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What do you think of the D204 school board candidates

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The Sun recently published profiles of candidates for District 204 school board. What do you think?

Here is a link to the story:
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/election/1492379,6_1_NA24_SCHOOLS_S3.article

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353 Comments

To anonymous2 on April 16, 2009 1:24 PM,

Then they couldn't charge people money for the documents.

i would like to know why documents that are FOIAd, and released to the person who requests it... why these documents are not,then, posted on the District 204 website?

wouldn't that make sense?.. then a second, and third, etc., person wouldn't be requesting the same document or info, and that would save district personnel time in releasing those documents.

To Experienced,

Here's the rub:

What was in the request was:

"Copy of all documents, calculations, etc. supporting the busing transportation calculations that support the statement in the Land Recommendation"

What was produced was a single scribble sheet with no real information on it.

The other FOIA request asking for "Projected FY2010 Transportation costs"

This did not specify a single document or anything else; the format was left ambiguous on purpose. Dave Holm, in his denial of the request, framed it in such a way as a 'document' stating that No Such Document Exits.

The problem is that they touted busing savings and multiple board members as well as an administrative official said they performed calculations and did their analysis and came to the 'conclusion', yadda yadda.

I appreciate the more specific approach suggestion and will have it specifically referred to in that manner going forward. Thank you.

By Original Joe on April 14, 2009 12:21 AM

I guess I might try two things--one very broad and one very specific. First I'd try what is known as a "categorical request" where the requestor instead of trying to obtain a specific document that he thinks exists he requests all documents that pertain to the cost of transporting students to e.g., the new high school. Second, I would suggest that the requestor ask for the specific document that the Board Member mentioned and the Board Members own document that he referred to. "I hereby request the document that Board Member Bradshaw referred to on April 14, 2008 when he said .... Further, I want a copy of the study that Board Member Bradshaw conducted himself and also referred to on that date." There is a provision in the act that does not allow a document that might be otherwise exempt from being withheld once it is referred to in public. What I fear is that the district might be saying that the documents are not public records but the property of the author's or that the document requested does not exist because the requestor has misnamed the document.

How about "Note to file - taxpayer verbally requested this information".

Not to be too facetious, but it's all the language in regulations around FOIA and any other requests for information, that make Illinois one of the most non-transparent governments in the USA.

You will find new regulations that have all the appearance of reform, but have offsetting loopholes everywhere to allow lack of transparency to continue on in a "business as usual" process. Watch the papers and you will see.

In the end the taxpayers pick up the tab for corruption and waste - that is until they stop paying their taxes, walk away from properties, and governments have no recourse other than declaring bankruptcy. Comapanies and residents will move from the state, putting additional pressures on governments. There is "rumor" that a major corporation is about to move from the area in a bigger way than originally thought due to costs (including taxes for example). People and companies simply have limits and other opportunities (like other states rolling out the red carpet).

I know this sounds sensationalized, but their are limits to tax revenues. Corruption and waste sop up revenues and demand more and more - until there is no more. Leopards do not change spots easily. In some respects the Obama bailout of states with no strings attached (like maybe dollar for dollar cuts in budgets for example) just made the long term situation worse.

Without transparency no waste and corruption can be exposed. Again, if 100% transparency is not in practice, then there IS waste/corruption.

Experienced,

I realized I skipped over your basic question: "whether it can be done and still keep the required records."

My understanding is that the required records deals with FOIA requests. If one does not make a formal FOIA request, then there are no records that are mandated or required to be kept. Correct?

FOIA describes a process and that process involves filling out a specific form for such requests. Filling out the form is what triggers the OFFICIAL request, does it not? If that form can be circumvented, then anything else would not technically fall under its jurisdiction or requirements because it was not requested via that means/legislation/process. Am I right or wrong with that assumption?

Experienced,

It's nice to hear that someone out there has not run into problems.

What was requested from District 204, because it was mentioned by multiple Board of Education members in the April 14, 2008 meeting were all documents relating and pertaining to the transportation studies, cost projections and comparisons for the district (Yes, I am paraphrasing the actual verbiage of the request because the rejection was not due to inability to understand what was being requested). One request for the projected 2009/2010 transportation costs was denied because such a document/study did not exist (after it was referred to by Alka Tyle and Curt Bradshaw in the aforementioned meeting) and the other yielded a scribbled hand worksheet. Snippets of the video segments and the FOIA'd documents are located here: http://ipsd204.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=sb&action=display&thread=2466

Feel free to watch/listen to what was said and then give advisement on the FOIA requests that are posted that would better yield the documents and studies the Board of Education members are referring to. So far, it has been fruitless. Thank you in advance for any insight or assistance you can provide in obtaining what the public has a right to know.

Original Joe

As I said before, there is no statute that I know of that forbids a governmental body from handing over a document. My question is whether it can be done and still keep the required records. I think what I am saying is maybe your frustration is not with the governmental bodies but with the General Assembly which has over regulated what was a voluntary system of responding to the public requests for information. I, personally, request documents from governmental bodies on almost a weekly basis and don't seem to have the problems that others appear to be having. Where I have an ongoing relationship with the office, I get the information immediately after submitting my written request. I think in 35 years I have had a request rejected once by an employee who didn't understand that I was not requesting the documents under FOIA but under another Act that didn't have any exemptions. His supervisor gave me the documents on appeal.

From what you are relating, it would appear that my experience is the exception rather than the norm. I would like to hear more information on the instance where the governmental body rejected the request up to the eve of trial. I agree that that was an abuse.

To Experienced,

How does the current ipsd website comply as people from anywhere in the world 'request' documents it contains? That is basically the exact same thing you are asking, but in electronic form.

Does it comply with the record keeping requirements, or are the http 'requests' for files/documents outside of the FOIA realm?

I'm guessing the latter, but if you can point me to an actual law that says otherwise, I would appreciate it.

In an ideal world, EVERYTHING that is touchable by a FOIA request would be available through the website. One can even go as far as to have people create accounts so it can be 'accountable' as to who obtained what. Even BBSs, of the pre-WWW days had this capability.

Seriously, if you can show me a statute that applies that says one can not hand over a public 'document' outside of a FOIA request, I would love to be educated.

By Original Joe on April 13, 2009 4:06 PM

Your hypo works because it is a verbal request that does not necessarily request a document. What you have is a verbal request that yields a verbal response. The Act only pertains to requests for documentation.

The question still remains, can the district supply documents pursuant to a verbal citizens request and still comply with the record keeping requirements?

Experienced,

This is the same IT/Email policy that also says:

"Users of 204 email services are expressly required not to make defamatory statements "

To Experienced,

"But, my question remains that if they do, can they comply with the record keeping required by the Act."

If the requester does not make their request VIA the process or under the premise of the FOIA, then the request remains OUTSIDE the path/guidelines for the FOIA process; does it not?

For instance, if someone asks Mark Metzger what the 2008/2009 enrollment numbers are and he tells them the number then isn't that OUTSIDE of the Act and therefore no record keeping has to be done?

Yes, the requester COULD HAVE done this via a FOIA, but did not. The information sought was given without all the pomp and circumstance, saving many people lots of time. Seems pretty simple.

Experienced,

yes, I paraphrased it. Here is why:

The main reason to not automatically comply is to have the opportunity to not comply.

Of course, there is also the abuse/vindictive reasoning by the agency, where they divert the requester down the path of legal remedy up until the point of a court date THEN produce the document and say "See, we are in compliance and no longer are subject to penalties".

Is that what 204 does with their FOIA requests, toys with the public? I've seen some things lately that indicate this such as claiming to not have documents, travel studies or cost projections even after Board Members have said the district has done these and they personally have done their own analysis; Yet, a FOIA requests yields nothing but a single scribble sheet of useless notations. How can one explain this?

Original Joe

I was troubled by your reference to the IPSD policy because as you paraphrased it, it seemed not to comply with the Act. After review, I am not sure that your paraphrase of the district policy does it justice. The policy is:

"Electronic mail sent or received by the 204 system is not confidential and messages may be subject to state and federal "freedom of information" legislation. The Board of Education does not automatically comply with requests for disclosure, but evaluates all requests against provisions of the law and other legislation."

I think the "automatically" needs to be added to your statement, or one needs to make sure that the reference is that it is the request that is not being automatically complied with and not the Act itself.

http://it.ipsd.org/policy/email.htm

First, there is a Federal FOIA that pertains to Federal agencies and there is an Illinois FOIA that pertains to Illinois Governmental Bodies and agencies.

Next, the Illinois does not prescibe what the "writing" must be and a letter not on a district form should suffice. I have requested information from IPSD204 by letter and email and it has been supplied without their requesting that it be on their form.

I don't see any requirement in the Illinois act that a governmental body cannot give out the document on a verbal request. But, my question remains that if they do, can they comply with the record keeping required by the Act.

If you read the district's own computer policy with regard to district email, it states that it can be subject to FOIA requests, because it's a taxpayer funded system and all emails on it are property of the public.

It then goes on to say that they do not always comply with such requests. Non compliance is actually documented in their policy as part of their operating policy. That one took the cake.

Someone else can answer the FORBIDDEN question - one who has made FOIA requests. However, that's not the point. A letter written by a citizen asking for information that relates to their tax dollars, should not require a FOIA request. I would be surprised if it did. If it does, then the problem is worse than thought. For example, Florida provides all information required within 24 hours usually - no FOIA required. Note that FOIA is a federal act, so any means of circumvention would be illegal. Of course, the law is ignored in Illinois usually. Why? Because FOIA is not enforced usually. What we need is stiff penalties for non-compliance, including the non-compliant entity being required to pay all court costs of the citizen if they need to go to court to get compliance. But don't look to your new board to understand, much less force compliance.

To Experienced on April 12, 2009 9:44 AM,

A better question is: Are local government officials FORBIDDEN from giving out requested public documents if someone asks, without filing an official FOIA request?

Are they prohibited?

This was allowed prior to the whole FOIA legislation. Did the FOIA introduce a prohibition to what once was allowed?

By Anonymous10 on April 10, 2009 3:25 PM

Are local government officials allowed under the FOIA to give out requested documents without a formal request? If they do so, how do they comply with the required record keeping under the Act?

Will the new School Board assure the district provides information without the need for a Freedom of Information Act form for every request? Will the new SB develop a code of ethics for contracting and information sharing that is clearly transparent with zero loopholes?

As the Tribune recently editorialized, Illinois government and quasi-government units in general meets most requests for information with hostility. People of Illinois, other state and local governments provide the information without the FOIA form requirement. Such stonewalling only can mean corruption and pay to play is at work in D204.

At a recent SB meeting one person asked a question about the process for getting information from D204 and was told to do a FOIA request by an official. How rediculous is that coming from OUR own employees - the people who work for us...who we pay with our tax dollars.

I fear millions of dollars are being wasted on no-bid contracts and directing of contracts to friends in D204. And don't tell me this is not going on when there is no traqnsparency and officials continuously block or slow down information requests by asking for FOIA forms.

We still have shaky information at best behind the district high school student projections that reached 10,400 and above during the build up to the referendum vote. The actual projections are coming in at around 8800. But the real goal was probably the huge referendum bonds and broker fees achieved by the few. Tell me a better investment of money than a rich district required by law to pay building bonds before any other expenses. Mission accomplished and bonuses already paid. I think we will see the financial types slowly dropping away from service as the cash cow has now been milked - for the next 20 years.

Take out the conversion of the WV Gold campus to a middle school that we did not need, and we burned what will be soarly missed capital on a high school we did not need. That is over a $300 million mistake when you count operating, principle and interest costs..oops and bonuses - a number that continues to grow as the district rubber stamps every construction cost increase requested by Turner and company.

With our new team of crack financial business executives who have worked many projects, understand economic evaluation, and know what risk management actually is - NOT - we should be in great shape as our tax revenues go flat to negative in the next few years - NOT.

We are a bunch of ignorants being pushed around by a couple of bullies - just like the old days. However, the budget is not $2.7 million per year, but $270 million. The least we should do is get leadership that can manage such major responsibilities. We will get what we voted for. Yes, "Hey lets bake some cookies and sell some t-shirts and be positive FOR THE KIDS!

I once voted for a referendum for a third high school, because the district needed it (I realize this is debatable, but that is not my point). I voted for the district, and not for where my children would be going to school as they were not slated to be attending either of the newer schools in the district. We have a great district and excellent educators regardless of the building in which they are housed.

That said, withdrawal from the process is the worst thing we could be doing at this time. We must continue to be engaged and hold the board accountable for both their decisions AND the process they pursue to reach their decisions. This is not to say we will always like their decisions, but we cannot let them treat us like mushrooms -- keeping us in the dark and every so often throwing some "fertilizer" on us.

I do wish the new board well, however, I would ask they remember that they work for us.

PS. I still marvel at the fact that anyone would want the SB position with all the shrapnel flying about.

Well, the voters have spoken...or at least the people motivated to vote. It looks like some neighborhoods delevered as asked to deliver by their informed leaders, while others did not.

You would think that after everything that has happened, more people would care to get out and vote - to use their only "real" strength. Unfortunately, some people recoil and give up. Giving up only prolongs the pain, and the ultimate fall.

Anyway what is IS. Some questions on pre and post election:

1. Is it possible that the admin announced a sudden fiscal responsibility (see the pre-election newspapers, D204 website, etc.) to re-assure voters that they were actually thinking about the current environment and realize THERE IS A DEFICIT BUILDING as the slate pointed out?

2. Was the big raise for teachers planned to irritate voters just before the election, and help defeat the slate that was supported by teachers' union?

3. Is there separation of admin and teacher union pay negotiations in D204 - meaning does a handsome salary and benefits for D204 teachers equate to the same for admin even though the admin is not directly teaching our children, or can the admin be severely cut to fund the teachers?

4. Does the election results mean teachers and admin pay will be frozen or held to 0.1% CPI cap?

5. Will the new SB demand pay for performance - something ALL companies have these days, such that we can pay the BEST teachers well, but weaker teachers less?

6. Is the April 13 SB meeting that was marketed as a fiscal responsibility meeting going to give specifics on how the estimate $70+ million projected deficit is going to be addressed?

7. Where was the teachers' union vote or are there too few teachers living in D204, and/or are they apathetic voters in general like most other people?

8. Is the new SB going to ask for MM's resignation from the SB, or do they support derogatory emails about family's of sexual assault victims in the district? - cannot believe we will continue to have this conversation. The new SB may ask themselves - what if it were my daughter? What if it were boys and a girl?

9. Are the winners going to dive into the financials and make the structural changes required to allow the district to continue delivering good education with LESS resources?

10. Who are the fiscally responsible SB members with the skills and background to make structural changes, rework the supply chain, bring economies of scale into work in what is effectively an entity that is as big as a mid-sized corporation?

Unfortunately, I fear some of the answers. Our collective apathy will have consequences...they will just play out over a longer period of time and be more severe. There's no where to hide. In the next five years, it will be more about massive resources that cannot be secured with bake sales.

That said, I offer my full support to the new board. Good luck and God bless.

Why people don't vote anymore.
I once voted for a high school to be located at 75th and Route 59. That school is now being built at Eola and North Aurora. It was a complete waste of time voting because the school board decided were the school was going to be built and what the boundaries were going be. Maybe that's why people don't get out and vote anymore. I wish the best to the new 204 school board members and hope they keep the tax payers in mind as bugets are finalized.

To Original Joe on April 9, 2009 5:06 PM

You are correct. I should have ended my message with the second to the last sentence and kept it to the facts of the actual vote counts.

To Anonymous on April 9, 2009 3:30 PM,

People can (and will) guess why until the cows come home. At the end of the day, it's still just a guess.

Voters do what they do for their own reasons.

By Anonymous on April 8, 2009 12:57 PM
**********************************
By Anonymous on April 7, 2009 5:25 PM
By Anonymous on April 7, 2009 4:12 PM
I'd like to submit this entire blog as Exhibit A as to why D204 should be split into two separate school districts.


I agree, tallgrass and everyone else.
========================================
Nice - keep up the subdivision bashing. Actually, if you look at Will vs. DuPage results, you have completely different results:
Will County top 4 - J.Huang, DiFusco, Hepburn, Moscato
DuPage top 4 - Rasmus, Piehl, Rising, Vickers
Interesting that DeSart didn't top either list, yet she got a seat at the expense of Rising who finished in 9th place in Will County.

I'm sure the SB was toasting the champaign last night for successfully deepening the division between North and South. Clearly this has continued to work to their advantage. I'm just numb to it all at this point. And I think that was exactly the point.
******************************

Nice - ignore the real data of the election results. You may want to look at the detailed precinct results in Will. If you take out the top three precincts where the "slate" polled in the hundreds while others were mostly under forty votes each, you see a very different story. Without these top three precincts, most of the top candidates (in total), outpolled everyone of the four except for Jerry Huang. Could it be that Will, other than a few precincts, felt that other candidates were more credible?

With regards to the posting about the results in Will County v. Dupage County - the vote is what it is. A few possible reasons come to mind:

1. Are there a lot more voters in the Dupage portion of the district and did those voters favor the winners?

2. Did the Dupage portion of the district have a higher turn out and did those voters favor the winners?

3. Did more than a few Will County voters also favor the winners?

By Anonymous on April 7, 2009 5:25 PM
By Anonymous on April 7, 2009 4:12 PM
I'd like to submit this entire blog as Exhibit A as to why D204 should be split into two separate school districts.


I agree, tallgrass and everyone else.
========================================
Nice - keep up the subdivision bashing. Actually, if you look at Will vs. DuPage results, you have completely different results:
Will County top 4 - J.Huang, DiFusco, Hepburn, Moscato
DuPage top 4 - Rasmus, Piehl, Rising, Vickers
Interesting that DeSart didn't top either list, yet she got a seat at the expense of Rising who finished in 9th place in Will County.

I'm sure the SB was toasting the champaign last night for successfully deepening the division between North and South. Clearly this has continued to work to their advantage. I'm just numb to it all at this point. And I think that was exactly the point.

As Carl also said:

This is a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff.

Regarding post by Anonymous (4/7, 5:34PM) regarding another day off from school, here is what I understand:
1. Schools are mandated by the state to provide schools as polling locations if the county election board designates schools as such.
2. Schools may optionally keep school open or use the day as a teacher institute day.
3. A number of parents expressed concerns with keeping the schools open due to the inability to segregate students from votes and the setup of voting in main traffic areas. As a result, I believe our district chose for the teacher institute day.

I believe the school calendar is geared to meet the state requirements for number of in-school days. Is your concern a) that the district is not meeting this, b) that the district should have more school days than required, or c) that you are unhappy there is another day off right after spring break?

Danny, AKA anon @ April 7, 2009 4:50 PM,

I used the word groups. Plural, not singular.

Again, you wish to disqualify it. You have your answer, whether you 'accept' it or not. If you choose not to, that's your prerogative. It's not my job to make you satisfied.

At this point, anyone who wins a board seat better be able to justify these students being out of school for another what the he** day. They just had a week off, are off today, and will turn around and be out of school - yet again - this Friday. No one is bothered by the time OUT of school students spend in this district?

By Anonymous on April 7, 2009 4:12 PM
I'd like to submit this entire blog as Exhibit A as to why D204 should be split into two separate school districts.


I agree, tallgrass and everyone else.

By Original Joe on April 7, 2009 3:29 PM

Danny,

You asked, I answered, then you disqualified it as an answer saying it doesn't 'count' by whatever standards you are trying to apply.

There we are.


Except, Joe, you didn't answer. You said "quite a few independent things going on from the beginning." I challenged that, and while I certainly discounted one of your items (well, your only item), you still did not respond with "quite a few" others. You stated "quite a few" and responded with "one." Even Judge Smales would conclude you didn't present evidence to back your claim.

Yup, there we are. If you're going to make a claim, bring your "A" game to back it up.

I'd like to submit this entire blog as Exhibit A as to why D204 should be split into two separate school districts.

By MHH on April 7, 2009 2:54 PM
Danny,

Remember what Carl Spackler said: "Remember Danny - Two wrongs don't make a right but three rights make a left. "
********************************************************************
MHH, this would be Ty Webb.

Carl Spackler said this:

[i]So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. [/i]

Danny,

You asked, I answered, then you disqualified it as an answer saying it doesn't 'count' by whatever standards you are trying to apply.

There we are.

By Original Joe on April 7, 2009 2:43 PM

Danny,

Perceive it however you wish. You already have.


Well, yes, I guess we all have our answer on the topic now, don't we....

Danny,

Remember what Carl Spackler said: "Remember Danny - Two wrongs don't make a right but three rights make a left. "

Danny,

Perceive it however you wish. You already have.

By Original Joe on April 7, 2009 12:29 PM

Cultural groups? That's it? You said there were "quite a few independent things going on from the beginning."



While I appreciate diversity (as one with a racial mixed family) as much as anyone, I hardly consider this example to be of serious substance. I was looking for a number (more than one) of instances from you where he truly separated himself from the other 3. I have not seen this to date, and while I'll concede the "cultural groups" based on mere quantity, I hope you appreciate my perspective that this one really doesn't count.

I do believe he is the best of the 4, however.

Danny,

Cultural groups.


MHH,

Feel free to start a topic there yourself.

Can't wait for the new blog where we can switch gears to talking about the SB winners. I bet there's one slate member, if they are lucky.

Sorry Original Joe/Arch

By Original Joe on April 6, 2009 11:28 PM

Jerry had quite a few independent things going all the way through even from the beginning


OJ, what were they? I've been paying VERY close attention this entire race and don't recall seeing any independent moves from Jerry.

To Anonymous on April 6, 2009 11:13 PM,

Jerry had quite a few independent things going all the way through even from the beginning... again, let's not let truth get in the way of a good surly rant; so please... continue.

Jerry H has started solo mailings? WOW. Its just as cheap to add the other 3 names to his mailings but I guess he sees the writing on the walls. Way too late for those who voted early and a definite statement as to how he views the 3 stooges.

"We need independent thinkers"- absolutely. I think Jerry H. is trying to distance himself from the rest of the slate, at least going by his solo campaign mailings of the past few days. May be too late?

Party Crasher - I am worried about the slate. Ever here of the saying practice what you preach? Tell me where have they practiced "transparency" in their campaign. Their not even voted in and yet they haven't followed through on their campaign promises. They are as bad as Blago. At least he waited to be inaugurated before he turned on his tax payers. Should they get voted in they'll get along quite well with MM. They seem to do business the same way. Hide everything from the people because their not comfortable commenting (sound familiar).


No deficit is as bad as MSs to UNC right now. OUCH!!! Sorry MS/Big 10 fans.


so what you are saying anon is you could be bought off by someone paying for advertising. Remind me not to vote for you if you ever run. Sounds like you have little integrity and you are projecting that on others as though all act as you do.

To Anonymous on April 6, 2009 9:38 PM,

You keep claiming people are indebted to the teacher's union, yet have produced exactly NOTHING about what they were supposedly promised.

Go pour yourself a glass of your favorite brown, light up a cigar and enjoy the night.

To Anonymous on April 6, 2009 9:00 PM,

You can call me whatever you want, but don't call me late for dinner.

You're still wrong about all slate supporters being NSFOC supporters, and this is why I call it out each time you make the boner.

you are right party crasher...with that looming deficit, we should not elect those indebted to the teachers union.

Anon, give it a rest. Stop worrying about the slate and start worrying about where your district is going to find the money to finish MVHS. They are over $17 million short. Oh, and don't forget that projected deficit of $74 million over the next five years.

