Because four people are running for mayor and there are six New Berlin School Board candidates (for 2 seats), a primary election is necessary. The primary is on February 17 and the general election, April 7.
Our representative form of government depends on an informed citizenry. People should be as informed as possible when they go to the polls to vote.
Thanks to the efforts of some civic-minded people, New Berlin will have two voters forums:
A pre-primary mayoral candidate forum is scheduled for Saturday, Feb 7 from 1-3 pm. Marta Broge is the facilitator.
A mayoral and school board public forum sponsored by the Rotary Club of New Berlin is set for Saturday, March 14, 1-3 pm.
* Both forums will be held at New Berlin West Middle-High School at 18695 W. Cleveland Ave.
New Berlin Public Schools and the folks putting on the voters forums are performing a great community service. I understand that the forums will be broadcast. That’s wonderful, too.
Unfortunately, there won’t be a school board candidate forum before the primary.
However, NBPS could take action to bridge that gap by providing election and candidate information on its District Web site.
I called New Berlin Public Schools Superintendent Paul Kreutzer yesterday and suggested he look at the Elmbrook School District Web site. In addition to election information, that Web site features profiles of each candidate running for their school board, candidates’ answers to a couple of basic questions, and publicizes an upcoming voters forum being held at Elmbrook Schools Central Administrative Office.
I don’t see why the New Berlin School District couldn’t emulate such a positive and helpful use of technology to inform/educate people about the upcoming elections and candidates running for school board.
I also informed Dr. Kreutzer that a Muskego-Norway Public Schools’ parent told me he gets a booklet in the mail annually containing profile information about that district’s school board candidates.
* Why aren’t the voters forums taking place at City Hall or broadcast on the City’s cable channel? In 2006, the New Berlin Common Council passed a resolution that established policies limiting the use of City Hall facilities to government units, thus barring citizen groups from using them. It put an end to voters forums at City Hall and use of the City cable channel to broadcast such forums. Alderman Harenda made the motion to approve it. It passed 4-3 with Aldermen Harenda, Ament, Hopkins and Gallagher voting yes (Aldermen Moore, Augustine and Hegeman voted no)
Those awful exclusionary policies remain in effect.