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Brodhead School Board plans public input, finance committee

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GINA R. HEINE
April 15, 2010
— The Brodhead School Board is responding to public input by planning to form a finance committee and allow public comments during board meetings.

Both were agenda items at the board’s Wednesday night meeting, but members agreed to continue discussion at their April 26 meeting when newly-elected members Al Schneider and Paul Donovan join the board.


About a year ago, the board started holding half-hour sessions before board meetings for residents to talk with two board members, Vice President Teresa Earleywine said. Residents have said, however, that they want to speak during meetings, so the board will provide input later this month for the policy committee to use.


“Our concern has been appropriateness of topics,” she said.


Members said the policy should include a reminder that no personnel issues or complaints can be expressed.


Earleywine suggested a time limit of three or five minutes. Board member Mike Krupke suggested 30 minutes be set aside at one meeting a month for public input, with up to five minutes allowed for each person.


The board also will discuss later this month how to form a finance committee and what its role will be.


The district had such a committee years ago but eliminated it because it never met, Earleywine said.


It has been the responsibility of each board member to review bills and ask questions of the administration, she said.


Community members had requested during referendum meetings that a committee be formed that included residents to analyze the budget.


“It has been stated we mismanaged money, we don’t question the bills, we just rubber-stamp the items, which is not the case,” Earleywine said after the meeting. “They’re just not seeing maybe some of the discussion.”


If she has a question, she said, she discusses it with administrators before the meeting.


IN OTHER BUSINESS

The Brodhead School Board on Wednesday:


-- Recognized the service board President Peggy Olsen and board member Carol Kloepping have given to the district. Olsen has served nine years on the board while Kloepping has served 16 years. The pair did not win re-election last week.


-- Was informed byHigh School Principal Lenny Lueck about preliminary discussions on merging the Parkview and Brodhead show choirs. Lueck said Parkview has approached Brodhead about the merger, but it is only in the discussion stages.


-- Heard a report from Business Manager Steve Swanson on the district’s $1.16 million Wisconsin Retirement System debt. Board member Chris Searles had requested the information to start a discussion on refinancing or paying off the debt. It was pointed out that interest won’t be assessed until Jan. 1, so no decisions needed to be made in the near future.


-- Heard the building and grounds committee report, which advised the district to seek firm bids on replacing the high school roof. Bids would likely come from at least five companies that have expressed interest in the project, Superintendent Chuck Deery said.



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