By Anonymous on April 6, 2009 8:57 PM
Since the 4 amigos are running as one please tell me what they are spending $40,000 on. It seems that if 4 of running it would be cheaper for all. Split expenses in fourths. Don't need to be in PA/Excel math to figure that one out. If they say they are fiscally responsible I would like to see where they have spent their $ on. It's quite obvious the others haven't spent that much, yet I have seen signs, flyers, websites, etc., for all candidates. Where/who is their money going to? If they can't be upfront with their campaign $, how am I to believe they will be upfront with my money.


don't bother asking moscato...he is probably "not comfortable commenting"

No matter what happens tomorrow, I wish all candidates well in their future endeavors. To those who win, I hope that you take the right road and look out and do what's best for ALL children of the district. To those that don't win, I hope that you continue to stay involved in the district as we truly need people with passion to help keep everyone accountable to our children.

After spending what feels like forever listening to candidates, I am excited to go to the polls tomorrow to vote for change.

The slate of four will not be getting my votes as we really need independent thinkers, not some "boy band", leading the school district in a positive direction. I really think that Jerry H. has qualifications to be a school board member. However, I question his judgement in packaging himself into the slate of four. Thinking guilt by association. We need independent thinkers, and I believe that Jerry has allowed himself to be the puppet to the others within his slate.

I encourage all to go to the polls and vote for those who have integrity. Three of my four votes will be cast as follows: Christine Vickers as she has shown that she is not interested in going along with the common herd. She has stood up for all children in the district and leads with facts, not emotion. Susan Rasmus as she is in the race for all of the right reasons, the children. She is not out "slinging mud" at others to make herself look better. Sue has a solid business background, a great work ethic, and understands the workings of the school district as a parent, PTA president, district volunteer, and substitute teacher. Some say Sue is a "cheerleader". I think Sue's positive, "go get em" attitude should be something that is embraced by others, not criticized. Mark Rising as he has been involved in the school board for several years. He regularly attends meetings in an effort to keep up on what is going on in our district. Mark has some great ideas on where the school district should be heading. I truly hope Mark gets the opportunity to execute his ideas. I am still contemplating my fourth vote as I have two candidates tied for 4th. I guess I will sleep on it one more night and hope that I make the best decision for all children of 2004 tomorrow.


Brian welcome to the blog...the only place where the slate supporters are nsfoc supporters but still find it offensive to call their candidates nsfoc supporters. and yes original joe, I am talking to you..or should I call you arch?

Since the 4 amigos are running as one please tell me what they are spending $40,000 on. It seems that if 4 of running it would be cheaper for all. Split expenses in fourths. Don't need to be in PA/Excel math to figure that one out. If they say they are fiscally responsible I would like to see where they have spent their $ on. It's quite obvious the others haven't spent that much, yet I have seen signs, flyers, websites, etc., for all candidates. Where/who is their money going to? If they can't be upfront with their campaign $, how am I to believe they will be upfront with my money.

Tomorrow as you enter the voting booth please consider one final thing. Will the candidate that you vote for, stand up to the one remaining school board member whose actions and disrespect to the taxpayers of this distinct is so heinous that he called father of one of the students a Mother _ _ _ _er?

They better or it is going to be a long two years.

Good Night, Good Luck,

Anonymous on April 6, 2009 6:09 AM

I'm completely offended at your comment. I work for AIG and your comments are not better than the MM's comments. How can you condemn him for his comments but make comments of like these?

to There's No Choice

"2 If you say no way in heck do I support Dr. Daeschner and Mark Metzger then vote for change (slate of 4). The four have all publicly stated that they are not happy with the performance of the Superintendent. Bottom-line is you put these 4 in and it's see ya later to Dr. Daeschner. That works for me so therefore they will get my vote. I'm tired of Dr. D and Mark Metzger leading the show, Mark Metzger has without a doubt gotten us into the mess we are today."

excellent post - couldn't agree with you more

"fud patrol...I guess you only list the arguments that support your candidates...but if you would pay attention...my argument is against voting in the "entire" slate. And do not forget that Dawn is from the south...even further south than your buddies"


at least you are consistent in showing off your narrow focus -- have you seen me post slate only ? You are so focused on the slate this and the slate that - get over it. There's another slate ( formal or not - M2-Curt-Alka was not formal either was it ?) as well which you are well aware of. Much like original Joe there are a few others who could get in and and also ensure a non M2 led group for the next 2-4 years. You no more support anyone other than those linked to Mark than the man in the moon. Please stop trying to sell it, you're just not that good a 'salesman'.

Anon -- how conveniently you overlook the fact that Curt and JC represent the exact same ES-MS & HS - but that was OK because they are from the north not the south ? No more than 2 of the current candidates.
And are Mark-Curt & Alka leaving ? And if Cathy Piehl - Rasmus and Rising get in where is the NV representation except for Alka ? So 1 SB member for the majority of kids - I get it. I guess the e-mail that said the north shall rise again is the appropriate sentiment... thanks for being clear in your purpose.

Your comments continue to not so covertly try and shut out the south side of the district - which happens to have the vast majority of the students in 204...

By Original Joe on April 6, 2009 12:01 PM
RE: .which non-slate candidates would also be good on the board the next 4 years?

I think CV would be good to have on the board again because she has personally made it a point to get the true data of the district out to the public. I don't agree with her on everything but she seems to be a numbers driven person. If you don't have accurate data to begin with (thank the other 6 members of the current board) then you really can't hope to make the 'right' decision. I appreciate her dedication to at least get that accurate base to start the decision making process. Unfortunately, the past 4 years she has had to work with others that do it backwards: Make a decision, then backfill with BS data to 'justify' it. Drawing conclusions from that accurate foundation is where people start to form opinions, and that is perfectly fine; but everyone should at least agree that numbers are what they are as a foundation. We don't have that today, and this is why the current board is 'broken' in my opinion.
----------------------------------
Joe:
We finally agree on something. www.christinevickers.com

fud patrol...I guess you only list the arguments that support your candidates...but if you would pay attention...my argument is against voting in the "entire" slate. And do not forget that Dawn is from the south...even further south than your buddies.

The choice in 204 seems pretty simple (By Anonymous on April 6, 2009 11:46 AM), oh really? It seems simple to me.

#1 Ask yourself are you happy with Dr. Daeschner and Mark Metzger? If so, vote in one of their little hand-selected minions (Sue R, Cathy P, Dawn D). They're all on record saying that they support the Superintendent as well as Mark Metzger (I still can't believe that Cathy P let Mark Metzger's MF comment be absolved - you know he's tired!). Vote them in and you'll get exactly what we have today.

#2 If you say no way in heck do I support Dr. Daeschner and Mark Metzger then vote for change (slate of 4). The four have all publicly stated that they are not happy with the performance of the Superintendent. Bottom-line is you put these 4 in and it's see ya later to Dr. Daeschner. That works for me so therefore they will get my vote. I'm tired of Dr. D and Mark Metzger leading the show, Mark Metzger has without a doubt gotten us into the mess we are today.

The slate of 4 (Hepburn, Huang, Difusco, and Moscato) all have a srong business background with strong leadership skills. These are the people we need to put in to place to lead our district. We should not be voting with emotion (and choosing a cheerleader-type like Cathy P, Sue R, or Dawn D). The next couple of years are going to be critical for the future of our district. We need leaders that know what they're doing.

Anon -- how conveniently you overlook the fact that Curt and JC represent the exact same ES-MS & HS - but that was OK because they are from the north not the south ? No more than 2 of the current candidates.
And are Mark-Curt & Alka leaving ? And if Cathy Piehl - Rasmus and Rising get in where is the NV representation except for Alka ? So 1 SB member for the majority of kids - I get it. I guess the e-mail that said the north shall rise again is the appropriate sentiment... thanks for being clear in your purpose.

Your comments continue to not so covertly try and shut out the south side of the district - which happens to have the vast majority of the students in 204...

To Anonymous on April 6, 2009 12:04 PM,

"MHH, they should be nervous. 3 of the 4 represent just 1 middle school, and they are the weakest 3 candidates of the slate. I think the voters in this district want members that represent the different areas of the district."

That makes Rasmus or Rising an either/or then, doesn't it?

They are both from Young ES area, which is a smaller footprint physically than an entire Middle School boundary area.

The other truth is, the 'slate' represents all 3 high school attendance areas.

MHH, they should be nervous. 3 of the 4 represent just 1 middle school, and they are the weakest 3 candidates of the slate. I think the voters in this district want members that represent the different areas of the district.

To 204 Parent tired of the FUD on April 6, 2009 7:56 AM

1) You said: "The slate supporters have taken the tactic that if you support any candidate that is not on the slate, you are a Metzger supporter."

2) Now you say: "Yes, the slate supporters have subtedly (and not so subtedly) stated (and/or implied) that other candidates are supporters of MM."

----

I agree with #2. One only has to read or listen to their responses to some of the forum questions. When Mrs. Piehl excuses his M.F. email as a "we should all feel sorry for Mark" slant to it ( ala his 'frustration' )... you're tell me she doesn't support him? Are you kidding?

Notice, I agree with you about #2... But #2 is not what you said in #1, which is what I took issue with. One does not have to be a Anyone supporter to make a choice on whom to vote for.


To: Anonymous on April 6, 2009 11:11 AM

RE: .which non-slate candidates would also be good on the board the next 4 years?

I think CV would be good to have on the board again because she has personally made it a point to get the true data of the district out to the public. I don't agree with her on everything but she seems to be a numbers driven person. If you don't have accurate data to begin with (thank the other 6 members of the current board) then you really can't hope to make the 'right' decision. I appreciate her dedication to at least get that accurate base to start the decision making process. Unfortunately, the past 4 years she has had to work with others that do it backwards: Make a decision, then backfill with BS data to 'justify' it. Drawing conclusions from that accurate foundation is where people start to form opinions, and that is perfectly fine; but everyone should at least agree that numbers are what they are as a foundation. We don't have that today, and this is why the current board is 'broken' in my opinion.

I find it truly amazing the depths that the fab 4 slate backers are going to in the last few days before the election. Fake granny posting on the Sun blog, infiltrating other boards to try and spin.

Little nervous about the outcome?

The choice in 204 appears pretty simple to me:

Either vote in the best Captive Board that Union money can buy, or elect an independent group of members that are clear of any potential conflicts of interest.

It is so simple to see the hypocrisy of the slate candidates --- they say they are for transparency while they allow the secret movement of monies from their SINGLE, LARGEST VENDOR into their campaigns.

In the business world this would result in both dismissal and criminal charges.

In the world of Naperville politics it gets you elected and provides the opportunity to negotiate a billion dollars of contracts with the same groups that funded you.

Hmmmmm? Why does everyone see this as a conflict?

Let's look further: It was bound to happen. The sleazy campaign tactics of P.U.R.E. and Diane McGuire have finally arrived at SD204!

That’s right: D204 is now the recipient of the surreptitious funneling of campaign cash through cut-out organizations and into their School Board race!

The reason for all of this secrecy and high-end financing? The reason for moving these funds in a way that keeps the contributors identity away from all except the most watchful of citizens?

Simple: All of the questionable funds come from Teachers’ Unions, and their surrogates, and are intended to assure that SD204 elects yet another full School Board that is entirely indebted to the Teachers’ Union and as such will assure SD204 of even more years of raises and spending that grossly exceeds CPI, the actual raises the taxpayers receive, and the eventual operating referendum.


See the site, below, for details:
http://www.elections.state.il.us/CampaignDisclosure/CommitteeList.aspx


original joe...which non-slate candidates would also be good on the board the next 4 years?

From OJ:
"Really? "the slate supporters" have done this?"

Yes, the slate supporters have subtedly (and not so subtedly) stated (and/or implied) that other candidates are supporters of MM. There have been all sorts of "innuendos", sly comments and outright lies about Mark Rising's association with MM, along with Dawn DeSart's. Those two are FAR from being MM supporters and have emphatically stated as such, but the little soldiers for the slate of 4 continue to perpetuate this myth to intstill a sense of uncertainty in these 2 candidates who are most certainly seen as the biggest threat to the slate.

South Side payback???? Really??? I just think everyone needs a refresher in the amazing network of PTSA & PTA email chains all with names attached to be published again. I know it was on the IPSD blue board for a while. It even comes with one of the very people who wrote the email going on the board under mustang6 to defend herself in the third person. Talk about a Seinfeld show. Lucky people kept copies. Then after you read through it you come back and tell me this is a South side thing.

Again your right and I agree 200% this is about the kids and people who will be able to deal with a company as large as district 204. There are candidates running who the biggest budget they have dealt with is their checking account. Talk about in over their heads but hey they will ask a professional. Which means "they do not know what they are doing and will spend more of all our money to figure out what to do" Great just what we all need more debt. I would vote for the expert they called. The last thing we need is people with ZERO business backgrounds to deal with immense debt this district faces.

Simple question...if you had a 750 million dollar company and candidates had no experience running any type company or experience running part of a companies operations would you hire them to run yours? If you answered yes your lying and you work for AIG.

To wake up people on April 5, 2009 11:53 PM,

"You know what is a terrible shame here? The slate supporters have taken the tactic that if you support any candidate that is not on the slate, you are a Metzger supporter."

You paint with a broad brush.

Really? "the slate supporters" have done this? Show me where this is the norm. Even though I am a 'slate supporter' I have met with candidates who are not on 'the slate' on more than one occasion to discuss the district situation on multiple levels. I personally feel some others would also be good to have on the board for the next 4 years. So really, what drove your statement above? Be specific with examples please.

You know what is a terrible shame here? The slate supporters have taken the tactic that if you support any candidate that is not on the slate, you are a Metzger supporter. That is untrue. As the slate likes to call "FUD." I guess if I said I only wanted to vote for one person on the slate, I must be a Metzger supporter. Get a clue as to the reality of the diverse nature of the district. This election should not be about south side payback as you clearly have made this. This is about the kids.

By Anonymous on April 4, 2009 11:42 AM

...this from the Daily Herald on April 2 in reference taking the money from the teachers union?
"DiFusco and Hepburn, the two candidates available to talk about the donations Wednesday, said they were appreciative of the support. Huang did not return a call to his cell phone and Moscato said he was "not comfortable commenting." "

Not Comfortable Commenting? what does that mean? "I will call you back after I consult with the other 3?" "I will let my attorney answer?" or "I know but I am not gonna tell you...na na na na?"

If he thinks he is qualified to be a school board member, he better be comfortable talking about who is paying his way.



Anonymous, thanks for helping make my point from an earlier post...Doug is a nice guy, genuine, means well, but isn't qualified to be on the school board.


********************************************************************
By Anonymous on April 5, 2009 8:17 PM
one can't help but notice that the slate supporters do not want the third high school.
********************************************************************

Your kidding right?? Seriously I went to the forum at the city council. All four of the slate clearly, let me repeat, clearly said Metea would open on time and on schedule period. They even sent an email out to all dispelling the rumors being spread about them. First item was boundaries would not change period. This was also expressed at townhall meetings so please stop grasping at straws. Talk about bait and switch. The Metzger slate gets busted on two separate items and the grand idea is let's just throw the boundaries out again, STOP please. The boundaries are not changing so get over it.

Let me ask if they are not a (Metzger) slate them why is their information being dropped at a houses together? Why have I seen the Rasmus, Rising and Piehl signs all together same yards? I am sure is DeSart had signs hers would be there also SLATE! Same exact strategy that Mark, Curt and Alka used the same strategy. WOW wonder where they got that from how about METZGER!!!

Then there was of course the Jeff Davis NACPAC tie in. Jeff a Metzger guy from his own mouth and his pals have the Northern slate all neatly backed with NACPAC.... Jeff & Mark nicely done. So what was the promise the northern slate slip school business to NAC members under the radar????

I will bet some one from the M2 group will launch one or two more BS attacks probably tomorrow. When they do this will only confirm the suspision in my mind that the Rising and Northern Slate email hit very close to the mark. Mark Metzger that is.

"one can't help but notice that the slate supporters do not want the third high school."

One's want for something (whether they do or do not) should not be a factor in the decision making process. I've met supporters with opinions all over the map on that topic; for, against, not sure, 'hey whatever', etc.

one can't help but notice that the slate supporters do not want the third high school.

to anonymous for this comment
"...let's look at what we do know. 3 slate candidates are from the Scullen middle school which was the heart of the NSFOC "build at brach brodie or nowhere" base."

you know - I read exactly those same kind of toxic generalizations in emails being circulated in the northern section by PTSA officers. Of course maybe it is you ? So everyone who lives in Scullen is NSFOC ? Sure - they didn't even have as many members as all of Scullen attendance- but then facts are never important when you can try and scare people with innuendo--

NONE of the 4 candidates were members of nsfoc - I am sure you can get the list of members from some of your buddies--but again facts don't matter do they -

"We need unselfish leadership...not hidden agendas."

OMG - I did need a good laugh on a rainy day -- the M2 led goon squad and no hidden agendas ? You've got to be kidding me-- $74M in debt in the next 3 years- a half finished unneeded HS in the far corner of the district to shut some people up who wanted their Neuqua regardless of transportation costs increases - and trying to convince people that anyone who is not aligned with them is the boogeyman -- put the kool aid down anonymous- you've had enough
you should consider stand up with this line though

By Anonymous on April 5, 2009 2:19 PM
yes original joe...3 of the 4 are from the base of the nsfoc...they are using a large amount of money to elect the 4 rather than dividing the money between the 4 in order to increase their odds of winning as a majority.

And I forgot to mention that Michael Crocket, who spoke at NSFOC meetings, refuses to deny that they were members of or contributors to the nsfoc.

That is enough doubt to not risk my childrens' futures and my tax dollars to that slate. I encourage every voter to consider the ramifications of the nsfoc running the school board. We need unselfish leadership...not hidden agendas.
----------------------------------------------

Anonymous 2:19

Your post was a lie. None of the four candidates (Huang, DiFusco, Moscato or Hepburn) were members of NSFOC. Prove it.

To Anonymous on April 5, 2009 2:19 PM,

The 'base' of nsfoc? That's about as stupid as the WVHS is full of nothing but druggies and gangs stereotyping. Were any of them plaintiffs on the lawsuit? It's public record. I know many people (even anti-nsfoc people) who were on 'their email lists' so they could get updates. Does that make them members too? You could also try asking Sean Collins if they gave him any money.

Nah, that would require actually doing something to find out with certainty; which is counter productive to the U in FUD.

To: Where's the Beef - I certainly hope that you and others are not using these blogs to decide who should get your votes. If that is the case then please don't step into the booth.

In order to make an informed decision in ANY ELECTION you need to do your homework and it's not reading blogs. These blogs are nothing more than an electronic National Enquirer.

Someone told me Michael Crockett knows Bill Ayers and was part of the Weather Underground in the late 60s. From there I heard he went on to the NSFOC to get everyone kicked out of NVHS so he and his family could have the school for himself. Now I hear he is backing a socialist regime bent on talking over the entire school system to divide the spoils with the teachers. When I vote Tuesday, I'm voting for the only candidates left that will uphold truth, justice and the american way. I would like to tell you more about this but I understand I am under surveillance.

From: Mommy
"They're willing to sign their names and they very clearly spell out exactly what happened."

The did not use their REAL names - they claim to be using their "maiden names" for fear of retribution. How convenient that by doing that there's no way to verify the validity of this extremely detailed (& obviously fictional) blog entry. Dirty politics at its finest - Cook county would be very proud of the way Huang, Moscato, DiFusco & Hepburn have run their campaign.

From reading on this blog I conclude that the only viable candidates appear to be this slate. I hear a lot of negative stuff about them. That usually means there are people who want them to lose. What I don't hear are positive things about the other candidates? In fact I have heard virtually nothing about why they should get my vote. No one seems to have anything to say about them. My conclusion is why would i want to vote for anyone in this election?

yes original joe...3 of the 4 are from the base of the nsfoc...they are using a large amount of money to elect the 4 rather than dividing the money between the 4 in order to increase their odds of winning as a majority.

And I forgot to mention that Michael Crocket, who spoke at NSFOC meetings, refuses to deny that they were members of or contributors to the nsfoc.

That is enough doubt to not risk my childrens' futures and my tax dollars to that slate. I encourage every voter to consider the ramifications of the nsfoc running the school board. We need unselfish leadership...not hidden agendas.

Lovely. Yet even more crap. They're from Scullen, so they must be up to no good. Seriously? That's your perception?

Now we're back to stupid stereotypes reminiscent of last year's theme that if you're from area X, Y, or Z then you must be a {Fill in stupid negative term here}

To Mommy,

Ok we all know you are going to vote for the SLATE along with your Tall Grass neighbors. If you believe Angela, Judy, and Patricia who listened in on a private conversation by two people then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. You would be easy pickings.

Does anyone have recent figures on how many 204 students are from Naperville and how many are from Aurora?

Mommy,

There is a world of differnece between an endorsement (as in"Hey! I really like that guy and gal. Vote for them!") and cash donations, especially when they are hidden under the guise of several cut-out organizations with zany names, etc.

It is impossible to NOT see a conflict of interests in a situation where anyone running for a leadership position takes cash or in-kind contributions from their largest vendor. This is only magnified by the hidden & surreptitious nature of the funding.

FUD Patrol..an ally of the slate of 4...is actually warning everybody of the slate's intent. In turn we can infer why they need to run as a slate. Even the slate's own blogger allies are now starting to reveal their hidden agenda...to keep Metea from opening.

This is from Muscato's question and answers with the Daily's Herald.
"1. What is the most important issue facing Indian Prairie Unit District 204 and how specifically would you address it as a member of the school board?
The current economic situation is the biggest issue currently facing District 204. Eliminating non-essential expenditures is a priority. There are many ways that we can go about cutting down on money spent. We must use all the other possible revenue sources and maximize the use of our buildings and grounds. We must optimize the usage of all district transportation."

Moscato's comments about maximizing the use of our buildings and grounds in addition to all the rhetoric we had to absorb during the NSFOC lawsuit about the higher busing costs for Metea, gives me reason to ask if he has alreay decided to keep Metea from opening. Add to this; Michael Crocket saying that we do not need a third high school and his withdrawl and strong endorsement of the slate - to the point of saying it is so important that they entire slate gets in, don't vote for Michael Strick - and maybe the hidden agenda is to keep Metea from opening.

Before you start your FUD comments...let's look at what we do know. 3 slate candidates are from the Scullen middle school which was the heart of the NSFOC "build at brach brodie or nowhere" base.

I am sure that their attorney sat them down and said that based on the court's ruling, the school board has the authority to choose pretty much anything but to raise the money for a capital expenditure like a high school. If you want the district to have the same boundaries as 2008-2009, yoou need to stick to the 2 high schools, and to do this, you have to take over the board. Just 1 or even 2 candiates from the NSFOC would not garner enough votes to keep Metea from opening, they need all four available seats.

Running a successful campaign takes money. No problem. The teachers union VP is the wife of a potential candidate. All she has to do is arrange the financing and then step down. The union won't actually turn over the financing until they have a chance to create a cover organization.

bring on the FUD comments but everyone needs to ask themselves this one question...are you 100% sure that the slate has absolutley no intention of keeping Metea from opening and opening on time? And remember this folks, the ruling stated that the board cannot be held to campaign promises.


"Actually, it's my opinion that the non PA English track (even honors in HS) sucks. They are told what to write, not taught HOW to write."

Thanks, O-Joe! I agree with you completely! Along with what to think, what to say, etc., etc., etc.. There is very little "excellence" in teaching today particulary with younger teachers (please indulge me a generality). Their arrogance is astounding. They let their friends grade students' work and actually say out loud they like to "tell kids what to think." (yes, I know this first-hand, out of the mouth of a non-tenured (AP) teacher in the track of which you speak). Regretfully, "teachers" like this are granted tenure time and again, and......the beat goes on.

To Anonymous on April 5, 2009 11:17 AM,

'Dude',

The district themselves said the HS building cost is over the referendum amount of 124.6 million.

I'd start asking ourselves why D204 is in the top 3% in the state for high paid administrators and why they do not spend a dime on their own benefits. There's the head-count to start looking at first, wouldn't you agree? After that, simply walk further down the org chart until you get to the bottom.

To: By Original Joe on April 4, 2009 12:03 PM

Dude, the building costs are not part of the active ops budget! They come form the referendum. The yearly costs (say, interest?) will be part of your budget for 20 years or longer. So, you will have no shrinking budget unless your Board controls headcount costs (which are approx. 75-80% of your costs).

Of course there is no law that disallows shrinkage. However, perhaps you can point out for all of us which districts, exactly, have ever shrinked their ops budget, and by how much? As a hint, there are over 800 districts in Illinois, so I hope there is at least one with a Board that has brains. Isuspect, however, that you will find that any Districts with shrinage had it A)because of extreme decreases in attendance and B)the shrinkage came 2-5 years after teh enrollment drops became obvious. Why? Boards with no Balls.

Yep- here come the minions to try and say, " no way this can happen" - it's all those other people".

One of 2 things; either too naive to believe it could happen or too blinded by being part of the 'power group' to care. When I first heard about the "mother***** e-mail my first reaction was - nope he's too smart to do that "- Well how did that turn out ? Then I heard about e-mails from PTSA presidents and officers claiming things like the north shall rise again, we have to prepare ourselves the 'battle' is not over, someone warn Brookdale" and I thought- who'd be stupid enough to say those things- then when the copies arrived I saw who was.
When I heard we purchased a piece of property without an appraisal just to beat a lower bid coming in from another location and paid 3 1/2 times what the church did just 3 years earlier in a horrific real estate market, I said, not with a banker on the SB- no way - how did that one turn out ?
When I heard that the SB knew all along that we'd never see 10,400 kids and that 8800 was max ( just like previous committees had said),I thought oh no, they must have better info than that. How'd that one turn out ?
When we were told don't worry, our numbers are better than their numbers, we can afford BB no matter what, now please vote on this ref in 2006. Some people told me they were lying thru their teeth and I didn't believe it, how'd that one turn out ?


The fact that some people simply can't fathom this meeting taking place again tells me one of two things, either you have not been paying attention at all the last few years or maybe you were at said meeting. No one else would dismiss the possibility out of hand.
Hopefully the days of secret meetings with subdivisions and no plan B's ( because plan B really would be plan A) and totally secret finances re: what is spent are over.

Before you step into the voting booth ask yourself how much the new high school has really cost us. We approved $124M. Why haven't you seen an accounting of 'expedite' costs somewhere between $5M and $10M in the worst economy of our lifetimes to open an unfinished school and ask yourselves why we are throwing this money away with a huge deficit looming ? The SB already knows the attendance issue in HS ( or lack thereof), Christine Vickers raised it again in the 4/14/09 meeting with time to re evaluate all options. Why the rush ? Plainfield East waited almost a whole year before opening to ensure the school was complete for the kids - Oswego has 2 schools sitting empty because they are not yet needed and why spend the additional operations costs ? Why have you not seen a complete release of the bond financing and the shortfalls now which you will be asked to cover shortly.?

Ask yourself who put us in this position before you enter the poll booth, and ask yourself if you want change from this, or more of the same rampant spending of monies we do not have ? You and I have to cut back on most everything to make sure ends meet today, but for some reason we are willing to give this SB our checkbooks and let them go nuts - why ?

Well those of you that choose not to believe the reported epidsode by Angela Johnson, Judy Robiski and Patricia Barrett, you go right ahead. Personally, I believe it. They're willing to sign their names and they very clearly spell out exactly what happened. If you don't think that this is is possible you haven't been around our recent SB. This has MM's fingerprints all over it. He gets involved, gets worried, and then rallies the troops of all the good little foot soldiers of the PTA and IPPC (as well as certain SB members). Then they all spin their own little tale and personally attack others and neighborhoods - turning others into the bad guy. Remember this is a SB President (at the time) that thought nothing of calling a victim's parent a Mother F#cker. There are numerous examples of MM orchestrating his power and attacking others he just got caught this time.

There are many that question the support (and financial support of the Teacher's Union) for the slate of 4, but here's the deal, every single candidate interviewed with Teacher's Union IPAC to try to garner that endorsement. That's the same organization that at one time endorsed MM and JC among others. What? Now it's an ugly thing to get the teachers to endorse a candidate? I don't buy it. Had Mark Rising or Sue Rasmus (or any of the other MM supported candidates) gotten the IPAC endorsement they'd be celebrating it and showing it off in the mindset of "look the teachers support our candidacy" however when it didn't go their way, it now is veiwed in an ugly teacher vs. community way? I'm not buying it.

Wake up everyone! We need change. Don't vote for anyone that is in bed with MM or we're in for more of the same. That means no vote for Cathy Piehl, Dawn DeSart, Sue Rasmus, Mark Rising. A vote for any of them guarantees more of the same. Enough of MM's power. And if you need even more information, go back and watch the Ch. 17 interviews. How could anyone after watching those give a vote to Cathy, Dawn or Sue? No way!

Would any one like to make a bet on this?

To Anonymous on April 5, 2009 12:53 AM

RE: "this is a fine example of why our students do so well in Creative Writing. "

Actually, it's my opinion that the non PA English track (even honors in HS) sucks. They are told what to write, not taught HOW to write.

Been there, done that, as a parent.

To Anonymous on April 5, 2009 1:02 AM,

In the many years my wife rented out and reserved facilities for a non D204 organization, it never went before the school board or needed their approval. Fill out the form and submit it (with whatever fee) and boom, there you go.

from DiFusco's daily Herald profile:

We would utilize our field space to set forth a rental plan to the immense youth sports programs from the community. Park district land is not available do to demand beyond available capacity. League rental agreements would be a very real and viable revenue stream.

Does anyone see a conflict with the board deciding to rent out school property to his business? He gets a great deal and the taxpayers get stuck with the additional insurance and maintenance.

original joe...this is a fine example of why our students do so well in Creative Writing.

thank you ladies for letting me know who to vote for. My house must have been skipped by your renegade pta.

I liked Rising because in part because of mr hands' comment "Rising being truthful is a sales rep". My old man was a sales rep. Sales rep are paid for results. They do not collect a check for just showing up. Mr Hand on the other hand had a very secure goverment job and looks down on those who have to perform to get paid. I trust Greg Forrest on this blog and he said he voted for Rising.

I believe that Dawn DeSert values her reputation too much to do anything stupid, thoughtless, selfish, or underhanded. I liked that she released a press release announcing that she was not involved in any slander going on and that the slander should stop.

I've heard good things about Susan Rasmus but had not made up my mind.

I liked Jerry Huang's credentials but the union money and his association with the other 3 ruined my opinion of his character.

I didn't know who else to vote for. But it appears that the slate most fears the potential election results of DeSert, Rising, Rasmus, and Piehl. And since I do not believe that a candidate should accept a donation, let alone such a large donation, from a group that will be negotiating contract with the district next year, I will vote for the 4 candidates that I believe have the best ability to beat the slate.

First thing Tuesday morning, before catching my train, I will vote for Desert, Rising, Rasmus, and Piehl. None of them have publicly endorsed any of the others, so I do not believe that they are a slate. I personally feel that those 4 have the best chance of being the 4 that will receive more votes than the slate. I feel that those 4 will make better board members than any of the 4 of the slate.

3 Grannies - "We had the pleasure of eating lunch sitting directly behind two gentleman at a well know eating establishment".


FUD, FUD, FUD. Why don't you mention where you had lunch, I'm sure the restaurant would love some free advertising. Three old ladies having lunch and can hear everything that was being said at the table next to them. They could remember every single name they mentioned above, again FUD. If this is true, which we all know it's not, remember that it's not polite to eaves drop on other people.

What's even crazier than this letter is that some people will believe it.

Isn't judy robinson still Lost in Space?

that was nice fiction (isn't angela johnson a fiction author?). Where did your story lose credibility? you gave too much background...they talked about the importance of this election, they listed the positions of the school board by title, further more they listed EACH position. They identified everybody by name. If these 2 gentlemen were working together, most of this conversation would have happened prior to this lunch. Why would they have the need to mention all of the things you mention in your background story? A bit of advice from Dr Phil...the best lie is a simple lie.

They say how they find the actions of these people to be so terrible but yet they claim to have stolen emails from them...they will distribute when the time is right. Look Out! Granny's got her granny panties in a bunch.

Am I the first to think this? 3 women having lunch and not talking? And if that was the case, someone at the supposed anti-slate table would have definitely noticed.

C'mon, we have seen all of this type of bs before.

To Anonymous on April 4, 2009 11:48 PM,

I am at first inclined to agree with you, but I had the same reaction after reading that as I did with the Mother F*#$#$er email.... I said NO WAY IN HELL THAT IS LEGIT.

Look how that last one turned out. Add in the near verbatim pro-unofficial slate emails with the same negative FUD bashes on the 204taxpayer candidates from pta/ptsa officers and it does make one really start to wonder. . . Oh, but it must merely be a coincidence. I have a nice bridge that is for sale.

Any smart individual (most days I think that anybody with brains has better things to do then read this blog) knows these women are obviously loyal to the slate. Or they are fictious non-existent women. This ploy was used numerous times on the blogs by NSFOC people claiming to live to Stonebridge and going on and on how none of their neighbors want Metea at the Eola site. For those you who blogged then, this must seem like a very familiar tactic.


Thank you Angela Johnson, Judy Robiski and Patricia Barrett for your help in exposing this conduct.

Angela Judy and Patricia:

Nice grandstanding. However, you are now doing the same thing that you are accusing others of doing? A bit hypocritical! Nice try though! More FUD by the southside.

I have seen the Mark Rising signs posted at almost all the entrances of Tall Grass and they are still there.

Anon,

Whatever you have to say is kinda irrelevant. Did you read that post at 5:57?

By Anonymous on April 4, 2009 5:46 PM
so if I follow Mr Hands logic. The board can only hire 1 person. Everyone else is hired by the head of human resources. The head of human resources must have hired himself since Mr Hand will not allow a link between the school board and the administration. Nice try Mr Hand.
********************************************************************

Your the exact individual who always felt knew better how to do our jobs than people trained to do them. Well sir Human Resources is in charge of hiring and firing. The super obviously has a say with his staff. This is actually like many companies standard procedure. I am not sure why you would feel volunteers would become involved in the hiring practice or dismissal of an employee they do not work with or evaluate. The super and human resources are responsible for this task. The board does not micro manage this. Again your view of what the school board has done and currently does for this district is overstated.

As a mother to 5 children all attending Naperville schools and now 5 grand children 2 in district 203 and 3 in district 204 through my 73 years I have seen and heard much in my life. I have watched a tiny town in the middle of nowhere grow into what it is today. I have seen mayors come and go along with dear friends and family. I share many of these memories with dear life long friends who we have stuck by one another through family tragedies and all. But what I have seen and listened to in recent weeks along my dearest friends of 30 plus years only makes me sad and disappointed in the human spirit. We may be old but we are not deaf dumb and certainly not blind. We have been around the block. I have seen many a political race through the many years. Having children that live in North, East & South district 204 along with district 203, I swear I thought I had seen and heard it all especially in the last couple years. Not even my girlfriends and I can say that now. We had the pleasure of eating lunch sitting directly behind two gentleman at a well know eating establishment. The topic of discussion was the district 204 race for the school board and the April 7th and how it could structure the eventual election for President, Vice President and Secretary. They spoke of school board personnel scenarios of the election and the effect it would have on the new board. Along with their candidates they have assisted in hopes to get elected that could help him to retain his position of strength. The material being distributed door to door for this group of four was all there. What is so saddening is they spoke of their group of who they have backed and provided information for. They identified by name PTSA presidents, Vice Presidents and basically the whole PTSA board etc.. of Metea Valley and Waubonsie Valley all involved in this despicable plan to manipulate the outcome. Two of these people living in one of my daughter and grand child’s own neighborhood, all in support DeSert, Rising, Rasmus & Piehl. I have listened to my daughter speak so highly of them so I listened and was saddened. The names Mark, Sue, Dawn and Cathy were repeated consistently for well over 20 minutes of getting their vote out and stopping the others. The others they spoke extremely rudely of using very crude derogatory comments about them and their family members. Both spent time on their cell phones one speaking further on getting more people activated. What became apparently clear to all of us was the well orchestrated plan of rumors, lies and behind the scenes manipulating. Brookdale, Knoch Knoll, Breckenridge, Oakhurst, Stonebridge & Longwood were all mentioned. I may be 73 years old but three sets of ears heard and saw what we did. A President of the PTSA & Vice Presidents names was used repeatedly as a way to attack. Angie saw the map they had of color coded neighborhoods yellow was labeled with their candidate’s names. We heard the mean verbal jabs on people’s wives and how to attack candidate’s spouses. All this for a school board? In the last days we dug up who they spoke of to clear up the questions we asked one another. I was a paralegal for 25 years and understand research. We have no stake, we have no candidate, and all we have are kids and grand kids affected by your actions. We may not like all candidates but from what I have found at least this slate came forth and told you they were a slate and who they were. She may have not done the job expected of her but Chris has tried. They were both attacked with vulgar and just rude comments. But to pretend, manipulate and keep hush your plan while all the time a bigger scheme was at hand is wrong. At my age I can say, shame all of you. If you work together be honest and proud to say it. Not hide and sneak around. People have a inherit right to know. If you win and are honest about it I applaud you. But do not attack others only to align and hide. The pain the district has suffered is not enough? Instead you feel this is the remedy? The end for your group does not justify the means. Angela, Judy and I observed, what is apparent is one group the hidden slate plotted and planned and schemed with Mark M. Ultimately it is up to the public to decide the fate and begin to restore the human spirit we fear has been lost. Understanding there is a person attempting to restore his power with four people now apparently willing to help. Do not attempt to deny your actions we all know what we heard and saw. Someday you will be judged by a greater power than Mark who you have succumbed to. On that day what we all have done through the course of our lives we cannot hide from.

As for the PTSA people involved your actions are beyond inexcusable. You are in a position of responsibility to help special need kids and yet you distribute lies and purposely attack people knowing they are lies. You discuss and attempt to rig questions for the forum at City Council. How do I know all this for Angela, Judy and I took the emails you wrote from their table and have them in our possession, so we have proof of your outrageous behavior. The answer to your next question is yes you will be exposed at the appropriate time and place. Hiding behind the PTSA flag and then distributing venom is not acceptable behavior for woman in your position. All of you should do the right thing and allow the good honest parents working so hard for the PTSA to move forward and you all move along. That is your choice, but so is it ours to publish your hate. The decision is yours for now. The most chilling of all is all these people working so hard to spread hate and lies when our community needs to heal. All for the power you and your hidden slate yearn to control. Do to the mean and vengeful retribution we have seen occurs from persons we witnessed, we have used our maiden names to protect our grandchildren and children from any actions against them.

We are saddened by all your actions.
Respectfully
Angela Johnson, Judy Robiski and Patricia Barrett

so if I follow Mr Hands logic. The board can only hire 1 person. Everyone else is hired by the head of human resources. The head of human resources must have hired himself since Mr Hand will not allow a link between the school board and the administration. Nice try Mr Hand.

This is because the board keeps handpicking appointees like AT and CP and CB from earlier and then support their re-electon bids as has been mentioned already. Incestous group think.

In relaton to the remining 3 SB members not up for relection this year (in 2011 they are). I think Mark and Dawn would be independent thinkers as would the slate. Vickers has proven she can be an independant voice, she just had a tough road being the only independant voice on the SB. my problem with her is that by the time she really made a stand with her data based on her opinions it was way too late. she should have been consistent all the way through several issues if she beleived she was correct and her data was correct. On the other side; for her troubles, she was isolated from the board and from key information she got late. Punished by the existing board for voicing her opinion. not suprising..... but disappointing nonetheless

"Have the slate candidates responded to the need for a third high school or their association with the NSFOC?"

Actually yes they have responded to this... replies as I heard at forum and townhall events are as follows:

Jerry Huang kids will attend Metea said third high school would open on time and will be operating as scheduled. Not a part of NSFOC
Doug DiFusco kids will attend NVHS. In townhall and forum said MV would open on time and would proceed as planned. Not a part of NSFOC
Eric Hepburn kids will attend WVHS. In townhall and forum said MV would open as planned on time. Not a part again of NSFOC
Don Mosacato kids will attend NVHS. In townhall and forum said MV would open as planned on time. Not a part again of NSFOC

Each answered quite clearly the questions asked of them at their various townhall meetings. Neighbors actually called them directly as well to ask further questions which they replied to.

Clearly ANON you do not understand the boundaries a board has based on checks and balances provided the Admin. If you have not been a ranking school Admin please do not attempt to provide information that is not true you only make the people who work year round at the CEC look bad. The human resource function of the CEC is in charge of the hiring practices of the Admin with the exception of the super. Please name me one just one person a board in 204 has terminated. You cannot because this is not their function.

It is apparent instead of understanding by educating yourself to what the actual function of each entity is and how it works in total, the convenient thing to do is spread things that are not correct.

"Mr Hand is well aware of the active role of the board in union contracts. But if he gives you all the facts you might not vote for his buddies." **Response** I do not have "buddies" as you say in this or any other race. You again attempt to profess how the Admin functions in negotiation but do not realize board members DO NOT sit in, participate or have input into contract language at all. This is a fact of this district for as many years as I have been in Admin. I very clearly layed out what the process is. Again take a moment to understand the process to avoid statements that really are not fair to the people from the admin who work very hard at negotiating these agreements.

ANON last point in comparison to any district surrounding D204 we have done the best job with our workforce remaining in the middle of the earnings curve. With regard to other districts of our comparable size whom per union employee pay considerably more. AGAIN the BOARD had no play at all in this accomplishment. They are isolated from participation. Please again take a moment to understand the process prior to committing something to print which is very wrong in actual fact.

I'm amazed at the lack of positive message here of any candidate. If these guys you call the slate are so bad tell me why I should vote for the people associated with all the negative campaigning. I don't see a single message of what these "non-slate" slate people bring to the table. In fact, I have heard 3 out of 4 of the non-slate slate state in the forums that are finances are good, or that they are not a problem. Don't we have 7 "independent" thinkers now? Quite a few 7-0 votes from what I see or 6-1. Independence seems to mean no thinking at all.

To Anonymous on April 4, 2009 11:24 AM,

Are you saying state law says the budget must grow? Since we are not going to be building any more schools, I see the distinct possibility for a budget shrink. This is a straight up honest question: Does the budget always have to grow according to the state laws you are referring to? Can it legally shrink?

Mr Hand is well aware of the active role of the board in union contracts. But if he gives you all the facts you might not vote for his buddies.

Have the slate candidates responded to the need for a third high school or their association with the NSFOC?

Danny Noonon...welcome back from spring break...did you see this from the Daily Herald on April 2 in reference taking the money from the teachers union? Does this sound like transparency?

"DiFusco and Hepburn, the two candidates available to talk about the donations Wednesday, said they were appreciative of the support. Huang did not return a call to his cell phone and Moscato said he was "not comfortable commenting." "

Not Comfortable Commenting? what does that mean? "I will call you back after I consult with the other 3?" "I will let my attorney answer?" or "I know but I am not gonna tell you...na na na na?"

If he thinks he is qualified to be a school board member, he better be comfortable talking about who is paying his way.

How can anybody trust these guys with the majority for 4 years?

To: By Mr. Hand on April 3, 2009 10:17 PM


Can oyu possibly be as completely ignorant as you sound, or are you a current Board member, or both?

If you really think the Board has no input to the final, approved contracts, then you are indeed a dolt. You may want to read up on the State laws, bucko.

To: By Original Joe on April 3, 2009 4:23 PM

For the ignorant such as yourself, projections should be based on actual data, past performances, and both micro & macro factors. They should NOT be based on "I like this guy or that guy" or "because I said so!".

The orifice I pulled the 5% out of was a combo of State law (for the ignorant, it is the lower of inflation or 5%, not including any referendums) and the actual past increases in D204.

What was I thinking, not just asking Doofus Joe what rate to use. Dang it! I will note here that the exercise is not very sensitive to small changes in growth rate, so even if you drop it to 2.%%, it is still an extremely large amount of money.

I will note here that you don't disagree with the point of the calculation, which is you guys will be voting for a ton of expenditures in this election!

By the way --- Sorry to confuse you with data!

Ah, spring break and the chance to leave the blogs for a week. Wonderful. Looks like I missed a lot.

I agree with most of what OJ says on financing. No problem with the slate taking money from ANY of their donors. No problem with the union using a front for distributing their donations. It's politics, there is nothing wrong OR unethical about any of this. HOWEVER (and this is where OJ and I part ways) -- running a campaign with a plank on transparency AND not disclosing where the funds are really coming from is, at best, a very shady move and not transparent at all, especially when one of the candidates, who when point blanked with the question "did you or your other slate members receive any donations from the teacher's union" responded with an emphatic "NO". It's definitely not a lie, but it is certainly deceitful.

That, in a nutshell, is my issue with the slate -- and I'm struggling because I really like Jerry Huang and may not vote for him because of this. If he can't be honest about where his support is coming from, what else is he hiding?




Oh, and "Metzger puppet master" is quite the FUD spreader. Your post doesn't make sense; you walked the neighborhoods as an avid supporter for a week (certainly no more than 2) then had this epiphany on how evil the guy was? Given the timing of the post, this sure feels like a planted story to counteract the Sun story on the slate's financing. The Metzger connection (actually, the LACK of Metzger connection) has been addressed ad nauseum. To me it looks like the slate is afraid of the support Rising has in the community and is simply rallying their base by dredging up this crap. Oh, and everybody's signs get stolen....even Rising's. I drove by Tall Grass two weeks ago and saw Rising signs in front of the Deering Bay entrance. The next day they were all gone. I'm sure it wasn't the slate or their supporters that pulled that stunt, it was probably the Rising campaign doing it so they could accuse the slate of dirty politics.

original joe, doesn't the school board have the authority to change administrative personel? All I hear for the slate supporters is how important it is to elect their slate but that they have no authority over what happens in the district. Sorry guys. You can't have it both ways.

It is plain stupid to elect the slate...one unit...to a majority...to control every decision in the district FOR 4 YEARS without challenge.

NEO

File a FOI with these groups if you need to know who they are. Stop with the FUD of your own.

To Anonymous on April 3, 2009 10:35 PM

RE: Who hires the admin staff.

They are already hired.

mr hand...who hires the administrative staff? Ultimately it all go back to the school board.

I actually worked negotiating the contracts. The administrative team is selected based on high ranking admin employees with experience in this process. For example currently the lead is N. Valenta. She has done many contracts on behalf of the admin. This is a seasoned team excellent at what they do. No one hires the team. The team are admin employees selected based on qualification. Please understand we have done and currently your admin does an excellent job. Just look at a comparison to district 203.

"And if they aren't a slate, why are their campaign materials coming to me packaged together?"

because that's the way the M2 team works -- remember last time - Bradshaw / Tyle / Metzger stuff came together in the same bag....
I remember those being stuffed by the likes of JC and our own Owen W @ a certain south side clubhouse in Alka's area.


as for the comment following on they don't have the money - well when one commandeers a whole group of parent-teacher group 'volunteers'-- things cost a lot less. One wonders what kind of things are being said/promised to make that happen ?

