Our view: Skyward decision, McDill refill hiccup sum up week

4:29 PM, May 3, 2013  |  Comments
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It was a busy week in Stevens Point with a changing of two seasoned guards at City Hall, a rejection heard round the state when Skyward's protest of losing a statewide contract was denied, and yet another hiccup in getting McDill pond refilled.

We also had what might be the only spring we get this year with sun and warm temperatures earlier this week before we had to bundle up again Friday.


On Tuesday, long-time city attorney Louis Molepske and comptroller/treasurer John Schlice left City Hall and their respective roles. Schlice retired and was replaced by Corey Ladick, while Molepske lost a close election to Andrew Beveridge in April.

Both men take with them a combined 70 years experience in their elected roles, and that kind of institutional knowledge cannot be replaced.

Public service is no easy task, and we applaud Molepske and Schlice for dedicating a bulk of their careers to it.

We also wish the newcomers Ladick and Beveridge luck in their time in City Hall.


If there is a silver lining to the Skyward bid rejection cloud this week, it is that local legislators are working together to protect jobs and future growth in Stevens Point, regardless if they are an "R" or a "D."

This week Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction rejected - for a second time - Skyward's bid to be the state's sole provider of student information software services in public school districts.

The Stevens Point-based company currently serves more than half the districts in Wisconsin, and has been named a preferred provider of the software in Washington state and Texas.

DPI awarded the single-vendor contract - which could be worth as much as $80 million during the next decade - to Minnesota-based Infinite Campus. Skyward argued in its protest that the process was flawed, and heavily favored Infinite Campus. Skyward was the only Wisconsin company to bid.

Skyward CEO Cliff King said he will move the company's headquarters - along with jobs and a planned physical expansion - out of Wisconsin if Skyward doesn't get the contract.

After the announcement on Thursday, Rep. Scott Krug, R-Rome, released a budget amendment to remove the almost $14 million from Gov. Scott Walker's 2013-2015 budget earmarked for switch to a single vendor system.

On Friday, Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, and Rep. Amy Sue Vruwink, D-Milladore, hosted a news conference at Skyward to lobby for the company's appeal.

It's that kind of bi-partisian support that might work to change the decision to keep jobs, and help grow the area's economy.


The first attempt to refill McDill Pond on Tuesday was over almost as quickly as it started.

The pond was drained to its river channel in the summer of 2011 so a leak in the dam over Highway HH in Whiting could be fixed.

Officials started the refill at 9 a.m. Tuesday then were told by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to stop just before 11 a.m. because a resident called to say there were geese nesting on the pond bottom.

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports