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Letter to the Editor: Lynn Kristensen Reflects on the Election

Hamilton School Board member Lynn Kristensen writes to Patch explaining her post-election emotions, thoughts on Brian Schneider and signing the Gov. Scott Walker recall.

Dear Editor,

I want to say thank you to all those who supported me and provided encouragement. Their thoughtfulness has truly overwhelmed me. I feel good that we ran a clean campaign and focused on the issues that really matter to the .

I appreciate the opportunity to state my side of the story and to clear the air in this matter now that the election is past. I was unwilling to engage in a war of words during the lead-up to the election - preferring to let my work speak for me. Unfortunately, the efforts of the opposition , that is something I regret.

The things that are being printed and said about me over the airwaves as "facts" are not true. I did sign the petition. I NEVER falsified or fraudulently signed my name on anything, at any time. The copies of the petition show a missed last letter - never intentional on my part. The reversal of the "r" and "i" are clearly a data entry error when it was input to the database.

The bottom line is that I made a mistake when ambushed by a bully.

My signature is valid and authentic, as is my address. I deeply resent the untruths being perpetuated as fact. They simply are wrong. Contrary to some statements - I've done nothing illegal.

The bottom line is that I made a mistake when ambushed by a bully. I think most people have experienced something like that in their life - being caught completely off-guard - but I'm guessing most haven't had to deal with their reaction being taped surreptitiously.

In the days before our conversation, at my home, asking to discuss issues of the school district, and that was what I was prepared to discuss with him. At no time did he indicate, in the messages he left, a question about my political philosophies. In my surprise, I responded poorly to his repeated questions about the recall petition during our initial conversation, out of fear and in an attempt to protect myself and my family.  

Upon reflection, my integrity led me to call him back to right my wrong the next day. Aside from my initial misstatement, I did nothing wrong. Isn't that what we teach our kids?

Everyone makes mistakes, and when you do, own it and make it right. I did that. While I'm not proud of the choice I made in that moment, I'm not ashamed of wanting to protect myself and my family and I am proud that I took corrective action. And clearly, my fears were well grounded - as the revelation of my personal political beliefs resulted in my complete character assassination in the media and has wreaked tremendous havoc on my family, in particular my children.

Everyone makes mistakes, and when you do, own it and make it right. I did that.

In my opinion, there is no room for partisan politics on a School Board. Take any issue that our district has faced since I've been on the Board.... at first blush, we may have seven different viewpoints of the issue. But through open dialogue, respectful sharing of ideas and truly listening to each other, we reach a consensus that we can support.  

That is how things get done - by showing respect for everyone's ideas and listening - really hearing - what everyone has to say. Just because you may disagree with someone on an issue doesn't mean that they're totally wrong or you're totally right. It's via open discussion, with trust, that you can actually gain new perspectives and get things accomplished. That is what we have been able to do during my years on the Board.

The district is at the . I am proud that I have been a part of that success. I would love to understand what needed "fixing" that inspired my detractors to plot to unseat me.

Few have questioned or even supportive of the efforts in our schools or district suddenly pops up, endorsed by an entity with an exclusive focus on reducing taxes and supported by two men, Jeremy Halcomb and Steve Welcenbach, both of whom have chosen to send their own children to private schools outside the district. Personally, I question their motives. One has to wonder what the goals of such individuals are in a district that clearly is succeeding for all stakeholders.  

I would love to understand what needed "fixing" that inspired my detractors to plot to unseat me.

I am hopeful that this district will remain strong. We have an outstanding superintendent and administration, teachers and staff that are the best around and students hungry to learn and achieve. The Board works to be proactive and plan for the future. I wish the district good luck. I hope Mr. Schneider will be able to check his partisan politics at the door when he takes his oath of office.  

There is no room for a personal political agenda in representing ALL of the participants in this district.  I believe it is his charge to stand not only for the taxpayers, but just as strongly for students, parents, staff and the community at large. Balancing these elements is the key to a healthy, strong school system and has been the backbone of our success. I took that charge to heart and will always be proud of what we accomplished while I served this community for the past six years, both in terms of fiscal responsibility and student achievement.

