MEQUON, Wis. - The effort to replace four Mequon-Thiensville School District (MTSD) board members is getting intense – and gaining national attention – as the Nov. 2 recall election nears.
Early voting began this week. Hard-to-miss yard signs when entering Mequon have become symbols for two sides with very different ideas for the MTSD board.
The recall election for the four school board members has drawn people into politics.
"I have never attended a rally. I’ve never publicly endorsed a candidate," said Nancy Urbani, treasurer of Coalition to Support MTSD.
With blue-and-white signs, Coalition to Support MTSD, was formed to support the incumbent school board members.
Mequon-Thiensville School District board members facing recall
Those four are now being challenged after enough signatures were collected to spark the recall election. The red signs across the community support the challengers.
"We tried and tried and tried to talk to the board, and to get them to acknowledge the decline and get them to start correcting the decline," recall organizer Amber Schroeder said. "They refused to do so."
Mequon-Thiensville School District board recall candidates
Schroeder said she helped organize the recall because the district's test scores are declining. She is also unhappy with the school board's decision to start the 2020 school year with virtual learning.
With neighbors divided, placing yard signs has become a battle. Schroeder put her red sign right in front of a blue one. She says it was because the Coalition to Support MTSD first starting doing it to the red signs.
"It’s been intense. The other side has come up. They’ve been kind of encroaching on our space, putting yard signs in front of our yard signs," said Schroeder.
Mequon-Thiensville School District board recall election yard signs
"It’s like the sign wars. It just drives everybody to be more petty. I don’t like that," Urbani said.
Who started the "sign wars" depends on who you ask. No matter which side wins on Nov. 2, they will all still live in the same district.
"After election day, we will have a lot of work to do to figure out how to be a community again," said Urbani.
There is no early voting on the weekends. The process will start again on Monday, Oct. 25.