West Bend Library Board 
meeting postponed
Over-capacity crowd turned out for meeting to discuss 
complaint about questionable materials available to teens

By DWAYNE BUTLER - GM Today Staff

March 4, 2009


Area residents crowded the City Hall council chambers for a library board meeting Tuesday, hoping to express their opinion on childrenís literature some consider controversial. Although the meeting was moved from the library to City Hall, it was cancelled because of overcrowding.


WEST BEND - What was anticipated to be a lengthy Library board meeting Tuesday night turned out to be a very short evening for everyone involved.

Thatís because an overflow crowd forced the postponement of a meeting that was scheduled to discuss a recent complaint filed by West Bend residents Ginny and Jim Maziarka about questionable materials available within the West Bend Community Memorial Library.

The large crowd of people that included students and adults of all ages had hoped to offer their opinions on this subject, but the numbers exceeded the 265-capacity limit of the council chambers at City Hall. The room also included all four Milwaukee television stations.

"We have exceeded room capacity, and the meeting will have to be postponed to a later date to accommodate the (large) crowd," Library Board President Kathryn Engelbrecht told the audience. "We apologize for the inconvenience, but itís for the safety of everyone."


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Members of the West Bend Police Department became concerned about the steady flow of people entering the chambers minutes before and shortly after the scheduled 7 p.m. start. After consulting with the Library Board, Library Director Michael Tyree and West Bend Assistant City Attorney Cheryl Wentland, Engelbrecht announced that due to a fire code issue, the meeting could not start until a representative of the West Bend Fire Department arrived to take a people count.

A subsequent count by Fire Department Shift Lieutenant Chuck Briske and the Police Department determined that the room was over capacity and the meeting would have to be postponed.

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This story appeared in The Daily News on March 4, 2009.