It is sad and amazing the lack of true leaders on the Brookfield Village Board and the Riverside-Brookfield High School Board of Education. 

The former BOE president I find to be arrogant and abrasive in dealing with individuals or the public. After the village board voted down the parking variance, with a deafening silence, I went out to the parking lot to ask a couple of questions about trying to work this out. 

The BOE president was short and dismissive in his replies. I asked Michael Welch a question and he just stared at me. It seems a little amazing that with this type of work process they get anything done or find any people to cooperate and work with them. Let’s hope the new board president can move the dynamic in another direction.

Now, the lack of leadership from the village board does not surprise me. Besides the loud silence from the village trustees during the entire process, President Kit Ketchmark did his best attempt to deflect the blame with a somewhat confusing prepared statement before the vote, blaming the Riverside village board, the zoo and the county. 

So, let’s see, Ketchmark said it is not the village board’s job to fix the parking problems at RB. He is correct, but the village should try and work with this other public entity that is attempting to fix their parking problem, the Riverside-Brookfield High School Board Of Education. 

This is a public high school that serves a large majority of Brookfield residents — every resident north of the tracks and Hollywood. What choice did the RB board have with no input or questions from the village board about their possible concerns? 

Trustee Nicole Gilhooly said after she voted against the parking lot, that she was concerned about water retention? Why not ask during the board meetings leading up to the vote? What value does that have now that you voted to kill the project? Do your job and ask the questions before Garvey votes to show you the way. 

Let’s remember this is a board that for 18 months fought with the zoo and county to try and have the zoo share the financial burden that supports the zoo by our village. We didn’t try and work with them. First, Garvey’s plan was to just surprise them with an amusement tax. That relationship is still suffering due to our current village leaders.

 True leaders should have called together all parties and tried to work out a project that everyone could have lived with. Residents, members of both boards, county and zoo representatives brought together to work this through. 

As it was, this only showed a lack of leadership from both boards.

Michael Towner