By Anonymous (FALSE Statements) on April 3, 2009 3:33 PM
The choice in 204 appears pretty simple to me:
Either vote in the best Captive Board that Union money can buy, or elect an independent group of members that are clear of any potential conflicts of interest.
Now, I know this is Naperville and everyone is way too busy to actually vote. However, I will humbly submit that this time it is worth your time.
This vote on Tuesday will have a MAJOR impact on your personal pocketbook.
(THIS IS NOT TRUE. AS STATED BELOW THE ADMINISTRATION COMPLETELY HANDLES THE NEGOTIATION. THE BOARD HAS ABSOLUTELY ZERO INPUT INTO THIS PROCESS. D203 HE SHOULD WORRY ABOUT AS ADMINSTRATORS WE HAVE KEPT THE UNION AT THE 48% TO 50% FAR LESS $10.5K TO $11k LESS THAN D203.)
Let us look at that, shall we?
Using data from wikipedia, we can take a decent guess at population and the number of families in d204. For this exercise, we will use 80,000 people and 26,500 families/households.
From the d204 website, we will take their '08 budget and increase it by 5% a year (just using the State law parms here ... it could easily be much lower or higher in a given year based on CPI, new construction, etc).
(AGAIN FALSE PURELY FROM A MATH STANDPOINT LIBERTIES ARE BEING TAKEN THAT CANNOT BE SUBSTANTIATED IN THE LEAST)
We will assume the opportunity for the new Board to negotiate 6 years of contracts in their term.
(AGAIN ANOTHER UNIFORMED PERSON TO THE REAL PROCESS. SADLY THIS IS THE VERY REASON AS I PREVIOUSLY STATED BOARD MEMEBERS ARE NOT INVOLVED IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM IN HAMMERING OUR THE NUMBERS. THE BOARD HAS NOT EVER IN DISTRICT 204 NEGOTIATED NOT ONE SENTENCE OF ANY CONTRACT EVER WITH THE WORK FORCE. IT IS OUR JOB AS THE ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM TO NEGOTIATE. PLEASE STOP YOU ARE SO FAR FROM CORRECT. BY YOUR IGNORANCE TO THE ACTUAL PROCESS YOU PAINT VERY HARD WORKING ADMINSTRATORS AS DOING NOTHING. NEWS FLASH THE BOARD DOES ZERO IN THIS PROCESS THE ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM DOES ALL OF IT)
Now, ready ......... BOOM!
(ACTUALLY POP GOES THE FAIRY TALE STORY TO THIS POINT YOU HAVE LAID OUT)
Your decisions on Tuesday will mean as much as $23,000 PER D204 citizen during just the six years of the contracts, or approx. $70,000 per family! Yikes!
(AGAIN PURE OUT OF LEFT FIELD GARBADGE. I AM SORRY BUT THIS IS JUST NONSENSE. YOU STIPULATE FIGURES YOU CANNOT SUPPORT WHY BECAUSE NOTHING HAS OCCURRED TO SUBSTANTIATE ANYTHING SO FAR YOU HAVE WRITTEN)

In fact, in just payroll-related expenditures (which is where, really, the conflict of interests arises), the numbers are still a staggering $18,500 per citizen and $56,000 per family.
(FACT FOR NOTRADOMOUS HERE, THE ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE A TREMENDOUS JOB KEEPING OUR UNION IN CHECK 48% TO 50% WHEN COMPARING TO DISTRICTS OF OUR COMPARABLE SIZE. BUT….OUR ADMINISTRATION IS IN THE TOP 3% WHEN COMPARING THE SAME DATA POOL. YES THAT IS REAL NUMBERS NOT SPECULATIVE FUTURES BEING TOSSED ABOUT WITH AGAIN NO BACKING. I KNOW BECAUSE I BENEFITTED FROM THAT TOP 3 %.)
Finally, let us put it into the egotistic jargon of Naperville-ese: It will take you about 30 minutes to vote. To simplify, let's call it an hour, shall we?
By getting out and voting, you can go to your cocktail parties and tell people that once in your life you earned almost $80,000 for one hour of work!!!!!
(OK FOR THIS PART I CAN JUST SAY STUPID OF THE WALL RALPH NADOR LIKE GOOFISM. DO YOU AGAIN NOT REALIZE D204 HAS DONE A GREAT JOB MAKING CERTAIN OUR STAFFS ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BELL CURVE ON EARNINGS. SIR YOUR PROBLEM LIES WITH YOUR DISTRICT 203. PLEASE DO NOT INSULT THE HARD WORK I HAD DONE AND PEOPLE NOW ARE DOING KEEPING THIS IN TOE. YOUR OPINION IS RIDDIN WITH WILD SPECULATION AND FLAT OUT LIES. AGAIN PLEASE STOP)

original joe and the long winded anonymous...who hires the administrative negotiating team?

None of the slate of 4 had anything to do with the raise the teachers just received. The 204 Administrators and the teachers' union negotiated that raise.

Wow Good info Anon (or Mr. Hand)!! (Anonymous on April 3, 2009 9:14 PM) Its pretty interesting how the board has almost no say in the negotiation process. I have also heard this in terms of past contract negotiations. However, dont they (SB) ultimately approve (or reject if they have a mind to do so?) the final contract? From what I have seen, the SB members basically have total authority over D204 while still relying heavily on the admin execs for the info and recommendations. Bottom line the SB 7 members can do pretty much anything from what Ive seen over the past 2 years if they have a mind to do so. It is a role that has almost total authority (no checks and balances). This is a scary thing and why its so important to make quality votes for candidates here next week....

Mr. Hand is dangerously close to my old handle of Fasttimes... LOL. another connessour of one of the best comedies of all time... Fast Times at Ridgemont (ummmm Metea) High.

Cheers
GF

As I said to d204 taxpayer on the other page, Anonymous you must be either one of the following: Rising, DeSert, C. Piehl or Rasmus. You know you Metzger slate who will continue to spend wild amounts of cash our district does not have. I mean they have such strong fiscal backgrounds. Rising being truthful is a sales rep, DeSert ex traffic girl..you know we have a backup on the Kennedy, Piehl..ok she is clueless or Rasmus a teacher ex PTA radical who is by the papers quote the cheerleader. WOW strong group. I will say first hand as a former long time member of the administration it was well known first hand that Owen tagged Mark as the next to inherit the mantle of the school board. Therefore I have a most difficult time stomaching anyone remotely associated with Mr. Metzger.

Sorry for the sarcasm D204 taxpayer but you really have no clue how the negotiations are done so I will explain. During the Howie Crouse regime I was on the administration negotiating team for 2 contracts. So I am very well versed in how it works. Where as you truly have no clue.

1) The board of education does not set the percentage or number we (admin negotiating team) negotiate from or to. The board of education has absolutely zero say in this process. Let me repeat that the board of education has zero say. To be even clearer during my time on the admin team not one board member I worked with had ever even negotiated a labor agreement in any capacity in their careers.
2) The administration negotiating team determines a starting point and ending percentage allowable for the administration solely based on numbers districts of similar size have standing contracts enforced. This is very similar to slotting as with collective bargaining if you have ever been a party to this type of negotiating. All data is gathered and compiled we then slot where our D204 work force fell in the curve with relation to the data pool. Our goal was to keep them no greater than the 48 to 50% percentile with relation again to the data pool of similar size districts which are comparable. Again let me re-iterate the board of education has absolutely zero to do with this process.
3) From this point non-monetary labor concessions were also in parallel being negotiated. This means if the union say asks for X for either continued education or planning time as an example we as an administrative team assign a monetary value to this which caps what we would settle at on a lower percentage. This was very common. Again just so you are very clear the board of education does not participate and has zero input into this process. No say in the negotiating process.
4) A summary of negotiations is provided to the board that chronicles the progress and points of contention. They review and have this at their disposal. However they again do not have any participation in the negotiation with the administration team.
5) Once an agreement in principle is met between the administration team and the union team then during executive session the head of the administration team presents the agreement. They preface this by showing again where this slots district 204 with relation to the data pool being used. The board after this session renders an opinion. Again an opinion only, not participation in the actual negotiations. You see both sides extraneous to the board of education have reached a tentative agreement with ZERO participation from the school board.
6) The tentative agreement typically within 15 days of this time goes to the union in whole for a ratification process that involves educating the union members to what the union team has negotiated. Finally the union as a whole votes to either accept (ratify) or reject the agreement. Still the school board has not in any way shape or form participated in any step of this contract process.
7) For exercise sake lets say the contract is rejected then the negotiating teams return to the table to commence the process. If the tentative agreement is ratified then the head of the administrative negotiating team again presents the now approved contract to the school board. The board then ratifies the agreement.
8) You see what everyone is missing is that the administrative negotiating team is excellent at what we did and now they do today. We know this process inside out and backward with data available to us you do not have. We do not, nor have not, ever settled for an agreement we felt would not benefit our district from many important points. First and foremost is it is a favorable monetarily for the district and our budget. Two we have again kept the workforce in the 48 to 50% area of the curve with respect to the district data pool utilized. Three we have utilized all non-monetary labor concession to squeeze the number as close to our starting percentage as possible. Quite honestly from my point of view I could not care if the union was happy or sad. My job was to squeeze the number.
9) Lastly, at no time in district 204 has the school board been allowed to participate in negotiations at all. Not participate, not watch at all. They only receive a written briefing and verbal follow up. Quite frankly because people who sit on boards have ZERO background in 99.9% of the cases with this type of negotiation.

I have clearly read all your posts d204 taxpayer and you unfortunately are the exact reason we have not encouraged and quite frankly not allowed board members to participate. You really have no clue what actually takes place and who are the actual forces to hammer out the agreement. The only way our district could possibly get hurt on a contract is if the administrative team was poor. This in our districts case is not remotely true. If you compare d203 & d204 we have done a tremendous job keeping our labor in the middle of the curve where as d203 union is approximately 10.5k to 11k higher per union member in salary. District 204 has done very well. District 203 problem resides with their administrative negotiating team.

I ask you and other to read this and please stop perpetuating you understand this process previous to first hand laying this out for you. Again the board does nothing in this process but they are along for the ride. It is the administrations job to negotiate not any board member past, present or future.

One more item of interest which is absolutely false I will clear up. The union can if they so choose spend $1.00 dollar or $40,000.00 dollars of moneys. This is IPACE money. State funds that are available to all districts across the state of Illinois unions whose members state portion of their dues accumulate in this fund. I have followed this very closely for many years and again no matter what is spent the process of the administrative team negotiating labor in district 204 is insulated from this. That is why this school district has never had a school board not ratify our agreements. Because we have done, currently do and will always have outstanding administrative teams working for our district.

So please stop saying what happens and does not happen again you have been wrong repeatedly from all you have posted. The board has zero opportunity to effect or influence any negotiation.

Having said that I will look to strong business backgrounds knowing this will help with the financial crisis we face. Not one person who will be elected can in any capacity effect the administrative team’s negotiations.

To Anonymous on April 3, 2009 6:46 PM

Go get educated in the contract negotiation process.. a post by Mr. Hand 4/3 - 8:16PM.

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/napervillesun/news/1509010,Naperville-slate-hidden-agenda_na040209.article#Comments_Container

Check out the comment section.

You will see that your fear is not based on any reality. If you think that poster is wrong, then why don't you spell out how the actual process works for everyone to read.

NEO-NEO

Their stuff is coming packed together on foot because they do not
have the funds to deliver it in the mail. (unlike a few candidates
we know)

Am I GF? No, but thank you for the complement, he seems like a great guy. I prefer to think of him as SouthernWolf, despite the fact he lives in a ritzy den.

I'm still waiting to see if we find out who these groups are:

"Friends of Dawn Desart"

"Friends of Sue Rasmus"

"Cathy Piehl for 204 Committee"

And if they aren't a slate, why are their campaign materials coming to me packaged together?

Didn't Jeannette Clark receive money from the union when she ran?? Why is it different now. By they way only 1 of the 4 lives in Tall Grass, 2 live in Still Water, and one in the May Watts area. It is time for change!!

WOW
this is pretty rambling and covers many topics. I am supporting Mark Rising for SB. I know he is not an M2 puppet or whatever. I know he is not involved in the the random emails that have come out (battle emails, north etc etc). This stuff below is just plain untrue.

If I thought Mark had any link to M2 whatsoever I would not be supporting him. He and I disagreed on the 3rd HS thing, but that is now moot and in the past (allthough we have to deal with the costs and the lower enrollment than the FUD info past SB used to sell the 3rd HS. Thanks current SB for making the new SB;s job tougher by lying and withholding info from the district ala march 2008 enrollment figures...) Yes, he got some signatures on a petition for the 3rd HS. I say so what. its a very civic way to support your beleifs (even though I was opposed to the 3rd HS lol). Mark and I had some good debate at the time on the need for the 3rd HS and all the issues/stumbles surrounding the drama. you know what? other than the 3rd HS piece he and I agreed on alot more regarding D204 than we disagreed with.

Mark would make a great SB member in my opinion.

I am voting for Mark, a couple of the taxpayer slate and no existing SB members. In 2011 I will not be voting for any of the existing SB members (CB, M2 AT).

we need a clean slate. I am sick of the status Quo we have had for the past few years.

I allready voted... Hope everyone will make the time to make an informed decision and vote.

----------------------------------------------------
By Metzger puppet master on April 3, 2009 12:05 PM
It is curious how the feeling of power changes people. As a friend I supported to a fault. I listened carefully to you at two recent speaking engagements repeatedly state your position on various topics. All well rehearsed and planned right down to the non-committal middle ground answers. This I could live with in my support. I have gone door to door for Mark Rising. I have been asked to spread the now well know FUD about people I personally have never met. I have been asked to put up signs which I have. I have been asked to take the fab 4 signs which I am ashamed to say I have in conjunction with our group. I have helped write the impassioned public email of no negative campaigning and then watched at close range your repeated negative campaigning. However the line in the sand I refuse to cross is you have clearly become just an extension of Metzger. The discussions we all shared I will not violate. Not something even I at this point would be comfortable sharing. This is not about a power trip Mark. This is not about you, Sue, Dawn, Cathy and the well oil machine of the select PTSA/PTA attack dogs deliberately planting emails and stories. You already have a VP position of the special needs PTA set up if you do not win. This is about kids, my kids and other kids I thought you/they actually cared about. On some level I hope you do care or I thought you did. But as with all the rest who have come before you, you have been sucked in and fell in line but it cannot continue and no longer can I call myself a friend. You have crossed a line of no return that cannot be ignored. I respected you when you started this but I did not know to what extent you would go to deliberately plant lies. I am guilty and admit my part in helping our group. I am big enough to say I was wrong and I am sorry to Doug, Jerry, Don & Eric. Mark you however have to live with your conscience. Mine is now clear. You no longer are doing this for the right reasons. Your denial of course is eminent you will write another snappy letter to the people to perpetuate this now out of control facade. Truth be told the North vs. South FUD was perpetuated and fostered by us & our group. Make it a boundary issue everyone will get scared. After Sue’s hurtful the north shall rise again email was sent, the in tune people knew something was up. If we (the whole Northern slate) were hooked to a lie detector not a person would pass we all know that. If you and our group win it is just another scam on the honest people of district 204. Elect Rasmus, Rising, DeSert & Piehl and you will get Metzger all over again. Voter be ware.

original joe...its the projected deficits that motivated the unions to buy the majority of the board guaranteeing that regardless of deficits facing the district, they will still get their raises. That is why they are spending such a large amount money during this election. 100% of the money they are spending this election is to elect the slate of 4 to the 204 board.


No. I post under my real name and will continue to do so unless someone trys to "kidnapp" my name and use it as their own. I would ask the naperville sun to verify email address of post submissions under the name Greg Forrest before they post it. Sun has my email address from the posts I have done here and the ones from last year.

ONH, glad you are still thinking of me :) if you really want to trade posts, go to the proboards, I mainly post on those boards at present as they are real time and its all things D204. Fastimes on Green and SouthernWolf on Blue

By ONH on April 2, 2009 10:41 AM
Is NEO really Greg Forest?

Hello Anon
SO I guess I cant count on your support in 2011? (remember its not 2010.... its actually April 2011)

oh well. I have 2 years to change your mind....

lol
Best
GF


-----------------------------------------------------
By Anonymous on March 29, 2009 8:39 AM
To: Anonymous on March 28, 2009 2:57 PM

You are correct it is the slate of three at this time. Please note it will be the slate of four when Greg Forest enters the picture in 2010!!!!

Beware they are just using this Huang guy to make it look like they have people from all over the district.

you people give metzger too much credit and the voters/taxpayers too little credit. ALL THAT MONEY out of the kindness of the teachers union. PLEEEZZZZ.

LOL - "Anonymous" wants puppet master to state his/her name.... It must have really hit close to home to be taken so seriously.

puppet master told me about that planning session awhile back over breakfast with cellphones a blazin. Maps on the table and everything.

To Anonymous on April 3, 2009 4:56 PM

Take a look at the budget deficit projections and tell me why you think there will be an ongoing surplus of raises going forward.... It was the current board and admin that gave them what they got now.

To Metzger Puppet Master

I would love to buy you a drink or a cup of coffee and shake your hand.

Thanks for coming clean,

To Metzger Puppet Master - if you want me to believe you please come forward with your name. Anyone with a laptop and time on their hands can write a flamatory blog about any candidate. How do we know this wasn't done by someone to pull votes away from the candidates you listed.

If you want me to believe you, please state your name and exactly what it was you did for the campaign.

wow, puppet master crashed this party, what's up with that? Insider go rogue?

original joe...I will type this very slowly so you can understand it. Okay? The school board does not directly negotiate the contract. You are correct in that. The board does however set the parameters of what the school board will agree to. The CEO of GM does not negotiate union contracts but his negotiators work under the parameters that he sets.

Did I type slow enough for you? Good, now quit trying to mislead people with misleading and innaccurate information.

If we elect the husband of a former VP of the union, a little pillow talk and the union will start every negotiation way ahead of fairness. I think the pillow talk will go something like this:

Former VP of the Union: "Do these pants make my butt look big?"

Her husband and school board member replies..."the district is willing to go as high as 4%."

Former VP of the Union: "Thank you"

To Metzger puppet master --

Be thankful you realized as soon as you did the trapping of the FUD that this many tentacled group spreads. Some people got caught up in this for longer periods and lost friends (neighbors) as a result. Some of us have never recovered totally - and just work hard to try and make sure people hear and see the truth. We contributed to putting this district in debt for no reason. You have extricated yourself in time - and can contribute to 204 by making sure others who are not totally indebted to the powers that be - also know your story. And where the separatist stuff comes from and why it is perpetuated.

For those in power and the small band of rabid - divisionary supporters it stopped being about the kids and parents a few years ago - it is a power/ego trip of epic proportions. If we are all lucky it will be ending shortly....and then when the entire district sees the deceit that has taken place manifest itself in debt for 204 like we've never seen -- it will be time to be angry, and never let this happen again.

To Anonymous on April 3, 2009 3:33 PM,

Did you consult the Magic 8 ball, Ouija board or use the Flux Capacitor to predict what will happen in the future?

I'm not sure which orifice you are pulling your 5% consecutive growth across the entire budget from. Last time I checked, we were done building new schools and many who hope to get elected actually have as a priority ways to get the district's costs down.

Is there a budget deficit coming? Yes. According to the district's own numbers that can range from 60-74 million dollars in the next few years.

I don't know about you, but I would rather have business people in there that have experience dealing with hundreds of millions and billions of dollars instead of just the tiny proceeds of a PTA bake sale or Market Day.

Knowing those numbers, you're absolutely right: Know who you are voting for on Tuesday and understand what experience they bring to the table because we have some serious financial fun ahead in this district. Maybe if we just sell more gift wrap to ourselves we can overcome it!

The choice in 204 appears pretty simple to me:

Either vote in the best Captive Board that Union money can buy, or elect an independent group of members that are clear of any potential conflicts of interest.

Now, I know this is Naperville and everyone is way too busy to actually vote. However, I will humbly submit that this time it is worth your time.

This vote on Tuesday will have a MAJOR impact on your personal pocketbook.

Let us look at that, shall we?

Using data from wikipedia, we can take a decent guess at population and the number of families in d204. For this exercise, we will use 80,000 people and 26,500 families/households.

From the d204 website, we will take their '08 budget and increase it by 5% a year (just using the State law parms here ... it could easily be much lower or higher in a given year based on CPI, new construction, etc).

We will assume the opportunity for the new Board to negotiate 6 years of contracts in their term.

Now, ready ......... BOOM!

Your decisions on Tuesday will mean as much as $23,000 PER D204 citizen during just the six years of the contracts, or approx. $70,000 per family! Yikes!

In fact, in just payroll-related expenditures (which is where, really, the conflict of interests arises), the numbers are still a staggering $18,500 per citizen and $56,000 per family.

Finally, let us put it into the egotistic jargon of Naperville-ese: It will take you about 30 minutes to vote. To simplify, let's call it an hour, shall we?

By getting out and voting, you can go to your cocktail parties and tell people that once in your life you earned almost $80,000 for one hour of work!!!!!

To: By Original Joe on April 3, 2009 12:26 PM

Learn to read, bro!

In the biz world, a purchasing agent who takes money from a vendor is fired and, as a rule if it is a public company, criminal charges are filed.

Now, I know this is a little complex, but the School Baord is, in affect, the grand poobah purchasing agent of our SD. When the single largest vendor, the Teachers' Union, donates cash and in-kind services to them to get them elected, you have a very simple, very easily understood (for most!) conflict of interest.

You may prefer to think that everyone is kind and honest, etc (and you may be right). However, all of these candidates are in it to win it and any money that is not supplied by others (such as their largest vendor --- the Teachers' Union) comes out of their own pockets. Do you see it kow? Is it starting to get clear?

In short, it is always in their own interests, and a by-definition conflict of interests, when someone striving for anything takes cash from the very groups he/she must deal directly with while performing the duties of that which they strive for.

So, to be, clear: IT IS WRONG FOR ANY CANDIDATE TO TAKE MONEY OR IN-KIND DONATIONS FROM THEiR TEACHERS' UNION or any other vendor!

Once this is all over, no matter who wins, you folks in d204 should INSIST that your new Board write and publish a new Ethics Policy that prevents this in the future. If you don't, it will be clear that you are 'shrooms who do not mind being kept in the dark.

After all, the next Board very well may be negotiating contracts that approach $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion) during their tenure.

You better hope & pray they get it right!

Just because someone is running with a slate does not mean that you have to take all or none. There will not be a box for FAB FOUR on the ballot. Please look at each person and decide.

IMHO, Jerry Huang’s background makes him an excellent candidate.

He’s a businessman; however, more importantly (to me):

He is on the Board of Directors of Urban Students Empowered, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting low-income Chicago Public Schools students apply for and attend four-year universities.

While a resident of California, he was appointed to the Financial Advisory Committee for the Fremont Unified School District;

He has earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley.

His background makes him a perfect fit for the school board. And, he has already shown he is dedicated to improving education for all. His kids don't attend CPS, but he still takes time to help those kids.

To what the? on April 3, 2009 10:24 AM

For clarification to your question, call the administration office and ask if the school board negotiates directly with the union or not.


To Anonymous on April 3, 2009 11:06 AM

Campaign help results in criminal charges ?? Really??? Post the statute, please. I am calling BS.

