April 13, 2020 – West Bend, WI – The West Bend School District is posting revisions to revisions on a policy to be discussed during the Monday, April 13, 2020 meeting.
The policy addresses public participation at a West Bend School Board meeting.
On Friday, April 10 the board had posted information on its agenda.
One of the action items was a plan to fast track a recommendation to change Policy 187 – public participation at board meetings.
According to the current policy: Participants may comment concerning an agenda item or a non-agenda item. The School Board and administration of the District recognize the value and importance of public input in Board meetings.
The proposed change in policy would strike ‘non-agenda items’ from the language.
On Saturday, April 11, 2020 that agenda item was changed to post the correct information tied to the proposed policy 187. (Above the policy is listed as 181.5).
School finance administrator Andrew Sarnow said there was an error posted on the district website with regard to policy 187. “We’re literally during this time trying to focus in on things pertaining to the current agenda. I apologize there was an incorrect posting. So we have policy 187 but inaccurately there was an incorrect posting of the actual policy from the previous Thursday, April 9 which was policy 181.5 but that was inaccurately posted so Tim Harder, director of technology, made the correction on Saturday or Sunday,” said Sarnow.
“The executive summary was accurate but then I think when the actual document was posted someone grabbed the wrong document and posted it so we did correct that and I will make sure to point that out tonight,” said Sarnow. “I’m looking at emails and I spoke to Tim Harder on Saturday at 6 p.m. and I emailed him with the correct attachment and it should have been updated by 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.”
As of Monday morning, April 13, 2020 the administration is now making changes again. Sarnow explained, the item the public took issue with was the proposed language in the policy that people may not comment on items that were not on that meeting’s agenda.
“There have been some people weighing in on this and we are backing off on that. What I anticipate tonight, within an hour or so, we’re backing off on the topics,” said Sarnow. (Revised agenda item posted below – labeled Draft 2)
The one other item to note in the policy is how long it will remain in effect. As members of the public have pointed out, there is no word “temporary” in the policy and that word can have varying definitions.
“We’re actually going to be addressing that tonight,” said Sarnow. “There will be discussion and the motion we make will be revisited… maybe in July.”
Emails were sent, Friday, April 10, 2020, to elected school board members with regard to this policy. So far, no one has responded to the topic at hand.
The Monday night, April 13, 2020 meeting will be livestreamed at WashingtonCountyInsider.com starting at 5:30 p.m.