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In a world where truth is often obscured by propaganda and conspiracy theories, it can be difficult to discern what is fact and what is fiction. However, in the case of the Little White Schoolhouse’s recent move in Ripon, Wisconsin, there is a transcript of a conversation among officials that presents the truth in its raw form. It is clear from this transcript  and the video below that there is no way anyone can read it for anything other than what it is – the facts. There is no propaganda or conspiracy here, just an unadulterated account of what was said.

The truth can be a fragile thing, easily distorted or manipulated to fit someone’s agenda. It seems that there have been many untruths told to the commission Leading up to the initial vote that sealed it’s fate.

You can view the starting point of the conversation that took place on September 7th, 2022 ultimately leading to a unanimous vote that officially got the move moving. The end result and decision to relocate the Little White Schoolhouse was all based on information that was “WRONG”.

Read the captured transcript below, as officials discuss the relocation of the schoolhouse, with some seemingly misrepresenting the facts of the move. From conflicting information about the schoolhouse’s relocation to the motives behind the move itself, it appears that there is much more to the story than what has been presented. You be the judge.


John Splitt: “I don’t know if anybody saw the paper tonight, but there are plans in the making to move the Little White Schoolhouse and it will be moved down to West Fond Du Lac Street, your old Marine Credit Union site. (So, the decision to move it had already been published in the paper before the meeting was officially called to order for the vote?)
Joe Walker: “Are they tearing the bank down to make room for that?”
John Splitt: “No, they’re going to use it”
Pat Grahn: “like a welcome center, restrooms and that kind of stuff…”
John Splitt: “It’ll be where they sell the souvenirs, maybe a screen with a movie playing on history.”
Joe Walker: “Oh, that’s great!”
John Splitt: “They expand the whole restrooms also.”
Pat Grahn “Yeah, they have no restrooms.”
Cathylee Arbaugh: “So they’ll all be in the bank and then the little house will be behind that.”
Joe Walker: “Okay…”
John Splitt: “The reason they brought it to our attention is it’s listed locally designated, so we would have to give permission to move it. I truly personally don’t think there’s going to be a problem.”
Pat Grahn: “The feds already have approved moving it.” (WRONG)

Joe Walker: “It’s been moved many times.”
Pat Grahn:”It’s been moved five times.”
John Splitt:”The state has already said it could be moved” (WRONG)
Joe Walker: “I got pictures of it in the 40s while it was sitting over by the college.”
Pat Grahn: “There’s two locations on the college. Plus they had it flipped one way, then they flipped it the other way…”
Steve Riemer: “So where is this going to sit??”
John Split: “It’s going to sit down, it’ll be to the, do you know where the Ford garage is? The next lot over to the west is the old plant.
Steve Riemer:”So it will be on west Fond Du Lac Street?”.
John Splitt: “Yes. Right.”
Cathylee Arbaugh: “It’ll be behind the bank though….”
John Splitt: “No, we don’t know the location yet.”
Riemer: “It better not be behind the bank.”
Pat Grahn: “No. Because you couldn’t be able to see it.”
Cathylee Arbaugh: “I don’t know….”
John Splitt: “Actually, I’m on the board of directors for the Little White Schoolhouse, so the location, we kind of have it figured out, but nothing’s set in stone yet for it. But it will be to the side, it’ll be visible, it won’t be tucked in the back or anything like that..” (It appears that Mr. Splitt had not fully embraced the idea of recusing himself due to this conflict of interest.)
Billy Hutton: “So why are they moving it??”
John Splitt: “Why are they moving it? They’re moving it because we got this opportunity to get that piece of land, which we can grow.
Pat Grahn: “It’s FREE, it’s a donation.” (SEEMINGLY WRONG)
Cathylee Arbaugh: “For the Boys and Girls Club…” (EXACTLY)
John Splitt: It has nothing to do with the Boys and Girls Club. (WRONG)
Cathylee Arbaugh: “They definitely wanted to see it gone.” (BINGO)
John Splitt: I have nothing to say about the Boys and Girls Club.
Cathylee Arbaugh: (sticks her fingers in her ears) “NAAANAAAANAAAANAAAAA” (To be honest, this was the most absurd thing I have ever witnessed in a city meeting. Perhaps she just could not handle anymore of the BS she was hearing)
John Split: “We were approached with a donation to move the Little White Schoolhouse, and that’s what we’re doing. Because we can expand it like a museum…”
Pat Grahn: “Well…there is Just no restrooms and you can’t get bus parking where it is right now.”
Bill Hutton: ” Whhhhyyyyy…Why did it come up?”
John Splitt: “We were approached, the Little White Schoolhouse and chamber were approached because there was an opportunity to get that piece of land.
Bill Hutton: “So it got hinged on the land?” (EXACTLY)
John Splitt: “Yes. And it does open up, it opens up like Pat said, parking, restrooms, all that.”
Pat Grahn: “An educational center.”
Billy Hutton: “I’m just concerned that we weren’t being bullied..”
John Splitt: “With the Boys and Girls Club?”
Billy Hutton: “Yes”
Both Pat Grahn & John Splitt: “No”
John Splitt: “Absolutely not. I mean it’s going to definitely be in their favor that it’s moved. I’m not going to deny that. It definitely will be in their favor. But we have to look at it as it’s going to be a better, in the end it will be a better outcome for the Little White Schoolhouse.” (WRONG)
Billy Hutton: “Donations to move, to pay for the move too?”
John Splitt: “There are some, yes…”

