The Wauwatosa School Board has reversed an earlier decision to discontinue the use of schools as polling stations.
On Monday, Jan. 9, the board approved a proposal sent to them by the city of Wauwatosa to keep voting in five schools, school board president Mike Meier said. The agreement is good for 2017 and includes McKinley, Roosevelt, Wilson, Madison and Jefferson grade schools.
Polling was also previously conducted at Underwood Elementary School and Whitman Middle School and those voters will most likely be voting at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 12012 W. North Ave. An updated list of polling places needs to be in place soon because there is a primary Feb. 21 due to a race for state school superintendent.
"Dr. (Superintendent Phil) Ertl and myself worked with Mayor Ehley, (City Administrator Jim) Archambo and the clerk (Carla Ledesma) and we knew there was a problem that needed to be solved," Meier said. "We have a good working relationship and we did solve it."
The city's Government Affairs Committee voted 6-1 in favor of the proposal Tuesday, Jan. 10. The full common council will take up the matter next week.
In May 2016, the school board voted to move voting out of the schools, citing safety concerns for students and staff and possible disruptions to the learning environment.
Council members expressed concerns about the relocation of the voting sites at a meeting in September 2016. Members said that they were concerned about citizen confusion as they go to the polls, the difficulty the city would face in finding new sites and the costs associated with changing venues.
"We will be applying the same protocol in entering a school on voting day as there is any other day of the school year," Archambo said. "The city will assist the schools on voting day with security."
Also approved at the school board meeting was the 2017-18 school year calendar and a resolution to create a legislative advocacy committee, both by votes of 5-0.
The advocacy committee will be created by the school board to further the goals of the district with various governmental bodies and other organizations.
The terms of those serving accepting positions on the group will be from May 2017 to April 2018 and will keep that time frame in future years. Representatives will be chosen soon that will serve until May of 2017. The five-person group will be made up of two school board members and three members from the community.
"My intention is to nominate Mrs. (Sharon) Muehlfeld and Mr. (Shawn) Rolland from the board," Meier said. "Those appointments will be on our next agenda."
Any community members interested in serving on the advocacy committee should contact the school district.