It is curious how the feeling of power changes people. As a friend I supported to a fault. I listened carefully to you at two recent speaking engagements repeatedly state your position on various topics. All well rehearsed and planned right down to the non-committal middle ground answers. This I could live with in my support. I have gone door to door for Mark Rising. I have been asked to spread the now well know FUD about people I personally have never met. I have been asked to put up signs which I have. I have been asked to take the fab 4 signs which I am ashamed to say I have in conjunction with our group. I have helped write the impassioned public email of no negative campaigning and then watched at close range your repeated negative campaigning. However the line in the sand I refuse to cross is you have clearly become just an extension of Metzger. The discussions we all shared I will not violate. Not something even I at this point would be comfortable sharing. This is not about a power trip Mark. This is not about you, Sue, Dawn, Cathy and the well oil machine of the select PTSA/PTA attack dogs deliberately planting emails and stories. You already have a VP position of the special needs PTA set up if you do not win. This is about kids, my kids and other kids I thought you/they actually cared about. On some level I hope you do care or I thought you did. But as with all the rest who have come before you, you have been sucked in and fell in line but it cannot continue and no longer can I call myself a friend. You have crossed a line of no return that cannot be ignored. I respected you when you started this but I did not know to what extent you would go to deliberately plant lies. I am guilty and admit my part in helping our group. I am big enough to say I was wrong and I am sorry to Doug, Jerry, Don & Eric. Mark you however have to live with your conscience. Mine is now clear. You no longer are doing this for the right reasons. Your denial of course is eminent you will write another snappy letter to the people to perpetuate this now out of control facade. Truth be told the North vs. South FUD was perpetuated and fostered by us & our group. Make it a boundary issue everyone will get scared. After Sue’s hurtful the north shall rise again email was sent, the in tune people knew something was up. If we (the whole Northern slate) were hooked to a lie detector not a person would pass we all know that. If you and our group win it is just another scam on the honest people of district 204. Elect Rasmus, Rising, DeSert & Piehl and you will get Metzger all over again. Voter be ware.

Let's move on beyond O.J. He has apparently either dranken the kool-aid OR he is one of the four foul candidates OR he is a member of the secret groups funding them, Or something!

The one thing we know OJ is NOT is that he is NOT a proponent of transparency in local governements.

It is so simple to see the hypocrisy of these candidates that say they are for secrecy while they allow the secret movement of monies from their SINGLE, LARGEST VENDOR as a potential Baord member into their campaigns.

In the business world this would result in both dismiossal and criminal charges.

In the world of Naperville politics it gets you elected and provides the opportunity to negotiate a billion dollars of contracts with the same groups that funded you.

Hmmmmm? Why does everyone see this as a conflict?

O-Joe:

Perhaps you can clarify this. You stated in a previous blog that the teachers union does not negotiate its contracts with the board, but with the superintendent and other administrators. Today's article by the Sun, however, says this:

"According to state records, the coalition, which is campaigning for the slate, is funded by donations of $32,450 from the IPEA's political action committee and $5,000 from the IPCA. Both of these labor unions will be negotiating new contracts WITH THE DISTRICT 204 BOARD NEXT YEAR."

Can you explain this, please? Who is correct?


Bruce Rodman has decided to stick his head out of his shell with an "opinion" on this election? This is the same man who one his elected seat on a "fiscally responsible" platform only to quickly tuck his tail between his legs and become a follower not a leader. Now, he and you, Joe, expect me to value his "opinion?" Do you think we are all missing a few marbles or what? Rodman threw in the towel pretty darn quick against status quo. He had no courage to uphold his campaign platform against what he termed a "rubber stamp" board. He had no courage to stand up against status quo and to top it all off he had no courage to finish the game so he quit his term allowing the board to fill his seat. I voted for Rodman way back when only to find that he was a disappointment and a wasted vote. The slate of 4 will be "union stewards", more disappointments and a waste of your vote. They have tainted their campaign and characters by not being forthright with their "secret, nontransparent" union backing and it nows gives the appearance of deals behind closed doors. Of course, they will deny, deny, deny just like every politician we know. This should be no surprise to anyone. This has been an eyeopener for sure.

To Anonymous on April 2, 2009 11:57 PM

Again, more FUD. Let's clarify.

The candidates did not accept the money. The money was put into an organization that then went on to campaign for them. The origin is not hidden and is well documented with the State of Illinois election board. No one is saying this is being done without their knowledge. I think everyone knows (as is well documented) who ponied up a nice chunk of change to send out fliers to campaign for them.

You are speculating on continuation of raises or contract points for a contract yet to be drafted. I understand this is your fear. I also see tossed around the "we are all making sacrifices" argument which is basically a cop-out cover up for vindictive behavior. Basically saying, "If I'm hurting, then you have to also". Admit that much.

Again, you claim it a conflict of interest because Mr. DiFusco's wife stepped down from her position in the Union. I see it differently because the alternative would be for her to remain there in that capacity. I'm glad she is not on the executive board anymore and I'm not sure why you would want it any other way.

the candidates accepted the money funneled to hide its origin and allowed the union to use that cover in thier mailings. Keep lipstick on that pig original joe. It will not change the fact that this way of financing a campaign is staus quo so it appears the status quo will continue with more 4% raises when everyone else is making sacrifices. And we are all making sacrifices, our taxes are staying about the same while our home values are decreasing - a increase in property taxes as a percent of home values.

But let's let the union buy an election by confusing the average voter. Let's make sure that the school board that hires the administration and gives them the direction for negotiations is bought and paid for. The one candidate's wife was VP of the union until December. That is a major conflict of interest. Was this slate but together in December? Was the financing agreed to before these 4 agreed to the slate? How did an organization that did not "organize" until early March raise so much money in such a short period of time? Only an idiot beleives that all of this is being done without the slate's knowledge. If they cannot control the factors that influence their campaign, they have no business running a school district. The more you argue their ignorance, the more you sell the fact that they should not be on the board.

To Anon@11:11pm

Here we go with the FUD again. 'No Comment' is not pleading the 5th. Often times it's used when someone has not pieced together their thoughts or ideas to give an appropriate response at the moment. The IPEA did not 'buy a school board' either. The candidates also don't "go out of their way" to try to hide anything. The union itself might have thrown their money through a third party, but the candidates did not. I recommended earlier asking the union why they did it that way. The candidates are on record saying nothing was promised to nor asked for from the union. You keep saying they are hiding something or try to infer that some backroom deal happened. Well, what is it? I don't know of one but apparently you think you do. Post it.

Additionally, I was not aware that board members did the negotiating. I was under the impression that was done by the Administration, not the school board members; so I don't see your fear of a union "that will sit across from them at the negotiating table" being based in any reality. The union will sit across the table from the Super and other administration people and possibly an outside negotiator, not board members.

Let me pull a paragraph from former Board Member Bruce Rodman's endorsement of them:

"I know there are some people who are concerned that they are running as a slate. I also know that unofficial slates, comprised of incumbents and recruited candidates, have been very common in the district. Some people are concerned that they have been endorsed by the teachers’ union. In years past, when the union endorsed incumbents or their favored candidates, no one thought twice about it. Much of this concern is based strictly on maintaining the status quo. In many ways, the status quo is not that bad – we are fortunate to have an excellent school district. However, I believe that Eric, Don, Jerry and Doug aren’t simply satisfied with the status quo, but want to make the district better."

I think Bruce nails it in one. There is fear that the 'status quo' might change. That certainly explains the FUD coming from the entrenched.

Original Joe...you are still missing the point. Your candidates have accepted a large chunk of money from an organization that will sit across from them at the negotiating table and they go out of thier way to try to hide this fact from the average voter. The president of the IPEA said they "did what they had to do" - bought a school board. And the cherry on the cake...they position themselves as transparent while they are the complete opposite of tranparent. Moscato told the Daily Herald he was "not comfortable commenting." I am waiting for the Naperville Sun to interview him so I can read that he responded "Senator, I have no recollection." C'mon Joe, I know these are your boys, but can you really vote for a guy that wants to plead the fifth to a local newspaper? not comfortable commenting sounds like he knows they messed up.

To Anonymous on April 2, 2009 7:23 PM,

Several candidates have 'committees' backing or endorsing them. They are called names that don't say who their individual members are. Citizens for Equal Education, Naperville Area Chamber Political Action Committee, etc.

All are capable and entitled to throw out good words or as much money as they want to for their candidates.

Are they misleading and unethical too? If not, why not? Is it just because of the dollar amounts involved? If they are unethical too, then you need to add more candidates than 4 to your list of who you can not vote for.

oj...even if it legal...it is definitley misleading and unethical. At least the slate of 4 proved to everyone upfront that they cannot be trusted to be honest or open.

new slate strategy...its the unions fault.

To Anonymous on April 2, 2009 5:37 PM,

Those are good questions to ask the teacher's union. Have you contacted them to ask them why they are doing it this way?


To Anonymous on April 2, 2009 5:26 PM,

I said 'to my understanding'. If you have any information that shows it is not legal, please put it forth.

I love the piece of mail I received today. In large print it says "Taking away the Secrecy" and in smaller print it says "Paid for by the Civic Coalition of Aurora and Naperville"

What a hoot!

I think I should start a non-profit front. How about "New Secret Funding Of Candidates". Send your tax-deductible contribution today. Pease make your check out to New Secret Funding Of Candidates or N.S.F.O.C.

I find it hard to believe anything from a candidate (slate of candidates) that out of one side of their mouth(s) they say they are for transperancy and from the other side of their mouth, they try to hide who is financing the campaign. Let's face it people. If you elect them you are getting more of the same ol same ol.

And I can't believe OJ is trying to defend the practice as being on the up and up. OJ, if they believe in transparency, why are they hiding the source of thier cash? Why don't the mailings to John Q Voter and Jame M Taxpayer say "paid by the teachers union" instead of some sham cover organization?

oj,

Never said it was illegal ----just not on the "up and up".

If it was, they wouldn't feel the need to funnel money through various cut-out groups so that the majority of voters would not know who was really funding their campaigns! It is, in effect, legal money laundrying.

By the way --- are you sure it is all legal? I say this because the reporting requirements on this is complex and has been violated in the past by other such secretive groups.

Anonymous, I was informed that we cannot post full stories from other publications. You can post a link or an excerpt.

moderator...i see you removed a post from late last night with all of the financial details of the teacher's union and the slate of 4.

To Anonymous on April 2, 2009 3:30 PM

It's all on the up and up. It's all filed legally, to my understanding. Would you rather them do this illegally? I certainly would not.

To: By Original Joe on April 2, 2009 1:04 PM

The realissue is that if everything was so "up and up", why do the four endorsed candidates have to receive the Teachers' Union money "washed" through a third party group?

Why doesn't the "oh so honorable & honest" union just supply the money and come out front and say it: "We, the Teachers' Union, want these four candidates to win!"

It is accurate to say their campaign is financed by the teachers union. Saying "endorsed" is like putting lipstick on a pig.

To Anonymous on April 2, 2009 2:03 PM

You are free to say whatever you want, it's the accuracy of it that I was pointing out.

Original Joe...The Civic Coalition 100% financed their mailings. Also, of the funding the coalition provided to various candidates, 100% went to the slate.

To be accurate...the Teachers Union has financed 74.68% of the slates bid to be elected. Is it fair to round that to 75%?

DiFusco accounted for 16.11% of the election fund out of his pocket. COMBINED, Jerry Huang, Eric Hepburn, and Donald Moscato contributed a total of 9.2% of the election fund for the slate.

so original joe, I think I can say that the teachers union "financed" the campaign.

To Anonymous on April 2, 2009 12:18 PM,

'Financed by' is technically incorrect because some of the candidates themselves have ponied up several grand of their own.

Endorsed is 100% fitting, however.

You are right, there is a big difference. The Unions financed an organization that is endorsing the candidates.

It came in my mailbox. It states "mailing personally paid for by Richard R. Furstenau."

I'm a fast typist, so here's what it says:

April 2009

Dear Naperville Consolidated Election Voter,

I continue to be asked by numerous residents for my help in informing them about candidates running in the upcoming April 7th election. Although I don't personally know all the candidates, I have attended all of the forums that have been held at City Hall for School District 203, Park District and City Council. I have also thoroughly reviewed all statements and Q&A's that have been given to the press. This, coupled with my personal knowledge of many of these candidate's backgrounds and issues, I feel that I may be of some help to you also.

Like you, I am very concerned about our resident's ability to pay the ever increasing taxes that all of our taxing bodies seem to think are absolutely necessary for the continuing operations of their entities. When in fact, if properly scrutinized, these taxing bodies can manage and get along with much less. Over the years, my opinions rarely align with the newspapers, but I feel that the candidates listed below will be the most diligent in watching the taxpayer's dollars and, therefore, give my endorsements to the following:

School District 203--Jackie Romberg, Jim Dennison, Dave Weeks, Michael DelCiello. These folks will hold the line on school spending and better balance salaries and classroom needs.

School District 204--Michael Strick, Jerry Huang, Christine Vickers, Dawn DeSart.

Naperville Park District, Four year term--Suzanne Hart, Gerry Heide, Mike Reilly, Kirsten Young. Two year term--Andrew Schaffner. These folks will get the Nike Park addition and the new Ponds Park completed and will also balance outdoor versus indoor programming needs.

Naperville City Council, Four year term--Doug Krause, Paul Hinterlong, Charlie Schneider, Patricia Gustin. Two year term--Kevin Lynch. These folks are not tied into the downtown political action committee and will give us a more conservative council on spending--both salaries and "nice to have" projects.

College of DuPage Trustee, Four year term--Allison O'Donnell, Michael McKinnon, Michael Ledonne. Two year term--Mark Nowak. These folks will try to restore a much more needed fiscal responsibility to the college board and will also rigorously push for more required State funding.

Understand that my endorsement does not necessarily have the approval of the candidates that I endorse, nor would I want you to not consider these candidates simply because I am speaking out in their behalf. I have endorsed these candidates because I truly feel they are the best of the lot if your residential or commercial tax bill has become a concern of yours.

Please vote April 7th.

Naperville Resident 31 Years,

Signed--Richard R. Furstenau


What is FUD?

http://www.cavcomp.demon.co.uk/halloween/fuddef.html

FUD sands for Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt.It is a marketing technique used when a competitor launches a product that is both better than yours and costs less, i.e. your product is no longer competitive. Unable to respond with hard facts, scare-mongering is used via 'gossip channels' to cast a shadow of doubt over the competitors offerings and make people think twice before using it.In general it is used by companies with a large market share, and the overall message is 'Hey, it could be risky going down that road, stick with us and you are with the crowd. Our next soon-to-be-released version will be better than that anyway'.

anonymous, the CCAN may endorse 3 council members but they are only financiallcy backing Eric Hepburn, Don Moscato, Jerry Huang and Doug DiFusco.

I can't help but notice that both OJ and Hepburn both chose to use the term "endorsement" when the topic is "financing". There is a bog difference between and "endorsed by" and "financed by".

so much for Transparency

vote against the slate and keep bought/rented school board members away from our tax dollars.

what the?...did you really get a Furstenau flyer? Did you get it off your printer ? I would have question a Furstenau endorsement. Would he endorse them to get them elected or to make sure they don't?

OJ - what does FUD stand for? Is it along the lines of SNAFU?

Anonymous, regarding campaign financing, I passed it along to my editor.

Did anyone else here get the bright yellow flyer from Richard Furstenau endorsing Strick, Huang, Vickers and DeSart for SD 204?

It states "I have endorsed these candidates because I truly feel they are the best of the lot if your residential or commercial tax bill has become a concern of yours."

Is NEO really Greg Forest?

To Anonymous on April 2, 2009 2:06 AM,

You missed the part where they used the words 'we hope'.

When you back a candidate, you tend to hope for a lot. (Obama is a nice example) You have no guarantee that you'll get what you hope for. Everyone stating speculation as fact is simply spreading FUD.

I'm sure people 'hoped' Obama would have fixed the economy and unemployment would be 0 by now and our hosing problem all patched up. How did that 'hope' work out for you?

Does the Naperville Sun intend to look into the campaign financing issue as well? Shouldn't the general readers of the Naperville Sun (not just the bloggers and Daily Herald subscribers) know who is paying for all the flyers appearing in their mailboxes? I am actually stunned that the Sun has not already printed an article about the real money behind the candidates since its been all over the blog here since the blog started. I can't believe they were scooped by the Herald. I bet the Herald got thier storyline from this blog.

This would be a great story to run along with Blago's indictment.

Concerend for the futre of 204 - Any further word on Metzger's full resignation from the BOD and/or Daeschner's job search outside 204? Do you think they're laying low until the elections are over? The buzz in the community is that there are some bright days ahead in the district if we can get rid of these two clowns and get some board members seated who listen to teachers and parents.
Any updates your paper can provide to us is much appreciated. As usual we hear nothing from them directly.
Thanks, Concerned for the future of 204


My sister's friend whose cousin told her neighbor who told her neighbor that..............

Is this board made up of Jr. High kids. Oh wait know they would be texting to everyone.

March 27, 2009

Political front organizations are becoming as common as stolen yard signs.

Two years ago, it was PURE -- People United for Responsible Education.

PURE was financed entirely by $23,525 from the Naperville Unit Political Action Committee for Education, a political action committee representing the interests of District 203's labor unions.

According to state records, PURE was created to "support endorsed candidates." Those candidates happened to be the same three candidates who were endorsed by NUPACE -- board president Suzyn Price and members Mike Jaensch and Terry Fielden.

Now there's the Civic Coalition of Aurora and Naperville.

State records show the coalition has received $32,450 from the Indian Prairie Education Association Political Action Committee and $5,000 from the Indian Prairie Classified Association. According to state records, the coalition exists to "support local candidates for office."

Guess who those candidates are.

For City Council, the coalition has endorsed Judith Brodhead, Tim Messer and Jim DerKacy.

But it's the coalition's District 204 endorsements that are interesting: Eric Hepburn, Don Moscato, Jerry Huang and Doug DiFusco.

Also known as 204 Taxpayers for Excellence, this slate of candidates has, of course, been endorsed by the IPEA and the IPCA.

Icall bologna on no expectations or return. The union wants representation at the board table for THEIR own interests and a MAJORITY at that. The union president's quotes speak for themselves and their contribution to candidates campaigns says it all. The union expects these people to represent them. Typical Illinois pay to play politics. It will be up to the community to decide if they want fair representation on the board or if they want the teachers represented at the table.

From the Val Dranias, President of the Teacher's Union:

~As for the school board race, Dranias said the union extensively interviewed 10 District 204 candidates before "we did what we had to do" by offering its financial support to DiFusco, Huang, Hepburn and Moscato.~

The president of the IPEA said they "did what they had to do" - what the heck does that mean? I'm sorry, but that's a strange statement to make. They CHOSE to endorse these four candidates, they certainly didn't "have to" - last I checked there's no law that states that the teacher's union must endorse a slate that will constitute a majority of the board if elected.


Original Joe - r u serious when you stated the following?

"So, a couple of organizations gave them lots of money and they were promised nothing in return. That's basically what I have been saying all along. No agreement or quid pro quo exists"

Do you think they're going to tell Justin the truth? You call it FUD - the vast majority posting here will call it drawing conclusions based on past & current behavior. I don't care what Val Dranias claims, it's clear to all of us that CCAN is nothing but a vehicle to SECRETLY steer money to their hand picked slate. We all know here that most of the households receiving their slick flyer probably have no idea who CCAN is & that is exactly the untion's intent. Let's continue to shed light on the (NOT SO)Transparent 4 - DiFusco, Moscato, Huang, Hephurn.

from the Daily Herald article...

and Moscato said he was "not comfortable commenting."

and there's Moscato proving that he believes in transparency.

Original Joe must have misread this part:

Dranias said. "And ultimately we hope to gain some new board members that will listen to our needs and problems within the school district and at least give teachers a voice and allow us to be stakeholders in decisions that are made."

one of the decisions that would made would be a new contract.

To Taxes on April 2, 2009 12:51 AM

So, a couple of organizations gave them lots of money and they were promised nothing in return. That's basically what I have been saying all along. No agreement or quid pro quo exists. But, that doesn't stop people from trying to spread FUD about it even though there is no indication or proof of the matter to support their claim.

Thanks for clarifying that for everyone. The fear mongers must be consulting their leader to hear what's the next angle they can try to use to use protect the status quo.

If we hear anything you can be sure we'll report it but I haven't heard anything new in awhile. Last I heard, Daeschner said he isn't leaving and I don't think Metzger plans to go anywhere either.

Sun Editor,
Any further word on Metzger's full resignation from the BOD and/or Daeschner's job search outside 204? Do you think they're laying low until the elections are over? The buzz in the community is that there are some bright days ahead in the district if we can get rid of these two clowns and get some board members seated who listen to teachers and parents.

Any updates your paper can provide to us is much appreciated. As usual we hear nothing from them directly.

Thanks, Concerned for the future of 204

To Anonymous on April 1, 2009 11:33 PM,

You: "Only the slate of 4 is indebted to the teachers union."

What was the union promised and by whom?

You made the statement of fact so please, support your assertion and answer the question.

Original Joe...Only the slate of 4 is indebted to the teachers union. Only the slate of 4 accepted money from the teachers union. Just because candidates accepted invitations to express their views does not mean they were asking for funding from the union. Again...nice try.
I am sure your reply will focus on the word "endorsement". My objection to the character of the slate of 4 relates to "funding".


From Dictionary.com

transparency

The full, accurate, and timely disclosure of information.


Its amazing that they run on that platform and yet they accept money from the teacher's union and tell the voting public that the money is from the Civic Coalition of Aurora and Naperville. Their disclosure of information is not full, accurate, or timely.

Joe, get over it. Everyone had an appointment available to them. It was a free and voluntary act whether Vickers and Wagner chose to attend. Neither did so stop Reaching for your justification of the slate of 4 taking $42000.Vickers didn't keep her appointment with them in 2005 either.

Although the union has endorsed past candidates as you correctly point out, not everyone received monetary contributions. The last time the IPEA and IPCA gave to school board candidates was 2001. At that time they gave half this amount or $25000 to Clark, Box, Johnson and Davis, another significant amount for sure and explains why they think they can buy their board members as they have had things in their favor for quite some time.

To Anonymous on April 1, 2009 9:36 PM,

To put forth again:

The IPEA and IPCA interviewed 11 of the 13 candidates running; Dawn DeSart, Cathy Piehl, Michael Crockett, Michael Strick, Ye-ming Huang, Susan Rasmus, Mark Rising, Eric Hepburn, Doug DiFusco, Don Moscato and Jerry Huang. Only Wagner did not respond at all to any invite and Vickers I believe had multiple scheduling problems for the interview then appeared to eventually just not go through with it at all. The others all sought the endorsement, participated in the interview, and answered a lengthy and detailed questionnaire. How the organization decides to help whomever they endorse is up to them and I personally don't have a problem unless they do so illegally.

For a recap of some history from the 2007 election:

Mark Metzger, Curt Bradshaw and Alka Tyle all sought the unions’ endorsement. The only candidates that did not were Calcatierra and Knight, if my data is correct.

Please feel free to correct where it's inaccurate.

By Neo on April 1, 2009 5:48 PM
The Civic Coalition is also helping other candidates.


Plain and simple - that is completely untrue. CCAN is financially assisting DiFusco, Hepburn, Moscato & Huang in the upcoming D204 School Board Election and no others.

Dawn DeSart has elected not to accept any contributions to her campaign - it is completely self-financed.

The other candidates accept nominal donations from various entities, but nothing even close to the 40K that the slate of 4 has accepted from this sham organization that IS the teacher's union. How ironic that the 4 run on a platform of TRANSPARENCY

Here ya go Joe. From last Friday's Sun.
Ties, election and a pop quiz Comments March 27, 2009 Political front organizations are becoming as common as stolen yard signs. Two years ago, it was PURE -- People United for Responsible Education. PURE was financed entirely by $23,525 from the Naperville Unit Political Action Committee for Education, a political action committee representing the interests of District 203's labor unions.According to state records, PURE was created to "support endorsed candidates." Those candidates happened to be the same three candidates who were endorsed by NUPACE -- board president Suzyn Price and members Mike Jaensch and Terry Fielden.Now there's the Civic Coalition of Aurora and Naperville. State records show the coalition has received $32,450 from the Indian Prairie Education Association Political Action Committee and $5,000 from the Indian Prairie Classified Association. According to state records, the coalition exists to "support local candidates for office." Guess who those candidates are.For City Council, the coalition has endorsed Judith Brodhead, Tim Messer and Jim DerKacy. But it's the coalition's District 204 endorsements that are interesting: Eric Hepburn, Don Moscato, Jerry Huang and Doug DiFusco. Also known as 204 Taxpayers for Excellence, this slate of candidates has, of course, been endorsed by the IPEA and the IPCA.

