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3/30/2023 Letters to the Editor

Francour is honest, experienced, objective

To the editor: As a 24-year resident of Mequon-Thiensville and parent of three MTSD graduates, I deeply value our public schools as a community asset. I’ve had the opportunity to serve in roles ranging from classroom volunteer, PTO president, co-founder of the Alliance for Strong Mequon Thiensville School (ASMTS), a legislative advocacy group and chair of the task force that researched options for addressing the school funding deficit. Based on the committee’s findings, the school board made the difficult but necessary decision to close Range Line where my children attended. Through these experiences, I met and worked with incumbent Wendy Francour, who has been an integral part of numerous endeavors to support MTSD. Her energy and dedication were, and still are, contagious! I was thrilled when Wendy first ran for school board in 2014 because she brings a wealth of experience and dedication for educating ALL students in our community. Wendy is objective, analytical and insightful; collaborative, respectful, driven and not afraid to ask difficult questions or make difficult decisions. Wendy is approachable and accessible. She is “boots on the ground,” showing up to school events and activities, supporting both students and staff. Serving on a school board is hard work. Unlike some school districts, there is no monitory compensation, this strictly a volunteer job. There is a significant learning curve to understanding the relationship and boundaries between the board, administration, staff, local and state government. I’ve heard criticisms that reflect a lack of understanding, unfairly blaming school board members as well as administrators for decisions and issues over which they have no jurisdiction. Sadly, we’ve lost excellent board members as a result of an increasingly divisive environment. I am so appreciative of those board members who continue to serve. Please re-elect Wendy Francour! Nanci Schiman Thiensville A plug for positivity: Vote Barikmo and Francour To the editor: I intensely dislike negative campaigning. I strongly urge you to question anybody that focuses on what’s not great about someone, rather than focusing on what is good. Let’s promote positivity in our society. I researched candidates through a variety of means, taking all media sources with a grain of salt, as you need to do today. I also considered sources of funding, because there are a variety of groups and organizations out there, and even if they claim not to be biased, sometimes their sources of funding are. I am grateful to all the candidates that took the plunge to run for office. It is daunting. The League of Women Voters of Ozaukee County put together a wonderful School Board candidate forum, which strongly influenced my choices. If you cannot access the video, Charley Hanney wrote a nice overview in the 3/23 News Graphic. I will be voting for Wendy Francour and Kate Barikmo for Mequon-Thiensville School Board. I believe they are the candidates on this ballot that will do the best job for our schools; they believe in the value of public education. I will also be voting for Jodi Habush Sinykin for State Senate, for the same reasons: she believes in the value of public education and will fight for the shared revenue funding that school districts (and municipalities) deserve and need from our state budget. Nancy Urbani Mequon No one more qualified than Wendy Francour To the editor: Wendy Francour is a tremendous asset to the Mequon-Thiensville School District and our community as a whole. She has served selflessly in several capacities for over 20 years and has demonstrated consistent leadership as a member of the board for almost a decade. As a homeowner, parent of three and educator in the district, I can think of no one more qualified to continue in this role than Wendy. Ernie Millard Mequon

Do your homework before upcoming election To the editor: Over a decade ago, I had a reputation in the community for harassing the Mequon-Thiensville School Board and administrators, long before it became a national fad. And like those who do it today, I had the arrogance to think I knew best. Little did I know, I was groomed by a small and very active group of people in our community, people I had trusted for many years, who were helping with my husband’s mayoral campaign. I did not realize they were trying to kill two campaign birds with one stone. What a shameful time in my life. I had willfully and unwittingly spread their lies and disinformation. We were a propaganda machine, much like the one we have going across our country today. The picket fences of our great community have turned into picket lines. In reality, we possess award-winning schools and the most dedicated administrators and school board members. Like board member Wendy Francour. My first face-to-face meeting with Wendy was nearly 10 years ago, while I was still in attack mode. She had been newly elected. I thought of her as the enemy. But her kindness and acceptance threw me off guard. I liked her instantly, and she liked me too. She didn’t judge me. Wendy Francour welcomes all parents to voice concerns; she relies on her vast knowledge, professionalism, and compassion to allay fears and misconceptions. Wendy knows that parents are the strongest advocates for our children. She trusts and respects us, even the mean and angry ones like me! Wendy Francour’s dedication and skills are unsurpassed. We are blessed to have her on our Mequon-Thiensville school board. I fully support Wendy Francour for re-election. I hope all citizens take the time to research the candidates and vote to keep partisan politics out of our schools. Bridget King Mequon

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