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What do you think of the D203 school board candidates

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The Sun recently published profiles of the candidates for school board. What do you think? Here is the place to discuss them.

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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200 Comments

Dan D wrote:

However, I have never registered to be a CPA. In fact, I think I even dropped that from my professional resume (except for education and then again, to note I passed the exam).

Has Mrs. Romberg done any more than list it under her education? That's the only place I saw it on her campaign website.

As a former employee of a CPA firm, we all knew the distinctions.

I passed the CPA exam, the University of Illinois gave me a certificate to that end.

However, I have never registered to be a CPA. In fact, I think I even dropped that from my professional resume (except for education and then again, to note I passed the exam). I have not worked for a CPA firm in almost 25 years.

But I have worked for the last 19 years, so there is more for my resume.

If she really isn't registered, my guess is that she's not aware of the law. I don't think this rises to the level of an impeachable offense---if there is such a thing for school board members. You can go ahead and report her, but how much do you want to bet that the IDFPR, if they decide she's in violation, would just give her the option of registering or removing any reference to a CPA from her website and any future campaign literature?

There's an important difference in someone presenting themselve for public evaluation and not distinguishing what they were from what they are.

A lack of disclosure on professional experience and certifications is important and in the case of Jackie Romberg, deliberately misleading.

Although the implications are far different, it's like a retired doctor deciding to start accepting patients again and then not noting to their patients that they got their M.D. twenty years ago and their credentials have lapsed.

The Illinois CPA Society certainly is clear on the importance of proper use of the designation and Jackie Romberg has ignored that completely. And she broke the law. She has held herself out as a CPA and has not registered with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

And someone on the District 203 Board should not be setting this type of example to District 203 students - that credentials don't matter. It's showing them that fudging on your resume is A-OK. It is not.

Jackie Romberg's campaign website only mentions the CPA on the "Education & Experience" page, right after her BS in Accountancy from DePaul. She hasn't worked in the private sector since 1990, so it wouldn't be surprising if her license lapsed. I think it's certainly relevant that she had a CPA; did she ever claim that she was still practicing as a CPA?

Jackie Romberg is not a CPA it seems.

In serving on the District 203 Board for the past two years and in the recent election, Jackie Romberg asserts that she is a Certified Public Accountant.

It appears otherwise.

The Illinois Board of Examiners' database does not have a record for Jaclyn Quinn Romberg. She lived in Texas for a while. The Texas Board has no record of her either.

According to the Illinois CPA Society (www.icpas.org), the Illinois Public Accounting Act requires that any CPA who does not have a license and who wishes to use the “CPA” title, whether on letterhead, stationery, business cards, firm name, telephone book, resume, etc., in Illinois must register with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

If a CPA license is active or inactive, the person has to register with the IDFPR: "You must be actively licensed or registered with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to use the CPA designation after 10/1/06. If you have placed your license on an inactive basis, you should proceed with registration as it is a separate process from licensure."

The Illinois CPA Society states, "If you fail to register and you are found to be holding yourself out to the public as a "CPA" the department may issue a reprimand, issue a "cease and desist" order, and/or fine you up to $5,000. In addition, you may be found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, which provides for a fine up to $1,500 and up to 6 months in jail."

If you go to the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (www.idfpr.com) and search for licensee for profession, there is no entry for either "Romberg" or "Quinn."

It seems reasonable to further conclude that you shouldn’t be using the credential as part of a platform for public office. The polite term is “resume enhancement.”

Jaclyn Romberg should immediately resign. Even if she has a license, she broke the law by holding herself out as a CPA yet being unregistered with the IDFPR.

We don't want students living outside of Naperville or dropping out to say they graduated from District 203 when they didn't. Resumes matter. To say that your a CPA matters. If you don't bother to keep up the credential or follow the law in the State where you reside, then you can't really care much about that certification.

And the oversight (or lack thereof) by Suzyn Price should be questioned. First, the new superintendent. Now this.

To JQP

If you do not reduce teaching staff proportional to enrollment declines, your cost per student will increase. That is what has been happening for the last five years, one of the causes of the dramatic cost increases.

It would be like WalMart keeping the same staffing levels even though the store lost 25% of its sales (due to a new store encroaching on its sales). Does WalMart sit by and take losses? NO, they fix the system.

So no matter what you call it, it is cost, overhead. We are paying more than we should.

One other fact. What is this "enrichment"? Story time? How can most PE teachers handle "enrichment"? This does not sound like "gifted education", but to give the classroom teacher a break? How do these schools work?

Not to belabor the point, but my "concern" is that your first post made it seem (to me, anyway) like the district was presenting these as several options for reducing overhead, but that is not the case. The title of the document is Options for Addressing Impact of Declining Enrollment on Staffing for Elementary Art, Music and Physical Education (AMPE).

I do agree that the district should get serious about belt-tightening, and I think it's funny that, among the disadvantages for the option that would not reduce staffing, the documnent lists "No cost savings???"---as if there is some question about this.

Looking back, I think overhead is the correct word. Not sure what your question is.

Whatever your concern is, the fact is that there is less need for staff. Taking an option which does not reduce staff (FTE) seems kind of nonsensical to me. The plan suggested differentially benefits schools with too few kids per staff. That seems very counter-productive. If you read the advantages and disadvantages, I think those tell the story.

Dr. Leis' preferred option according to today's Talk203 email is to keep all the staffing. Forget the economy and the 0.1% CPI. Enrollment continues to decrease. At some point staffing cuts have to happen. It certainly seems like when something has to be done, get it done.

-1

Maybe less costs in comparison is better?

That is there.

-1

e^(i*pi),

The document at the link you posted doesn't present these options as ways of reducing overhead. Was there a higher level link containing wording to that effect?

-JQP

Fiscal responsibility -- my tushy!!

District Options for Art, Music, PE, and Enrichment Staffing.

We need to decrease overhead, and what does Dr. Leis think the best option is...find other work for people to do to fill in for the classroom teachers. Great savings.

This is almost laughable. Does anyone with a business do this? Financial crunch so let's keep everyone despite decreased staffing needs and use them to free up the other employees to do planning?

ugh....I guess the 120K is not mine anyway. Ms. Crotty already "saved" us at least this much money. She told us that! Must be true.

After exploring the option of either reducing the number of music, art, and PE teachers in the District, OR reducing the number of elementary enrichment assistants, most of the staff and parents we have spoken with so far seem to favor a new option of a pilot program that makes sound educational sense.

In this option, we would maintain current staffing levels for all enrichment instructional assistants AND all music, art and PE teachers in each elementary school. In return, these staff members would provide a coordinated enrichment lesson, keyed to the grade level curriculum, several times each year to all students in a given grade. This option would allow an entire grade level team of classroom teachers to have common planning time together. While this option would not save as much money as other options, it would fill a critical need at the elementary level where collaborative planning time during the school day is often non-existent.

Please define a "critical need". I guess I do not understand the English language.

e^(i*pi)

Don't waste your time on Queey203. The prove they are just shills for the teachers union.

If you want the data, google qe203. The top result is the qe203 page of Napervilletaxpayer.org (more trustworthy by Google).

The salary data that was approved by Dave Zager is on that page.

And we all know that Thomas Higgins reneged on posting the schedule that everyone agreed to. Must not have enough hot air.

Has the salary data been published on the QE203 website yet? I can't find it...

T0: Dan D, Thom Higgins and All

DAN D
Rudy Carl. Gosh I forgot about him. We also had Jim Kreamer who I know well. He is a good person and very level headed.

THOM HIGGINS
As far as polarizing people, I should have stated in the both the past and present tense.

You stated that you were not paying attention as much in the 1990s to comment on Dianne McGuire and Don Weber. I understand and I do not pay attention to everything as well. Dianne McGuire was actually a teacher of mine long before she rose in the ranks of the union and went off the deep end with her ideology (and attitude). She was not the way she is today (as she was in 1979). As far as Don Weber, he was always labeled by the SUN as "controversial" at best, took his 20/20 boost to his retirement and left after the 2002 referendum passed. I even predicted to some that would happen.

I am guessing you have lived here for some time and I am not trying to be a "know it all" since I have lived here as long as I have, which is probably longer than most people commenting on this blog. That is part of the problem. Many people are just uneducated about candidates and how things used to be prior to these two ascending to their posistions. Plus, voter apathy is as bad as I have ever seen it in Naperville.

By Thom Higgins on April 12, 2009 10:05 PM

It's dangerous to try to speak for others, so let me offer some general observations.

Come on. Why don't you say you don't know than to insult everyone?
This comment is more insane than your Stealth Candidate campaign.

Go to the teachers union PUBLIC web page

http://www.nuea203.org/

The most relevant quotes:

"After we have listened to them, we will deliberate and recommend the four we believe to be best qualified to lead us into the FUTURE....If we all pull together, meet the challenges and work the change, by June of 2010, we may see a good agreement that takes us successfully into the FUTURE."

There it is, the good old TEACHER CONTRACT.

How can you miss this Higgie?

e^(i*pi)

It's dangerous to try to speak for others, so let me offer some general observations.

If you have an incumbent running for re-election with a track record to judge, it's pretty easy to decide on whether or not to support them. All things being equal, and considering that people usually do not serve more than two terms, I see the logic in endorsing them for their second term.

With respect to Jim Dennison and Nancy Drapalik, both, in their own ways, have a long record of direct connections to the schools, Jim with his volunteer activities and his co-chairing the referendum committee, and Nancy with her part time work in the schools and her long relationship with the home and school organization. There is a certain logic that says that committed volunteers make good school board members, so I can understand the teachers endorsing them. If there is one commonality of all their picks it's that they all are active volunteers in the schools.

Realize these are my comments not the teachers.


Thom Higgins
QE203.org


Teacher, we'd all be curious to know who YOU voted for.

I would like to comment on the NUEA endorsements. First, why would the teachers union want to change the SB? They don't, so they pick two incumbents. Secondly, another safe pick was a co-chair for the referendum (probably the best pick of the four). Lastly, the fourth pick is currently employed by District 203.

On the NUEA website, it reads,"We seek to recommend candidates who have the interests of children and the quality of education in Naperville as their primary interest."

I felt that almost all the candidates had the interests of children and the quality of education in Naperville as their primary interest. However, we need to look deeper at what the union meant by, "the quality of education." The teachers' union should define for us what that means to them (another time about the my perspective of the teachers' union as I look from the inside).

I have been tired of my professional peers following the leader and never questioning. Several teachers did think independently and kudos to them; however, most took their predetermined voting cards to the poll and voted for who they were told to vote for.

For a profession that asks their students to become self-directed learners and complex thinkers, I am amazed at how little thought the teachers gave as they voted. Not much independence or critical thinking.


Mr. Higgins,

When you live in glass houses, you should not throw stones.

Webster Dictionary definition

"NAPERVILLE EXTREMISTS" members of QE203.

Based on your membership list, you can't find another 30 people with public memberships in more EXTREME organizations. They are not the mainline of Naperville people.

And ask Naperville residents, do they want a board of education that spends 75% of their money beholden to the union that gets 85% of their money? Mainliners NO. EXTREMISTS (Qe203) YES.

e^(i*pi)

Busy day with the family. I'll respond tomorrow.

Thom Higgins

Mr. Higgins:

A truly non-confrontational question here. Why do you think the union supported who they did? One of their top 4 did not make your top 5 and was not endorsed by any other group which seemed to care about this election. What did they see in her that nobody else did?

e^(i*pi)

AJC

Since you addressed this partly to me, a few comments:

Extremists are never a good thing. I wasn’t paying enough attention is the early 90’s so I can’t really comment about McGuire, and Weber back then, but I will offer the opinion that Mike Davitt who defines the word extremist, was incredibly polarizing, and did much to poison the well between the board and the union, helping, in his own way, to fan the flames that created the 2005 debacle. He was polarizing squared, and unfortunately the union responded to it. As for party politics you might be surprised at the political affiliations of some of the SB members, as well as the affiliations of the candidates the Union recently endorsed. Not that I think that's particularly definitive.

