When Monica Fortuna talks to people about the proposed Brookfield school permanent improvement levy that will be on the May 7 ballot, she often is asked how the seniors on fixed incomes can be swayed to vote for the levy.
The question, she said, is immaterial.
“If the parents of the school turned out, I think we would have success,” said Fortuna, chairman of the levy committee. “The responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the parents.”
The school board is seeking a 1.9-mill, five-year levy that would raise about $250,000 a year. The money could not be used for salaries, programs or general operating expenses, but could be used for capital purchases and improvements. School officials have pledged to use the money to buy school buses and computer storage server blades, make safety improvements at the school, replace the rotting light posts and upgrade the press box at the football field and fix up or replace the bus garage, which was originally built in 1939.
A property with an assessed value of $50,000 would cost the owner another $33.25 a year, if the levy is passed, school officials said. A $100,000 home would generate another $66.50. Double that figure for a $200,000 home.
The levy failed in November, also with Fortuna as chairman.
“I just felt like there was unfinished business,” she said of reupping.
The committee is largely promoting the levy through a Facebook page, Brookfield School Permanent Improvement Levy, and the videos posted there. No yard signs. No newspaper advertisements. It will take parents talking to parents and neighbors talking to neighbors to garner more support, Fortuna said.
She asked voters to look beyond a decision that they did not like made by the board or a principal or a teacher.
“I’m not always happy with every decision, but I’m not gonna let that stop me from moving forward,” she said.
School officials and staff members “do the best they can,” Fortuna said.
“Our kids get their nuts and bolts at the school,” she said.
Yes, the school building is only eight years old, but Fortuna asked voters to think about the school as they do about their homes.
“We all know if we buy a house and don’t put a penny into it in 10 years, what happens?” she said.
Fortuna said she believes children are safe at the school, but, “You always want to be prepared for the worst.”
She said she likes the idea of installing cameras on buses and upgrading the ones at the school, one of the proposed uses for levy money.
“I would feel better of I knew the police had the ability to see what was going on inside the school, if they needed to,” she said of installing cameras that would allow remote access.