To Anonymous on April 1, 2009 7:13 PM,

Once again, that misunderstanding problem on your part.

I have met with each of the gentlemen (and several other candidates) and I don't believe anyone is in debted to anyone, regardless of who is backing them, endorsing them or throwing money their direction.

Are you implying that Cathy Piehl would be in debted to Darlene Senger because of an endorsement? Or that Sue is in debt to the Daily Herald? DeSart too? or any of them are in debt to anyone who has given them money or help?

I think any person or organization, in compliance with the laws can do what they want to with their money and throw it at whomever they want to. If they have some hope for something in return, that's their own shortcoming.

Unless you only plan to vote for Wagner, The fact is that any other candidate you vote for had started the process to earn the union's endorsement and subsequent campaign help. The fact that they didn't get that large purse is what I believe the sour grapes is all about. If they had won the endorsement and the funds, it somehow wouldn't be a foul. Do you only plan on voting for Wagner and no one else?

Neo ...I rechecked the Civic Coalition website and they aren't endorsing any of the other D204 school candidates. I rechecked the mailing from the Civic/Teaher's Union Fklyer and again tey are only endorsing the slate of 4. You must mean they are supporting candidates in other elections. Again...nice try.

Original Joe...so you agree that only the slate of 4 is indebted to the teachers union. I don't have sour grapes. I do not trust any candidate that accepts money from the largest expense the district faces.

Neo,

I believe Wagner was the only candidate not to make any attempt to obtain the teacher's union endorsement. That gives a lot of credibility to your sour grape theory in many people's minds.

The Civic Coalition is also helping other candidates.

Did you find anything about:

"Friends of Dawn Desart"

"Friends of Sue Rasmus"

"Cathy Piehl for 204 Committee"

???????

No, you won't because they have not filed, and aren't being transparent. Thats a problem.

Cathy's site says "Paid for by Cathy Piehl for 204 Committee A copy of our report filed with the County Clerk will be available for purchase from the DuPage County Clerk’s office, 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, Illinois 60187."

Well thats nice. I'll just trot on over to Wheaton and plunk down some cash to see who is backing her.

And I have to wonder if we'd be having this discussion if the IPEA had endorsed the other 4? Seems everyone is lining up for the endorsements, and then crying foul when they don't get them. Sour grapes?



My apologies Neo. I did not know that every voter in the district, including the senior citizens without internet, need to research who sponsers a slate of candidates that promise transparency. They would indeed see that the Civic Coalition would rather not put "paid for by the Teachers Union" on the flyers. PLEEEZZZ. Hiding behind the name Civics Coaltion is hiding - no matter where you can find the real facts. Let's face it...if the slate of 4 could be trusted and indeed believed in transparency, the flyer would have read "paid for by the Teachers Union."

I think their next flyer should read..."A slate of candidates for the voters who don't know any better."

Anon,

You should check out the campaign disclosure site - it's all quite clear. Nothing to hide. Draw whatever conclusions you like.

While you are at it try checking campaign disclosure for Rasmus, Piehl, and Desart, and let me know what you come up with. Zilch. Zip. Nada. Lots of signs, lots of flyers - where oh where did that money come from?????

Rising does have disclosure on the site, which I applaud. If he wasn't so tied to the north v. south petition last year, he'd be with Vickers. If he actually spoke at a SB meeting, he might be my 4th.

Neo, can you also justify the fact that the mailing paid for and sent by the Teacher's Union was to promote transparency and yet the return mailing address said "Civic Coalition of Aurora and Naperville" and not "Your Friendly Neighborhood Teachers Union"?

Transparency? NOT.

The slate of 4 is just typical Illinois politics rearing its ugly head once again.

Hey, if we are disqualifying candidates based on seeking IPEA endorsement, let's weed out everyone else who sought it this year - that would be EVERYONE except Wagner and Vickers!

I'm sure all the others would have prominently displayed their "endorsed by IPEA" right on their websites. Granted, Rising and Desart may have put it underneath the phony "Citizens For Equal Education" endorsement, but it would be there.

While we're playing the "Villify those seeking IPEA Endorsements" game, lets just see who else we should suspect. Well, from 2007 we have Bradshaw, Tyle, and Metzger (multiple year offender). Jeanette Clark and John Stephens from 2005.

Should we slander them as well?

To Anonymous on April 1, 2009 2:10 PM

Again, you are making incorrect assumptions and drawing unsupported conclusions.

If I remember, the NSFOC angle was one of voters feeling like they were bait and switched and that somehow what the district did was illegal. I don't believe I posted anything about building on BB or nowhere. I also don't believe I am telling anyone on here WHO to vote for. Many others, however, are trying to tell people who to vote for and who not to vote for. There is a huge difference. I'm just trying to set the record straight on the facts and point out where there is nothing but juvenile rhetoric and negative campaigning all done to create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt... which is what you have been trying to do on here and have been wrong about your supposed facts all on he quest to spread F.U.D.

I stand by my posts and the information I put forth.

By Anonymous on March 30, 2009 6:45 PM
original joe...you don't think voting for a slate of candidates primarily from scullen sets up the us vs them mentality? does the "original" in original joe stand for original memebr of nsfoc?

By Original Joe on March 30, 2009 7:21 PM
Anon,

Nope. No such affiliation.

but original joe...your first comments on this blog...entry #2...is as follows:By Original Joe on March 25, 2009 8:05 PM
Two choices are correct:

1) Vote in candidates who support Mark Metzger and maintain the same divisional neighborhood against neighborhood status quo; maintain the drunken sailor spending habits such as building a high school that enrollment numbers do not support and stick it some place far away from the population center of the district which also drives up transportation costs year after year and continue the tradition of the pending 60-74 million dollar deficit in the next few years courtesy of these actions

or

2) Vote in people who reject these juvenile antics and bad business practices.


hey original joe...doesn't choice 1 sound exactly like the NSFOC rhetoric...build at Brach Brodie or nowhere? From the times and frequency of your posts, you seem to be determined to get your slate of 4 voted in. I can't help but feel that the Slate of is an NSFOC slate and they will prevent Metea from opening costing the taxpayers close to a hundred million dollars. Then their kids and their football buddies can all go to NVHS...and they can say they never voted to change the boundaries. Vote no to the NSFOC slate of 4.

has anybody asked the candidates if they support Obama's plan for longer school days and a longer school year? I would support DeSart's air conditioning program if the school year is extended.

To Anonymous on April 1, 2009 1:25 PM

Let's clear up some FUD.

May Watts area does not go to NVHS as you suggest. In Michael Crockett's note about withdrawing he did spell out why he supported and endorsed DiFusco, Hepburn, Moscato and Huang. He spoke of financials and leadership and treating the public with respect. He did not attribute any boundary desires of his own upon anyone else as you suggest.

original joe...nice try using the fact that they are in different subdivisions to argue the case that they will not change the boundaries. You fail to point out that their biggest public supporter has been Michael Crockett and he publicly stated he'd vote to keep Metea from opening. When he withdrew, he publicly endorsed the slate because they held the same beliefs that he did. So original joe...if the new board votes to keep Metea from opening, the slate of 4 can keep all of thier kids at NVHS.

Nice try NEO,

Go ahead and attempt to bash the leading candidates.

Perhaps you are privy to the real reasons the slate of 4 are running together, and don't want to let the cat out of the bag.

For the rest of us, it's nice to have the early voting option and be done.

To Original JOE Backer,

2 candidates live in Stillwater (Welch area), 1 lives in the TallGrass area and 1 lives in the May Watts area.

Please see my post in here labeled: Original Joe on March 30, 2009 10:51 PM

In there I explain the reality of boundaries. The fact is the 'fear' out there with regards to boundaries are based on incorrect information.

If these 4 candidates are from the same area and have kids that will be changing schools from NVHS to WVHS. I see them changing the school districts boundries in a heartbeat. DON'T VOTE FOR THE 4, these guys don't have an agenda that would benefit anyone except for their families.

Voters --- Don't be fooled again!

We have already been steam-rolled by the Teachers' Union in 204 in the past. Our Board is ran by those beholden to the Union, and now our District is again targeted as part of a State-wide efforts to take over its complete direction.


See the site, below, for details:
http://www.elections.state.il.us/CampaignDisclosure/CommitteeList.aspx

As you can read for yourselves, the CIVIC COALITION of AURORA and NAPERVILLE is a sham organization that pretends to be an independent community group but in reality is fully funded by the Teachers’ Unions and its surrogates.

VOTE TO GET OUR SCHOOL BOARD BACK ---VOTE FOR CANDIDATES THAT ARE INDEPENDENT OF THE TEACHERS' UNION!!!!!!!

Did you realize that one of the 4 candidates wife is a Teacher ? So of course he his pushing Teachers getting a raise. I am really not into voting for School Members, but when I received in the mail their fancy
endorsement for the 4 candidates, that raised a RED FLAG. After doing some research, these 4 candidates are up to no good. SO GET THE WORD OUT AND DON'T VOTE FOR THE 4 UP TO NO GOOD CANDIDATES !!!!!!!!!!!

No fear here, Joe. It's sort of like marrying a cousin. Maybe it can work, maybe not. Just sort of ewwww for me. That's all. No psychology needed.

Policy language is swiss cheese and can be interpreted how one wishes - no one will be hired, no one already employed has to resign. Why have a policy at all in regard to immediate family relationships? To avoid favoritism in hiring? Perhaps. You don't see a concern about a board member possible showing favoritism to family already employed. Fair enough. If you're of an age to have already been in the workforce when drug testing came into play, for me, it's sort of like drug testing new hires, yet grandfathering in the alcoholics already on staff. Fair? Right? Should be a factor, shouldn't?

Really not trying to pick a bone. You asked. Just trying to explain my point of view, from within the profession.

"The raises come from the Ed fund. It's for salaries only. That's all that the bucket can be spent on. Much like you can not spend building bond money on operating costs or salaries. There are legal hard silos in place. Again, if you want better clarification, give Mr. Holm a call and ask him the specifics. He's more authoritative on this than I will ever be."

O Joe:

I get this, Joe. It's the TAXPAYERS who ultimately have to pull it out of their ***es, because they're the ones who fund the Ed fund. I didn't think I needed to clarify that for you.

I also know that someone from the union DID make the statement "the recession is more perception in Naperville than reality" prior to sitting down with Dr. D in salary negotiations. I read it in the paper, and i think it was our own dear Sun here. Meaning they had already made up their mind that they were not going to allow current economic realities to sway their salary negotiations. And they didn't have to. They knew the money was there, set aside in better times BEFORE the real estate bubble burst.

It will be fun to watch future negotiations with the union. Their measly 4% is binding for only 12 months; they'll be back soon for more. And if real estate values don't recover anytime soon and taxpayers stay financially stressed for awhile, it could really get interesting.

I bet Metzger is jumping with joy reading these posts.

The slate of 4 is our best bet to finally rid ourselves of Mark Metzger's iron-fisted control of the board. Don't like the 4? Make your 4th vote for Vickers - she's proven her independence time and time again.

Rasmus is a PR cheerleader for the district, who's taken credit for her PTA's accomplishments. She's in a no-lose situation. Win the vote, you are on the board. Lose, and dollar to donuts her sub work in the district ramps up for being such a good little foot soldier.

Desart waffles so much her next job should be at IHOP. She and Rising have been "endorsed" by a phony 1-man "Citizens For Equal Education" which is former SB hopeful Roert Morales. What kind of ethics do they have posting that on their web sites?

Rising is a Metzger plant. A couple SB members ** STRONGLY ** dispute is claim to have attended so many SB meetings. There is also NO record in the minutes of him ever speaking. How on earth do you attend so many meetings, and never get inspired to speak??? This sounds like a personality disorder, not a qualification. He was, however, an admitted petition organizer from the North last year. This was the same one who's supporters labeled anyone questioning the AME site as racist and elitist! Mark Rising, Mark Metzger, same difference - either will feed on the North / South division. Metzger is just looking for someone to pass the sceptre to.

Piehl is a nice lady, with a background that would be good for the board IF we could get rid of Metzger. Until then, she, along with Alka, will be bullied by Mark into toeing the party line.

To Anonymous on March 31, 2009 11:38 PM

Each school board member gets paid $0.00 by the district. From my understanding, it has always been this way since inception.

To Anonymous on March 31, 2009 11:28 PM,

Again, you make an invalid conclusion while trying to speak for someone. From my understanding one of the slate regularly negotiates AGAINST labor unions.

Who else in the candidate pool brings that experience to the table?

Can anybody tell me what a school board member gets paid by the district?

Original Joe makes a valid point in regard to the 4% teacher's raise. If you don't like the fact that they got a raise from a fund set up by the school board and signed off by the director hired by the school board...then elect a school board that will not give the union whatever it wishes. Original Joe's arguement...if I am following his logic...is not to elect the slate of 4. Elect independent board members who will come into office without being in debt to the teachers union. Vote No for the slate of 4. Thanks for clearing all of that up Joe.

The teachers union did not just endose the slate...they are backing them financially. The Teachers Union has a financial stake in the outcome of the election.

To What-The?

"I don't think the Administration that ok'd the salary increase is to blame. Sure, they could have said "not going to happen this year, guys. We're in a recession. Everyone is tightening their belts." And the union probably would have said (and I believe they did prior to negotiations) "the recession is more perception in Naperville than reality." Translation: "We don't care. Pull it out of your *** if you have to." And if they are still told no, then they go on strike. Give us what we want or we'll hurt your kids' education. Extortion."

This extortion is your own supposition or did the Union negotiator tell you their secret plan?

The raises come from the Ed fund. It's for salaries only. That's all that the bucket can be spent on. Much like you can not spend building bond money on operating costs or salaries. There are legal hard silos in place. Again, if you want better clarification, give Mr. Holm a call and ask him the specifics. He's more authoritative on this than I will ever be.

To Anon@10:08,

The district has a policy that prohibits the hiring of a spouse as a teacher if someone is a school board member. However, that is not the issue here. I believe the intent of that policy is to block favoritism in the hiring process. His wife is an existing employee and no favoritism can be shown. The district obviously thought it not to be a problem otherwise the policy would not specify the distinction. What about it raises the hair on your neck? Usually that is a fear based reaction. What is the fear concerning?

Original Joe,

Thank you for your patient response. I appreciate you taking the time to clarify some of your ideas, and to answer your question, I do not work in 203.

I understand many of your points, and find them thoughtful. I will always maintain the union should not endorse school board candidates. It simply has no business doing so. If one takes this blog as a sampling, the teachers union has divided and distracted people from the issues at hand in this district, as well as the candidates that are trying to address them. If the non-annointed candidates are smart, they'll start using this to their advantage. Time will tell.

I also stand with my assertion that no school board candidate should have a spouse teaching in the district, former union VP or not. I can't even tell you why that raises the hair on my neck. It just does. It's wrong.

Hey O-Joe:

I would prefer if you would just save me the trouble of a phone call and tell me what Dave H would say. I have no problem taking your word on it. I don't think you're making this stuff up.

You're suggesting the money for yearly raises are factored into the budget and earmarked for teachers salaries. If the teachers don't get it this year, no one else will, correct? I would expect yearly raises to be set aside in a long-term budget because the teachers union wants them every year, so they know it's available. And the district knows it's inevitable. It's just a matter of how much the union is going to get at one time.

I don't think the Administration that ok'd the salary increase is to blame. Sure, they could have said "not going to happen this year, guys. We're in a recession. Everyone is tightening their belts." And the union probably would have said (and I believe they did prior to negotiations) "the recession is more perception in Naperville than reality." Translation: "We don't care. Pull it out of your *** if you have to." And if they are still told no, then they go on strike. Give us what we want or we'll hurt your kids' education. Extortion.

And the teachers union is not like the UAW; if taxpayers don't like the demands we can't just bypass them and hire foreign teachers that perform better for less money. Unions have less power in a free market system, so they also work to eliminate this. It's what makes them such a destructive force.

The only people who like unions are the people who are in them. The rest of us just have to tolerate it.

Sun Editors: The posting just prior to Concerned 204 Voter on March 31, 2009 8:20 PM was mine.

Please go ahead and attribute accordingly. Thank you.

To Concerned 204 Voter on March 31, 2009 8:20 PM,

Your posting confuses me. Are you saying that if his wife had kept her post as VP of the union then there would not be a conflict of interest? I think she did the proper thing and stepped down. I would be much more concerned had she remained in that position; but she didn't.

Even if you won't vote for the slate, please consider each individually.

IMHO, Jerry Huang’s background makes him an excellent candidate.
He’s a businessman; however, more importantly (to me):

He is on the Board of Directors of Urban Students Empowered, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting low-income Chicago Public Schools students apply for and attend four-year universities;

while a resident of California, he was appointed to the Financial Advisory Committee for the Fremont Unified School District;
he has earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley.

His background makes him a perfect fit for the school board.

Btw, Anonymously, I can assure you that his children are not (nor have they ever been) players for the Patriots.

Anon@8:11pm,


Here is the contact info for the person responsible who agreed to it:

Superintendent Stephen Daeschner 630-375-3010 stephen_daeschner@ipsd.org

I will not be voting for the slate of 4 for many reasons not the least of them being that the slate was determined before the candidate's packets were due. How do I know that? Because I knew the slate 4 or 5 days prior to the deadline and so did many others. The slate was predetermined and the interviews were nothing but a formality.

The slate of 4 runs on a platform of transparency, but the group has received 40K from an "organization" called the Civic Coaltion, which is nothing more than a front for the teacher's union to funnel money to these candidates. Honestly, it's not so much that they're receiving financial assistance from the teacher's union, it's that they're running on a platform of TRANSPARENCY. How hypocritical!

Finally, the unofficial "head" of their group, Doug DiFusco, is the husband of a teacher that up until late December was a V-P of the very union that endorsed him and the other 3 (Moscato, Huang, & Hephurn). If there was no conflict of interest, why did she feel the need to resign just days prior to her husband declaring his candidacy?

OJ..if its in the fund, it can stay in the fund.

To Anonymous on March 31, 2009 5:20 PM

You are doing a very poor job of paraphrasing. I never said the teachers do or do not need a union. Call Dave H like I suggested and ask him about the funding.

Of course it's taxpayer money that is sitting in the fund. If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at the current Administration that agreed to it. Displacing anger is not very healthy.

OJ...the money comes from us...plain and simple...it is our money. Your argument now says that the teachers do not need a union or a board to negotiate...the money should just be handed over to the teachers becasue it cannot be spent elsewhere. I think "What The?" over estimates your cognitive abilities.

To Anonymous on March 31, 2009 4:45 PM

What does Patriot's football have to do with the teacher's union? What exactly do you think you are going to shoot to h*ll ?

I've repeatedly said the current administration agreed to the terms of the contract, the school board candidates (aside from the two incumbents) were never part of the process.

To: What The?

Thank you for the kind words about being smarter than that. I'll pass on some of that wisdom.

Put in a call to Dave Holm. Ask him which fund the 4% raises are coming from then ask him if that money could be used for ANYTHING ELSE besides educator's salaries.

Please let us know what he tells you. This 4% is not taking it from buildings, maintenance, operating or anything else. It would just sit there unable to be used for anything else.

Again, the Administration agreed to it so I hardly see the beef with the Union over it.

So please, understand where the money comes from and what it can only be used for and what it can not be used for.

OJ...you really like to talk in circles... Now you say the board should have said no to the union but you say there is nothing wrong with candidates taking money from the union.

I find it shocking to beleive that they were running individually before running together. Aren't they all related to the Patriots football program? All we have to do is dig deep enough to find out if Jerry's kid participates in the program and your argument is once again shot to h*ll.

The smart voters will not vote the union to the board.

C'mon OJ, don't play dumb. It's disingenuous. One can tell from your blogs you're smarter than that.

Of course the teacher's union is comprised of teachers. Who else would its members be, plumbers and pipe fitters? Lumberjacks? Dislike for the teachers union does not equal dislike for teachers. Or in very simple terms if you insist on pretending it's that simple, it's not the teachers we dislike, it's their union BEHAVIOR.

Taxpayers dislike the teachers union for the same reason folks dislike ANY union. The purpose of a union is to advocate for its members and get as much for them as possible in terms of pay, benefits, job protection, etc etc. It is not the union's job to pay for these things or even care where the money comes from. In this case it's the school district's and, ultimately, the taxpayer's problem. People generally don't like this sort of thing. It makes them feel like they're being extorted.

There would be less friction between the teachers' union and the taxpayers if the union at least appeared to care about the hardships they were placing on 204 taxpayers at this time. But to insist on a 4% raise during an economic crisis is typical of union behavior. It portrays them as greedy and uncaring about anyone else's situation but their own.

I think it would have done the teachers union a world of PR good to shelve raises for just one year in light of the worse economic crisis in decades. It would have bonded them with the taxpayers by showing that they cared about the communities in which they were working. It wouldn't have hurt any teacher to remain at their present salary level for just one year while giving taxpayers time to recover from massive losses; it may even have saved many teachers their jobs. But we all know this isn't how unions operate. And that is the problem.

Chucksouth,

Perhaps there is hope for your fears. If the district ever has to file for BK due to the HUGE bond debt and coming deficits, the contracts are probably up for grabs too at that point. From my understanding, many were in the race individually before there was even the idea of 'banding together'. Again, demonstrating that this was not a Union pow-wow cigar smoke filled room idea to put these four out there that was decided back during the summer, as an exaggerated example.

no offense OJ, but you are kind of missing the point.

You asked me to use 204 union in an example. I don't know that I could have laid it out any better.

I feel like I am talking in circles here.

You are right. Our board, which works on behalf of you, me and our neighbors agreed to a contact written by the union. By the looks of it without any negotiaion.

So, if our board didn't agree to it, then we risk strike or unhappiness of teachers. Which I say great. Go see if can get a job in another district making the same money with the same perks. And then when we replaced you with teachers equally qualfied, probably with a fresh perspective making 60% of what you did, don't ask for your job back. Strange concept called free market.

But if our board does agree to it, union wins again, like they always do. Which is where the joke is on us taxpayers in the case of this particular union.

Obviously your mind is made up. I get it. I'm merely pointing out the majority opinion that you are supporting a group endorsed by the union. And further pointing out that unions are destructive. Therefore no votes for union supported candidates.

So basically what anyone doing who is voting for the four collectively is rubberstamping anything the union wants for the next four years.

Anybody voting for the guy who is married to the teacher needs to have their head examined - unless you are completely for unions. I don't care what he stands for. It could sound like the rosiest agenda ever. But my God people. Just put two and two together before you go to the booth. And seeing as how he and his partners chose to run togther as a slate, that pretty much lumps them in together.

If you love unions that is your choice. If this employee free choice act does not pass (we can only hope) hopefully unions will be extinct in my lifetime. GM and Chrysler filing for bankruptcy will be a step in the right direction.

To Anonymous on March 31, 2009 3:31 PM

Thank you for your perspective. Out of curiosity, do you work in 203? I can certainly agree that there are some teachers that should probably not be teaching. The same could be said for some employees in most places of business. I've encountered a few over the years I have been in 204 and luckily most have left the profession.

