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Town of Mukwonago puts brakes on elementary school resource officers issue

Town of Mukwonago, Mukwonago Area School District, elementary resource officers

Trying to put the horse back in front of the cart, the town of Mukwonago board decided tonight not to draft a resolution to raise the levy limit, which could have placed a referendum question on the fall ballot.

The question of going to referendum to raise the levy limit, and potentially allow funds to support resource officers in two Mukwonago Area School District elementary schools, has drawn heat since town Police Chief Tom Czarnecki presented the issue to the Mukwonago Area School District Board of Education recently.

While Town Chairman Dave Dubey asked the board about holding an advisory referendum or doing a survey, supervisors agreed there was not enough time to draft such a question and still get it on the November ballot.

Dubey pointed out that the town board needed more information from the school district and from the public before it could move forward on the issue of placing resource officers in elementary schools in the town of Mukwonago. 

"I don't think we have the support to increase the levy at this time without input from the public, and to get input from the public is through an advisory referendum or a survey," Dubey said.

Supervisor Tom Stefanowski did not feel another survey was justified, based off the results of a Smart Growth survey done in 2002, although Dubey pointed out that the survey did not address this same issue related to town services. 

A survey or advisory referendum would give the town board a mechanism for getting public input without going to a resolution to raise the levy limit, Dubey explained.

The town board took no action on creating an advisory referendum question or a survey, but suggested setting up a committee that could look into the matter more.

"I could see there was no way the resolution was going to happen this year," Dubey said. "It's such a short time frame and we have to vote to increase the levy before we know whether or not the people agree with it. So we have to put the cart before the horse is the problem."

Supervisor Peter Topczewski pointed out the need, based on discussion at the meeting, of "one heck of a lot more education of the community before you're going to convince the community in one direction or another."

Topczewski suggested creating a citizen's committee, in conjunction with the school board, and possibly other municipalities within the Mukwonago Area School District, to look at security in the elementary schools.

"This has got to be a cooperative effort. It can't be just one of multiple municipalities dictating what goes on," Topczewski said.  "I think the discussion has started."

Creating a committee will be discussed at next week's town board meeting, according to Dubey.

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