What’s important is that a SB member believes in public education and is willing to work to make this district the best it can be while not wasting money. I get so weary about hearing about union controlled boards. Considering how little D203 spends per student compared to its peers you have to give this district big time kudos for that. And Kudos to the Union for endorsing who they felt would best serve the district, irrespective of political affiliation. I think the last two years had done much to repair the rift between the union and the SB, and I expect that that we will see both the SB and the union work together to face the difficult economic environment we are in.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

To AJCinD203

You are absolutely correct. Bear in mind that Jim Clarke with a strong board led by Rudy Carl stood up to Diane McGuire, so her antics were not effective.

But when the Board decided to fire Weber, he cut a deal with McGuire and started the process of union controlled boards. He kept his job and the union got out of line salary increases. This started in 1999.

The District was fine before then (although lacking compared to others in educational opportunities). Tax caps were around since 1991, they managed as well.

Maybe two new board members and a new superintendent might reverse ten years of mayhem.

TO: Thom Higgins and All

Just a fact.

Having lived here now 31 years this year, I can tell you that all of this contention with the D203 board started between the selection of Don Weber as Supt. in the 1990s and Dianne McGuire as Union President. You can say what you want about D203 with all of the "facts" being thrown around, but it has never been the same since.

Before then (and I was a student in those days) I do not remember any hostility, strikes or even threats of strikes as it is today. We had boards that were not labeled as one party or the other. Admittedly, the county tax caps were not in place back then either so taxes could be raised as much as needed, but the board did not take advantage of it. Our district was just as top rated then as it is now.

Forward to today and it is a much different story. We have some polarizing people that are either on or have been on the board for some time. There is virtually no opposition because the board is largely one party dominated and will continue to be. It is unfortunate that politics has crept on to something so local as a school board, but that is the world we live in today.

To Thom Higgins:

When will we see the salary data posted to qe203.org?
By Thom Higgins on April 8, 2009 11:57 PM

Pretty soon. I need to do a bit more and I'll get it up.

HUH? Are you going to change the form that Dave Zager approved? It's been up @ Napervilletaxpayer.org for two weeks. True to form, you reneged on the deal with Denys.

Do us all a favor--Separate your opinions from the facts that were agreed upon. Don't cloud the issue.

But then again, Napervilletaxpayer.com is getting more hits than "Que**y 203" so you and your out of touch extremists are no longer in the public mind anyway.

Pretty soon. I need to do a bit more and I'll get it up.

To Thom Higgins:

When will we see the salary data posted to qe203.org?

Kevin,

I sincerely appreciate your comments regarding Susan, Jackie and Jim. As I said above But part of what makes this country great is we all get to vote and, in this case, the top four win. I meant that. So, let me return the compliment, and say Dave won fair and square and for the sake of the district and the SB, I hope that my concerns were misplaced. They will need all 7 sets of oars in the water in the coming years.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Thom,

Why would you be disappointed that Dave Weeks won? By Thom Higgins on April 7, 2009 11:30 PM. "I'm delighted that Susan, Jim and Jackie got in but of course disappointed by Mr. Weeks win." I know you don’t like him, but he represents a portion of the population in this district and they should have a voice on the board. At the very least you should recognize that other opinions should be heard whether you agree with them or not. I am very happy with all four candidates who won, I think they will all do a good job representing this community. I like having someone on the board who makes me think one step further...I think Dave Weeks will be a good board member, he should get the benefit of the doubt until he gives you a reason not to. I also think Jim Dennison is an independent thinker and he will represent the taxpayers well, I was impressed with him during the election. Both Susan Crotty and Jackie Romberg will do well too, they work hard and it shows. Overall, I think it was a good election as I feel this board will represent a larger portion of the community than it did in the past.

Thanks,

Kevin

e^(i*pi)


May I suggest you contact Susan or Dr. Leis if you have any questions.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Mr. Higgins:

I am a little unclear here. Why was Ms. Crotty reviewing the blueprints and making suggestions? Was she acting on behalf of the board as a board member with board approval? If so, when did the board allow this? If not, can any citizen do that? Just asking because there is a line between board member activities and general citizen activities. When the person in question is a member of both groups, it can be hard for the person receiving the suggestions to know whether it is coming from the board or coming from a concerned citizen.

e^(i*pi)

I don't think there was ay bashing of Dennison. I wrote back and forth with/on him, but I voted for him!

I saw the discourse as an opps to discuss philosophical differences and create an "influence". In fact, the only truly negative stuff I read had to do with voting rcords, and qe203 opened that can by irrationally attacking Weeks!

You sometimes take ANY disagreement as some sort of virul attack --- that is the weakness of you and your group qe203.

You attack like a mad dog throughout the process, you persoally try to damage individuals andtheir livlihoods (like you tried with Weeks), you have absolutely NO boundaries, then when it's over Poof! You want bygones. I will submit that what you practice is a toxic methodology.

Try being part of the entire community for once.

Just got in from all the celebration parties and it was a pretty good night. I'm delighted that Susan, Jim and Jackie got in but of course disappointed by Mr. Weeks win. But part of what makes this country great is we all get to vote and, in this case, the top four win. Not that I think it would necessarily change anything, but I would like to see greater than 20% turnout. Think is was 15% in 05 so I believe we increased 5%.

I think the folks that bashed Jim Dennison here in the blogs will, if they can get over the union endorsement, find him to be a strong, constructive, fiscally responsible voice.

And to those that dismissed Susan Crotty, allow me to comment on a phone conversation we had a few weeks ago. She has been very involved with the re-construction of Central, actually going over the blueprints herself. She was commenting on various things only to have her mention that she had meet with the architects to offer some suggestions. What were they? Covering the sidewalk from the curb to the door for the handicapped entrance (most people don't know about the program for very medically fragile students at Central), and suggesting the balustrade surrounding the commons area be made taller than the minimum required by code because we are talking about high school boys after all. Nothing flashy, you don't read it in the papers, but Susan does the work, and I'm delighted to see her re-elected.

And huge Kudos for all those that ran but were unsuccessful. If you look at other towns it's really embarrassing, 4 spots and 3-4-5-6- running. We never have that problem in Naperville, and I salute you all for running.

Let me also welcome Paul Hinterlong to the Naperville City Council. I've know Paul for a number of years and he will serve Naperville with distinction.


Thom Higgins
QE203.org

With the exception of Crotty it was overall a good vote tonight.

I personally think Del Ciello would have been a better selection than SC, but getting Weeks & Dennison in was a good outcome.

9:15 PM

Is Mr. Higgins happy right now, or is he going to have a heart attack? That's the only remaining question.

Looks like congratulations are due to Ms. Crotty, Ms. Romberg, Mr. Dennison, and Mr. Weeks. And thanks to Ms. Drapalik, Mr. Siefkin, Mr. DelCiello, Ms. Hodak, Mr. Deutsch, and Ms. Mathewson for running. Please stay involved and active.

-1

Southeastside Dad, 2% raises since Davitt left? Are you smokin' crack dude!?? You are delusional.

This is like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

By Political Junkie on March 25, 2009 3:39 PM
Naperville Chamber of Commerce

Michael Delciello
Jim Dennison
Steve Deutsch
Jackie Romberg
Dave Weeks


Teachers Association

Susan Crotty
Jim Dennison
Nancy Drapalik
Jackie Romberg


Daily Herald

Susan Crotty
Michael Delciello
Jackie Romberg
Dave Weeks

I attended the forums, and there are some very good candidates who did a sometimes excellent job of presenting their cases.

Unfortunatley, the current Board members who are up for election ran little uneven.

I was outright embarassed by Susan Crotty's performance at both. She appeared very poorly prepared, uses the presentation cadence of a "valley girl", took credit for a lot of work that was not hers, and often seemed very, very satisfied with the status quo.

When all candidates were generally asked if they were supported by the highly-funded Teachers' Union, both Crotty and Romberg did NOT step forward with this info. (only Dennison did --- good for him!)

Later, Crotty outright misled all by stating she was not supported by the union (when she actually IS supported by the Union!)

Does anyonw know who is being supported by the papers, NACPAC, etc?

To: By Southeast Side on April 6, 2009 8:43 PM

As usual, Southeast, you have the facts wrong.

The teachers absolutely did not get 2% raise IF you count raises as the difference in salary from one year to the next.

However, if you define raises differently --- say, whatever the Teachers' Union tells you it is, then you could come up with any number they want.

Bottom line: Your nuts if you believe the 2% number


To:By Thom Higgins on April 6, 2009 7:07 PM

So you have problems with over 5000 of your fellow residents ----nice guy.

I guess since the same names are listed as supporters for many other candidates in other races, they must also be Taxpayers' Ticket candidates?

Gosh! That Taxpayers' Ticket is a very, very large organization.

Oh, by the way: you guys in qe203 are certified nuts.

An Open Letter to Ms. Crotty (whom I decidedly do not support):

I met you four years ago at a Home & School meeting. I was happy to meet you and found you to be a very nice lady. Thank you for your four years of service on the board. Given your Union backing, your name, and your ballot position I have no doubt you will be reelected. Therefore, I request the following:

Please do not take sole credit for something the board agrees to.

"I'm responsible for..." this was a start of a prepared statement at a forum and reported by the Naperville Sun. I almost choked when those words came out of your mouth. Luckily the paper printed them so I knew I did not mishear what you said. Unfortunately, I am sure the other board members heard those words.

Please understand financial concepts.

"...saving taxpayers $18 million." On the Herald News Questionnaire, you wrote, "After the district was out of debt, I initiated sweeping our surplus money into this fund which...(will save) the taxpayers $12.7 in bond issues over the length of the facilities referendum bond issue." I would accuse you of lying about the savings, but I am not sure it is in you. Maybe consult with Mr. Zager about whether this truly saves the taxpayer anything. Also please know that the funds were not approved by the taxpayers for that purpose.

Please understand that since you are on the School Board, everything is your responsibility.

When asked abut teacher salaries, your response was "I do not know how high raises in teacher salaries are. That is not my responsibility." Unacceptable. For those backers of yours who feel the raises were 2% under the contract negotiated under the possibility that the Taxpayers Ticket would be elected, please help them understand the truth about raises.

Please know what you are voting on.

Your response to the Water Street TIF District shows a lack knowledge of what you do. The other incumbent, although feisty with Naperville Taxpayer, actually knew what was being asked.

Please do not treat the board position as if it were a Neighborhood Greeter position.

When you replied to "Why should people vote for me?" on the STAGE Questionnaire you said: "Much of the Board activities that take place such as District Business Partnership signings and breakfasts, OfficeMax Teacher Awards, in school events, Home & School meetings, Board committee assignments, NEF Foundation granting committees, take place during the day and I can be flexible with my job to be available to serve our community when needed."

Finally, sorry about your Spartans last night. Unfortunately, my Illini had the same result several years ago at the hands of UNC.

e^(i*pi)


For those still undecided, there are many very good candidates out there -- may I suggest Mr. DelCiello. Although Ms. Crotty is a very nice lady who volunteers for the district, in no way, shape, or form do I feel comfortable with her continuing to be on the board. D203 has some major financial struggles ahead. Nothing in her responses or past actions shows she is prepared to continue being one of seven people overseeing a $200 million budget.

There has been a lot of reference in the above posts to Nancy Drapalik's "absence" during the campaign for D203 School Board.
Have any of those making those references read her press release on her website addressing her absence? Particularly paragraph 2?
My guess is that when Nancy decided to run for School Board and put a campaign into play, this "family emergency" was not a part of her plans. She was, and hopefully still is, a committed candidate and should receive respectful consideration by all those reviewing the candidates.

Dave only takes responsibility back to when he arrived. Even then, the net number was at least one percent higher than cpi.

But it makes sense. The District created a deficit from 1999 to 2002, then forced the referendum.

But the District collected $120 million more than they promised the community. They have $60 million in the bank. So in short, the other $60 million went to fund the excess of teacher salary increases over CPI. You will get all sorts of other "excuses", but at the end of the day, that is where it went.

So in my mind, the salary levels have increased dramatically, 6.5% increases versus typical 3.5% for ten years is huge. A person starting a teaching job in 1999 at $30,000 will be making $56,300 ten years later at 6.5%. A person starting in private industry at $35,000 will be making $49,400 today.

