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School Board to discuss phase 3 of the sports complex at next meeting

The SDMA school board meeting on January 24th drew some attention this past week. Three former school board members sent a letter to the Eau Claire Leader Telegram raising issues of transparency. A transcript of that letter appears at the bottom of this post. (Without a subscription to the Leader Telegram, readers cannot access the letter through a link, which is why it's included here.)

WQOW followed up and covered the issue on their newscast Tuesday evening. The video and story can be found here. It includes Superintendent Joe Zydowsky's response.

The issue at hand involves the $2.6 million phase 3 of the MHS Sports Complex at the high school. Three current members of the school board raised concerns at the January 24th meeting about moving forward with the improvements without more discussion, as it was included in the 30-year maintenance plan. The board decided that a separate review and discussion of the sports complex additions of bleachers, a press box, concessions stand, bathrooms, and artificial turf will take place at the meeting on February 14th.

School board meetings referenced can be found on the WisCommunity YouTube channel. A link to the 1/24/22 meeting can be found here, and a link to the 1/10/22 meeting can be found here.

From the Eau Claire Leader Telegram Voice of the People 2/8/2022:

One of the most unethical and corrupt actions ever undertaken at a school board meeting in the state of Wisconsin occurred at the Jan. 24 meeting of the Menomonie school board.

Buried in a 30-year maintenance plan and hidden from the taxpaying public were the plans for a $2.3 million expansion to the sports complex at the high school. Also hidden from both the school board and the taxpaying public was the fact that Superintendent Joe Zydowsky and Athletic Director Perry Myren had already worked with an architect firm to develop plans for expansion without the approval of the school board. We would like to thank school board members Tanya Husby, Clint Moses and Amy Riddle-Swanson for calling out the concerns of Zydowsky’s actions.

By hiding a major new expense in a maintenance plan and burying it in the secret part of the online agenda, Zydowsky and school board President David Styer openly demonstrate their complete disrespect for taxpayers. These two are treating taxpayers as a group to be fleeced rather than recognizing that it is the role of taxpayers to hold them accountable.

Styer and Zydowsky also prove they put their own personal agendas ahead of the needs of all the students in the school district. As former school board members, unfortunately, we are not surprised by the actions of both Zydowsky and Styer. During our tenures on the school board, we observed many lies, unethical actions and even actions of dubious legality by both Zydowsky and Styer. When we attempted to hold them accountable, Zydowsky and Styer vigorously defended each other so there was no accountability for their actions.

Zydowsky is unfit to be the superintendent and Styer is unfit to serve on the Menomonie school board. It’s time for them to go.

Jim Swanson, Daniel Paulson, Tricia Thompson

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