Brookfield board rules out talk changes

By Eric Grosso

There’s no reason that residents shouldn’t be able to address the board before the motions, a board member said.

BROOKFIELD — After forming a special communication subcommittee in June, the Brookfield Board of Education on Wednesday voted down its first proposed change.

The proposal would have altered the way public discussions are held at board meetings.

Board members Kelly Bianco and Tim Filipovich were appointed members of a special committee described as a “communication vehicle” that will provide accurate information to residents, as well as engage the community in dialogue concerning the district’s future.

But one main change sponsored by Filipovich failed.

It would have given attendees time to speak on agenda items before the reading of the motions. The board currently allows public discussion at the end of the meetings with no topic limitations. Each speaker is limited to five minutes.

Filipovich said there was no reason that residents shouldn’t be able to address the board before the motions.

Filipovich wants the communication subcommittee meetings to replace the end-of-meeting discussion. The subcommittee’s first meeting is at 7 p.m. today in the high school auditorium.

Filipovich did want to keep the public discussion at the end of Wednesday’s meeting intact, but said he would make a motion next month to do away with the discussion at the end of the meetings.

Board members Joseph Pasquerilla, Dean Fisher and Bianco voted against the proposal.

Bianco wanted a “more comprehensive motion” to be brought at one time — rather than a vote separately on different discussion procedures.

Filipovich hopes to have meetings the day after every monthly board meeting.

“We want to get more information out on curriculum and especially finances,” said Bianco about the committee. She hopes the meetings will be the start of a “collaborative effort between board members and the public.”

“As board members, we need to gauge what the community wants, because it’s not about what we want — it’s about what the residents want,” said Filipovich.

Discussions at today’s meeting could center on the addition of an operating levy to the November ballot. Board president Pasquerilla said last month the district would need between an 11-mill and 14-mill levy to offset potential deficits, but that any levy would be unlikely to pass because of recent passage of the 7.4-mill levy last year.

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