Brownstown school board OKs representation plan


BROWNSTOWN — The Brownstown Central Community School Corp. board of school trustees recently put the finishing touches on a plan designed to provide equal board representation for the town and six townships within the district.

At the present time, the town of Brownstown has two permanent seats, and Brownstown, Driftwood and Grassy Fork townships each have permanent seats. The remaining three townships, Owen, Pershing and Salt Creek, share two seats, leaving one without representation at times.

The end of the board’s work was to put together a system to have each of the seven seats serve 16 consecutive years before a two-year-break. The breaks would be staggered. In an 80-year span, each seat would have one time when it would not be filled for three years.

After the board unanimously passed a resolution approving the plan during a recent meeting, Superintendent Tim Taylor thanked trustees for their work and diligence in coming up with the plan, which would be implemented in 2023 if eventually certified by the Indiana State Board of Education.

If that’s approved, Grassy Fork Township would not have representation for three years from July 1, 2023, to July 1, 2026.

The township would not have another period of no representation for a three-year period until July 1, 2096. It would have three periods of two years each without representation: July 1, 2042, to July 1, 2044; July 1, 2060, to July 1, 2062; and July 1, 2078, to July 1, 2080.

Taylor then outlined the following procedural steps to implement it.

“In 10 days, the resolution will be published in the newspaper,” Taylor said. “The plan must then be certified by the clerk (of the circuit court) and then sent to the state board of education within 30 days of the expiration of a 120-day window for the filing of a petition (by voters).

“The state board of education may then revise or certify the plan,” he said. “If the state board of education certifies the plan submitted by the board without protest or petition with an alternate plan, the plan goes into effect without further action. That’s the steps we will be following to get it approved by the state board of education.”

At the end of the meeting, board President Scott Shade said he wanted to thank board members for all of their work on the plan.

“By that, I mean it worked the way it is supposed to,” he said. “That is you talked to your constituents. We all talked and we listened, and we were able to reach a consensus to get a resolution to get past this 52-year issue.”

Voters may file a petition protesting the plan or submit an alternative plan and have it signed by the lesser of 20% of voters or 500 voters within the 120-day window once the resolution is published.

If the state board of education disapproves the board’s plan or a petition is filed against it by voters, the proposed change would go to a special election within 90 days of the state board certification or a regular election if one is scheduled within six months.

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