April 2022 referendum: Ad hoc committee works to finalize messaging strategy as January deadline approaches

By Jalen Maki

Tomahawk Leader Editor

TOMAHAWK – The School District of Tomahawk Board of Education is continuing to work towards putting a referendum on spring ballots.

The board’s referendum ad hoc committee is tasked with overseeing the planning process for a potential April 2022 spending request.

The committee, comprised of board members Ron Zimmerman, Dick Huseby, Shar Kirsch, Deb Velleux and Dave Long, met on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Committee Chair Deb Velleux this week said the committee’s primary focus is to “develop the best messaging regarding the need for a referendum for our district that is easily understood and answers the questions any community member may have.”


Velleux said the Donovan Group, a firm hired by the board last month to assist in communication and planning for the referendum, has been involved in the process and participated in the meeting.

“(The Donovan Group has) a great deal of experience in school communication and assisting with the referendum process,” Velleux stated. “They are developing our messaging based on the information and data the referendum committee and Interim Superintendent (Joe Innis) have provided. Messaging is key.”

The committee aims to approve its communication plan by Tuesday, Dec. 7, at which point, Velleux said the committee will begin sharing information about the spending request with district staff and stakeholders, parents, municipalities, businesses and civic organizations.

The committee also plans to hold community Q&A sessions.

“A mailing to all district stakeholders should be sent out in the next couple of weeks,” Velleux stated. “If any group or organization would like one of our committee members to speak to the details of the referendum, we would be more than happy to do so.”

Contact information for committee members and other board members is available at www.tomahawk.k12.wi.us/district/board-members.cfm.

The board has until next month to take official action to place a spending request on spring ballots. No such action had been taken by the board as of press time on Monday, Dec. 6.

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