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Opinion: Purdah

Opinion: Purdah

Greendale, like Great Britain is now in the full throes of Purdah.


Purdah is the pre-election period, specifically the time between an election and the final election results. I didn’t even know there was such a word for it until I stumbled across it in this video.

When translated, it means there’s not much public action at Village Hall or the school district. That doesn’t mean important things aren’t simmering on back burners.

Village Hall did unleash the “Village Views” newsletter on our mailboxes this week. It featured a swan song edition of the “President’s Corner” from outgoing Village President John Hermes.

This was epic Hermes as he talked about his decision to “relinquish the presidency”. It included a laundry list of his accomplishments punctuated with dollar signs. It is fair to say he hasn’t perfected the humble-brag, even after three terms.

Hermes’ quarterly update in the newsletter had been a public bone of contention for at least some Village trustees who felt there was far too much opinion in his writings.

As a result there is a disclaimer at the end of his column, “Opinions/views reflected are those of the Village President and may not necessarily reflect the opinions/views of Village Trustees.”

I’m sure that disclaimer very much applies to his last installment.

The old-fashioned, dead-tree “Village Views” remains a major source of news in the community. It looks like the school district spruced up its “school connection” insert and I hear the Village portion of the newsletter could be due for a similar upgrade.

I was only able to attend a portion of the candidate forum on April 1. The energy level in the GHS multipurpose room was on a low dimmer and audience attendance was down from the February primary forum. It was a group of 50 or so “usual suspects” as one attendee put it.

Greendale School Board Candidate Forum, April 1, 2015

Greendale School Board Candidate Forum, April 1, 2015

The April forum was professionally conducted and, well, just boring as heck. I know I am not the only attendee who thought so. There were questions for the four candidates with a two-minute response time allotted for each answer to insure succinct answers.

Here’s a suggestion: How about allowing each candidate to ask one question that they answer first and then all the other candidates will answer? That could be interesting.

As I’ve written before, any real drama is likely to occur in the race for Anne Szcygiel’s seat.

It will be interesting to see whether John Tharp can deliver that seat to newcomer John Comiskey or if voters believe that Noelle Joers-Yanisch has paid her dues. Perhaps, Kathleen Wied-Vincent will deliver an upset. We shall see on Tuesday, April 7.

People have started making up their minds.

Everybody loves a parade. But somehow I think pancakes must be a close second. The Lions Club will be holding a pancake breakfast on Sunday, April 12. That’s the second week in a row I’ve mentioned an activity organized by the Lions. They are a busy bunch and the breakfast is for a good cause.

Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday.

A Parting Gif




About The Author

Bill Attewell

Bill Attewell is the editor and publisher of Everything Greendale. He has over 20 years experience as an award-winning newspaper editor, writer and publisher. His work has been read in in over 50 publications across the U.S. and abroad. Bill is a long-time resident of Greendale and a Greendale High School alum. Go Panthers!


  1. barb

    Too bad someone didn’t want name, address & phone number and backed out of the race, but still got over 800 votes. What does that say???

  2. Space Cowboy

    I’ve decided! I’m voting for none of the above!

    • Richard

      We’re voting for The Incumbent so he can clean up and live with the mess he has brought to the school system. Go Joe! How does it feel to be the village…

  3. Keeping it Real

    Ironic that it is mentioned that Hermes put too much opinion in his writings, kind of like the pot calling the kettle black with that statement, right Mr Attewell? 🙂

    • The Conservative Voter

      Except that Mr. Attewell is not speaking as an elected officer in an official capacity, and everything that is opinion is labelled “opinion.” So, other than that, there is no distinction between Mr. Hermes’ self-aggrandizing puff pieces (paid for by the Village) and Mr. Attewell’s reporting of facts on a private website.

    • Richard

      Keeping it Real,
      Attewell publishing your post shows tolerance of “correspondents” and letting you speak your piece so we all know where you are coming from.

      The board of trusties race is a fixed game of 4 libs’, who ever “wins” gets to live with and clean up and ultimately answer to the people for the mess we all see now.

      • Keeping it Real

        Richard, where am I coming from? I only jest with Mr. Attewell as his opinion comes through in his reporting too! I never attacked him or trashed his reporting or style. So please tell me where I am coming from?

        And while you are at it, instead of hiding behind a blog and criticizing everyone that runs or serves on a board, why do you run for a position. You seem to have all the answers based on your posts here! I think you could fix everything in Greendale!

        • Richard

          The inability of politicians to grasp the obvious truth is a constant in public life. Why spend quality time with the few who will be willing to put up with the public ridicule and humiliation to be elected when what is obvious to all of the correspondents including Keeping it Real.

          Prediction on todays vote: The Incumbent and the non teacher challenger. Best choices available to anyone who doesn’t want a board of trusties made up of more teachers. Then the work of cleaning up the mess.

  4. Community Radical

    We wish John Hermes well in his new journey.

    Voting only for Cominski. Save Dr. Tharp.

    • WI Mother

      CR..Oh, please!!!

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