Opinion: Exceeding Expectations
Last Sunday, I wrote that it was shaping up to be an interesting week in the Village. Over the last seven days, Greendale has clearly “exceeded expectations” in the news department.
In a story that could probably only happen in Greendale, the outgoing Village President and incoming Village President were instrumental in the apprehension of “The Broad Street Burglar”. Remarkably, Saturday morning’s event was even caught on video by WTMJ-4.
As one Village leader joked on Everything Greendale’s Facebook page, “Good to see the President and Trustees working together!”
Village Manager Todd Michaels probably had the best quote on the subject, writing in a comment to Everything Greendale, “This is what Greendale is all about. The Police Department, President Hermes, Trustee Birmingham, are all class acts. This is why people come to Greendale and stay in Greendale. I am grateful to be part of this community.”
Over at the school district, word came on Wednesday that Superintendent John Tharp was seeking a new job and is one of three finalists for the top slot in the West Allis-West Milwaukee school district. This news clearly came as surprise to many.
Few seemed to know exactly what to make of the news of Tharp’s decision. Only a single school board candidate Kathleen Wied-Vincent has — so far — responded to Everything Greendale’s request for a comment on the situation.
“Hiring the superintendent is perhaps the single most important decision any school board makes,” Vincent wrote in a statement to Everything Greendale. “As a 25 year professional educator, I believe I’m well qualified to make a good decision if a new hire is needed or work with the current board and superintendent in what will clearly be a difficult situation.”
Remarkably, Tharp’s decision to seek a new position puts the school board in another no-win situation. It is another self-inflicted wound. They were also informed at Monday’s school board meeting about a $1 million budget hole they will have to fill for the 2015-16 school year. On the surface, the board appears paralyzed and out of their depth. They have been completely silent on both issues. Crickets.
It is worth noting that Tharp’s interview with the West Allis-West Milwaukee school district on Saturday was broadcast live and was available to stream on the web. The Greendale School Board could steal a page from that playbook.
All of this news comes at a time when the board was clearly taking a very hard look at Tharp’s job performance. Sources tell Everything Greendale that things have been extremely tense at the district’s central office for at least several weeks. A number of the district’s top administrators are rumored to be actively seeking new jobs outside of the Greendale Schools.
Did I mention that this all comes on the same week as the school board primary held on Tuesday? Joe Crapitto, Noelle Joers-Yanisch, Kathy Wied-Vincent and John Comiskey will vie for two seats in the spring election to be held on April 17.
It wouldn’t be surprising if at least one of the candidates is quietly wondering, “What am I getting myself into?”
Any way you look at it, it has been quite a week in our little Village. You simply can’t make this stuff up.