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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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 Post subject: Reaper of tax dollars
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:08 pm 
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A Letter to the Editor in the Sept. 28, 2010, Tomahawk Leader:

Elizabeth Burmaster, the Madison idiot that is now running Nicolet College in Rhinelander, is the one that started all of that stuff with the name of Tomahawk Hatchets. This arrogant reaper of tax dollars doesn't even know that a hatchet is an object and not an American Indian maiden's name. The one thing she does know well is how to blow our property tax dollars. Burmaster organized a retreat for 10 of the college's highest paid officers spending thousands of taxpayer dollars this past July at the exclusive Red Crown Lodge on Trout Lake. Burmaster had the college billed $3,708 for exclusive property use, including single occupancy lodging and recreation, conference, and dining facilities, and for meals and service charges. The retreat was billed as professional development meetings and took place July 21 and 22. The breakdown was $2,280 for the property use and lodging, as well as $810 for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a $618 service charge. The attendees are some of the highest paid staff members at the college. Burmaster makes $162,035 a year plus $50,673 in benefits for a total compensation package of $212,708. All totaled, the combined compensation package for those 10 Nicolet officials that attended the retreat is $1,503,111. With those kinds of salaries these "public servants" should be able to buy the own meals and given the scale of the facilities at the college there should have been at least one open conference room in open in July. If they needed privacy for their "Professional Development Meetings" shut the bleepin' door.

The Nicolet College Board of Trustees approved a budget containing a 3 percent tax levy increase for the 2010-11 fiscal year. This retreat's costs were billed to the 2011 budget. The 2010-11 budget approved in June totaled $20,680,328 on the tax rolls, or a 3.09 percent increase over last year. That amounts to a $111 tax on a home valued at $100,000. With 9.5% unemployment and 75 more folks being laid off at Harley-Davidson, Tomahawk certainly can't afford $3,700 meetings for these high and mighty educators.

The Nicolet Board should hang their heads in shame for hiring that WEAC, bought and paid for, Madison bureaucrat. Burmaster should resign and head back to "Mad City" or perhaps Bell, California.

Dave Ruten
Tomahawk


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:10 am 
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Nicolet College is a private college although it receives some public moneys. The letter writer seems to have a grudge against successful women rather than a valid complaint about the use of taxpayer money.

If you want to help save the college money, get on a board and come to the meetings and come with something constructive to do training and meetings. And leave your arguments over school mascots for another letter. It goes back long, long before Ms. Burmaster.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Quote:
Nicolet College is a private college although it receives some public moneys.


Some public money my foot, The town of Bradley alone supports it to the tune of around $500,000.00 each year. When you add in all the other townships and cities in the area that is a bit more than some. If they have money to waste then why are they raising the levy every year.

Me thinks you need to get your facts straight ! :roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Writing the Tomahawk School system implying that the name of their mascot was somehow discriminatory against people of American Indian descent was the first thing that brought my attention to Ms. Burmaster. It seemed to me that the Superintendent of Public Instruction and that department should have more important things to do than promote some political agenda at taxpayer expense....perhaps the education of Wisconsin's children. It also seemed to me that someone holding that State Superintendent's position should know the difference between a a small axe and a native American. Call that a grudge if you wish but I'll call it my opinion. Having a grudge against successful women must be some kind of joke, for I am surrounded by them. I take great pride in my very successful wife and three very successful daughters. All are Wisconsin taxpayers and three of those four successful women pay property taxes in the Nicolet district.

$3700 meetings at an exclusive resort billed to the college at taxpayer expense when in July the Lake Julia Campus is almost unoccupied is close to being criminal. Given the $1,500,000 pay role of the attendees if they were in need of "Professional Development" training they should be fired and replaced by true professionals. Professionals shouldn't be hard to recruit given the higher than average staff pay at Nicolet and the poor economy in Wisconsin.

Dave Ruten


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:08 am 
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You may want to use your mystical powers, beyond mind reading, to study the History of Nicolet College and Tech as well as its funding. Nothing private about it.

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This was taken from a PDF version of the school's annual budget. There is also an "Ethics" section within the same document. Makes for interesting reading for us poor folks without those all-knowing mystical abilities.


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