Former board member defends D103’s Lauk
As a past school board member of District 103, I am appalled by the decision of the current school board not to renew the contract of current Superintendent Dr. Ray Lauk. The school board needs to reconsider based on the following facts/accomplishments under the tenure of Dr. Lauk:

– In the state tests ISAT, IMAGE, IAA, the district increased student learning over the prior year by over 11%.

– Student learning increased by 7.1 points from 60.8 percent meeting/exceeding to 67.9 percent meeting/exceeding standards.

-In 2003-04, the district was below the state average. In 2004-05, the district is above the state average.

-The performance of the district’s ESL students taking the IMAGE test jumped from 33.6 percent meeting/exceeding expectations, to 51.8 percent meeting/exceeding.

-Special education students taking the alternate assessment that met/exceeded standards was 81 percent, compared to the state average of 53.7 percent.

-Recent expenditures 27 percent below the state average.

-Average teacher salary and administrator salaries well below state averages.

-Academics are at a higher level now than at any other time in the school district.

-The district is in the best financial position since some time in the 1980s.

-Because of the financial position of the school district, funds can now be set aside for much needed space, for example, an addition that will allow for more programs and smaller class sizes.

-Six weeks ago the school board evaluated Dr. Lauk. His evaluation was very good. Good enough that the school board voted in favor of a 5-percent pay increase.

-Dr. Lauk has always worked in the best interest of the school district and has held others accountable.

-Dr. Lauk has assembled an outstanding team of highly talented educators.

-Our children have all new, modern technology with which to learn and compete in a changing world. Replaced all the old computers with brand new Dell computers in every school.

-Hired a full time Special Ed Director which saved the district over $200,000

So, if the above is not the philosophy of the school board or the direction in which the district should be moving, then what is the philosophy of the school board and what is your direction?

The community elects the school board. The community votes for whom they believe will work in the best interest of the children. Get the priority back to the children in the district?”not personal politics. It’s OK to disagree, but remember to put children and education first.

Roxanne Connolly

– Roxanne Connolly is a former District 103 school board member.

Village needs to monitor Eight Corners traffic
I have had quite a view here for over 25 years at the Eight Corners in Brookfield. I have been here at all hours since my business demands it. What I am saying is that I have witnessed accidents, near misses, illegal left turns and a complete disregard for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Along with advertisements on TV showing and encouraging people how to drive excessively fast, people on cellphones driving with one hand, a man shaving while rolling through the stop sign, clamorous radio volume, it has become an era of defensive driving.

It seems as though drivers do what they want with disregard to the safety of other people. Many times a mother is walking across Grand Boulevard at the Circle, pushing a stroller only to be honked at to get out of the crosswalk. Many times seniors with walkers are slowly walking across only to have cars go around them as though they weren’t walking fast enough.

Many times I have to just close my eyes so I won’t see a serious accident when kids ride their bikes or skateboards across the street at Grand Boulevard. Even our brave-hearted crossing guard has to yell at drivers to stop while holding a sign that tells them to stop.

If drivers would only drive as if they were taking their driver’s test, driving would be more enjoyable and there would be fewer accidents.

I would like to see Brookfield police watch more closely at just what goes on at the Circle. President Garvey just installed more stop signs at Park and 30th Street where he lives. Too bad he doesn’t live on Grand Boulevard.

Now that Maple Avenue is being repaved, I hope that this does not become another speedway.

I urge village officials to take another look at the Eight Corners situation. Maybe install red blinking lights (as on Prairie Avenue at St. Barbara). Please do something more to slow down traffic and possibly save someone’s life. After all, that is what you were voted in for.

Jane Harps

Garvey and PEP are hypocrites
I am a resident of Brookfield and worked for Brookfield’s Public Works Department for over 3 years. On Sept. 2, I was laid off along with 3 fellow co-workers. I am 32 years old, have a family to support and have lost my job due to politics.

What I want the residents of Brookfield to know is that Mike Garvey and his PEP Party are hypocrites. The day I received my lay-off papers I was sent to his new house to remove a tree. Talk about using your new position to get something done for yourself. Then again, didn’t he complain about this very same thing in regards to Bill Russ and the VIP Administration?

Let me tell you, Mike, the tree was no danger to your new home. Do you know how many trees in Brookfield are an actual danger? My bet is, you know nothing about forestry. Other residents in town have been waiting over a year to have hazardous trees removed, let alone trimmed. So what made your situation so special? Do you know the church lady?

Bill Russ had a limb over his house, hitting his roof for nearly three years, but he waited his turn, like any other ordinary resident. But what should be most interesting to the residents is that Brookfield’s Forestry Department is nearly two years behind and yet trees on the blocks of Kit Ketchmark and C.P. Hall have been trimmed. I should know, I did the work. Further, I almost forgot that two days after these hypocrites took office, we received a special request to remove a stump in front of the home of one of their followers. The PEP Party likes to criticize The VIP Party and their supporters for allegedly receiving favors, but yet, is this how PEP got their votes? In my opinion, yes.

Additionally, I feel the residents should be aware that there were no negotiations with our Union, SEIU Local 73 prior to the budget being passed. Our union representative was told that the village attorney was out of town and unavailable. We had to wait until the PEP dominated board passed the new budget, which included the lay-offs, to negotiate. At that point, negotiations were a moot point, weren’t they?

And a special note to Cathy Edwards. If you were against the budget, why did you vote for it? Can you, or any other PEP board member make your own decisions, or are you all Garvey puppets?

Anthony Yacovacci

– Ed note: Brookfield Public Works Director William Brandt said that the request to remove the tree in front of Michael Garvey’s house was initiated by the home’s previous owner months prior to Garvey purchasing the home. Kit Ketchmark and C.P. Hall live on the same block. Brandt said the private firm that trims trees in the village work off of a block list and that the timing of any tree trimming there was coincidental.