Port Washington - Ozaukee County Board members on Wednesday restored money to their University of Wisconsin Extension program that they voted to cut in August to protest the hiring of a UW-Madison instructor who believes the U.S. government orchestrated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The move to restore the $8,427 was billed as an attempt to respond to fears of some county residents that 4-H and other UW Extension programs would suffer and to stand firm on sending a message to UW, a separate institution.
As supervisors were debating the merits of the 2007 county budget, Supervisor Fred Kaul proposed restoration of the $8,427.
Kaul said the UW Extension was "unjustly penalized" when supervisors made headlines by voting 18-11 on Aug. 2 to cut funds for the program by the same amount that UW-Madison instructor Kevin Barrett was to be paid to teach a class on Islam.
In the class, Barrett contends that the Sept. 11 attacks were a Bush administration plot and compares President Bush to Adolf Hitler.
Supervisors later heard from supporters and detractors from all over the world.
The action Wednesday left the August board resolution as little more than "a symbolic protest on our part," Supervisor Maryann Erickson said.
In the end, only two supervisors voted against the overall budget, which increased spending 1.79% from 2006 - from $82.5 million to nearly $83.98 million - and increased the property tax levy 2.75%, from $17.52 million to almost $18.01 million.