( Pat goes on here for a long winded downplane discussion of the insignificant republican restaurant as she calls it)

Pat Grahn: “I would propose a motion that we approve the moving of the Little White Schoolhouse.”
Joel Ward: “I can second that”
Pat Grahn: “Okay.”
Joel Ward: “Is there a limit on how many seconds I can do?
Pat Grahn: No, you can bring them first if you want to….Billy, by the way, do you know Joel?
Billy Hutton: “I do not.”
Pat Grahn: “This is Billy Hutton, Joe Walker.”
Billy Hutton: “Hi, Joe. I’ve seen you around town. I didn’t know who you were, but yeah.”
Pat Grahn: “He’s somewhat recognizable. Joe is on the board of the Fairwater Historical Society and the Ripon Historical Society, and his expertise is historic photos. So he’s been of great help to Carol Salk and the archivist and everybody else coming up with photos…so Joe is from Fairwater but lives here in Ripon.”
Billy Hutton: “Okay, sure.”
Pat Grahn: “He has a real historical interest.”

Conversation goes on a clear distraction tactic for a few moments before returning to the task at hand.  The vote.

Pat Grahn: “So anyway, I got off track. Yeah, sorry. I could ramble all night. So you could talk about all kinds of stuff.
Cathylee Arbaugh: “I won’t put any of that in the note.”
John Splitt: “So there is a motion by Pat and second by Joe to approve the Little White Schoolhouse move. All in favor say aye. Aye. Opposed? Motion carries.”
Billy Hutton: “I guess I just had a gut feeling as like move it again??”
Pat Grahn: “Yeah, but for the sixth time. Yeah, and it is, in reality, it’s… That’s why the state and the national don’t care because it’s already been moved so many times, right? That’s why the state, that’s why the feds don’t care if it’s moved again, is because it’s been moved so many times it’s not in the original spot, nor it would be, so it can’t go back to the original spot.”
Pat Grahn: “I think that everybody has done their due diligence on this because from what I heard is the fed are fine with it. So if the state and the fed bills are fine, then I’m fine with them moving.”(WRONG)
John Splitt: “They are. I contacted them right away and there’s not a problem with it.”(WRONG)
Pat Grahn: “Right, right. And the space that that building has is just like a little shoebox square. Plus I believe the Boys and Girls Club eventually wants to take over that whole block. So it would be nice if there was just room to just do the whole thing. Instead of having to deal with that mess…” (And there it is)


Clearly, the events that took place during the HPC meeting on September 7th, 2022, have yet again raised serious concerns about transparency and ethical conduct in local government. It is essential that public officials prioritize the needs and interests of their constituents above personal gain or political agendas. The citizens of this community deserve leaders who will act with integrity and serve their best interests. It is up to all of us to hold our elected officials accountable and demand a higher standard of transparency and ethical behavior. Let this be a wake-up call to all those who serve in public office, that their actions have real consequences, and that they must be held to the highest standard of accountability.

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