The Siren School board president publicly asked one of the board members to admit they do not live in the Siren School District and has spoken to the state Attorney General’s office about the issue.
School board president Mark Pettis read a prepared statement Monday night alleging board member Jim Kopecky does not permanently reside in the Siren School District. Pettis alleges Kopecky deceived voters by claiming to live on Horseshoe Drive in Siren but instead lives in Danbury.
“After numerous complaints by credible people, and lengthy discussions with the Attorney General’s office, I have decided to confront this situation head on,” Pettis said. “Jim Kopecky, current Siren School Board member does not permanently reside in the Siren School District. Jim has gone through great lengths to deceive the voters and the public that his permanent residence is 7754 Horseshoe Drive Siren, Wisconsin when his permanent abode is actually, 5674 County Road C in Danbury, Wisconsin.”
“According to the Wisconsin Statutes, a person can claim residency for voting purposes, driver license identification and mail collection at any address even one without a dwelling,” Pettis said. “This deception can go on in perpetuity, or until challenged by someone. Wisconsin Statutes regarding residency are inconsistent and ambiguous at best. To challenge a person’s residency is a lengthy and sometimes costly endeavor.”
“I am prepared to pursue the legal process of proving Jim Kopecky’s permanent abode which will take resources from the Siren School District,” Pettis said. “I am asking Jim Kopecky to do the right and honest thing for the Siren School District and its residents and avoid the expense of litigation. The Siren School Board operates as a unit and does not condone actions by a member that are inconsistent with the beliefs of the board as a whole.”
Following his prepared statement, he addressed Kopecky directly.
“I’m asking you to do the right thing,” Pettis asked Kopecky during the school board monthly meeting Monday evening following his prepared remarks. The topic was not on the agenda. Pettis used the time during his president’s report to discuss the issue.
Pettis asked Kopecky several times if he permanently resides in Siren on Horseshoe Drive. Kopecky repeated the Horseshoe Drive address is his legal address.
Kopecky sent the Sentinel a letter in response to Pettis’s remarks.
“Mark Pettis claimed that I am not a resident of the Siren School District,” Kopecky wrote. “That was just another example of Mark Pettis’s poor leadership and continuing attack on me, previously as a teacher and now as a school board member. I have been a legal resident of Siren township since October of 2014.”
Kopecky continued, “I still stand for the students and teachers. That’s why I ran for school board, to keep a check on the partisan leanings of the Siren school board. I especially have to watch over Mark Pettis; his worrisome history is one that the residents should take note. From advocating for the dissolution of the Siren School District, to pushing for consolidation with any other school district, to decrying that our school district spends more per student than the average, it seems that he views our students are not worth the cost. He voted for referendums that increased the cost per student by maybe $1,000 and then looks for ways to cut cost, most likely by reducing staff. He voted to improve the building then tries to deprive the students of staff.”