BELOIT—School District of Beloit Board of Education President Megan Miller will be responding to concerns raised regarding her use of her title as school board president in her personal email signature at Tuesday evening’s meeting.
At the regular meeting set for 7 p.m. at Kolak Education Center, 1600 Fourth St., an agenda item reads: “To discuss an email sent by Board President Miller and to allow the Board an opportunity to determine any actions moving forward.”
When the Daily News inquired about the email, Miller sent a copy of the email in question.
Miller explained that she sent an email from her personal email address to the Rock County Board Chair on June 7 which included a signature listing the various activities she is involved in including her role as school board president.
Miller said she wrote the email to share her concerns about a leaflet promoting a potential candidate for Rock County Board District 11. That candidate, Matt Finnegan, was not appointed to the seat on the county board. Finnegan had applied for a seat vacated by former board member Kaelyb Lokrantz. Ultimately, Janelle Crary was chosen to fill Lokrantz’s position.
The leaflet did not include information regarding who paid for the advertisement which Miller said she believed to be against campaign finance law. Miller’s email also raised concerns that Finnegan is a local landlord and she said he allegedly asks his tenants to put up campaign signs for candidates he supports.
“It seems to me, it’s a power imbalance if he is the person standing between a tenant and homelessness. It doesn’t seem like a fair question,” Miller said.
In an interview Wednesday, Miller told the Daily News the board received a formal complaint alleging that her sending the email was an abuse of power because of the signature line on the email.
“We are bringing it up to address the complaint raised. I plan to apologize for the perception of involving my association with the school district,” Miller said. “On Tuesday when we address it, I’ll provide additional context.”
When Finnegan was contacted by the Daily News, he said he had concerns that Miller listed her board president position on the email.
“It shouldn’t have been done. She shouldn’t use her position in that way. She’s welcome to her opinion of me, but it doesn’t seem right,” Finnegan said.
Finnegan said he typically puts political signs on empty lots. On the occasions he has put up campaign signs on tenant property it is after asking the tenant and getting their permission. He said he always respects his tenants’ wishes if they would like to have signs put up, or not.
“I don’t force any tenants to put up signs,” Finnegan said.