It would be best to close the chapter on the last ten years of this district and set a more manageable course for the next ten. The first 14 years I lived in this District, it was a real bargain. The last ten have erased that.

But these union battles seem to want to keep this unsustainable spiral of cost increases to continue in perpetuity.

And not one thing for the children!!

Dan D wrote:

The District historically sets salaries so that step and contract (essentially working one more year) would approximate CPI. Lanes as assumed to be offset by turnover.

I would be fine with this approach. It would be better to calculate the gross increases (your individual teacher) and deduct turnover. This amount should not exceed CPI.

This sounds good to me, too. What did you learn from the meeting with Mr. Zager in regard to recent (since 2000) increases? Has the district's historical method been off-kilter, so to speak?

Thanks.

-JQP

It is amazingly hypocritical for you to call someone else gutless when you continuously post anonymously.

You don't have to agree with qe203, but they are thoughtful and involved, they take a principled stand and they put their real names on everything they put out. I don't agree with all that they do, but they have more guts than you'll ever have. (And more than me, as I post under a pseudonym).

Here's the Facts: When there was an adversarial Board ( that's code for Mike Davitt insulting teachers and making everyone play "hard ball" ) - the teachers got 5.2%. Remove the hostility, have Crotty negotiate, and the contract raise drops to 2%. Oh - and then Davitt voted against the 2%. This is when CPI was 4% or more.

Who is it that cost the taxpayers money - Mike Davitt.
What District 203 taxpayers can't afford is Davitt's ego. All we get from "hard ball" is broken windows that cost a lot of money.

Do you want candidates that are all about their own importance or candidates that have a record of volunteering in the schools or in the community?

These 4 have a long history of volunteering - the incumbents have a history of results.

Susan Crotty - incumbent
Jackie Romberg - incumbent
Lynn Hodak
Jim Dennison

Vote Tuesday - you know that "bad guys" will.

JQP,

As you know, I reviewed the salary information with Dave Zager and Thomas Higgins. The District historically sets salaries so that step and contract (essentially working one more year) would approximate CPI. Lanes as assumed to be offset by turnover.

I would be fine with this approach. It would be better to calculate the gross increases (your individual teacher) and deduct turnover. This amount should not exceed CPI.

But if you give more than step in the next year, you will exceed CPI. So a one year freeze with steps only would work. Or two year limited increase (1% plus 1.8 step for each year) would be acceptable.

But not 5.2% plus lanes, will result in deficits.

I do not find this to be unfair. In fact, generous in today's economy.

Anonymous,

I will match ourwebsite here: http://www.qualityeducation203.org/ against the rhetoric you display here any day. As for Mr. Weeks, I see the circle has been completed. In his Sunday ad he actually was willing to have Mike Davitt and Dan Denys listed. He now counts the entire Taxpayers Ticket slate and their committee as supporters.

I seriously doubt there is even one other D203 candidate that would be willing to have them. They have found their home in Mr. Weeks.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Has anyone seen the baseless personal attack that qe203 made on one of the Board candidates? It was "stickered" on today's Sun with a web address.

Those guys are such gutless twits. I mean, there are what, five members to this little cabal of nuts?


qe203 reminds me of Sargent Schultz and his team on Hogan's Heroes: qe203 knows nothing, qe203 sees nothing, but qe203 is ALWAYS willing to attack other Naperville citizens who have the fortitude to actually get off of their rumps and run.

I mean, really! we found out last week that qe203 has been using incorrent & corrupt data on teachers' salaries/raises all of this time ---- now they want us to believe they know what they are talking about on citizens who care enough about the District to actually run to be on it?

Get real, doofus boys!

The website is the usual vile, subjective, emotional response crap we have come to expect from qe203 and their little bloggers. They write "He sounds like someone else" --- what kind of weak crap is that?.

Newsflash, buckos! The folks you compare him to pulled in better than 5000 votes, That means there are about 5000 who "sound" like someone else using your lame logic.

Finally, let me be the one to set you all straight: There is NO taxpayer Ticket ----- it ran and lost. The candidate qe203 is so afriad of, the one qe203 has attacked so baselessly and incoherently, is NOT a member of the Taxpayers' Ticket.

qe203 ---- get over yourselves and get the Taxpayers' Ticket our of your sculls, wimp-boys. It has been over for 2 years!

Let it go and MOVE ON (not moveon.org, which is one of your affiliates --- just move on!)

Dan D wrote:

Simple pledge. No salary increases in excess of CPI unless the Board seeks voter authorization.

Is this a pledge in reference to an individual teacher's increase (i.e., lane change + step increase + salary increase

-JQP

I have probably done as much research on these ten school board candidates as I have ever done for any school board race before. I agree with the Daily Herald who said there really isn't a bad choice here. However, there are four candidates whom I think are a step above, and bring a level of expertise and passion to this position that District 203 needs.

Michael Delciello
Jim Dennison
Dave Weeks
Jackie Romberg

Thank you to all ten candidates for your committment to making our school district and our city a better place. You all deserve our appreciation and thanks!

After reading all of these posts, the propaganda that I have been sent in the mail and the information I can find on the Internet, this is who I am voting for tomorrow in the District 203 election:

Susan Crotty
Jackie Romberg
Jim Dennison
Dave Weeks

I think this group best represents a good mix of the different views and opinions of the taxpayers in the district. Hopefully after the election, whomever gets elected treats each other with respect even if they don’t agree with what is being said. Good luck to all of those who are running tomorrow…it takes a lot to put your name on a ballot…I have a lot of respect for those who do. I might not agree with everything you say, but I respect the fact that you stepped forward to try to make a difference in this town! Good luck!

I guess Mr. Dennison is not ready to show his true independence by taking a reasonable pledge to the taxpayers. It is amazing the sway the union has over your when they support your campaign.

This clearly illustrates the conflict of interest issue with Dennison, Rombert, Crotty and I forget who the other person is.

GO OUT AND VOTE!!!!!!

To Real Tired about Davitt

Last I looked, Wyeth was a private company that can charge whatever it wants for its products. Doctors have a very simple choice--buy another vaccine from another company.

In fact, my private companies are not making vaccines because of the government red tape (COST).

Let Obama make the vaccine and sell it cheaper. Good old socialism.

But when you join the government and any other socialistic system, you need to abide by the rule of law rather than the economy. So your salary would be limited. Look at California, the epicenter of socialism--20% of the teachers are losing their jobs and those that remain are getting pay cuts.

Success comrade!!!!

To Really Tired of Hypocrites on April 5, 2009 12:47 PM

EASY QUESTION.

Take a look at our questions, particularly #'s 2& 3
Questions 11 and 12 are the pledge

Siefken YES
Mathewson YES (emphatically)
Weeks YES
DelCiello YES (very good comment on deficits

Hodak YES (not clear on salaries)
Deutsch YES

Dennison NO (No position on deficits)
Romberg NO
Crotty NO
Drapalik ?????? (Is she still in the race)

All answers can be found on the following page

http://www.napervilletaxpayer.org/District_203.html


Dan D, Have your endorsed candidates signed this pledge?

A simple "yes" or "no" is all I am asking. Please no long-winded responses. Better yet, have your candidates respond directly to this.


By Dan D on April 2, 2009 7:03 PM

MAKE A PLEDGE FOR LIMITED TEACHER SALARY INCREASES AND WORK RULE CHANGES

Right now (to answer e^(i*pi)), the District plans for revenues to increase by 2.5% (based on CPI) and teacher salaries to increase by 4% (6% gross increase less 2% "credit" for turnover).

Simple pledge. No salary increases in excess of CPI unless the Board seeks voter authorization.

Sign a resignation letter and file with the Board secretary that becomes effective if you violate the pledge.

Is the following correct Mr. Davitt?

A simple "yes" or "no" is all we are looking for here.

By Local Doc on April 2, 2009 10:51 PM
Wyeth increased Prevnar prices %6.5 in '07.
Wyeth announced another 7% price increase for the Prevnar vaccine to pediatricians on 8/1/08.
That's 13.5% in just the last two years.
In these hard times, Wyeth's gross revenue and profits still increased in '08.
Vaccines are the single highest drug cost for a pediatric practice and the second highest expense after salaries.
Why is this here?
Because I would like to ask Mike Davitt, who sells these to me, to explain why he and his employer don't practice what he's preaching here? How come you are not holding your increases to CPI or less, for that matter?
My patients are the same taxpayers that he says he represents.
I guess Mike is pressing so hard for school property tax cuts so that the taxpayers with children can use them to support his company's price increases.

To Candidate Dennision:


You are correct is saying that the School Board must represent the entire community.

This includes the 60% with no children in the school, the seniors who have trouble meeting their property tax bills, those who are members of small groups like the Taxpayers' Ticket and qe203, etc.

I would like to simplify it for you: The School Board represents the cititizens of Naperville --- period!

In the case of the d203 School Board race, Crotty, Romberg, you, and the missing person are all receiving both large cash and in-kind contributions from your largest vendor, which also happens to be your employee base.

Ironically, this same employee base uses it's position, along with our time and money as the taxpayers footing their bill, to physically camopaign for you! Talk to any group of school-going kids in 203 and they will tell you the same. I will add that these actions are a violation of both State law and the current contract with the teachers' Union (you can contact Dan Iverson to see how these violations all work).

We must all be acutely aware that the Board we elect on Tuesday will, in all liklihood, be negotiating and approving contracts worth as much as ONE BILLION DOLLARS [$1,000,000,000.00] directly to the same group providing these cash contributions to your candidancy.

Do you see it yet, Jim? Regardles of the highest ethics you may have, the appearance of conflict is as bright as a supernova.

It is simple: When a Board member (such as Crotty & Romberg) or a candidate, such as yourself, takes ANY money or in-kind contributions from ANY special interest group, it clearly represents a potential or actual conflict of interest. The idea that Board members receive no pay has no bearing on that conflict. In fact, salary is a moot issue in the debate.

The only salient issue is one of influence, or in this case the purchasing of influence.


Hey Higgins how come you won't post qe pee salary data until after the election? Higgins, OWNED by Dan Denys again!!!

What concerns me the most about candidate Dennison is that he repeats union materials. For example, the 3.8% salary increase for 2009 is a minimum, they get even more as they get credit for classes. At least he is not as bad as Crotty who believes the increase is 2%.

The problem is that the most important issues, salary, is barely covered in any of the debate. This is the number one issue. Only Napervilletaxpayer.org raises the question.

So I will as Mr. Dennison. Will you limit salary increases to teachers by the lower or market salary increases for other professions or increased tax revenues?

If you are as independent as you claim, you should have a very simple, short, straight forward answer to this question.

Are you ready and willing to be honest to the voters? An answer to this question would demonstrate true independence.

To Candidate Dennison's reply

First, For myself and many others that are objectively following this issue, we do appreciate you responding. It is a reversal of you joining certain other candidates in childishly ignoring taxpayer's questions (although you were the most responsive and respectful during the forum, your responses were thoughtful and thorough so a written response was really not needed).

But you did not answer the question on conflict of interest. First, I think that you have one direct constituency, the taxpayers and voters of the District. That is who you are asking for the votes this Tuesday. You have to deal with two other constituencies: the customers (Students) and employees (teachers). The other groups you cite are subsets of these groups, mostly advocates or "special interest groups".

In short, you are seeking a very difficult job where you need to provide the highest quality service to the students using the teachers with the resources that the taxpayers/voters have given you. Not an easy job since students (more likely their parents) want more than you can provide with the resources at your disposal (such as smaller class sizes and prove, experienced teachers from top 20 universities). The teachers, like every other employee, would always want to be paid more.

Here is the problem that you have not addressed, even in your last post. The teachers have provided you with significant campaign assistance. They have set aside $14,000, we won't know how much will be actually spent until August. You, on the other hand, have not even spent $3,000 as of today (since you or your committee has not filed a campaign report). At a minimum, you have a conflict of interest based on this funding and support. And you are well aware of it.

You summarized the task very well in your comment above. "They (all constituencies) should also expect the very best educational experience for our students within the financial parameters that have been provided." I'll ask again, how can you assure the taxpayers/voters that you will fulfill this task "burdened" with this conflict of interest to the teachers union?