Signed

Lynn Kristensen 

Luke April 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Steve<<<Who the hell are Erin and Ryan? I don't have any kids and have no idea who all the rest of your gibberish is really intended for.>>> Apparently these people who are accusing others of a "witch hunt" are collecting all the information they can to smear the names of everyone they possibly can, because it would be wrong if you did so, but not if they did so. Now they have some theory about us hanging out at the home of someone named Phil Ritter. I'm there right now with your three kids, along with Elvis, JFK and Amilia Earhart.
JD April 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM
I totally agree. Whether you spelled your name right or not is not the point. You signed a public record that shows me that do not support fiscal responsibility. That is why we voted you out.
Emily April 10, 2012 at 02:06 PM
If I was thrown out of an office I deserved I'd ask why people were doing this as well! And not the constituents-though I believe your reasoning is ridiculous, you've made it very clear why you voted her out (even pointlessly after the election is over). She wants to know why Mr. Schneider-as opposed to anyone else-wanted this position. What did she do while on the board to deserve to be kicked off? What will he be bringing to the school board? As Mark Hoppus said above-he can't even vote 95% of the time because of his brother. Seems like he'll be doing a lot of good. At least she fessed up when she made a mistake. She could have taken the lie farther, pretended it wasn't her and spiraled the whole things out of control. But of course she wouldn't do that. She fessed up and admitted her wrongdoing. A commendable action when you know your livlihood is on the line. I'm not doing any smearing. The elections over and I said nothing bad against the man. But simply-good luck. Karma hurts sometimes. Her family has accepted it-do you see them campaigning any more? This letter is proof that she accepts what happened. And yes, you have temporarily 'ruined' the Kristensen family. Luckily they're strong and will get up keep moving forward to do something good for the world.
MSo32 April 10, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Steve Hey Steve Welcenbach....do you really need to trademark your name? Oh, I get it...that's so when you forget it you'll know where to go....nice flag too
Steve ® April 10, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Say HI to Santa clause while your there for me. Give him a big shout " RECALL Santa: I didn't get what I wanted"
Steve ® April 10, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I'm not Steve Welcenbach and have no idea who he is. You guys need to lay off the kool aid. I am the 1%, we do that kind of stuff
Steve ® April 10, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Well since this letter was posted April 9th, yesterday, and I was out on vacation all last week I'd say these comments are pretty relevant Emily. Nice of you to show up. I can answer some of these for ya ►Do you all realize that the election is over?◄ Yep, I have a calender. ► over something that can no longer change◄ Yep, recall signatures are public data forever. ►Does constantly beating down other people with no cause in sight make you feel better about yourself?◄ A public official caught in these lies and signing an unpopular recall will receive public reaction. Welcome to the internet enjoy your stay. ►Does this help you sleep at night?◄ I don't have an issue with falling asleep ►Does it make a positive influence on the community?◄ Yes ►Are you doing anything to change anything?◄ Yep, voted. Thanks to this many had a clear informed vote this time around about your friend Lynn.
Emily April 10, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Good job missing the entire point of what I said. Props to you.
Steve ® April 10, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I got the point. You supported Lynn, defended her lies, got caught defending her actions when all the facts were made clear and now you want this all to be swept under the rug as fast as possible. It's politics. Max two week lifespan
Tony April 10, 2012 at 07:56 PM
"Its not a lie if you believe it" - George Kastanza
Luke April 10, 2012 at 08:18 PM
@Emily <<<At least she fessed up when she made a mistake. .>>> She told another lie, And then she went to the papers and told them a lie. No one that supports her can make a defense that makes sense of what she is saying, and they don't claim that they can. <<<She could have taken the lie farther, pretended it wasn't her and spiraled the whole things out of control>>> That's exactly what she did. Shall we go back over the facts?
MSo32 April 10, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Nice denial Welcenbach, stay tuned, I'm sure your kids are proud of the mad scientist
LAtwater April 11, 2012 at 03:25 AM
The liberal playbook on full display 1) When caught, deny even in the face of irrefutable evidence 2) Play the victim card 3) Try to deflect by attacking your opponent (Alinsky) 4) Claim a vast, right-wing conspiracy is out to get you.
Emily April 11, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I didn't 'get caught' doing anything. I'll admit to anyone that I supported her, and basically everyone that knows me knows I did. I'm not trying to sweep anything under a rug. I'm just honestly confused as to why this banter is continuing after the fact of the election. At this point you're just talking to hear yourself talk, because what's coming out of your mouth can have no impact on the future. and Luke, these 'facts' you want to go back over, aren't real facts. do i want to go over your opinions again? no. you've made your point very clear, and i respect it as an opinion.
Luke April 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM
@Emily <<<. I'm just honestly confused as to why this banter is continuing after the fact of the election.>>> Maybe it's because the Letter To The Editor above was posted 48 hours ago, because Lynn wanted us to see it. Ya think? <<< and Luke, these 'facts' you want to go back over, aren't real facts. do i want to go over your opinions again?.>>> No, we can go over LYNN'S opinions again. You said that she lied once and corrected it. Yet no one that has heard the recordings will step up and defend what she said to the Sussex Sun as truth (not to mention the lie in the second phone call), because it is obvious to her most ardent defenders that she told the reporter yet another lie. Not even ONE single person has come forward and attempted to make sense of that glaring problem. It is so obvious and clear that I fear that some people may gouge out their eyes and ears to avoid seeing it and hearing it.