Again, I don't see the connection of the bad apple employees to school board candidates especially when the endorsement was simply that, an endorsement and not a "agree to keep bad teachers on the job" or any of the other implications people have thrown against the wall to see what sticks. If these promises exist out there I would love to see them. I have a very open mind to new facts.

When I mentioned "to enhance the learning environment so the kids get a better quality education" I did not imply that was a Union statement or even a concern. It was a core focus point in many personal conversations I had with the candidates over a great many issues at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

People are trying to make the assertion that some quid-pro-quo exists by pointing to existing decisions from the existing administration that only 2 candidates were even remotely involved in, and those two are existing board members and were not endorsed by the union.

204 elections seem to up the bar each year with innuendo, false claims and fear tactics. At least there is that to always look forward to.

To Anonymous on March 31, 2009 3:19 PM

No. I am not a member nor is any person in my house a member of any union anywhere. I only poke the obvious holes in the arguments against the unions that are clearly BS.

As I told Chucksouth, it takes two to agree. One to ask, the other to agree. The current administration agreed to the current raises in the 1 year contract. Go complain to DrD who ultimately agreed to it under guidance from the current school board for what they would be willing to approve. You blame the employee for asking for a raise but give a free pass to the employer who granted it. Go figure.

I'm a teacher. Not in 204, but am a taxpayer in 204. I am a union member (by choice or not is not a yes/no option, so that can't be addressed at this time). I do not think people hate me because I'm a teacher. I understand fully why people hate the teacher's union. I, and many others exactly like me, have worked with grossly incompetent teachers who have no business being around children. It makes us just as angry as you that they are protected by the union. It gives "the union" a bad name and it should. The union topic is as old as time, and one that will always incite emotions that run high.

As a teacher and taxpayer, I will not support the "4" (and yes, O-Joe, after listening to them) as I do not believe the best interests of the students is what drives them. Along with that, on a personal level, a couple of them can't find their way out of a paper bag, so they won't get my vote. I don't think the union has any business endorsing four candidates. Period.

I do not in any way, believe that a school board member should have a spouse that teaches within the district of the seat he/she seeks. As a teacher, I would not want said spouse to, in any way, speak for me, pillow talk or otherwise. There's enough nepotism in school districts, especially this one. No need for it to be at the board level.

(O-Joe, one last thing. I'm not trying to be impolite, but from your question above :"to enhance the learning environment so the kids get a better quality education" - isn't on any union agenda (nor is the yacht for that matter). The union could care less about the learning environment. That's all the teachers.)

Chucksouth,

Again, there is nothing wrong with an employee asking for a raise. The employer doesn't have to agree to it. The employer did. If you are unhappy with that decision then look at who made the decision to agree to it in the first place (the current administration).

original joe...there is no doubt who you will vote for. You go on and on and on about how the union is saving the district money...but your math is as fuzzy as your responses. The union saved the district money out of the kindness of their hearts or did they see the inevitable and choose a different path for benefits? I do not see how a 4% pay raise saved the district money. Please explain how a 4% pay raise saves the district money.

I have to ask this Joe...are you, or a member of your household, a member of the teacher's union? I find it laughable how you defend the union and want to eliminate non-union positions in the district.

To Anonymous on March 31, 2009 2:21 PM,

Interesting that you bring up the bond debt. We'll touch on that in a moment. The union had worked to reduce the cost of medical and dental insurance and did put together a proposal that the district accepted and it saved millions (in place today). Further, there are other savings that can happen in the case of salaries and benefits that can reduce the burden to the taxpayer even more. For example, how many employees of the district pay $0.00 for their 'benefits'? More than you think. That obviously needs to change. How many administrative positions have been added and to what 'cost' in the past 5 years? You would probably be stunned. Many are not needed. That's another good chunk of coin that can be annually saved.

Now, for the bonds. How many times has the district refinanced out the debt that could have been paid off by now? More times than you want to know. How much additional debt has the district taken on due to 'bond premiums'? Probably more millions than you want to know.

What was the union's role in this? Trying to save money where they could. The rest of the problem lays squarely at the feet of the current administration and board.

So, if we are upset about money, let's at least make sure we have the blame sticking to the proper entity responsible.

We can either vote for more of the same, or vote for a change. Personally, I'm going with change.

I was using 203 as an example of tenure - the most recent example that stares Naperville right in the face.

But if you want a recent 204 example, 4% raise in an economy that is less than favorable. I'm just using common sense and don't have numbers in front of my face to back it up, but I assume that property tax receipts will be a lot less from the greater economic impact. Basically, we will be deficit spending to make up for this -meaning our taxes are going to have to raise in future years. But if we didn't give them a raise, we risked our kids sitting home with us and not going to school because the teachers work as a union, not independently. All or nothing. They could have gone on strike - which I say great; go try to find another teaching job paying as much as they make here.

If they got rid of the union or gave it much less power, and let the teachers think and act for themselves, things would be much different and for the good. A teacher might think to themselves - I need to be the best teacher I can be today. I need to feed my family and pay my bills. I don't think it is great that we didn't get a larger paycheck but you know what, there are a lot of people who are in worse positions than I am. So, I am gladly going to work to teach and make a living.

One of the best things that ever happened during a strike situation (and I believe they were union) was when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. The teachers union hasn't had to learn any lessons from that. And they should have to.

The collective does what the members vote to do. The members are teachers. They have endorsed other candidates in the past who have been revered (and still are) in the district. As such, I fail to see why today it's some perceived problem when prior, it wasn't.

aren't bond debt and the teacher's salaries the highest expense the district pays? shouldn't we take a close look at the contracts that the union negotiates? This isn't anti-teacher. This is common sense economics. Control your expenses especially when revenue is declining. But the slate of 4 accepts a large cash donation from a group that has a financial interest in who controls the board. The schools get good academic grades...let's hope the voters are bright enough not to turn over the school board to members willing to sell their souls.

no one hates the teachers as individuals. I just do not believe that the teachers union should be able to buy the school board seats. I cannot believe the irony of the teachers union sending out a mailing promising to "take away the the secrecy involved in school board decisions" by endorsing the slate but the mailing's return address is a front by the union with the sole purpose of hiding the facts.

"Vote for Transparancy" this ad paid for by a committe of hush hush and let's keep our identity a secret. Yeah...there's leadership I can trust....NOT.

chucksouth,

Please use a district 204 example and not some unrelated district with teachers that are not in the IPEA or IPCA.

I could care less what D203's teachers do because I am not paying them from my property taxes.

Show me the bad of D204's union.

The slate of 4 is not endorsed by the district 203 teacher's union, are they?

OJ,

I don't think anyone is saying anything about the teachers. It is their union, like all unions, that is not good.

Just because unions are awful doesn't mean teachers are.

A perfect example of why unions are horrible would be the history teacher from NN. If he did indeed invite communist, murderer Bill Ayers to speak, this is a problem. Because Eby is in the teachers union, there are no consequences. He is protected from any poorly thought out decisions he makes on behalf of "educating" our kids. Just reading blogs, it sure sounds like this man has a liberal agenda especially if he is bringing Zinn's books into play. And yet, he receives no consequences - if that is true.

You basically have to be a child molester or have murdered someone to be disciplined in a union. That is not right. There are some really good teachers but there are some really bad ones. For the sake of our kids, those people could probably be coached on how to find something different to do.

How this relates - slate of four is endorsed by union - unions are horrible. Therefore, no slate of four.

"Answer: Their union!"

But, Why? It's a legal entity made up of the employees of the district. The hate of the entity propagates down to the members because they are the ones in it. Again, I don't get what the hate is all about. What specifically do you hate about them?

By Original Joe on March 30, 2009 11:24 PM

I suppose I will be forever puzzled to understand what it is that people hate about the teachers. . .


Answer: Their union!

To Anonymous on March 30, 2009 9:45 PM regarding your comment:

"I wasn't anti-nsfoc or pro-nsfoc. But I did read the blogs and can't help but remember all of the NSFOC threats to take over the school board at the next election and re-district."


You're HALF right. Many people who felt members of the SB lied to them to get the Metea referendum passed--and much of the Metea mess is STILL tied up in litigation with Brach Brodie, don't forget--said they would vote these board members out at the next election.

That's how a republic works. If you don't think your elected officials are representing your interests, you have the right to vote them out and vote in new people who will.

I wasn't anti- or pro-nsfoc either. But I was very involved with the SB and the affected residents during that time. They DID say much of this board had to go, and it looks like they're making good on that. I NEVER heard that they planned to "take over" the board and change the boundaries back. Just because some malcontents posted it here doesn't make it true.

Original Joe is right. The boundaries cannot simply be moved at whim to accommodate anyone who's not happy. This would cause an uneven balance in enrollment that would leave some schools over crowded and others underutilized. The voters wouldn't tolerate THAT situation, either. All things remaining constant, the boundaries will have to stay where they are for now, even if some folks don't like it.

Having said this, I can see the boundary issue going back on the table at some point IN THE FUTURE. This would be possible if the enrollment projections used by the old board to justify building Metea don't materialize. The boundaries can be changed as long as enrollment is balanced. But this can't be a possibility for at least 5 years at the soonest. My daughter's class, who are now 7th graders at Scullen, ARE the bubble, the largest class of students currently moving through 204. If enrollment continues to diminish once this bubble graduates, then I can see the boundaries coming up for discussion again. And of course Tall Grass will want their kids back at Neuqua; it's right in their backyard.

But in order for the boundaries to change, we first have to have available seats in the schools. And right now there simply aren't any.

Anon@6:54,

The people bashing and doing the vilification of the teacher's union, which is comprised of... Ta Dah: Teachers!

OJ, who hates the teachers?

I suppose I will be forever puzzled to understand what it is that people hate about the teachers. . .

This is a no brainer people.

Look at who the union endorses and immediately remove those people from consideration. You can pretty much eliminate two or three of the other candidates for various reasons. That means there are really only five choices of which two are current members. So more than likely we will have at least one and probably only one existing board member returning. I can live with that.

Anon@9:45,

Unfortunately, your facts seem to be in error where the truth is concerned. Yes, Eric Hepburn lives in Tallgrass. If you recall, that area or Welch HAD to leave NVHS in order to actually make the enrollment numbers work. It was an either/or. One had to leave, one had to stay. It worked out no other way.

So, if you think the agenda is to get Eric's area back into WVHS, then that means 2 of the candidate's area, Welch, would have to leave instead.

Further, they have all said from the onset that Boundaries are done.

For those reasons, I do not buy your theory of motives. They hold no water. Did you know this information and were just hoping to scare people with words and phrases like 'NSFOC', 'Tallgrass', and 'Scullen' ? Or, were you really not in the know about the candidate's positions, their areas and the whole boundary mess and why it would be a bigger mess to revisit it? The rest of the district HAS moved on.

Would you rather his wife kept her post in the Union? I'm glad she did the ethical thing and stepped down. I wish a current school board member would have those ethics to step down completely after referring to a parent advocating for his child a M*ther F****.

No we didn't contact the candidates on this issue. You'd have to ask the news editor questions about coverage.

Did the Sun contact any of the candidates for comments on Ayers?

If please post them here.

If not, why not?

If not today, when?

I wasn't anti-nsfoc or pro-nsfoc. But I did read the blogs and can't help but remember all of the NSFOC threats to take over the school board at the next election and re-district. Of all the candidates on the ballot, 3 of the slate candidates stink of the NSFOC threat. Those 3 are at the scullen middle school. At least one resides in Tall Grass and has a child now slated for WVHS instead of NVHS. On top of that, they are funded by an organization that refuses to be transparent even though they funded campaign literature promising transparency. This slate shows all the ethics of a Blagovich campaign. They cannot be trusted and have yet to make a public statement in regard to thier funding. The one guy's wife resigned as VP of the union just so he could run. And you really think the taxpayers of 204 should trust these guys?

Anon,

Nope. No such affiliation. Were you anti-nsfoc by chance?

Do you throw out the distraction card when the hard issues surface?

original joe...you don't think voting for a slate of candidates primarily from scullen sets up the us vs them mentality? does the "original" in original joe stand for original memebr of nsfoc?

Route59,

If DeSart would use the real numbers for things like enrollment, capacity and financials then I could see voting for her. Unfortunately she does not seem to understand the funky math that has transpired over the last 8 years with respect to building capacity and what 100% or 80% capacity really means and how it has been redefined down each step of the way. When I spoke to her she had a sheet of paper saying WV 100% capacity is 3,000 and felt that 1 student over that was over capacity. Anyone who has been around a while knows that is just the current board and administration revisionist history with respect to capacity. I had hoped she would use her reporter skills to actually dig into the data she was fed instead of just putting it forth like it was gospel and trusting it all to be true without checking into it herself. For that reason and the the 'not a dime' comment I can not vote for her as that tone sets off an adversarial position against the employees instead of a collective unified team for the betterment of our kid's education. We've had enough 'us versus them' in this district and look where it's gotten us.

I attended the 204 school board forum at the Naperville Municipal building and have emailed/spoken with most of the candiates and/or reviewed their websites. I attend or watch SB meetings online on a regular basis.

The 2 candidates that stand out as being independent thinkers, capable of doing real analysis and asking hard questions of the administration are Vickers and DeSart. They also seem to have the time and energy for the job.

I think the Herald was right not to endorse Piehl and said about her "Piehl appears reluctant to take a public stand on tough issues".

When people ask me "for whom should I vote?", I tell them Vickers and DeSart. It is a shame we do not have several more candidates like these 2 ladies but they are most impressive in my opinion.


Voter,

Is Jeff Davis the one and only person deciding who the Naperville Chamber endorsed? He's one vote.
Do you discount the Daily Herald endorsements as well?
I'm sure you'd change your tone if they endorsed the Slate of 4.

Pleezzzz!

MHH, are you kidding me? Jeff Davis, ex 204 status quo school board member sits on the Naperville Chamber PAC. He was part of the "endorsement process". This is the same guy who used to first open his board materials just as the meeting was about to begin. Saw it myself on NCTV way back them. Pleezzz!

Original Joe,

My point, and the reason I listed them in order #1/#2 was that I did my own research on the candidates, and then noticed who was getting endorsed. I find it "humorous" that you don't think the Naperville Chamber endorsements are noteworthy. I don't believe they gave thousdands of dollars to anyone they endorsed, unlike the Slate of 4.

MHH
I don't think you can say do your own research and then look at the research of the papers and other special interest groups or organizations in one breath. None of us know the specifics of what these organizations are looking for nor the possible bias they may have towards one or another. I typically discount what organizations like these recommend because they are the same organizations that in the past have time and time again recommended the status quo type candidates with a few exceptions and I mean very few exceptions. Look through the archives. These groups even went so far as supporting district referendums but now they are looking for fiscally responsible candidates. Yeah right!

MHH,

Definitely everyone should do their homework and speak to the candidates directly and ask them to explain to you with specifics what their vision of the future is for the district. Some of the endorsements you mention I found rather humorous. For example, the Naperville Chamber's Political Action Committee picked 5 candidates for 4 spots.

The Daily Herald said of one candidate "...She seems to realize her enthusiasm will only carry her so far - and that she might have to toughen up a bit to be a truly effective board member. We believe she can and will do it."

So, we should just trust the Herald that she can be effective. Oddly enough, I find the lack of disclosure of another lady's comments (whom they endorsed) with regards to the teachers very suspect. I believe the comment was something along the lines of not giving the teachers a dime. Several people witnessed this comment yet it never appeared in print anywhere. I am hoping this was simply overlooked by the Herald and they will publish a correction or followup at some point or, even better, completely deny it was even said.

I think everyone can see between the lines on the "Slate of 4".

I ask everyone to do two things:

1) Do your own research on each individual candidate.
2) Look at who has been endorsed by the Naperville Chamber, Daily Herald, and other organizations.

It was quite easy for me to come up with my 4, and they are not in a Slate!

To Anon@9:48

You must be using EverydayMath to believe that 4 votes = 7 votes.

Tim,

Chris Vickers is a very strong consideration of mine, no doubt.

I just fail to see the whole Invisible Boogyman Big Bad Teachers Out To Get Us angle that's being thrown around out there. It's as if some are trying to pit parents against teachers and that's just wrong in my opinion. The emails doing this are coming from people who happen to be very well known officers within a volunteer parent organization inside the district. It makes one wonder if their intentions are deliberate or just ignorant.

I hope everyone perpetuating that garbage does home school and is not enough of a hypocrite to actually send their kids to those people 180 days out of the year, you know, because they're so bad (insert sarcasm)

Circling back to CV for a moment, she has always tried to get information out to the public because we have a right to know. One such thing has been the financial information. If you haven't seen the pending budget deficits then ask yourself why the Administration and Board have been keeping them close to the vest before the election. We need some serious business and financial brain power sooner rather than later so those are the strong points I am looking for in a Candidate.

original joe wants votes closer than 6 to 1 so he is voting for a slate of 4...trying for a 7 - 0 vote Joe?

Joe, if you are against status quo, vote for Vickers, her record stands on its own so there is one guarantee. The others are truly a gamble. There is no history with the other candidates. Sound bytes are all we have. The slate of 4 are union endorsed or just more of the same. We've been there, done that many times over (Clark, Box, Johnson, Davis). Outside of that, there are at least 2 maybe 3 other candidates who no doubt will be more of the same. Sound bytes parrot current board mantras. This narrows the field down to 3 or less who may offer change.

Insidescoop:

This is part of what has left me scratching my head for a while now; having attended meetings for years. It seems too much happens in executive session and the publicly viewable vote is just formality.

I'd like that to change. Ask yourself when was the last time there was a closer than a 6-1 vote on anything in this district. There needs to be more than a rubber-stamp on things, IMO. So, as a result, I am not voting for anyone who sits up and says everything is great and wonderful and comes across as a 'status quo' supporter for the way the Board conducts itself.

OJ, the board cannot technically "vote" in executive session but discussions can progress to a point where administration can determine the pulse of the board majority to decide whether or not to push forward as is, modify or withdraw proposals completely.

Read the posted agendas. Negotiations are conducted in executive session. Read the minutes. Oh that's right! Regular meeting minutes do not disclose executive session discussions. Executive session minutes haven't been disclosed in 20 years. Ask MM why that is. He should know. He's been sitting on the board for the last 18 of those 20 years.

Duh, in executive session of course.

original joe, and who hires the administration that negotiates the contracts?

To Insidescoop,

If what you say is true regarding "There has to be a consensus or majority agreement of the board on any terms of any contracts negotiated by the administration or there will be no agreement. ", then when did this happen for the latest contract?

At which meeting did this public vote take place by the board?

OJ, you are half correct. The administration is the go between the board and the negotiation table. There has to be a consensus or majority agreement of the board on any terms of any contracts negotiated by the administration or there will be no agreement. The board is the bottomline, period. Without majority approval, all bets are off.

Anon @ 7:10PM re: the fear.

The administration does the contract negotiations, not the school board. The board just votes to approve what the administration and teacher's union have already agreed to. The administration is the mechanism that is already in place that prevents your fear from becoming a reality. Many people do not understand this part of the process and I can see why the unfounded fear is there. I too was clueless of how it actually worked until I inquired from the district administration about the steps of the process.

Call the District Administration yourself and ask if you doubt how the process works.

$40G's from the teacher's union....that explains why they need a raise.

original joe, the fear is that the teachers union will get thier raises at the expense of the taxpayers without challenge. In a year when most districts are holding teachers pay and eliminating the number of teachers, our district gave a one year contract at 4% Who is getting 4% raises these days? We all have to make sacrifices in our lives because of the economy and I believe that teachers should make the same sacrifices. We would have to be complete idiots to give complete control of the school board to the teachers union.

Is the Union's agenda to get brand new yachts for every teacher or to enhance the learning environment so the kids get a better quality education?

I'm curious what the 'fear' is out there that's being buzzed and passed around.

does anyone on here really believe that the slate of 4 will not change boundaries to put all of the scullen kids at NVHS?

Voters of D204: Please don't be fooled by the national and State-wide efforts to take over your scholl district (ike we in D203 were!)

See the site, below, for details:
http://www.elections.state.il.us/CampaignDisclosure/CommitteeList.aspx

As you can read for yourselves, the CIVIC COALITION of AURORA and NAPERVILLE is a sham organization that pretends to be an independent community group but in reality is fully funded by the Teachers’ Unions and its surrogates.

DON'T LET THEM BUY YOUR VOTE!!!!!!!


The teachers' union is spending $40,000 to fund a phoney organization called the Civic Coalition for Aurora and Naperville. This is how the techers' union surreptitously campaigns for their four carefully-selected school board candidates (DiFusco, Hepburn, Huang, and Moscato). Why is the D204 teachers' union spending $40,000 to elect these four candidates? The union clearly believes these four are best suited to support the union's agenda. Creating this phoney organization is sneaky and despicable. The Civic Coalition for Aurora and Naperville is the IPEA teachers' union! Let your friends know.

Nothing will change except the Names on the school board.It will still be spend, spend, spend, then families and the retired can move, move, move, out of Naperville because of being taxed to death and they can and will proceed with their own self interests. (Vickers seem to be the only one with a brain)

No matter what the outcome is, the school board is no better than the banks, politicians and investment brokers that got this country in the mess we are all in.

Why not a recall on the school board and administrators ? Maybe they would think a little different when they screw up. (Like most of the time, because they think they have all the answers) Just think of the turnover!!!

Have a nice day in Paradise!!

To: Anonymous on March 28, 2009 2:57 PM

You are correct it is the slate of three at this time. Please note it will be the slate of four when Greg Forest enters the picture in 2010!!!!

Beware they are just using this Huang guy to make it look like they have people from all over the district.

Dan, you speak of leadership and ideas. Vickers was the only one who warned taxpayers about the enrollment bubble. Most, not all, taxpayers voted for the third high school the second time around not the first time around. The enrollment figures now prove that she was correct.

Vickers was the only one that voted that against the AME site due to concerns about the lack of appraisal and due diligence. It was approved!

Vickers warned the community that the boundaries were not set in stone and with the no guaranteed site for the new high school students could be shifted. Everyone believed that their kids would stay at the schools of their choice. The shift happened. Some are now very unhappy. Vickers was right on again.

As it relates to special interest, Vickers does not take money from any interest groups, union, or supporters as others do. She cannot be compromised in that regard.

Vickers has stated that she supports the teachers in every way, but in this economic climate with people losing their jobs across the board, she cannot approve a teachers pay raise. Look around teachers are losing their jobs. Maybe a freeze on salaries may save some jobs. No other candidate has been so upfront on this issue.

As it relates to leadership, she has worked diligently at her job. She doesn't rubber stamp everything that comes across her desk. She has attempted to provide options to the enrollment bubble with no takers. No one else on the board has gone along with any of her suggestions or recommendations.

If you want a watchdog without an agenda, then she's your person. My wife and I both played sports in high school and college. Sometimes you lose but you keep fighting for what you believe in.

I challenge you or anyone to debate her on the issues and facts. They do not lie nor will she. She has my vote.

In closing, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink!

No, Danny Noonan, this isn't Moscato. I'll look past your condescension and say genuinely that I've ranked Rising neck-and-neck at my 4th slot, and am open to giving him the nod.

As I stated, Vickers has disappointed me on a few occasions, so she won't be getting my vote. She is certainly an independent voice, but can you honestly say that you've seen leadership out of her during her tenure? Courageous in standing up to bad ideas: absolutely. Establishing herself as a leader, and bringing new ideas to the table: I haven't seen evidence of this.

I take the most exception to your suggested endorsement of DeSart. She is polished, friendly, and as she'll remind you several times in a 5-minute discussion: EMMY-AWARD WINNING. But can you honestly look ME in the eyes and tell me that she would provide more value to the board than Rising? If you read the literature she posts on her own site, you'll see that she gave the SB an "A" on managing the education of our district. I think we would find that she fits right in with Metzger in no time, and that scares me.