I had offered one option to explicitly address this conflict, a commitment not to vote for a teachers contract that would result in salaries exceeding CPI unless there is a successful referendum to exceed CPI before then. Such a commitment or pledge would mitigate, in my mind, your conflict. It would show balance between the relevant constituencies. By the way, the same would apply to "educational enhancements" that would cost money (lower class sizes) that cannot be offset by other cost reductions.

Why is this important? The District's financial plan assumes salary increases substantially in excess of CPI with deficits beginning this JULY, not in 2017. And that was based on a 2.5% CPI increase. This policy of paying teachers more than the revenue stream provided by the taxpayers forced a referendum back in 2002 and compelled them to take $100 million more to fulfill. I think you can see where there has been no balance in the last ten years. Excessive salary increases averaging 6.5% when the rest of the world was lucky to get half that amount. It is more than a coincidence that these excessive increases occurred during teacher union control of the Board.

In fact, the above policy would provide a very fine framework for the District to operate under to ensure that there would not be any deficits forever.

Other than this issue, your positions are very credible. You just do not tell people how we can believe that you will look out for the interests of the taxpayers (or for that matter the students) given your conflict of interest. I think the standard in government is to abstain in votes where you have such an interest. But then the union would never get another contract increase ever since no board members could vote. Maybe have the contract approved by referendum.

This is a difficult issue. More difficult because the union has been very militant over the last ten years. As you know from business, the best deal is when everyone thinks they were taken. That is not the case in 203, the teachers have prevailed. And that is where you have a conflict. Why would you not perpetuate this?

And I sense you are struggling with this. At least you are addressing the matter in contrast to Crotty and Romberg that totally ignore the issue and Drapalik who is totally missing in action. These people taint you even more. And you might even come up with a BETTER ANSWER to address the conflict. We wait.

About this...
By Mike Davitt on April 4, 2009 7:14 AM
How can anyone believe QE203 is an "independent" organization when NapervilleTaxpayer.org predicted weeks before QE203 ever sent out their candidate questionnaires that they would be endorsing the teachers' union slate? We only missed our prediction by one.

QE203 is an arm of the NUEA. There's no other plausible explanation.

I guess it would depend on how you define "plausible." Because I can think of several reasonable explanations. Let's start by looking at the endorsements made thus far:

Daily Herald: Crotty, Romberg, Weeks, Del Ciello

NACPAC: Romberg, DelCiello, Dennison, Deutsch, Weeks

NapervilleTaxpayer: Weeks, Del Ciello, Siefken, Matthewson

QE203: Romberg, Crotty, Dennison, Siefken, Hodak

Teachers' Union: Romberg, Crotty, Dennison, Drapalik

OK, three of four. I get where the argument starts, but really, it seems like endorsing two incumbents isn't all that earth-shattering. The Daily Herald did that, too (and they have editorialized FOR a public-employee pay freeze). Naperville Taxpayer is the only organization that did not endorse an incumbent, but their website clearly explains that position. So it comes down to two challengers for two open seats. QE203 agrees with the union on Dennison. But so does NACPAC, and I seriously doubt that NACPAC and the union are in bed here. So then, it comes down to Drapalik, who no one else has endorsed, being endorsed by the union. Then QE203 endorses Hodak (who no one else endorsed) and Siefken (who Naperville Taxpayer also endorsed).

Looking at this, I actually think it's more plausible to believe that these are five independent organizations (QE203, NT, Daily Herald, NACPAC, and teachers' union) rather than anyone being an "arm" of the other. Look at the math of the situation. In order to truly be effective in getting votes mathematically in a race for four seats, really people need to actually agree on all the candidates. Otherwise, they risk watering down the votes. If in fact QE203 is truly concerned about Dave Weeks (and they definitely appear to be), for example, it makes much more mathematical sense to back exactly the same candidates as a slate that also does not include Mr. Weeks. But they did not do so here. I would have to say that, if in fact QE203 and the teachers' union were the same, they made a pretty stupid decision to back different candidates even if it is just one.

So I guess that "plausible" depends greatly on your point of view. I really don't know anyone personally invoved in decision-making in any of these five organizations, so I can't personally vouch for anything. But just looking at the public information, it seems clear that there are five independent organizations who have clearly different ideas about what's best for the school district. And frankly, that's probably not a particularly bad thing.

By Dan D on April 2, 2009 8:28 AM

Mr. Dennison has offered no solutions to the taxpayers how he can objectively negotiate a teachers contract with the people he has tacitly accepted campaign support.

Mr Denys,

As I stated previously, I have not been offered, nor have I accepted any financial support from either of the organizations that have endorsed my candidacy, the Naperville Chamber of Commerce PAC, or the Teachers Association.

Again, let me be absolutely crystal clear on this: I am beholden to no one. I am an independent candidate.

That being said, let me address your question on objectivity. Quite frankly, I'm surprised by your question as well as the inference and I'll tell you why.

As you are well aware, this is a volunteer position. Members of the Board of Education do not receive any financial compensation or benefits for serving on the Board.

I did not choose to run for this position for any other reason than to serve the community and continue to provide the best educational experience for our students that we can afford while judiciously managing the school districts financial resources.

As a board member, you are elected to represent the entire community, not just one constituency. For example, following are some of the people and groups the Board of Education represents:

The students of District 203
All taxpayers of District 203
The members of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce
The members of NapervilleTaxpayer.org
The members of QE203.org
The members of the Teachers Association
The members of STAGE

Every one of these organizations have a vested interest in this district as it is run with their hard-earned taxes. Each of these organizations have a voice in how their tax dollars are spent and should expect the members of the Board of Education to listen to them and be good fiscal stewards. They should also expect the very best educational experience for our students within the financial parameters that have been provided.

To summarize, this position represents all taxpayers.


Wow, Higgins, you just can't help yourself. In your supposed answers to some straight forward questions/accusations you still have to get off on a rant that you've been carrying on for 2-3 years. How in the world do you really expect anyone to assume you are objective - let alone rational - or reliable?

1) The question was did you or did you not do what you told the candidates you were going to do? In your last blog you did exactly what Weeks accused you of doing - taking a snippet our of one of the communications between you and the candidates - there seems to be indication that you had more than one communication with them with at least one specifically addressing concerns that one of them initially raised. What's with all the rhetoric about how hard it was? Just answer the question - did you do what you said you would do? From the few sentences you have shared it seems like you didn't - certainly I see nothing about endorsing, and nothing about running a commentary on any of the candidates you don't like. Why, instead of asking the question you purport to be addressing, do you start a comparison with the Taxpayer guys? The implication is that because you feel your process was better than theirs it justifies whatever you did. Give me a break!

2) Voting records. Higgins, you didn't answer anything. You were asked whether Dennison mislead you or your own research. Why pretend to be responding (which is how you titled your last entry)? You have a huge credibility problem here and I think you owe it to the people who read your web site and this blog to be honest about this. After all, you are the one who made this an issue and you are the one who STILL has your attack on Weeks highlighted on your home page. (By the way, this is the web site that you are directing people to to find out about the "Stealth Candidate" in the flyers you are currently distributing). Higgins, did Dennison mislead you or did you guys make a mistake? Please answer this black and white question. Stop blaming it on others - "we were told", stop justifying it by what some other group did or does. You continuously use numbers and "facts" to try and pursuade the public. Now we want you to take responsibility for some of these "facts" that you, and you alone, have given to the public. How can you continue to make this an issue on your web site except you really don't care about facts and fairness, you just want to promote your agenda at all cost?

3)Your "guilt by association" - Weeks must be Nap Taxpayers since some of his supporters were also supporters of them?! This response is laughable. Only you know how terrible these folks are and all the other supporters of Weeks are just ignorant? And this somehow justifies your conclusions about Weeks. What about the question that was raised by Anonymous that you're responding to about what you would have Weeks do. Just delete these people from the supporter list? Then you would be happy?

4) The web site links. So, by what you have posted we can conclude that the answer to the question you were responding to is "Yes, We did manipulate what we wanted people to know about Weeks' business by picking an isolated link instead of sending readers to his main site." Why can't you just admit to what you've done when you get caught, Higgins?

Higgins, is it possible for you to just answer a set of straight forward questions without blowing smoke and attacking others? You have no problem with holding others accountible for everything they've said - isn't it time for you to do the same?

Every voter must read Tim Waldorf's April 3 article, Consider what candidates can bring to the table. Outstanding!

How can anyone believe QE203 is an "independent" organization when NapervilleTaxpayer.org predicted weeks before QE203 ever sent out their candidate questionnaires that they would be endorsing the teachers' union slate? We only missed our prediction by one.

QE203 is an arm of the NUEA. There's no other plausible explanation.

For those who did not read through Mr. Higgins' latest post, there was this gem:

Let me say that there are others that we feel that, if elected, would be excellent school board members, but felt they lacked the resources or backing to be competitive, or, we had one nagging doubt, but we didn’t want to hurt them.

What the heck is this? "We don't want to give a recommended rating to someone because they don't have the resources to get elected." um..zowie??

Regarding the voting records. I personally say "So what!" "Yawn!" "Whatever!" Mr. Higgins, you made it an issue, and you continue to have that issue highlighted in yellow on your site against Mr. Weeks. Please. If you want to attack him for other reasons, have at it. This issue is not one you have any standing to use against someone you don't like and ignore for someone you do like.

e^(i*pi)

Notes on the Water Street TIF District:

If you look at the Naperville Taxpayer responses, note how Ms. Romberg responds to the Water Street TIF District question (#4). She recognizes the issue and answers the question.

Look at the response of *NO*Susan Crotty*NO*. Clueless. Completely Clueless. Just like when she took personal credit for something the board agreed on ... more later on that. Not surprising given her absolutely horrendous performance at the forums.

Two sitting board members. One responds with an answer about the question as if she actually heard about the issue that was voted on by the board (dare I say unanimously?). One who goes "Huh??" We cannot afford that when the board presides over a $200 million budget.

Note I am not comparing all candidates here. I am comparing the incumbents who had to deal with this issue as board members. I assume that the two incumbents and four of the others running were given the opportunity to answer more fully. If not, boo on napervilletaxpayer.org . However, just like cue-e gets to do, there are conversations which happen that get reported.

The most pathetic of all answers was #2 by SC. "Not my responsibility". Ms. Romberg at least makes some progress on an answer here and recognizes that the board has some role when it comes to contracts.

e^(i*pi) -- neither supporting nor rejecting JR at this point

I have an idea for the Sun Times (the parent of the Sun) to get out of bankruptcy. Charge Higgins a penny for every word over 400 in a post.

Not to emulate this guy (who would want to).

1. What took two weeks to post 12 documents?

2. How long does it take Higgins and Shulman to pick five candidates to recommend? What else is going on? On second thought, I am thinking we might not want the answer to that question.

3. The salary schedule seemed straight forward. What more extensive blabber can he come up with? The numbers are the numbers, people know that 6.5% is more than their raises, 2% if they are lucky to keep their job. That's what is relevant now. And it looked like Denys and Zager kept their end of the deal, you backed out again.

4. What is Higgins talking about in that Water Street TIF and people going after Romberg? She didn't say much, not like her spewing on the salary issue.

Hey Denys, looks like Higgins has a new enemy. If Weeks wins, we better station a paramedic outside outside of Higgins house. Next will come this Omnia project that is desperately needed to clean up the area around the train station.

Responding to Anonymous’ post of 4-3-2209 @ 8:19 AM

As far as Mr. Weeks claiming deception, here is the relevant paragraph that initially went out to all candidates regarding our recommendations:

At the end of our process we will post our assessment of Highly Recommended, Recommended, Not Recommended, on the website.

As I have indicated previously this is our first attempt at a questionnaire and recommendations. Ultimately, we settled on just Recommended and Not Recommended. Either way Mr. Weeks would have been in the Not Recommended category. So I question how he can legitimately claim he was injured/deceived here. This was the short paragraph discussing it when we notified everyone that we had posted our recommendations:

QE203's candidate recommendations are now on line. We thank you all for your time and efforts. We had a difficult time coming to our recommendation as there were a large number that we felt we could recommend, but in the end, we decided to recommend only what we consider to be the top five.

