Cost per student Mercer $26,433,
Wis. $13,505, Nation $11,762
ACT comp. score Mercer 17.0,
Wis. 19.6, Lakeland UHS 20.0,
Hurley 18.7; perfect score 36.0
Mercer DPI Report Card score
lowest of all 421 Wis. districts

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


The Finale -- Part 3 -- September 27, 2016


(Fast forward to the year 2070 and a space capsule living room in the thriving city of Merceropolis.)

Young Girl: Grandpa, tell me about the lynching which happened here back in
2016.  I tried to find out about it in the archives of a thing called the Mercer school board minutes, but I couldn't find anything.

Grandpa:  Well, Erika, that was a long time ago when many people in Mercer did not pay much attention to what was going on, and a lot of bad things were happening in the school district.  You know, public records and open meetings violations, huge unexplained and unjustified salaries and expenses and things like that. 

Young Girl:  But, Grandpa, tell me more about the lynching.  I read that some people called it character assassination.

Grandpa:  As best as I can recall, an attempt was made to skewer an honest and nice lady member of the school board who was trying to represent the citizens of Mercer by obtaining public information that was being withheld from the public.

Young Girl: Didn’t they have a thing back then called the Freedom of Information Act, which required them to make public everything they did?

Grandpa:  Yes, but that did not seem to matter to the school board or many Mercer citizens who, as I said, were willing to let it happen – something that couldn’t happen today. They called that September 26, 2016, meeting of the school board a date that will live in infamy.

Young Girl: Grandpa, whatever happened to that Mercer school?  I could not find any information about it between 2011 and 2019.

Grandpa:  That was a dark period for the school when there was a reign of mismanagement and misspending and the kids were deprived of a proper education.  Many good people of Mercer wanted that memory erased.  Thankfully, the corrupt board members were ousted, and a new honest school board and administrator began to set things right.

(Now flash back to September 27, 2016, and the monthly meeting of the school board in question.)

The lynching, which the young girl referred to, took up almost 30 minutes of the hour-long school board meeting.  But the meeting minutes, which young Erika could not find, contained only six words about the whole disgraceful event. 

The first part of the “character assassination” on the agenda called for the district administrator to attack the nice lady school board member for daring to ask for public records of school staff salaries.   As a member of the school board, she should have had routine access to such information. 

The district administrator said her request was “extremely unorthodox” and that he had never heard of anything like it before.  Of course, he had, when he and the school district were found guilty of an earlier violation of the Freedom of Information Act and ordered to pay a fine and legal costs of more than $5,000.

The administrator also said that he had already provided the requested salary information, which he had not.  Faced with another guilty finding, he surrendered the requested information 18 days later.

The rest of the meeting also included nonsensical, non-school related attacks against the nice lady by another school board member, who was a close relative and enabler of the administrator. 

September 27, 2016: A Mercer school board meeting that will live in infamy*. 

*A date that will live in infamy” was used by FDR to describe the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.



  1. Steve Botes is the new school board member being appointed Monday.

    1. Steve would be an excellent choice.

  2. I guess we are going back to our old ways, ultra conservative Mercer townies running everything again.

    1. If you do not want ultra conservative Mercer Townies running things, why didn’t you put your resume and express interest in filling the school board seat? Or why didn’t you run for a seat on the town board, town clerk or town treasure? I would hope that people would refrain from complaining about the state of things if they are not going to get involved . Attend meetings, ask to be on committees, run for positions on boards, write letters etc....... Please be part of the solution instead of constantly complaining and putting others down. (Just because others have put people down before is no excuse)

  3. Did you really expect things to change for the better in Mercer?

  4. Vilas County Case Number 2020FA000081 In RE the marriage of Joy Lynn Torkelson and Erik David Torkelson
    Maintenance waived by both parties. Cash equalization payment to Petitioner by Respondent. The martial home has been refinanced. Respondent's financial statement has been waived by the court. Petitioner may restore the former surname of Kohegyi. The marital settlement agreement will be incorporated into the findings of fact conclusion of law and judgment. Court grants final judgment of divorce. FTR: 9:13:48