The Nov. 16 article under Bob Skolnik’s byline regarding the contract extension for RBHS’ Principal Ms. Bylsma failed to address obvious questions:

Given the statement by Superintendent Skinkis “The goal is to get them on one-year contracts,” why did Mr. Skolnik not ask the obvious question: Then why are you delaying by a year, putting Ms. Bylsma on a one-year contract?

Another failure on the part of Mr. Skolnik was not asking why a one-year contract is the best approach. Mr. Skinkis’ statement that “most other public high school districts only have multi-year contracts for their superintendents,” is nothing more than “everyone else does it,” which certainly does not answer the question.

Similarly, there is no questioning why the superintendent deserves a three-year contract rather than a one-year as he intends to impose on those reporting to him (again ignoring the “everyone else does it” nonsense).

Finally in a state where the vast majority of private sector management-level employment is “at-will,” what is the logic to support granting contracts to public education management level employees?   

Both the Nov. 16 and Nov. 23 editions contain articles about energy aggregation, the first bylined by Jean Lotus regarding Brookfield and the second bylined by Bob Skolnik regarding Riverside. 

While there are some differences in the content (beyond changing the names of the towns and people), both articles come across as promoting the aggregation option – neither attempts to answer, or even ask the obvious questions:

What, if any, are the “downsides” to the village, its residents and/or small businesses?

Which, if any, municipalities have put this up for referendum and had it fail to pass?  If any, why was the referendum rejected?

Both articles quote rates provided by an energy broker (Mr. David Hoover) suggesting attractive annual savings.  However, in neither article did the reporter attempt to understand whether future rate quotes will lock-in the same (or greater) savings.  How do we know rates won’t skyrocket after the initial one or two-year period? 

Why is this an “opt-out” approach rather than “opt-in?” A cynic might suggest it is so that when the rates do skyrocket in the future residents will find it harder to change providers.

Finally, knowing the economic challenges faced by governmental bodies in general, why should any of your readers believe that either Brookfield or Riverside would be successful in continuing to arrange the best deal for residents and small businesses?

In conclusion, I thought these three articles were very atypical of The Landmark. 

While I expect this type of lazy, sloppy, incomplete reporting from “the other local paper,” I thought the Landmark was better.

Bill Nielsen