Let me say that there are others that we feel that, if elected, would be excellent school board members, but felt they lacked the resources or backing to be competitive, or, we had one nagging doubt, but we didn’t want to hurt them. We struggled with it mightily, and in the end made the decision we did. Please give us a little credit. We actually had the candidates themselves fill out the questionnaire, interviewed them all, and agonized over our decision. Naperville taxpayer in contrast popped up as an anonymous website, full of endorsements even though they apparently hadn’t contacted or interviewed the people they were endorsing, made up answers for the 6 candidates who didn’t submit questionnaires to them, and have names come and go daily. Had I known that I would have done daily screen captures. So, I’d say we’re on pretty solid ground in comparison.

BTW, as a lover of a good irony, in the NT questionnaire, and a post here today by Mr. Denys, there is a discussion of the Water Street TIF, where they go after Ms. Romberg pretty good. This is the same TIF that their nemesis, Dianne McGuire, when running against Darlene Senger tried to use against Darlene, and for which I vocally denounced Ms. McGuire for. Who knows, maybe Dianne, Mike and Dan have made up.

Mr. Weeks is also making some noises we changed his questionnaire. I discussed that above in detail.

As to Mr. Dennison’s voting record, we were told in error that he had voted in all elections. It was after the issue was raised here that we went back, and it was discovered that he had only voted in one municipal election. Which I acknowledged here above, as did Mr. Dennison. As to Mr. Seifkin’s voting record in Michigan, it was just too time intensive to figure out how to dig up that information. I will also say it was the complete picture that emerged with Mr. Weeks that troubles us so greatly. His non- voting, yes, but also my personal conversation, his antagonistic comments in public, his connections to the TT/NT people, his lack of any hands on involvement in the schools that led us to our non recommendation.

As to our research. Please feel free to read my cost vs performance analysis as an example of the quality information we provide. You will note that much is based on ISBE statistics that are readily verifiable, and there are links to other supporting documents as well.


As to Mr. Weeks and the TaxpayersTicket/NapervilleTaxpayer connection I rest my case with the numerous relevant comments contained my previous post. If you don’t understand what a threat they were to this district, then I can understand your confusion perhaps. I refer you to the napervilletaxpayer website. If you find the rhetoric there acceptable then there’s not much I can say. As to your comment about Mr. Weeks other supporters, there were a lot of good people who didn’t understand what the taxpayers ticket represented and voted for them too.

Lastly there is this webpage business:

Here is what I linked to, which is the company he offers his services though:

http://www.axaonline.com/rs/axa/services-products/Products_and_Services.html

Here is his website:

http://www.weeksfinancial.com/

If you access his website you will find numerous references to AXA so I’m completely lost here as to Mr. Weeks discomfort.

And finally, we seem to have a bit of a controversy brewing about teacher’s salaries snort! A few comments: First it was I who challenged Mr. Denys to meet with Dave Zager. The three of us had numerous e-mail exchanges and one face to face meeting. Dave supplied the information on the spreadsheet the Mr. Denys posted. I will be posting my own, much more extensive document using the same numbers some time shortly after the election. Until then I will sit back and watch the fireworks.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

To supplement e^(i*pi)

First, I was trying to get consensus on the numbers. Dave was not in the District prior to that time. Wanted to use his numbers.

But two points. First, as was posted on this blog elsewhere, if you migrated all the teachers that were in the district in 1999 (when this contract madness started) and were still there in 2008 (about 700 teachers, 65% of the total work force), their salaries increased by 7.14%. Not far from the 6.5% from the Dave's numbers. That makes sense because the salary increases were greater in the contracts before 2007.

Second, a separate analysis using the Championnews.org for teachers that were there in 1999 (the first year of their schedules) and also there in 2006 showed at increase of 7.15%. If we adjust this number in a manner similar to the two years we did with Zager, the increases were probably 6.8% or so.

In total, it is safe to say that the increases were at least 6% for ten years, maybe closer to 6.5%. I could not get Dave to prove these numbers and his predecessor, Allen Albus, was never forthcoming on these numbers. But then again, he was the mastermind of the fraud on the taxpayers.

(You know what, numerous people have said that we have been unfair and maybe even criminally libelous in our references to Albus regarding his actions. However, he has had ample time to file libel suits and of course, he has not. Reason? Truth always wins in the courts in such cases. Instead, he ran off to Lake Forest, got a $100,000 raise, and could care less anymore about 203. And deep down, I think he was acting on orders, primarily Weber and to a lesser degree Leis. Anyone with integrity would not want to have done what he had to do. Kind of like being the CFO or Skilling (Enron) or Ebbers (MCI Worldcom) or chief of staff to Blago. I think he is thanking his stars he dodged a bullet.)

So e^(i*pi), I think you can safely say the increases were at least 6.5%.

Um...Higgins says Zowie! Single "!" and only "Z" capitalized.

That is a direct quote from another blog where he did a quick calculation of what would happen to a teacher's salary when given 7% per year raises over 20 years.

I gave a response here. Anyone can do this in excel.

He was and still is clueless on this topic. He stated the things I mentioned above. He recently met with Mr. Zager and Mr. Denys. The data is presented by Mr. Denys in a link in one of the posts above. They did not go back very far like was wanted, but the recent data is good enough. Present salary data can be found either at http://www.thechampion.org or at http://www.suntimes.com/data Mr. Higgins disputes the champion data, so maybe trust the owner of the blog you are reading. We have several 100k+/year grade school gym teachers and several 100k+ grade school librarians and 1st grade teachers and... That makes no sense.

Higgins is in fact not calm, cool, and collected. Search his website and his posts on these blogs about the greatness of D203. In almost every case his enthusiasm is out of proportion to the data. When presented with mathematical facts, he changes the subject. I love that I live in Naperville and my kids go to schools in D203. That does not make me bow to D203s presence like Mr. Higgins does. I want to make D203 better for my children. Part of that is allowing more funds to go to programs and opportunities and not to 6-7% per year teacher raises. Or raises where the other stuff gets squeezed out.

e^(i*pi) -- not supporting loudness and caps and bold on either side.

English(10^2)+1. In 2005, 90% of 203 teachers voted to strike against this community with a 4.99% offer already on the table! I despise every teacher who voted to strike in 2005. I despise every teacher like Dan Iverson who broke the Ethics & Gift Ban law by campaigning on school time using school property. I despise the girls basketball coach who came to a board meeting to proclaim Central was a "dump." I despise every teacher involved with a 2007 direct mail campaign that said I wanted to outsource bus drivers who might be sex offenders. I despise the teachers' union that secretly created and funded a phony organization called P.U.R.E. to campaign for the union's lackeys. Yep, despise is the right word.

Local Doc. I remember you. You're the nut I confronted during the 2007 elections to ask if you were stalking me. Your actions were truly bizarre to say the least, Peter. Unfortunately, modern medicine hasn't invented a vaccine yet to cure what presently ails you (deeply). We are, however, working on an alzheimers vaccine that could help down the road.

You and Thom keep working on that "independent" teachers' union organization of yours.

Yeah, Texas is clearly a leader in everything, including education! 40th out of 50 states for per-pupil spending, 46th for state aid per pupil, 47th for SAT scores and 35th for high school graduation rate... you're a funny guy, Denys.

Here's why I find it so difficult to take the 203 haters seriously in this thread:

Davitt, Denys, the various anonymous posters: all-caps statements, things like "ZOWIE!!!!!" with a dozen exclamation points. (Really, who actually says "zowie"?)

Higgins: Calm, cool, collected, makes his statements without letting emotion turn into unfounded rhetoric. Anyone without an axe to grind can see that calling his most recent statement a "late-night tirade" is far from accurate. He doesn't even have to try to make you look bad. Davitt thinks "Higgins has ZERO credibility," but the posts here make it clear who's lacking credibility.

Sorry, guys, but the 2007 school board election defeat and the 2008 referendum passage ought to clearly demonstrate that scare tactics and yelling don't win people over. Even the Republican National Committee has finally figured that out.

Yep. The NUPACE endorsement postcard came today.

Irony of all ironies. I think they misspelled the name of one of the candidates being supported. Nice!

Maybe JR has an "h" in her name and has hidden it from her own website and Facebook site and the 203 website. Maybe. Maybe not.

-1

To: By english(10^2)+1 on April 3, 2009 12:09 PM

Actually I was tinking of you, oh smarmy one.

So, brilliant omnipotentate, who is it you think I am?

There aren't too many things I can assure others of, but you not knowing me is one of them!

{p.s. By the way, your small mind gives you away.)

I just love how Higgins rants and rants about hidden agenda's, stealth candidates, blah blah blah yet he is the one that stoops to digging up voting records on those he doesn't like. I want EVERYONE to notice, the Taxpayer's Ticket guys didn't go down that road it was HIGGINS that did it. Same old left wing dirty politics we've become accustomed to in Illinois, right along with Dianne McGuire and PURE. You are in good company Mrs. Kravitz.

Quotes from the past

By Thom Higgins on March 6, 2009 3:18 PM

"If starting salary is $41,969. and a teacher receives 7% annual raises, at 20 years the salary is $151,782. At 25 years it's $212,882. And at 30 years it's $298.578. Zowie! That, of course, is not the case, not even close. That's why I have problems with these 7%-9% figures being tossed around for raises."

By Thom Higgins on March 9, 2009 5:46 PM

"And, once again, I'm sorry, you can claim that raises were 6-7% but it is a fact that they were not. The average wage growth per teacher over ten years was 3.52% per year."

THE FACTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go to the following link and see the actual increases for the last two years and the projected for the current year

http://www.napervilletaxpayer.org/uploads/D203_salary_incr_2007-2009.pdf

ZOWIE!!!!! EVERYONE AGREES. HIGGINS IS WRONG!!

These schedules were reviewed and signed off by myself and Dave Zager (I used the District's numbers, they should be the most accurate).

Tom will not acknowledge these numbers. Who knows? We all had to waste over 100's of posts because he either did not want to accept the facts or does not understand.

More interesting, teachers have the ability to be paid more due to turnover, but that is not enough. Just like in 2007, 4.99% was not enough, they needed 5.2%.

Higgins and his "q-ee" crew are ranting and raving about old news.

Simple question.


What is Dennison's response to how he addressed the conflict of interest resulting from the union supporting his election?

Is this a little more of a hot potato than his election record (that only Higgins cares about)?

A blogger above was wondering about reporting requirements for candidates. Here are some details for the candidate who appears to be waging the most expensive campaign by far – color mailers - phone calls - yard signs.

1) Dave Weeks' statement of organization was received by the State Board of Elections on January 28, but it shows $0 cash available. He could have already written a check (e.g. for a media buy) just under the $3000 limit. This expenditure, call it $2999, does not need to be reported, ever. The expenditure or donation that does puts a candidate over the $3000 limit doesn't get reported until the next required report, and is when he is first required to report. It's conceivable he created the committee before spending/collecting anything. Still, it seems unusual - not illegal - but does show he can't follow directions. The Guide to Campaign Disclosure states "The contribution or expenditure that places the campaign committee over the top is the first item reported."

2) The "next required report" was the Pre-election Report for the period January 26 to March 8. Week's report was filed one day late on March 24, and consists of the main D-2 form and supporting Schedule A form. The D-2 is flawed with the following inconsistencies:

a) Fails to fill in the $550 loan Weeks made to the committee as required in Section A Item 3.
b) Fails to report the Total Receipts in Section A Item 4.
c) Fails to fill out any of Section D including: funds available at the beginning of the reporting period, the receipts from Section A, expenditures from section B, and funds available at the close of the reporting period.
d) Whereas the funds available at the close of the reporting period could be $0 (perhaps explaining why it's not filled in), this would imply that the entire amount received in the period ($1400 itemized + $1024 non-itemized = $2424) was spent. Section B required the entry of expenditures (both itemized and non-itemized) but this has been left blank.
e) If the entire sum collected ($2424) had been spent, it is not likely this would have been done in amounts less than $150, and with each paid to a separate vendor. The sum of all expenditure that exceeds $150 to a given vendor must be itemized and reported on Schedule B, but the Weeks report does not include any Schedule B. As it is, the D-2 report indicates Weeks spent nothing on his campaign in the period January 26 to March 8.

