School Board considers a size reduction

Residents to be sent a survey on issue after seats go unfilled for years
Ozaukee Press Staff

With another election coming and no candidate running for two of its seats, the nine-member Northern Ozaukee School Board is looking at reducing its size.

“It’s just exploratory at this point on whether it makes sense,” School Board President Brent Neis said.

He noted that the spring ballot will have two seats for which no one is running. One of them is an at-large seat that has been vacant for some time.

“We’ve had an empty seat on the board for two or three years, and now this election cycle we don’t have people running for those two seats,” he said.

It’s a common theme every election. And candidates who do run usually are unopposed, he pointed out.

Neis said most school districts in the state have five or seven board members, according to the state Department of Public Instruction.

Part of the issue, he said, stems from the makeup of the board, which assigns seats to residents of each of the communities in the district.

It’s an anachronism that goes back to when each of those communities had their own school, before the district consolidated the schools at its single campus in Fredonia, Neis said.

“It’s possible we could go to all at-large seats. We need to get more people interested,” he said.

Neis said the board plans on surveying residents. Changing the makeup of the board would require a referendum. The earliest that could be on the ballot would be April 2022.

“We have to circulate a petition to put it on the ballot. Our first step would be the survey,” he said. “If people don’t support it, we won’t do it.”



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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