Thursday, October 23, 2014

Letter to the Doings Online Edition: "District 86 Board Must Work to Regain Trust"

We read this Letter to the Editor this morning on the online Doings.  We couldn't agree more and commend the community member for speaking out during the 10/20/14 D86 board meeting.

"Civil disobedience is defined as “the refusal to obey certain governmental laws or demands in order to influence legislation or policy, characterized by nonviolent methods.” Even at a small level,  it’s an act I take seriously. As a rule, I favor civil discussion over civil disobedience. I encountered an exception to that rule at the Oct. 20 Hinsdale High School District 86 Board meeting.
Board members were voting on a motion to delay a decision on the teachers’ contract. The argument supporting a delay was the need to share contract details with the public.  Throughout the contract negotiations, the board has either refused information requests (i.e.: the contingency plan) or mailed brochures with conflicting and misleading information. Given that record, I stood with a request: secure an unbiased company to supply that information.
I immediately realized I’d broken the rules. Richard Skoda banged the gavel repeatedly, loudly stating “Out of order. Sit down.” I had a choice to make: sit down and follow the rules or stay standing. I chose to stand. In this small act of civil disobedience, I wanted to make it clear that this board has lost its credibility and my trust. Based on audience comments/reactions at both October meetings, I am not alone. To regain our trust, the board must do something new and big. Approving the teachers’ contract is a great first step. An excellent second step: show your commitment to transparency and facts. Hire a firm that ensures the information taxpayers receive is accurate and unbiased.
Liz Sant


Anonymous said...

Bravo Ms. Sant: You did what most of the audience wanted to do!

The Parents said...

We would like to remind our readers that we are not going to publish any comments that name or personally attack community members. Naming, expressing criticism and negative opinions about elected officials is fair game. Please feel free to resubmit your comments after removing names of specific community members.

jay_wick said...

There are times when specific community members perhaps should be exposed.

When it comes to folks that 'support' the position of the cravenly named "Friends for D86" slate that still seems to constitute an iron-fisted majority of the BOE their number are thankfully so small that one can quickly research their antics.
The one utterly unhinged resident, who btw has personally profited from questionable D86 contracts to "review accounts" given to him by Skoda & Corcoran, is also often seen tag-teaming other public bodies with his inane questions : Skoda & Pals bring their circus to College of DuPage Board of Trustees
The other vocal opponent to the agreement, who has posted to this very blog, is Chief Executive of a marketing firm that widely advertizes its "low costs" but has been cited for non-transparent business practices. Sanctions & Fines | Department of Insurance Regulation . See also what former employees say of his business practices: And even more of the wacky ideas he stands behind ...little interest in factual accuracy or professional responsibility... |

When poorly informed folks like these suggest the D86 high schools would be better organized as a single administrative unit run on two campus, as is the case with Lyons Township, this goes against logic. Such a massive 'school' might have a few less department heads but it would result in far MORE pressure for everything from class rank to sports. With TWICE as many students graduating each year and HALF as many sports teams the competition would be ridiculous. Let's not even calculate the increased busing costs and other expenses.
Parents that now worry about kids being excluded from sports that only have so many slots by IHSA rules would be up-in-arms over the ampped-up intensity. And let's not fool ourselves that students that have spent 8 or more years in the stable and well-funded feeder districts of D53 or D181 wouldn't still dominate the ranks of demanding classes even if they shared the same physical buildings as kids that might be coming from feeder districts where more modest apartments / less stable living situations are the norm...

The fact is these kooks represent the worst sorts of "tax protesters" -- folks that claim to be so outraged in the difference between the $89 million proposal laden with booby-trapped health care and overly drawn out advancement ladders that Skoda & Corcoran had dreamed up and the much more reasonable but just a few percentage points more costly agreement that majority-bloc Cassini agreed to along with the rest of the experienced BOE that any 'objections' clearly show they really have a whole range of ulterior motives...

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Mrs. Sant. When those in public office abuse their authority, it is vital that people speak up and stand up for democracy. Who does this board member think he is? If he expects civility and respect, he should start by modeling it. Placidly obeying autocrats only gives them more power. If public discourse is not allowed, then the only alternative is a non violent demonstration. If that is squelched, then the government needs to step in and retrain or replace the tyrannical board members.

Where is Regional Office of Education, Darlene Ruscitti? Off campaigning for her next useless, publicly funded job? D86 needs her help NOW. Where is she and those in her staff who are supposed to be guiding board members to behave within the scope of their volunteer duties?

Our ancestors fought hard for our right to speak up and express our opinions. NO ONE has the right to take that away from us. We applaud you for not allowing someone else to bully and intimidate you into compliance.

"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."
Abraham Lincoln