I do not want to imply that Dave Weeks is trying to flaunt the campaign finance law of the State of Illinois, but the reporting requirements are not that difficult, and it is bewildering that someone who claims financial expertise would make so many mistakes in completing, or proof reading, a legal document of this nature. It makes one wonder what kind of attention Weeks would give to financial decisions required of him as a school board member.

By Anonymous on April 3, 2009 10:55 AM

Two comments.

First, this blog is not about my business. If you have any questions, feel free to mail them to me and I will be glad to respond.

Second, I have significant business contacts in Metro Chicago that I have developed and provide me with a career. I hope they will stay in place long enough for me to finish my professional career and finish paying for college and funding my retirement. Maybe even pass my business along for someone else to profit.

But the most unfortunate situation is that Illinois has fallen from a highly sought out place to conduct business. That hurts my business. The cause? Wasteful and corrupt spending by governments, union control of plants.

And that is what this election is about. You can't give people 6.5% compound salary increases when the private sector is getting 3.5%. Worst yet, you think you are giving 2%. I wish they were 2% (NOT REALLY, that would not be a fair wage based on my research, 3.5% seems to be the average since the 2001 recession). So 2% would not fit my definition of fair. But neither would 6.5%. (Higgins will rant that I advocate 50% reductions, another lie.)

And another little tidbit. In the private sector, if you do not advance in two to five years, you are fired. Ask Romberg. I like her started my career with the Big 8 (now Big 4). If you did not qualify for promotion, you were generally fired. Or you got no salary increase.

Teachers do the same job and gain tenure (fire proof), but want to be paid like the private sector where it is perform or perish. Does not work. And what about the pensions?

Illinois did not need to be ruined by the corrupt DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. The right situation in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia or North Carolina, I would be out in a heartbeat. Take a loss on the house (I should sub prime it and turn it over to the bank!!), and move where the jobs are going.

Anonymous, our intentional misspelling or people's names (including your own) gives you up :)

I hope that I am not the only one amused by the irony of your ridicule: "Open your mind to the observations and opinions of others. Learn to control your animus over fellow citizens who think differently than you."

You could have been looking in a mirror when you said that.

“for the record, I don’t hate teachers I despise them.” Mike Davitt (1/27/08)

by the way despise is nowhere near as bad a hate, (Dan Denys this morning.)

Oh really now.

It is the difference between a strong dislike or loathing and an extreme dislike. In other words, not much.

People who have respect for another don't use the word despise when telling them they don't like them for something they did or believe.

Mike Davitt's and and your contempt for people that disagree with you is obvious, it only diminishes you further when you try to explain it.

Does anyone else see the similarity between Tom Higins & Edie Haskell! "Gosh. Ms 203, don't you look wonderful today!"

We are all so very, very proud of your efforts, Tom, in being the lone person that has made 203 so wonderful all of these years. It is even more stupendous given the utter lack of parent involvment and the degrading finanical position of the families of 203.

You, sir, are a hero!

Now that you have received your expectent homage, can we get real? Can you start giving some honest answers to questions of raises? Can you start using data to attack your fellow citizens (I assume you live in Naperville?) instead of your narrow-minded opinions?

You use comments of Davit from after he lost his election as your "evidence" that was used by qe203 to work so hard to get him not elected (hmmmm --- great logic, dude!).

You have attacked Denis for two years now, basically bristling at everything he writes, yet we now find out his data is correct and yours is corrupt. (hmmm---great way to make an argument, dude: Make it up!)

You now attack Weeks because he has actually conversed with someone you believe was a Taxpayers' Ticket person. Oh my God! He talked with a citizen of Naperville! Barbarians are at our gates! Boil the oil!

I am pretty sure Weeks has conversed approx. 5 thousand citizens during his campaign. The man is relentless! (Unlike Drapa-"missing"-lik, Weeks is everywhere regardless of his personal life). I have personally seen him all over town. I think I even saw him talking to at least one Republican, Tom! Gasp!!!!! And a shop owner! Double gasp!!! Now, don't quote me on this one, but I think I even saw him talking to one of the thousands of people who spoke up over Ayers speaking on our dime! Beyond gasp!!!!!!!!

Perhaps, if I could boldly suggest this, Tom, you should get counseling. Open your mind to the observations and opinions of others. Learn to control your animus over fellow citizens who think differently than you. Possibly develop a yoga routine or something that allows you to control your irrational behavior on all matters not Tom!

Then, come back and we'll talk. we'll have a jelly-fill, a java, and solve any remaining issues of Naperville.

All that Higgins and yet you NEVER mention PURE and their stealth tactics used in 2007 and the fact that they filed LATE and ILLEGAL reports.

"Over 700,000 people have left this state in the last ten years. Many business owners relocated their operations to the south where work rules are tolerable and now they are moving their families and corporate headquarters as well."

Dan Denys, If you are so unhappy here, why don't you move?

BTW, in the interest of public disclosure and transparency, why don't you detail your business & contracts with the public schools. After all, the taxpayers are supporting you.

How do you cap your charges in your contracts, index them to CPI for the cost of your time? How about posting one of your fee schedules, for the good of Illinois.

Do you accept contracts awarded on a non-competitive basis?

You are a defacto public employee, don't you believe that government should be accountable to citizens who demand transparency?


It never stops, could have predicted the late night tirade of Higgins.

Hey Tommy Boy, did you ever get back to Denys and Zager on your 2% salary claim. Is Denys lying again? Put it out there.

Get of your throne (the one with a flusher). You constantly mistate and inflame the issues in 203. Never has ANYBODY suggested that teachers get pay cuts or hurt education. What is wrong with fair compensation? I read that Romberg state the negotiations were handled poorly, but does not have solutions. On one hand, you need to know you have a problem. On the other, you need commitment to fix it.

In fact, I am amazed at the lack of gifted education in a district where at least 30% of its students would be gifted in 95% of the other schools in the Country. Why haven't teachers addressed this need? You tout test scores, but those at the elementary level are mediocre. Parents pay extra to tutor their children to make up what they don't get in 203 and then you and the teachers take credit.

You have been proved wrong over and over on this blog constantly. By numerous posters. You have one lame statistic that the creator (the Daily Herald) developed to show waste including 203, not value.

State your points with real facts. Another tidbit. The business world has changed immensely since 1990 (18 years). More importantly, name ONE THING Romberg has done in the last 22 months. Visited schools? Tell her to dress up with Michelle Obama and go visit more schools. Not one motion. And now she screwed up and our taxes are going up because she did not understand Water Street? See what happens when you do nothing for 18 years. Is she licensed as a CPA? We know Dave has his CFA.

And all of your BS about fair reporting. If you are checking everyone's voting records (an interesting idea), then do it for all of the candidates. Go to Michigan and see how Merle participated there. No, you just targeted Dave. Half A** job as always.

Closing thought. Why don't you want a civil and fair debate among the candidates? The "Union" candidates make no comments about salaries (wonder why). Why not make each of the ten tell how they would vote on a contract tomorrow and why? That is the crux of the campaign. These Democratic Nazi/facist tactics and people like you who implement them to the decline of our democracy, you would never be allowed in my club.

Higgins -
Lastly, I can’t for the life of me understand how he can charge me of casting aspersions for providing a link to the company he represents, whose name and logo are prominently displayed on his website.

I expect that Mr Weeks would prefer that he always be listed with his CFP designation and a direct link to his website because he wouldn't mind getting a few customers out of this. School Board is an unpaid position after all, and it is not uncommon for folks to run (and serve) in these positions and to take advantage of the free publicity and notoriety to enhance their businesses.

To be clear, I don't mean to cast aspersions on Mr Weeks for this - There are sitting and running candidates for almost any public office (especially unpaid ones) who see this free publicity as a "silver lining" - you'll notice how many realtors are running for (and sit on) city council?

After all, "a guy's gotta make a living"...

Mr. Higgins, I'm trying to understand your response to Weeks' blog. It really doesn't seem like you addressed his accusations - and I'd really like to know who is correct. He accuses you of deception and lies regarding what you told the candidates your involvement in this election was going to be. Is that true? You seem to imply that Weeks has an ax to grind because he's the only one who has raised this issue. It seems to be that he is the only one you've attacked, isn't that correct? In fact, 4 candidates escaped what one can only assume would have been less than a "highly recommended" as you didn't even mention them. Why would they complain? I would really be curious to know how you guys represented yourselves when you began the process for this current school board election.

I'm also not clear on what you said about Dennison's voting record. Are you telling us that you did check out Weeks' and Seifkin's records, but not Dennison's? If that is the case it sure seems strange and would seem to indicate that perhaps you did have it out for Weeks...or perhaps were giving Dennison a pass (one can only assume because you were going to endorse him. And that, perhaps, because you were "teammates" on the referendum?) If this is true, it sure doesn't seem objective as you keep insisting you are. What do you mean by "the information we had received regarding Mr. Dennison was incorrect"? Are you talking about your own research? If so, why didn't you come forward and correct it when you discovered that? Would this not also call into question all these other numbers you keep throwing out - mostly regarding salaries - that you claim are deeply researched? Or did the candidate misrepresent himself? If this is the case there is a whole other set of ramifications. But the bottom line is that it seems that you have not been forthright on this issue. At least this is what I'm concluding - am I corrrect?

Also on this subject, again you seem to indicate that Seifkin's record isn't relevant. I don't get that - after all, you are the one who made the voting record of Weeks a central issue and still have it highlighted on the home page of your web site. He didn't vote in the only municipal election he was here for. Did you research his voting record from MI? It really seems that you knew the conclusions you wanted to come up with and forced the facts to fit them. For my money I think the voting record is a non-issue and has nothing to do with the candidates' qualifications. But Weeks is correct when he alleges that you are the one that made it a part of this campaign. Have you been fair and honest in the way you've done it?

I just stopped to reread both your and Weeks' last blogs. Mr. Higgins, Weeks has made a couple very clear and somewhat harsh accusations. Yet most of your response doesn't even address that. I have to say that it seems like you are more interested in fighting with past candidates. You seem to imply that anyone who has any association with ANYONE who was in anyway involved with these candidates is unfit for office. Help me understand this, because again it seems like Weeks has a valid point. Are you saying that he should not allow certain people to be listed as supporters? Isn't that just being deceptive and trying to hide anything a candidate might think would be harmful? When I looked at Weeks' list of supporters on his web site I see a few city council members listed. Two of the ones which struck me was both Dick Furtenau and Grant Wehrli. Now these two certainly represent pretty divergent philosphies. Does this mean that because either of these are on his list that Weeks should be judged by everything either candidate has said? I really question if your position on this isn't somewhat hypocritical. Instead, couldn't one conclude that Weeks has support form many different fronts and therefore might be well-qualified to negotiate the agendas of the different stakeholders?

Finally, is Weeks' accusation that you directed people to an isolated link from his business web site instead of the main site? This, again, is a specific accusation that, if true, seems to demonstrate a propensity on your part to "play" with the facts.

Specific issues, specific questions. Please respond clearly and specifically.

I must say I think Mr. Davitt is a bit strong in opinion (as is Mr. Higgins). However, the full quote of Mr. Davitt, found here, and linked by someone above, does help clarify the circumstance and context.

Mr. Higgins, please tell us how things are going with the last paragraph of qe203s official position. "So no, no 6-7% raises (never got them in that past) and perhaps no raises at all, if that's what the situation demands. This will be QE203.orgs official position." I am waiting. I hope I will see that you now know the truth. "Never got them in the past". Is that still an official position? For those of you new here, Mr. Higgins is confused about the difference in average percent raise and percent increase in average salary. These are 2 very different beasts. Someone wrote ZOWIE earlier. That is a direct Higgins quote about 6-7% raises, which he now must know has been true. Thom, please come clean.

I am not attacking teachers. I am using the fact that teacher salaries are the largest portion of the budget, and when the total salary goes up faster than the CPI, it means only one thing -- less increase in dollars for other programs for the kids. And when the increase in payroll cannot be contained, the board asks for a referendum "for the kids"...to pay for the programs squeezed out by the salary structure. This is the major problem to be faced by the upcoming board -- teacher compensation vs other programs.

