Time is running out to take the District of New Berlin’s community-wide survey. The survey is available now and will remain open until March 5th, according to the District’s winter newsletter mailed to district taxpayer addresses. To participate: go to the website www.survey2000.com. and enter the access number you’ll find on the back page of the newsletter, then take the survey. (For people without internet access, a copy of the survey could be obtained at the schools or District office)
The survey did not have unanimous support from the New Berlin School Board.
In June 2003, the New Berlin School Board voted to ban candidate forums/political speech in District facilities. People protested that action in Privilege of the Floor speeches, letters, editorials, etc. but to no avail. A citizen (Bill Moore) filed a formal complaint with the School District about the facility use policy change. I was the second resident to file a complaint and request a board hearing on the issue. I submitted my complaint in September 2003 but did not get a board hearing until January 2004. And then, the School Board chose to hold its hearing regarding my complaint on a Friday morning at 7 a.m. which was in violation of School Board policy. About an hour or so after the hearing began, the School Board abruptly adjourned the meeting (probably to allow the board members who were employed to go to their jobs). The School Board indicated it would resume the hearing at a future time and I was given a tentative hearing date. When the School Board neglected to contact me to confirm that hearing date or notify me of the time and location of the hearing, I called the District office the day before the meeting to obtain the information. Eventually, I got fed up with the District/School Board’s stalling and other antics and joined several District residents, who with the help of the ACLU, took legal action against the New Berlin School District. Just before the District had to respond to the suit, the School Board rescinded its contentious facility use policy provisions.
In 2006, four New Berlin aldermen (a majority) voted in favor of a policy that restricts City Hall and City cable channel use to government units. Since candidate forums had traditionally been sponsored by citizen groups, the Council’s action resulted in candidate forums no longer being held at City Hall.
At the Wisconsin Academic Decathlon at Wisconsin Dells on Friday, New Berlin Eisenhower took first place in Division 2 competition and placed third overall.
Twenty teams competed in the state event.
New Berlin aldermen should revisit the Council’s rule that prohibits candidates for public office from participating in privilege of the floor (public comment period) at City Council meetings.
It seems wrong to prevent one group of citizens from speaking at City government meetings while allowing everyone else. Those candidates could be New Berlin residents, taxpayers, voters --- and should not be prohibited from speaking on agenda topics just because they chose to run for public office!
The School District of New Berlin proclaims on its Web site homepage:
The School District of New Berlin does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability. Federal law prohibits discrimination in education and employment on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability.