Complaints filed by an Oconomowoc resident against Superintendent Roger Rindo and Oconomowoc Area School Board President Don Wiemer alleging false information being presented by the district regarding costs associated with the upcoming referendum have been unanimously dismissed by the Wisconsin Elections Commission.
The district has refuted the allegations brought forth by Erica DeGlopper.
The complaints alleged that the district was making false statements with regard to the estimated tax increase for the proposed facilities referendum, which will be considered by residents on Nov. 8.
In correspondence to the district, Elections Commission Attorney Nathan Judnic wrote, “The Commission finds that Ms. DeGlopper’s complaints do not raise a reasonable suspicion that Mr. Wiemer or Mr. Rindo have violated Wis. Stat. § 12.05 through OASD’s publications, email updates, and press releases. The Commission dismisses Ms. DeGlopper’s complaints for failure to raise a reasonable suspicion that Mr. Wiemer and Mr. Rindo have violated Wis. Stat. § 12.05,” according to a release from the school district.
Throughout the past 22 months, the district has worked in consultation with its financial advisor, PMA Securities, Inc. (PMA). Final referendum cost estimates were sent to PMA for their assistance in establishing a debt structure and developing an estimated tax impact based on that structure, according to information from the district. .
The current debt service mill rate which district taxpayers are paying for our existing 2006 referendum debt is $0.98 per $1000 of property value. If the district taxpayers approve the Nov. 8, 2016, referendum, the estimated new debt service mill rate would not exceed $1.38 per $1000 of property value, according to the district.
Based on the financial data and assumptions used by PMA and as described in the District’s informational materials, the resulting maximum annual increase to the current debt service mill rate for the proposed new referendum debt is $0.40 per $1,000 of property value, or $40 on a $100,000 home, according to the district
“While we are certainly pleased with the unanimous decision of the elections commission, we are not at all surprised,” Rindo said. “The Oconomowoc Area School District has been open and transparent since the beginning of our facilities planning.
"Providing residents, parents and taxpayers with accurate and well-documented facts and information about the referendum project is a continuation of that approach and, we believe, the responsibility of the district when proposing a referendum to residents. The complaint was completely without merit, which the commission determined through a unanimous vote of its members, and the district.”
In a comment to this newspaper, DeGlopper said: "I stand by my complaint."