For those asking about the CPI, I respectfully leave it to Mr. Higgins to explain why CPI matters.

More later when I have time. I am sorry that nobody, not even Mr. Higgins, has addressed my concerns about candidate SC.

One brief comment on the Ayers situation. I personally believe he did not deserve to be invited into any D203 school given his past actions, not because of his past words or his present ideas. I also am not sure the school board should have done anything. It is an interesting question to ask the candidates "what do you think of the board's handling of the Ayers situation?" There could be answers from "What Situation" to "They should have banned the guy immediately" to "We let the schools take care of the situation and things worked out so we didn't have to be involved." to "It's not the board's job." to "Damn Cowards. Freedom of Speech trumps everything else. Everyone's view should be heard! They should have stood up for Ayers!" Any candidate want to answer?

e^(i*pi) -- not in an editing mood

In my post earlier this morning I embedded HTML code to allow the reader to click on specific words. Apparently this site does not allow for that. For those interested in reading the various documents you can go to http://www.qualityeducation203.org/ for the “read this” (why school boards matter), as well as the “cost versus academic performance” and the candidate questionnaires.

The link for a discussion regarding Mr. Davitt, and his infamous “I don’t hate teachers, I despise them” quote is here: http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/newsblog/2007/12/how_will_you_vote_on_d203s_ref.html#comment-26415

Lastly, here is the link to the Sun blog where I battled Mr. Denys over the referendum: http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/newsblog/2007/12/how_will_you_vote_on_d203s_ref.html

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

The following is in response to Mr. Weeks’ earlier post today.

First, some background. I became involved with District 203 during the 2007 election when I, along with many others, realized (with ample evidence) that Mike Davitt and Dan Denys of the Taxpayers Ticket posed a serious threat to our schools. For a cautionary tale of what could have happened here in Naperville, read this.

After their defeat, Mr. Davitt and Denys threw their efforts into defeating the referendum, and Mr. Davitt created a number of anonymous websites attacking teachers, D203 administration, the local papers, and, of course, QE203.org. Mr. Davitt’s efforts cumulated in a post in the Sun blog where Mr. Davitt wrote his most infamous words; “for the record, I don’t hate teachers I despise them.”

I, on the other hand, was working and writing for the referendum effort, which work you can find here: http://www.buildthefuture203.org/ I wrote the Why Central, Why $87 Million, article, a piece on the Early Childhood Center, as well as the What will it cost page. I also spent countless hours battling Mr. Denys in the blogs rebutting his many untruths.

I also do a yearly analysis of costs versus academic performance, as a way to try to help this community realize not just what an exemplary educational experience this district offers, but also help put in context what a absolute bargain we enjoy, compared to the many other Chicagoland school districts that spend more, but whose students achieve less academically. Currently I am working on a lengthy piece on teachers salaries and starting one discussing D203's unique curriculum design. I an intensely proud of my positive and constructive contributions to the furtherance of the record of excellence this school district enjoys.

I have always maintained that Mr. Davitt and Mr. Denys words are a sufficient indictment, in and of themselves. I am supremely confident that the fair minded person who reads them will come away with the understanding that these men have a deep animosity towards teachers, public education, and anyone who believes in the worth and value of this District. I ask any fair minded person to read QE203.org and Napervilletaxpayer.org, and decide for themselves.

So, we are now about to have another school board election. As a public service, QE203.org offered all ten candidates the opportunity to complete a 12 part questionnaire with the offer to post them side by side on our website. All ten took us up on it and they are up on our website now. It is important to note these are all answered by the candidates themselves, as submitted, in full, unedited. . Mr. Davitt and Mr. Denys has, with their questionnaires, taken it upon themselves to answer for 6 candidates.


Now, some comments specifically regarding Mr. Weeks claims here, and in his website:

It is Mr. Weeks misfortune to have come across Darlene and I having coffee a year ago, for him to have joined us, and to have spoken so freely about his deep dissatisfaction with D203. On his website he tries to imply that I “overheard” or was “not included” in any of the conversation that took place, which is utterly preposterous when one considers that we three we sitting within inches of each other. Importantly, Mr. Weeks ultimately states “I certainly don't deny saying any of what is above,”, meaning my reporting of the conversation. Further, I stand by my comment that his words reflect the same rhetoric Mr. Davitt and Mr. Denys displayed in the last election.

As to our claim that Mr. Weeks is a “stealth candidate” and this year’s “Taxpayers Ticket” candidate. We will once again point out that Mr. Weeks lists as his supporters, Jerry Busch, the third Taxpayers Ticket candidate, along with Maureen Taylor Chairman, and Kurt Dorr Treasurer, of the Taxpayers Ticket Committee. Mr. Davitt even has Mr. Weeks sign in his yard. All this, along with Mr. Davitts and Mr. Denys new Naperville Taxpayer website, which, if you read somewhat carefully, is really only about the school board elections, and in its early appearances prominently touted only Mr. Weeks, who for quite a long time, was the only respondent to their “questionnaire”, until Mr. Denys started twisting arms and making up answers for those that didn’t respond, so they could post all ten. Mr. Weeks comments in the forums castigating the District and Board for “passing budget with the expectation that they will create deficits”, is something that I will wager no board member or administration official will agree with, and raises a red flag to us who well remember the Taxpayers Ticket rhetoric in 2007. And, finally, inescapably, Mr. Weeks angry comments, made in my presence last year, lead us to the conclusion that Mr. Weeks shares the world view, and enjoys the support of, the Taxpayers Ticket/Naperville Taxpayer.

Allow me to be plain. Mr. Weeks acceptance of support by numerous members of the Taxpayers Ticket is incompatible with the position he seeks. The goal of the Taxpayers Ticket/Naperville Taxpayer is self-evident: Pay as little in taxes as possible, pay our teachers as little as possible, break the union, defame the District, attack anyone who defends it, and to hell with the consequences. These are the people that Mr. Weeks has chosen to affiliate himself with. He, and he alone, bears that responsibility

Mr. Weeks claims in his website: Shortly after the candidate questionnaires were posted on their site, I emailed Higgins and Schulman to point out some revisions they had made to my document. They did not bother to respond to that email. Prior to publication we reformatted all 10 candidates’ questionnaires to have identical fonts and margins; the content is exactly as Mr. Weeks provided. We also followed the media’s convention of not listing any professional designations following candidates names. Mr. Weeks approached Mr. Shulman about this at the Home & School Forum and he was told that all candidates were listed in the same format. If Mr. Weeks is trying to imply we changed content in any way, then he needs to make that charge and prove it.

Here in the blog Mr. Weeks takes me to task for comments I made last night about his educational background as well as those of Ms. Romberg and Mr. Dennison. Let the record show that I was responding to an anonymous poster asking this: There are 3 candidates who have earned significant business-related degrees and certifications and who work day in and day out with the financial markets – but the union didn’t think we needed any of that kind of experience on the board? What I did was correct the misperception that the Union endorsed candidates didn’t have significant financial/business experience. I truthfully, and fairly, posted Mr. Weeks educational experience, as well As Ms. Romberg’s and Mr. Dennison’s.

However, since Mr. Weeks has raised the issue, I will say that I think it’s a bit of a stretch for him to equate his professional certification as a Certified Financial Planner, with MS. Romberg’s Bachelors of Science in Accountancy, and her Certified Public Accountant designation. This is not to take away his professional accomplishments, but the charges are flying fast and furious and I will, to the best of my ability and time, respond to charges such as this, in a fair and truthful manner. It is what it is. Lastly, I can’t for the life of me understand how he can charge me of casting aspersions for providing a link to the company he represents, whose name and logo are prominently displayed on his website.

Mr. Weeks has made much of our raising his voting record. The fact, which he acknowledges, is he hasn’t voted in municipal elections. He tries to bring in Mr. Siefkin’s voting record, but as I noted here above, Mr. Siefkin was residing in Michigan until moving back in 2007. Hardly a fair comparison. Mr. Weeks is on firmer ground regarding Mr. Dennison’s voting record. Mr. Dennison has voted in only one municipal election(2007). As I stated above Mr. Dennison will have to face the voters on this issue, just as Mr. Weeks will. We were unaware of Mr. Dennison’s voting record until the issue was raised in these blogs and we discovered the information we had received regarding Mr. Dennison was incorrect.

Lastly, Mr. Weeks is making much of our recommendation process. This was our first attempt at offering a questionnaire and that worked well. Our recommendation process did take some twists and turns but we have had no complaints whatsoever from anyone except Mr. Weeks. In summation, while Mr. Weeks may be unhappy with our comments, and seems to be intent on trying to discredit us as a way to divert attention away from himself, he will ultimately have to live with his comments and actions, as will we.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org


Forgot one thing for Southeast (by he way, If you are not east of Palomino, you are not Southeast)

You are very right, there are not Davitt or Denys candidates. If Dennison (of for that matter Crotty or Romberg) can articulate their positions on teachers salaries, deficits, and how they would address the union financial support (mailings), I would be open to them. In fact, I gave them one stance (probably not the only stance) that might work. But remember, Crotty and Romberg would not even admit that they were endorsed by the union. Dennison had the decency to admit that.

John Q. Read the statement of mine you quoted. I said the exact same thing you did.

My further point is that many people complain about their taxes and shortcomings in the education to me, to this day. Yet, many of them did not bother to vote. Not to sound arrogant, but these people should not waste my time, my time has come and past (scream about that Southeast Side).

I am more afraid that people have simply given up on Illinois. Over 700,000 people have left this state in the last ten years. Many business owners relocated their operations to the south where work rules are tolerable and now they are moving their families and corporate headquarters as well. I think we should be aligning ourselves with Texas and Georgia rather than New York, California and Michigan. It might be too late.

To Southeast Side

Some points.
I. First and foremost, have dignity when you post your comments. If my responses make you that mad, you must be a teacher. You should use your generous medical benefits and take some anger management.

II. Go through some of the recent government indictments. Pay to play is not limited to paid employees. Financial support to win an election is becoming the next target. In summary, I do not see how a person will have NO indebtedness to the union if they provided financial support to gain their election. Simple question, Why does the the union care about who is elected to the school board?

III. Your position is that such financial support is irrelevant because a school board is not a paid position. You are entitled to your opinion. But people who run for a board are seeking support to win. They should be winning on their policies and since we do not know what the union wants (and please note that I am not being a jerk and saying money), we do not know why there is support. I support a candidate who balances all constituencies, does your union?

IV. Please do not misrepresent your (teacher) salaries. The base increase per Dave Zager dropped from 5.2% in 2008 to 3.8% in 2009 The typical teacher made 6.45% (with other benefits) in 2008, they will make just under 5% in 2009. Sounds like you know Higgins, he can fill you in on the details.

V. Is this a news release? Crotty was the driving force behind the secret 2007 contract extension? Is this another reason to support her now?

VI. If scores drop, shouldn't the teachers be fired? Just being facetious. Teachers have created their salary program. There are many shortcomings, but as long as the unions protect the weakest teachers, all of the rest suffer. Talk to your union about changes. Go to a Federal system where all jobs are graded and paid accordingly. A gym teacher does not deserve the same pay as a science teacher (a Naperville North student wrote that to me during the 2007 campaign).

VII. I am glad that you and Tommy link Mike's comments. You can see the seven factors than cause him issues with teachers. I commend you for not taking that quote out of context (by the way despise is nowhere near as bad a hate).

VIII. I win, you lose. I think that was the most hypocritical comment made by Obama. I do not think his voters expected a $800 million tax increase under the cover of cap and trade. All energy bills will increase 40 to 70% and $4 per gallon gas will be a bargain if this plan is enacted.

As for 203, the District's hands are tied. They have a deficit budget for 2010 (in the approved projections) and ALL candidates said no deficits. So teachers either are reasonable like Montgomery County or higher class size. I am for a fair salary increase, limit it to 1.8% for teachers with less than 23 years experience (still a salary increase) and freeze all other compensation in 2010. See if Obama's plans will provide for a "larger" increase in 2011. Of course, if real savings could be identified that would not reduce education, teachers could get a bonus.

Wyeth increased Prevnar prices %6.5 in '07.

