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Board candidates focus on budget issues

Men offer different perspectives for post

Feb. 16, 2011

Glendale — Two candidates with different backgrounds are seeking a spot on the Glendale-River Hills School Board this spring. Bruce Brocker and incumbent Bryan Kennedy are vying for the position, which carries a three-year term.

Kennedy, who is completing his first term on the board, said he feels he has made a difference the past few years and desires to continue the momentum.

"I bring a perspective that I believe would get lost if I were not on the board," Kennedy said. "Everyone on this board brings something different to the table, and we have a great relationship with one another and the administration."

Brocker, who was defeated in the Nicolet School Board race a year ago, said he decided to throw his hat in the ring for the Glendale-River Hills race because of Kennedy's role as president with the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.

"The person holding this position is part of the teachers union; I'm not," Brocker said. "I think it's important to have an independent voice on the board."

Kennedy said he believes his first-hand experience in education has allowed him to make prudent decisions - particularly during such issues as the collective bargaining process.

Brocker, whose background includes counseling and running a business, said he "can work with numbers and knows his way around a balance sheet."

Both candidates agree the district's budget is among the most important issues, moving forward. The sitting board is expected to vote Wednesday, after press deadline, on a proposed operating referendum that also will be included on the spring ballot.

In recent years, Kennedy said he and fellow board members have worked with administrators to find creative solutions to the budget shortfall.

"We've been looking at different ways of spending under our control while trying to maintain programming," Kennedy said. "We've used every possible tool, and that's why we've been looking at an operating referendum."

Brocker deemed the ongoing budget shortfalls as a "nightmare" when it comes to crafting the district's budget.

"We need to go to the new governor about this issue," Brocker said. "I think that we've got to focus our attention on the budget right now."

The president of the Glendale-River Hills School Board earns $600 annually. All other members receive $540.

The general election is April 5.

BRUCE BROCKER

AGE: 48

ADDRESS: 2151 W. Bernard Lane, Glendale

YEARS IN DISTRICT: 23

OCCUPATION: retired hospital counselor; owner and operator of water treatment franchises

BRYAN KENNEDY (I)

AGE: 41

ADDRESS: 5669 N. Bethmaur Lane, Glendale

YEARS IN DISTRICT: 10

OCCUPATION: president of the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of Teachers

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