Steve ® April 11, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Thank you. Since I am not who your crazy head thinks I am it was pretty easy to come up with.
Menoparent April 11, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I am in the Falls school district, I find this talk here against her to be personally hateful towards her and her family. She was right in wanting to protect her family. If you want to vote her out because she signed the recall, fine, but don't bully her and slander her like she committed a crime. I've seen this in our own district even when they didn't misspell their name. This is why it's so crazy to publish this recall list to the public and to even allow someone to lookup someone by name too! Many will be discriminated against for this not only in an election but it's privacy, you know their name and address! I really felt for Kristenten when I first read this article after the election night and I really feel the hate and anger from the other side will only prove to be on the wrong side eventually. Whatever happened to voting respectfully without slandering.
Steve ® April 11, 2012 at 02:22 PM
►but it's privacy, you know their name and address!◄ ever herd of the white pages?
Bert April 11, 2012 at 06:47 PM
These clowns all think they're mini-Limbaughs. They all think that it's OK to (anonymously) de-humanize and say utterly despicable things about their neighbors, because they hear Rush do it. Their ring leader Belling called one of the MF school board members a "whore" on his radio show. The lemmings on this board jumped right in with the name-calling on these boards. There's not a thinking brain among them. It's all the same garbage, regurgitated every time. They have no concept of respecting their own neighbors, respecting the work people do in the community. Most of them have no idea what it is they're even angry about. (Note - not one of the lemmings ever could answer my question about what specifically in the dreaded MF teacher's contract they didn't like - I doubt a single one read it. But, achieving all of the financial benefits of Act 10 without actually shoving done teachers' throats just wasn't good enough for some). But, not to worry. When these people see those of us with different opinions than they at Pick N Save or at the LL Complex, they'll smile and say nice things, pretending not to be the hate-filled nut jobs they really are.
Luke April 11, 2012 at 08:19 PM
@Menoparent <<<Whatever happened to voting respectfully without slandering.>>> Slandering involves saying something false about somone. Lynn went public to the Sussex Sun and told a story. When the story went public the recordings of the actual conversation went public. Now there isn't a single person left that will defend her comments to the Sun as truth. There is no slander. People are just pointing out the obvious to other people who are being selective regarding what they are paying attention to. The irony is that Lynn took this opportunity to take another shot at the reputations of other people while scolding them for doing the same . But those people told the truth. What I've been observing is that people who defend her keep talking about feelings, but not the facts. You have every right to vote according to your feelings without regard to the facts.. Others will let the facts guide their feelings. End of story.
Luke April 12, 2012 at 12:15 AM
One more thing.......EVERYONE involved has kids. Think about that.
LAtwater April 12, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Luke - you are spot on. The only slander here is coming from Lynn. She attacks Schneider, his involvement in the schools and his 'partisan politics', but has she even talked to him about these things. I doubt it. She calls Halcomb a 'bully' who 'ambushed' her, but if you listen to the call he basically just asks her three questions and really is quite amicable throughout the call. She goes on to attack him and Welcenbach because they don't have kids in the district schools, as if that should somehow disqualify them from being involved. So basically she smears her 'opponents' - hypocritically engaging in the very behavior she bemoans. And to top it off, she continues to be dishonest, talking about data entry errors and her signature when it was her PRINTED name on TWO petitions. And she doesn't even address why she signed the Darling petition when she didn't live in Darling's district (which I believe is a crime). It's to the point where it appears Lynn is disconnected from reality, still not realizing that the tapes of the phone calls and the actual petitions she wrote on are available for all to see and hear. Maybe Lynn should go listen to the calls and look at the petitions herself - it might help to cut through the fog of rationalization she has created for herself, help her come to grips with her actual behavior, and then move on with her life.
Craig April 12, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Bert you are being an idiot again. I as well as others answered your questions. You either can not read well enough to know it, or you chose to ignore it. I do not listen to Rush or Belling. But I agree with Belling regarding the MFSB member.
Steve ® April 12, 2012 at 01:53 PM
► but it's privacy, you know their name and address! ◄ ever herd of the white pages?
MSo32 April 13, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Luke Don't you have a brother who has a record
Sue Faust April 13, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Oh my goodness...this stuff is better than reality tv. Are ALL small town publications like this. You are actually trying to guess each others identities, "out" each other's children and besmirch each others families. WOW. Note to self...NEVER express an opinion on this board!!
Luke April 13, 2012 at 05:47 AM
@MSo32 <<<Don't you have a brother who has a record>>> Perhaps in his attic. But when CDs came out he probably got rid of them. He really doesn't listen to much music these days, so I doubt that he uses an MP3 player.
Luke April 13, 2012 at 05:48 AM
Relax. It's like being chased by the Keystone Cops. (I hope you are old enough to appreciate the reference.)
Luke April 13, 2012 at 06:04 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_Cops Scroll down to the "In popular culture" section.
Luke April 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLsgKSGR32c&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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