Belling opened his May 23rd radio program talking about the Menomonee Falls contract vote, and hours later around a hundred taxpayers packed the school board meeting to voice their opposition to the pending agreement.

While others on the board expressed their hope that the budget repair bill would make this two year contract unnecessary, Palazarri moved to approve the contract The contract passed unanimously, which led to eruptions of “Shame!” from the crowd.

At the meeting, Palazarri blamed the audience saying “The bottom line is you elected us to do a job and this is one of the jobs we have to do, we listened to you.”