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
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
"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.