UPDATE: Hamilton Board Member Misspells Name on Two Recall Petitions
Lynn Kristensen was first in hot water by certain Patch readers for signing the recall, and now for allegedly spelling her name incorrectly on both the Walker and Darling recall petitions. She commented on her signature and fiercely denied the rumors.
Editor's Note: This article was altered to include details about Kristensen misspelling her name on the Alberta Darling recall petition as well. Changed April 2 at 2:30 p.m.
After learning multiple village officials and a Hamilton School Board member signed the Gov. Scott Walker recall petition, rumors began sprouting about how a certain name was signed on the recall.
Hamilton School District resident Jeremy Halcomb called both Patch and the Sussex Sun on March 22 saying he believed board member Lynn Kristensen purposely misspelled her name on the recall petition so residents couldn't specifically search for her.
Halcomb also said that when he called to confront Kristensen, who's up for re-election on April 3, she allegedly lied and said she never signed the recall petition. When the rumor broke, comments flooded Kristensen's election profile page in Patch's Election Central section.
"Why would I have put my correct address down if I was trying to be misleading?"
"Lynn you're toast," wrote Steve ® in the comments. "These recall petitions are coming in mighty handy."
Sussex resident Rachel Holley Sciortino felt much different, writing, "Um, the last time I checked you didn't have to check you political beliefs at the door to serve in public office. This is America, right?"
On the recall petition Kristensen's name is listed as "Lynn Kirstense," however, her correct address in Menomonee Falls is listed. She signed her name the same way on the Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) recall in April of 2011 making critics even more upset about the alleged purposeful misspelling.
When questioned by the Sussex Sun, Kristensen sloughed said there was no attempt to mislead anyone.
"Why would I have put my correct address down if I was trying to be misleading? If it's spelled incorrectly, it's because of a data entry mistake," she told the Sun. "And, Lord knows, there has to be plenty of those. We're all human. I certainly did not. Honestly, I never assumed that that petition would be public. I kind of put that in the same vein as my ability to vote privately."
Kristensen recently commented on signing the recall petition, also mentioning she didn't know the list would go public. She told Patch:
"What happened to our right to privacy? What happened to the ability to have open dialogues without fear of hatred resulting from them? What happened to not only tolerating, but actually being able to appreciate, differing viewpoints? Those are the things that make us Americans and differentiate us from many other countries around the world. The toxic nature of the public forum in our state right now deeply saddens me."
Kristensen called Halcomb the next day to admit that was her name on the recall list, and she said "no" because she was initially caught off guard by his question, according to the Sussex Sun. She said Halcomb left a message on her answering machine, and after assuming his question would be about the district in general, she was "absolutely flabbergasted" when he asked about the recall.
"It's distressing to me, because this School Board election should not be a partisan race," she told the Sun. "This is about creating strong policies, and making wise use of taxpayer dollars that therefore result in a high-quality education, and makes us a desirable community whether you have children in the district or not. That's what I'm standing for, and that's what I wanted to talk to this guy about."
Halcomb's biggest concern when he contacted Patch was her stance on Act 10, which she addressed on her election profile page. She said:
"That Hamilton School District has always been fiscally responsible. We have already been able to implement changes that have cut costs, such as moving our employees' retirement benefits from defined-benefit to defined contribution, which saved us over $30,000,000. Provisions in Act 10 made that move possible. However, I feel that we won't truly be able to evaluate all of the effects of Act 10 until a good deal of time has passed. We can't know yet what impact it will have on our ability to attract and retain the highest quality staff, which I feel is critical to our continued success. I want Hamilton to be a school district where all parties feel valued - students, staff, community and taxpayers."