The slate of 4 (really 3) have brought Chicago/Illinois politics to 204. Maybe Blago is their campaign manager:) the wind is really blowing in 204.

I keep seeing in the biographies that the 4 slated candidates are businessmen. What types of businesses? They seem to want to create a multi-district beauracracy to deal with vendors. Do any of their businesses do (or potentially do) business with the district. Does the Patriot Football league use/rent school property for thier league? Would they get permission to use at no cost any of the disctrict's property/equipment if the slate wins? I just don't trust three of those 4 guys. Why do they leave their business backgrounds so vague in their bios?

Well said Danny Noonan. Of the four, Huang would be the only one to consider. See my previous posts.

But to suggest all four are better than DeSart or Rising, especially the on you pointed out is wayyyyyy out there.

Danny,

Gotcha. Sounds very close to the way things already seem to happen in D204 at the Board level.

Union had reached an agreement to back the slate of 4 before the rest of the candidates sat down for their interviews -- those were merely formalities. Hence the "fix"

Danny, you have my curiosity perked. How was the union endorsement a fix before the interviews?

"By Dan on March 26, 2009 1:44 PM

The slate of 4 will get my votes, not because they are running as a slate, but because my research of ALL of the candidates has led me to the belief that that they are the most qualified, and most likely to influence positive change on our SB."



Seriously? After your so-called "research" you're going to look us in the eye and with a straight face tell us Don Moscato is more qualified to be on the school board than Vickers, or Rising? I certainly concede the point when it comes to Huang, and we can entertain a spirited and lively debate about DiFusco and Hepburn, but you cannot be serious about Moscato. Unless, of course, you ARE Moscato.....which would explain a lot.

"By Original Joe on March 26, 2009 11:24 PM

Anon,

Had the teacher's union instead endorsed Rising, Piehl, Rasmus and DeSart would they be the 4 that you could not vote for because of a Union endorsement?"


Question is irrelevant. Teacher's union interviews were non-starters for 8 candidates (Vickers didn't keep her app't). The slate had the union's endorsement before the other candidates even sat in the interview chair. Hate to say it, but the fix has been in on this one for months.

"By sick of the FUD on March 27, 2009 6:17 PM

Here it goes again. Spread the FUD. Give me a break. Many are afraid of the 4 because that would mean the end to Mark Metzgers rule. It is about time to be done with him and his peeps. Some of these canidates are hand picked by Mark so he can carry on his reign of increase taxes and neighbor against neighbor."


A vote for Rising is a vote to break M2's rule. He's stated his desire to see M2 go at the forums, he's quoted in the paper as saying M2 should go, he has an open letter to the community saying the same thing.

The sports department is working on the pitcher story.

It is obvious those who speak use anonymous names. Man or woman up and stop being cowards hiding behind the computer. I did the same thing you did and I hope my lack of ownership of this message translates. By the way why isn't the issue of a Nequa top pitcher being kicked off the team in the Sun. You reported the soccer player at WVHS are you on the southern payroll to keep this and other things quiet?

Here it goes again. Spread the FUD. Give me a break. Many are afraid of the 4 because that would mean the end to Mark Metzgers rule. It is about time to be done with him and his peeps. Some of these canidates are hand picked by Mark so he can carry on his reign of increase taxes and neighbor against neighbor.

If they are misleading you on who is finacing their campaign and that one of their wives is the former VP of the Teacher's Union, what else are they being less than truthful? Re-districting so that all Scullen stay at NVHS? Not full funding of MVHS? They simply cannot be trusted.

Hepburn, Muscato, DiFusco, and Huang CANNOT be trusted.

Well, it was bound to happen. The sleazy campaign tactics of P.U.R.E. and Diane McGuire have finally arrived at SD204!

That’s right: D204 is now the recipient of the surreptitious funneling of campaign cash through cut-out organizations and into their School Board race!

The reason for all of this secrecy and high-end financing? The reason for moving these funds in a way that keeps the contributors identity away from all except the most watchful of citizens?

Simple: All of the questionable funds come from Teachers’ Unions, and their surrogates, and are intended to assure that SD204 elects yet another full School Board that is entirely indebted to the Teachers’ Union and as such will assure SD204 of even more years of raises and spending that grossly exceeds CPI, the actual raises the taxpayers receive, and the eventual operating referendum.

Hey, who knows? Perhaps they can even beat a fourth high school out of their new dupes if you elect them to the Board!

See the site, below, for details:
http://www.elections.state.il.us/CampaignDisclosure/CommitteeList.aspx

As you can read for yourselves, the CIVIC COALITION of AURORA and NAPERVILLE is a sham organization that pretends to be an independent community group but in reality is fully funded by the Teachers’ Unions and its surrogates.

I would be very reluctant to vote for "packaged" candidates for the open board seats. Diversity is good and the fact that four are running together worries me. IMO we need independent thinkers. The fact that one (DiFusco) is married to a teacher but did not feel it was worthy of disclosing, makes me suspicious of an adgenda.

It is now clear that the Civic Coalition of Aurora and Naperville is a creation of the District 204 Teachers union. Someone is stating that this is a convenient way to funnel funding to the four candidates and in no way is designed to confuse the voters.

HUH?

Why didn't they uses the name, Teachers for School Board Candidates? Instead, they create a "Civic Coalition". Coalition of What? TEACHERS.

How do you think people will respond to the mailer if they knew it was really written by teachers? Why are they ashamed of who they are? Why do they hide their identity?

Quite frankly, they did not follow the McGuire campaign book of violating the law and hiding their identity before the election.

Deception is OK? We deserve to be fleeced.

I still would not vote for the 4 of the slate. I still have trouble getting past the fact that 3 of the 4 are in the Scullen Middle School and a great deal of the NSFOC dispute arose from that Middle School.

Are you insinuating something, Son of Pure? Why the "quotes"? Why are the residents of 203 stupid?

By Son of PURE on March 26, 2009 8:12 PM
Slate of 4

What are you people smoking? It is the slate of 1--UNION. Why would the teachers union fund $40,000 for school board candidates?

Can anyone think of a good answer?

For taxpayers, why would you want candidates who are "funded" by the teachers union? Do you think the teachers union is funding them so that they can get a fair salary increase? 4% will look like a bargain.

Are 204 residents as STUPID as those in 203? If they are willing to sell their vote, they should demand more from the union.

FOOL US ONCE, SHAME ON YOU. FOOL US TWICE, SHAME ON US.

When you look at the destruction of American business caused by unions, you cannot overlook one detail. That was despite shareholders retaining control of management.

The greatest increase of union membership is in the government sector where "management" is also elected. Unions, by exerting its power over the political process, have rendered this all important check and balance meaningless.

GM should have declared bankruptcy months ago. The shareholders have effectively been wiped out. GM could shed all of its debts for lucrative retiree medical benefits and excessive pensions and start over. They could close all of their Northern plants and move to the south where labor laws are more balanced. The south would welcome these companies with open arms. They would build new plants as quick as they can get them.

Why is this not happening? Because of effective "government control" over these companies. The Democratic (some say Socialist) government is trying to preserve one of the last private sectors where unions still have some foothold (although dwindling as foreign companies open non union plants).

Employees need to be treated fair, but you do not need a union to do that. But given the demise of private industry caused by the unions, imagine what will happen in 204 if they also control management. The stockholders (taxpayers) will get a raw, very raw deal.

Anytime a union endorses anything/anyone, I look for other places to cast my vote. As I mentioned before, there is zero good that comes out of unions. If anything the teachers union needs to lose much if not all of its power.

Anon,

Had the teacher's union instead endorsed Rising, Piehl, Rasmus and DeSart would they be the 4 that you could not vote for because of a Union endorsement?

Original Joe. Sorry I can't think of one good thing a union has ever done in the past thirty years. And that would include all unions. They are worthless and pointless and more destructive than anything. See GE. See the other two auto companies here. The teachers union is just as destructive. It will catch up to us in my lifetime for sure. BHOs policy proposals will only make it worse too.

Slate of four is just another union supporting mini organization in its own right.

SoP,

It sounds like you have not talked to any of the candidates at length to really understand their positions or goals.

Maybe 204 should just turn over the control of the schools and the taxing power to the union.

One good dead deserves absolute control? Which world do you live in?

Who do you trust - the board, administration or the teachers? Be honest with yourself. Your elementary school kids sit in the heat each September. You just spent $120M on a new high school. Just wait for WVHS to close in 10 years due to lack of enrollment. Don't you dare go to the board and provide a dissenting voice. They will have the PD take you away.

So who do you trust?

Not everything a Union does is a bad thing. Did anyone give Dave Holm a call to confirm that the Union and their insurance committee did indeed work over the past year and a half to come up with millions in savings to offer the district for their insurance coverage?

Nah, why stop a good fear-based rant with some facts... carry on.

Slate of 4

What are you people smoking? It is the slate of 1--UNION. Why would the teachers union fund $40,000 for school board candidates?

Can anyone think of a good answer?

For taxpayers, why would you want candidates who are "funded" by the teachers union? Do you think the teachers union is funding them so that they can get a fair salary increase? 4% will look like a bargain.

Are 204 residents as STUPID as those in 203? If they are willing to sell their vote, they should demand more from the union.

FOOL US ONCE, SHAME ON YOU. FOOL US TWICE, SHAME ON US.

I agree with Son.

Voting for these slate guys makes no sense. See my previous posts for reasoning and other people's posts. And if you are going to vote for any of them, vote for Jerry. He didn't seem bad. Of the other three, one is married to a teacher, one seemed like a smooth talking politician and the other one brought zero to the table.

Someone brought up Strick. He is they guy who makes most sense out of any of these people. Straight shooter. He doesn't appear to be a guy who would mix words at all. His problem is he didn't appear to have a political bone in his body which I applaud to the nth degree. Nonetheless, he is who I want on the board. Politicians stink. Real people should be supporting real people. He appeared about as real as you get.

Son of pure:

Is it safe to say that the fab 4 got a $40K donation from this group and that is how they can say they did not get any money from the union, becuase in fact they got it from this non profit group?

The Civic Coalition of Aurora and Naperville is a repeat from the 2007 District 203 election. Almost $40,000 in union money to elect candidates. The fliers say "Open Leadership", but they do not say Supported by the Teachers Union.

Why does this group hide their funding and reason for existence? Why not say the candidates are FUNDED and SUPPORTED BY THE TEACHERS UNION? Is there something wrong with honesty?

We all know the answer. People will be turned off by a UNION FUNDED slate. So they launder the money and call it something new.

If you want the unions to control the school district, vote for this slate. Otherwise, vote for real board members.

I have respect for Christine Vickers. She stood up and told Mark Metzger to resign from the school board. She is not a rubber stamper, but an independent voice.

I am interested in learning more about Jerry Huang. I firmly believe that we need more fiscal responsiblity in District 204, and a man with an MBA from Northwestern is worth taking a closer look. I'm not sure why he chose to run with three other people as a "slate," but I do recognize that I can vote for him without voting for the other three.

I am also interested in getting to know more about Dawn DeSart.

Cathy Piehl's inability to stand up to Mark Metzger's inappropriate tirade against a parent in our district makes her a no go. She is off my list.

Specifically why do I support the Slate of 4? Well, based on attending several of the candidate forums and meet/greets, plus attending SB meetings, I’ve been keeping a running ranking of all of the candidates, and that’s how it lines up based on more considerations than would be appropriate to consume space for in this forum. I did have Crockett ranked in my top 4 (as I respect his background, education, tenacity, and focus to details), but once he announced that he was pulling out, the “slate” occupied my top 4.

I disagree with the idea of voting for an incumbent based on their “experience” on the SB alone. More specifically, Piehl lost all of my respect when she backed Metzger, and Vickers jumped up several spots on my list after her heart-felt plea to MM to resign from the Board. However, she has also disappointed me on some specific issues over the past several years, so I can’t rank her top-4 status.

I will say that as I’ve considered the candidates, I’ve been very turned off by the candidates who seem to be “more of the same,” as I’ve been so disillusioned by our current SB for so many years. This has turned me away from DeSart (who has been attempting to front an image of change, although she gave the SB an “A” for “managing the education of our children”), Rasmus (running on a message of “staying focused on the goals we already have”), and Piehl (supporting MM).

I’ve also generally not been impressed by Yuming Huang or Janey Wagner (I’ll be kind and leave it at that).

So this leaves the slate of 4, Rising (my #5 position), and Strick (my #6 position).

I generally do have extremely negative opinions of unions, but in this case, I disagree that there is a material conflict of interest. I suppose the extension of the logic being posed is that we should vote in Janey Wagner since she doesn’t have any kids in D204 and therefore has no vested interest in SB matters??? Sorry, I’m simply not buying what you’re selling here.

This is all my opinion, and I recognize that this is the opinion of someone who voted for Metzger - and look how that turned out! So I certainly respect everyone’s right to their own opinion, and I encourage everyone to not simply believe the extreme opinions often filling these blogs, but to become educated on the issues and the candidates’ positions on them. There’s a ton of info out there if you go looking for it!

I have to agree with anonymous at 2:55 today. are we to believe that a candidate is going to fight to minimize his wife's raise? His wife was the VP of the Teacher's Union...why would anybody in their right mind believe he doesn't have selfish motives?

Dan,

I appreciate how you point out that you cannot link them to the NSFOC because their bios say they belong to 3 different high schools. You just fail to also point out that 3 of the candidates also belong to Scullen Middle School that was smack dab in the middle of the NSFOC fight because the parents did not want their school split between high schools. Nice try Dan. Also, as the loss in the NSFOC lawsuit spelled out, what is promised in a school election does not stand up in court. The slate can say as many times as they want that they will not change boundaries with every intention of changing boundaries. They have NSFOC written all over them.

I don't see how you can say this points to desperation by the slate's opponents. I am not running for the board but I can plainly see how the district would suffer if the slate is elected (especially 3 of the 4).

I don't see any qualifications with the exception of Huang. I don't see why he would allign himself with them. Has anybody checked to see if his bio is accurate? Does he have a son playing for one of the slated coaches?

In response to

By Dan on March 26, 2009 1:44 PM


You wrote

The slate of 4 will get my votes, not because they are running as a slate, but because my research of ALL of the candidates has led me to the belief that that they are the most qualified, and most likely to influence positive change on our SB.


How did your belief come to the conclusion that all four, not just one or two of them but all of them are the most qualified? I'm not supporting Peihl or Vickers although I will more than likely vote for at least one of them. But wouldn't their experience on a political board automatically make them more qualified that the other four who have no experience on any political board? Or is it because you live in Stillwater, West Wind or Tall Grass?

The last thing any of us as voters/constituents need is anyone (which would include the slate of four) who is backed by the very union who one of the slate has a relationship with moreless anyone backed by a union period. Unions = bad stuff.

Do you honestly believe that the guy married to a teacher in the district will be able to push back on union proposals? We need someone who will push back. Why do you think we have a one year contract with a modest 4% (what a joke current board and sup given the economic climate) raise? Do you think it might be because there is an election coming up and they might be able to lock in to a long term raise incented plan?

Sometimes people need to read between the lines.

I find the bashing of the "slate of 4" a bit contradictory. On one hand, people are trying to extrapolate the teacher's union endorsement as indicative of the slate being more of the same incompetence that we've all grown tired of. On the other hand, they're being tagged as unruly NSFOC'ers from the same neighborhood (check their bios - they represent all 3 HS's and have repeatedly gone on record that they intend to leave the boundary issue alone). So which is it, folks?

I think this all points to desperation from their opponents' supporters who recognize that the slate of 4 represent the biggest challenge to their candidate.

The slate of 4 will get my votes, not because they are running as a slate, but because my research of ALL of the candidates has led me to the belief that that they are the most qualified, and most likely to influence positive change on our SB.

Anonymous2: Employees are not free. However, these employees did find a very good way to shave millions off their own insurance expenses and the district is already realizing that savings this year. You can call and ask Dave Holm himself on that one. Don't take my word on a blog as truth. Call him yourself.

Civics: I don't speak on behalf of others so I encourage you to call or email the candidates you want to talk to. If someone doesn't get back to you before the election then by all means, count them out. From a personal standpoint I liked the candidates that could drill down into specifics and not just recite the buzzwords repeatedly with wishy-washy non committal answers.

Once again, my picks include zero incumbants. Let's face it folks, for all the reasons mentioned in prior blogs Naperville 204 should reject the current board.

original joe,

for someone quick to throw out the projected deficit number, one would think that you would be concerned with the biggest cost the district faces...teacher salaries. The current school board gave the teachers a 4% raise for a one year contract. The Teachers Union accepted a one year contract in anticipation of better times to come if their slate of candidates win. The Teachers Union not only endorses that slate of candidates, they are financially supporting them.

You try so hard to come across as informed and educated; but you obviously hope to baffle with bullsh*t than dazzle with brillance.

Original Joe

I would appreciate your insights into the candidates since you have spoken to them. I dont feel as though I have any insights of my own -- just junk from email chains and flames on blogs. but so far, I mostly like what I read here. Very little screaming.

the slate of 4 worries me because of their links to the teachers union, and because of wishy-washy statements on boundaries. On the other hand, who better to know about what issues face the district than the people who work in it day to day -- the teachers? On the OTHER hand I do not want to put any one person or group in charge. Debate is good.

I know nothing about the others running.

So please, I would be happy to hear your specific views on candidates.

This is easy people.

Anytime a union endorses anyone or anything, one should run as far and as fast as possible. I understand one of these guys has a wife in the district. That right there should be reason enough to not vote him in.

And come on. Anytime a group of people run together as a "slate", what is that? This isn't a high school prom contest.

One other thing. I've talked personally to a number of these candidates. If they are for the current superintendent, that should be another red flag.

The answers are pretty easy.

DeSart
Rising
Vickers, Peihl or Rasmus (pick two of three). It isn't Vickers or Piehls fault that they had a poor president with an inability to communicate.

this looks as a good of a place to ask as any...has the NSFOC definitively said whether or not my donation is tax deductible or not? Their website is gone and I don't want to pay an accountant to research how the NSFOC submitted their charitible paperwork. Not all donations to non-profits are tax deductible and I don't need any IRS grief.

I'm not telling you who to vote for, but I would recommend you take some time to actually talk to each candidate personally. I've spoken with 8 so far and it's been very enlightening. It really does help to separate the rhetoric and preconceived notions from the truth. I even found myself liking someone I thought I would not. You should try it instead of relying upon information such as the email chains that mostly contain false and/or misleading information even though they may originate from what appear to be 'reputable sources' like PTA/PTSA officials.

I agree with you that residents should think long and hard about this election. Do we want to continue down the hole in the ground (the pending XX million dollar deficit) or do we want to actually get to work and change the inevitability that awaits us if we just sit back and say "Ho Hum, let's keep the status quo"... I don't know about you, but 60+ million deficit down the road (The district's own projections) doesn't seem like a wonderful place to be headed towards. . . It's a shame they wanted to keep that information under wraps until after the election. Luckily, people have already FIOA'd that info because they actually care about the district and the direction its headed. I want people in there that understand the numbers and have the guts to make the tough choices. I don't need a cheerleader or a rubber stamper in there parroting the party line that says "our bond rating is excellent" while having no idea what interest premiums mean on bond proceeds that helped get us into this mess.

Enjoy your right to vote. I certainly will.

The thing I worry about most with a group of 4 running together as a pack is what they are not telling us about their views or there platform. They obviously have gotten together and formed some kind of alliance that may sound mutually beneficial to each of them. The reality for everyone else is a group of four would control the majority vote on EVERY issue that is brought forward for a vote.

Personally I don't like the herd mentality. I like people who are able to think independently and make a decision that is consistent with the needs and wants of the citizens who elected them to office.

Personally I am very leery of any school board candidate, much less a pack of four candidates who are endorsed and financially supported by campaign contributions from teachers and the teachers union. This district has a long history of being unable to negotiate fairly, firmly, and effectively with a unionized workforce. Negotiations for the last 20 years or so has amounted to nothing short of giving away the store and helping those doing the taking cart it all home. The teachers are represented at the bargaining table by their union and all of the special consultants hired by their union. The citizens of this school district are represented at the same bargaining table by elected school board members. The citizens of this school district should think long and hard about who's interest a school board member will be representing based upon who they turned to for endorsements and campaign contributions.

As for me I intend to vote for candidates that I am convinced will have my best interest at heart and I am not a teacher, I am not a union member, and I do not work for the school district nor do I conduct any business with the school district. I'm just an average person living in an average neighborhood who wants candidates elected to the school board who will represent me and my friends and neighbors. I also intend to vote for candidates who I am convinced are committed to bringing true leadership, dignity, and integrity to the school board and who will work to reverse all of the problems caused in the last several years from a true void of effective leadership.

The old ways don't work in today's environment. We need new leadership, new ideas, new vision. We gave the old a chance and an opportunity and they were unable to rise to the challenge and deliver on their promises. They have no one to blame but themselves. Now it is time to turn the leadership over to a brand new set of board members and give them an opportunity to accomplish everything the current school board was either incapable or unwilling to do.

let's not forget that one of the group of 4 benefits personally from the teachers getting that 4% raise.

sorry original joe but the slate of 4 has yet to say anything that convinces me that they have the knowledge, the experience, and most importantly the objectivity to run a school district. I need to see more than a group of coaches that live in the same general area with a similar agenda who have not said anything in regard to the biggest issues that faced the district this time last year. Are the 3 candidates (out of the slate of 4) that see their children changing from NVHS to WVHS willing to state whether or not they supported the NSFOC? Are they willing to commit to opening MVHS? Are they willing to commit to keep the boundaries the same as set by the school board last Spring? I can't help but to see these 3 as pursuing their own selfish agenda with no regard to the district as a whole. When I see a slate where 3 of the candidates are from the same subdivision, I find it hard not to see the election as neighborhood vs neighborhood - subdivision vs subdivision...especially when that subdivision was the main subdivision that created the NSFOC that sued the district.

Do I need to name the 3 names or is it obvious to everyone as to the 3 I am referring?

Teachers Union and NSFOC...2 reasons to vote against the slate.

The teachers union backing the 4 doesn't give them a snow balls chance in hell. Yes, they will get some votes but I think the majority will not go for the 4 becasue of teachers union. With so many taxpayers experiencing pay freezes or worse, loss of jobs, it's hard to vote for someone who is endorsed by a union whose members are getting close to a 4% increase in today's economy.

I believe in 203 a group of four once ran and if memory serves me correctly, none of them got voted in. Lesson to learn, don't run in a pack.

Two choices are correct:

1) Vote in candidates who support Mark Metzger and maintain the same divisional neighborhood against neighborhood status quo; maintain the drunken sailor spending habits such as building a high school that enrollment numbers do not support and stick it some place far away from the population center of the district which also drives up transportation costs year after year and continue the tradition of the pending 60-74 million dollar deficit in the next few years courtesy of these actions

or

2) Vote in people who reject these juvenile antics and bad business practices.


It's sad to see that the neighborhood against neighborhood division tactic has now been sick-twisted into a "teachers versus the taxpayer" tactic. Luckily, most people see right through it and now tune out the venom and spite that has been spewed for far too long in this district.

Taxpayers have two distinct choices:
1) Maintain the tax-and-spend status quo, which includes a union-endorsed school board that approves 4% raises during a severe recession, by voting for the four candidates endorsed by the teachers' union (DiFusco, Hepburn, Huang, and Muscato). Of course the teachers' union doesn't have an agenda in their support of these four carefully-screened candidates!
2) Develop a system of checks and balances on the school board for a change by voting for candidates NOT endorsed by the teachers' union.
Tough call.

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This page contains a single entry by Naperville Sun editors published on March 25, 2009 1:25 PM.

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