Thursday, August 03, 2006

Going Too Far...And in the Wrong Direction

The Ozaukee County Board has decided the best way to deal with a hiring decision at UW-Madison is to withhold funding from the UW-Extension.

Some members of the board are upset about UW-Madison’s decision not to fire Kevin Barrett, so they voted yesterday to cut funding for the UW-Extension by $8,427 – the same amount Barrett is being paid by UW-Madison this fall term.

This just plain doesn’t make sense. The goal of withholding the funding is to go beyond just symbolic actions such as a verbal resolution, its proponents claim.

Yet since the funding cut in no way impacts Barrett, UW-Madison, or even the UW System as a whole, how is it anything but symbolic?

The Ozaukee Board is encouraging every county in the state to also withhold $8,427 in funding, which would amount to a cut of over $600,000 for the UW-Extension if each county granted the request.

As a UW-Extension spokesperson noted: “The only people who will be harmed by this kind of cut in Ozaukee County or any other county will be our local 4-H kids, local farmers, local families, local businesses, local communities.”

Supervisor Joseph Sopko – who spearheaded the resolution – called this response by the UW-Extension a “scare tactic.” Sopko is in the Air National Guard and returned last September from a two-month tour in Afghanistan.

The Journal-Sentinel covered Sopko’s response after a few supervisors questioned whether this resolution pertained to the board’s mission:


At one point, Sopko's voice rose to a shout as he described his flight home from Afghanistan aboard a plane carrying coffins of military personnel killed there, as well as some who were wounded.

"Talk is cheap. This is an opportunity to hit them where it hurts. You're either with Joe Dean and I or you're against us," he shouted.


Talk about a scare tactic.


Blogger krshorewood said...

Well, it looks like Anakin Skywalker has spoken.

Looks like Sopko is dmismantling the very things he is supposed to be fighting for over there.

August 03, 2006  

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