TORKELSON'S COMP.-- $168,641
Salary -- $137,937; Benefits -- $30,704
(2nd highest paid of state's 424 administrators)
ACT AND DPI SCORES -- 16.6 & 61.9
(Lowest of 21 Northern WI schools)
MERCER $25,281
Wisconsin $12,842

National $10,667

Sunday, October 29, 2017

It May Be Now or Never
Have you ever wondered why Mercer School District Administrator Erik Torkelson is obsessed with trying to get Christa Reinert off of the School Board?  Christa has relentlessly tried and repeatedly been denied --- and harassed in the process – of obtaining public school information to which she, as a school board member and as our elected representative, is entitled to by law.
A comment which Christa posted Sunday under the Mercer School Facts 10/27/17 blog “School Records, DPI Data Verify “Real” Email Messages” says it all.  Out of concern that the comment would be lost, MSF posts the following complete and sincere message from Christa:
To my supporters and skeptics, I ran on the premise of transparency, for the students, staff and the tax payers. I repeatedly am not given the information I have asked for. I asked for the composite ACT Aspire scores for the Freshman/Sophomore classes - DENIED, yet I received them last year. A detailed financial outline of Fund 80 spending (Fund 80 budget was less than $4,000 before Erik's tenure, his first year as administrator he budgeted $257,000, in 6 years exceeding $1.5 million dollars) - DENIED. I've asked for a year end 16/17 Fund 80 expenditure - DENIED, I was told it's being audited except it’s audited annually and the DPI assured me I should be able to get a copy. I've asked for an explanation of Erik's payroll totaling over $137K for 16/17 when his contract plus benefits should not exceed $116K - DENIED. In fact Erik sent me an email stating that my questioning of him is the very definition of harassment and he cannot perform his job duties in this unsafe environment. According to the DPI, I am his boss and they told me he needs to answer questions when his boss asks. And my list goes on! Historically, these people have harassed me to the extreme going back to the orchestrated Restraining order hearing (when Erik and Deanna testified against me while our children were enrolled in Mercer school), our daughter not finishing her Freshman year of school because of severe bullying she was undergoing with some coaching staff and students she was friends with for a decade of her life, the July 2016 meeting when Nancy Lundquist was encouraged to accuse me of stealing her maps during public comment(Spee Dee delivery got the address wrong), the September meeting when Ms. Kohegyi broke a federal and state law (the DPI confirmed with me she did and so did the school's own attorney) when she read the pre-written essay disclosing the transfer of our children out of this school. This is just the tip of ice berg!! To all of you parents in Mercer school district I want you to know my primary concern is for your kid's education and their future. I know most of the high school enrollment and I genuinely feel heartbroken when I see ACT scores 16.6 - all those students are smarter than this and deserve more from Mercer school. Standing up for your kids' is your right as a parent and I want to encourage you to do so before it's too late. To all of you who support me, I can't win this battle alone so please get involved.
Sincerely, Christa A. Reinert, parent, business owner, 6 parcel tax payer, 21 year community and school supporter and Mercer BOE Member.

Do attend and speak up the 5 p.m. Monday night School District budget hearing, the annual meeting, and, probably most important of all, the School Board meeting which follows, if you are dissatisfied with:
·         Our children receiving a substandard education (e.g. ACT results);

·         Being denied  public information which could show how your tax dollars are being wasted and where they are really going;

·         Allowing the administrator to take home pay and benefits of $168,641, some of it, including an $11,000 bonus, without any apparent School Board approval;

·         Accepting another punitive and unwarranted school tax increase which will cost you $63 per $100,000 more for 20 years;

·         Seeing the continued harassment, of Christa Reinert who was elected by 452 of us to restore accountability and transparency to the school.
This could be a critical time to try to change the dangerous and destructive course the school district is on.  BE THERE AT 5 P.M. MONDAY!


Anonymous said...

Torkelson knows no limits as to what is right and what is wrong. But his actions make it crystal clear that he does not belong in any public capacity.

Freedom of speech is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.

What is wrong with the other school board members that they won't stand up for what is morally, ethically, and legally right? Could it be that they are lacking the ability or knowledge to know right from wrong?

Mercer residents it now time to stand up for what is right and support Christa. Turn this this travesty into a win-win situation for students and taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Come on Mercer, don`t make yourselves out to be laughing stocks to us in the surrounding areas! Speak up and take back your school! We can`t believe what has been going on and you are letting it when you have the power to change it! Don`t sit back and let the other guy do it because you have a responsibility to do what`s right each and every one of you!

Anonymous said...

After having attended last nights Mercer School Board Meeting, all I can say is that I am both alarmed and disturbed by the actions of Administrator Torkelson and Mercer School Board members; Pierpont, Pierce, Brandt, and Koheygi.

They have again proven by their actions and behavior that they should not be in any public capacity.

Anonymous said...

Went to the fiasco of a school board meeting yesterday. It is a prime example of
"double standard". In the dictionary it is defined as, "a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups."

Wouldn't it be easier just to show a picture of Torkelson and his gang of the Mercer School Four.

Anonymous said...

I attended the annual budget meeting last. I was amazed ar the animosity of both board members and audience members toward regular citizens toward fellow taxpayer who attempted to ask questions. Most controversy seems to be regarding Fund 80. It's obvious our school board does not realize how much easier their jobs would be if they gave full disclosure rather than just a list of what the fund provides for. But I did hear some interesting comments. Board member Kohegyi told Christa that all the numbers are in the office and she has been told to come in and go over them. Did I hear that right? I also heard Mr Torkelson say that next year he will provide a detailed Fund 80 breakdown if the Board directs him to. Key words being "if" the board directs him to.
I also heard both Mr Torkelson and chairperson Pierpont say that they are not required or obligated to give us the breakdown on Fund 80. Instead we were read a list of all the services it provides. When questioned on the sidewalk snow plowing we were told that the school had entered into an agreement with the town to provide snow plowing in return for the town installing a chain link fence at the community park, which has not been done. I do not understand why the school or town would barter for a fence at the park that the Town already is responsible for. And common sense after 3 or 4 winters of snow cleaning, when barter partner has not honored their end of the deal, it's time to re-examine the agreement. Instead we were told the Town has contacted the school about doing more plowing. This is not good business sense.

Anonymous said...

What Torkelson and HIS school board – not including Christa Reinert, of course – is doing has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. We MUST must get rid of this guy for the sake of our kids and Mercer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous on October 31, 2017 at 9:46 PM

Certainly you cannot really mean Sublime? The definition for sublime is, "of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe."

In no way does it deserve this. It is more of a NIGHTMARE.

I fully expect to see a documentary of this titled "NIGHTMARE ON MARGARET STREET".