Rockford School Board Lawsuit

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

The Rockford School District and attorneys for Winnebago County reached an agreement on an election lawsuit, ending confusion and speculation.

The issue? How many board members should be up for election this April and how long their terms should be.

Monday afternoon Winnebago County Judge Gerald Grubb approved an agreement that sets up a 10-year plan to get the school board back on the right election cycle.

The confusion started after the 2000 census, and ended up in court. Some charged that all seven school board seats should be up for reelection, but Judge Grubb disagreed. Now five seats will be on the April ballot.

Nancy Kalchbrenner and Jay Nellis will hold onto their seats for two more years and by 2013 all seats will be up for election, taking the next census into account.

"I think what we've accomplished, the most positive thing is that the cycle concludes in 2013 so we won't have this same trouble in 2011," said Paul Logli, Winnebago Co. attorney.

"Basically the agreement reinforces what the board originally felt about the election," said Michael Williams, Rockford School Board President.

While school board members are pleased with the outcome they're disappointed that the issue ended up in a courtroom.

"A lot of unnecessary expense of taxpayer dollars on behalf of a person who's supposedly a tax watch dog," Nellis said.

Also at Tuesday's school board meeting there will be a public drawing of lots for the five seats up for election this year. One seat will be drawn to serve a two-year term; the others will be four-year terms.


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