Wyeth announced another 7% price increase for the Prevnar vaccine to pediatricians on 8/1/08.

That's 13.5% in just the last two years.

In these hard times, Wyeth's gross revenue and profits still increased in '08.

Vaccines are the single highest drug cost for a pediatric practice and the second highest expense after salaries.

Why is this here?

Because I would like to ask Mike Davitt, who sells these to me, to explain why he and his employer don't practice what he's preaching here? How come you are not holding your increases to CPI or less, for that matter?

My patients are the same taxpayers that he says he represents.

I guess Mike is pressing so hard for school property tax cuts so that the taxpayers with children can use them to support his company's price increases.

Dan D wrote:

In fact, in the last school board election, 75% of all people did not bother letting a minority control 75% of our tax bill.

You say this as if it somehow reflects negatively on the school board, rather than on the non-voters. Had the four "Taxpayers' Ticket" candidates won, it would still have been a minority of voters who controlled the board. Those who choose not to vote are effectively voting for whomever wins, whether they like it or not. Hats off to Dave Weeks for getting off his duff to try and change something that is not to his liking, but up until now he has been part of the problem (as he perceives it) rather than part of the solution.

-JQP

Mike Davitt,you talk about cajones, but where are yours? Why did you not run again? You are as much a paper tiger as Higgins.

I voted for one your so called union candidates, they are a good neighbor of mine. Does that make me a union shill, too?

As far as your conservative Naperville goes, did you happen to catch the Dupage County results from the last election?

Naperville Township Obama 25016 McCain 16964
Lisle Township Obama 32547 McCain 24636

Your contempt for your fellow Napervillians is overwhelming. If you hate them so much why do you live here?

Some interesting posts. Things are heating up. As a citizen, I don't care who newspapers endorse. When they start endorsing political candidates, they are no longer purveyors of objective journalism or protectors of the public interest. They are invested in that candidate and will do what they need to do to ensure that candidate is successful in his or her election quest. So to Thom and Mr. Dennison, don't care that the DH endorses you or any other candidate. Seondly, don't care about Weeks or any other candidates municipal voting record. Voting records are not a requirement for elected office. If they were, your president would have a problem since he too had difficulty in the State Senate and U.S. Senate voting when voting was part of his actual consitutional duty. I strongly consider it unethical when the union endorses a school board candidate or in the case of 204, the union sets up a phony coalition to back candidates it supports. I guess to that was what PURE was all about in 203. It is a detriment for a school board candidate to boast that the union supports him or her. The issue most of us are concerned with is maintaining quality education in a period of declining enrollment AND declining revenue. Most of us do not want a board that simply rubber stamps expenditures and goes to the voters to increase spending because thats what they have always done in the past. This whole West St. redevelopment is an example of an expensive grand plan when the solution should be make better use of fields at other locations around town. Make the school tailor their athletic needs to what the resources are. The resources are dwindling folks. Lets leave the West St. corridor as it is and enjoy a little wild prairie and wooded area in the middle of town anyway.

Dan, what I vehemently disagree with is the concept that any candidate for an UNPAID position owes anything to anyone. I disagree that any of the candidates are beholden to anyone, because as an UNPAID position, there is nothing to lose.

In short, there can be no "pay to play" in Naperville school board politics because there is NO PAY. I do not for one second believe that ANYOME running for the board (or on the board) does anything but vote their conscience.

My comment on Mr Weeks was an analogy to show you that your logic is fatally flawed. NONE of the candidates takes marching orders from ANYONE -not union endorsed candidates, nor candidates endorsed by Furstenau, Chamber, newspapers or Mike Davitt. Your insinuation that any candidate will vote the union line because of a union endorsement is just as ridiculous as my saying that Weeks will do whatever Davitt says. It's called irony.

That you and your cronies repeat these lies over and over is truly comical - if it weren't so pathetic.

Yes, the public will get what they vote for. I'm pretty sure the public would like to have low-paid teachers who are really good, but good and cheap are almost always mutually exclusive, and everyone already chose to live here for the "good" schools. Which is why you were soundly defeated in the last election - remember?

- The only misrepresentation is YOURS:
http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/newsblog/2007/12/how_will_you_vote_on_d203s_ref.html#comment-26415
For the record, I don't hate teachers. I despise them. - Mike Davitt
That doesn't sound fair OR objective to me.

As for your ridiculous claim the the current board "capitulated" to the union? They negotiated a 2% each year for 2 year extension in february of 2007. 2007 CPI was 4.1% for Dec-Dec. 2% a year was and is a great deal for the taxpayers. I'm told that Ms Crotty led the negotiation herself. That's not capitulation - it was good management.

In the world of President Obama - Elections have consequences - you lost. Why should you be making the rules? YOU LOST - YOU DON"T GET TO MAKE THE RULES!!! THATS WHAT LOSING MEANS. Why don't you get this?

I'll say this again SLOWLY so it can sink in - there are NO "UNION" candidates, just are there are no "DENYS & DAVITT" candidates. Your contention that the union "controls" anything is just as ridiculous as saying that you "control" Weeks or DelCiello. It is simply preposterous.

How's this:
ARE THE DAVITT/DENYS CANDIDATES WILLING TO TAKE A PLEDGE TO INCREASE TAXES AND RAISE TEACHER PAY IF SCORES DROP?
See - It's ridiculous! I don't get to make demands AND NEITHER DO YOU.

Your arguments are all based on lies, and I'm embarrassed to have paid you this much attention. You're not worth it.

Higgins has ZERO credibility. He doesn't have the cajones to run for school board himself, but thinks he has the moral high ground to attack Dave Weeks? What a joke.

He claims his extreme left-wing QE203 is "independent." What a joke. Interestingly, NapervilleTaxpayer.org predicted four weeks ago QE203 would endorse the same candidates as the teachers' union (OK, we were off by one). So much for the phony claim of "independence."

QE203 members are recorded by the state as contributors to union-endorsed candidates. Independent you say, Thom?

He refuses to acknowledge figures that even the district confirms - 6% historic salary increases for teachers is accurate. Increases that he's denied for years. Losing that argument, he tries to justify 6% when compared to ECI. Try to sell laid off taxpayers on that one, Thom.

Two of QE203's endorsed candidates, incumbents Crotty & Romberg, lacked the common sense to oppose terrorist Ayers coming to North.

Connect the dots. Higgins is a shill for the teachers' union. He has the courage to disparage Dave Weeks, but he doesn't have the stones to run for school board himself. He's nothing but a pathetic paper tiger.

NapervilleTaxpayer.org. This conservative community cannot support candidates endorsed by the teachers' union or QE203!

I do have an idea how the union endorsed candidates can shed any accusations about union crony ism? (I pledge to be fair and not radical and extreme like Higgins and Shulman.)

MAKE A PLEDGE FOR LIMITED TEACHER SALARY INCREASES AND WORK RULE CHANGES

Right now (to answer e^(i*pi)), the District plans for revenues to increase by 2.5% (based on CPI) and teacher salaries to increase by 4% (6% gross increase less 2% "credit" for turnover).

Simple pledge. No salary increases in excess of CPI unless the Board seeks voter authorization.

ARE THE UNION CANDIDATES WILLING TO MAKE THIS PLEDGE? That would eliminate the conflict. Sign a resignation letter and file with the Board secretary that becomes effective if you violate the pledge.

Romberg told Napervilletaxpayer.org that the Board meed MANY mistakes in negotiating with the union back in 2005. When asked how she would fix, she went into a dither.

Do these candidates really mean they will represent the taxpayers? Or will they capitulate to the unions like the current board members?

Or maybe Mr. Dennison might have an acceptable alternative.

Note to Southeast Side

The key words in your post are "completely independent group". How is this possible when they provide major support to a candidate? I do not see how that is possible.

But I also am open minded and would like to see what Mr. Dennison has to say. Unfortunately, your comments said nothing that would address the issue.

As to your comment about Mr. Weeks, remember, the Board of Education represents the people who own the school, the public. If the public wants low paid teachers, that is what the Board should do.

More pragmatically, unlike your misrepresentation, Mike and I support fair renumeration and call on the Board to independently negotiate to that end. Imagine if the autoworkers controlled the GM Board. They would have been bankrupt 40 years ago, just like every employee owned company (most recently, the Chicago Tribune).

We urge checks and balances, not a one sided situation.

I have deliberately not gotten involved in the tit-for-tat of the campaign as represented on these blogs. I’m not saying that some good points haven’t been made and some good, thought-provoking discussions. At the end of the day, however, it seems that there are a couple personalities that feel they have to defend every thing they’ve already said and tell everyone how to think on each topic.

However, as several of my esteemed fellow candidates – some who I have developed a bit of a relationship with and others I really don’t know – have weighed in, I decided to make this entry.

I have worked hard to, with the donated help of my good friend and client Paul Feith of Paul Gregory Media, maintain a web site that was designed to show both who I am and what I am about (ElectWeeks.com). I have updated it regularly to be an ongoing source of information for both my supporters and those who wish to go beyond sound bites and find out what I’m about. After receiving a few inquiries about the charges Thom Higgins has made – most of them scurrilous – I felt I owed it to my supporters to respond. Accordingly I posted my response on my web site, along with my position on the William Ayers debacle. This will continue to be where I communicate with both my supporters and the public in the last days of the election. Mr. Higgins has seen the need to share snippets from my site in different venues. He has pulled select names off my list of supporters, which, by the way, people put themselves on, to support his theory of me being a “stealth candidate”. Since these selected people have worked in a previous campaign, then I must be embracing everything about that campaign, also. Forget about the other 150 supporters! He takes select parts of my response to his rant “conspiracy theory” that he wishes to respond to and ignores others, instead of simply pointing people to my response. Apparently he feels the public needs his assistance to weigh the two perspectives. In his post “By Thom Higgins on April 1, 2009 11:46 PM”, he actually, in an effort to cast aspersions on my business knowledge and experience, sends people to a link of one of the companies that I work with instead of sending them to my own business site. Why, Thom, wouldn’t you send them to my business web site, Weeks Financial, where there is a full description of what I do? A simple Google search would have found it for you. Is it, once again, that you feel your interpretation is more important than exposing people to all the information and letting them decide. The fact of the matter is, Thom, you are apparently clueless as to what I actually do if you can actually make the implication that Jackie Romberg, who hasn’t been in the business world since 1990, has more “significant, real world financial experience” than I. I’ve run a financial planning practice group for many years, after having run 3 different non-profit groups, two of which had staff and payroll that had to be met, etc. (By this I mean in no way to denigrate Jackie and her credentials, I am simply using Thom’s example. Although I will put my business credentials up to Jackie’s any day, I have found her to be a bright, committed and personable person who I respect.)

So, I feel constrained to give some background for those who care. Have you ever wondered how Mr. Higgins has projected himself into this race? Here’s how. He contacted all ten 203 candidates shortly after we entered the race. He sent a comprehensive questionnaire and requested we complete and return it, to be followed by a “brief” interview. When questioned what their purpose was we were assured that QE203 was completely objective and their only desire was to be able to gather information and post it side by side for the public to be able to read and then draw their own conclusions. We were specifically told that THEY WOULD NOT ENDORSE candidates. They were going to simply “highly recommend, recommend or not recommend”. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Higgins lied to all of us. I have since found that Mr. Higgins is apparently comfortable with “the end justifies the means” – with the end to read “his end”. Please note that when Higgins and Schulman decided that they would not keep their word with us they did not communicate with us – he simply did whatever he wanted with no regard to his word given to 10 citizens volunteering for a no-pay job. I would encourage anyone who doubts this to ask ANY of the candidates.

Higgins, by his own admission, has apparently disliked me for over a year. (I, incidentally, had forgotten all about our conversation and who Higgins was until in the middle of our QE203 interview Higgins reminded me of it. I still maintain the real reason for Thom’s extreme dislike is that I am on opposite sides of a completely different issue that he has strenuously been fighting against.) For Thom to even try to imply that he has been objective with the information he has disseminated is laughable. One example, which has been the topic of discussion over the last couple days on this blog, is candidate voting records. Mr. Siefkin acknowledged in his entry above that Higgins was fully aware of the fact that he did not vote in the only municipal election that he was eligible to vote in. I think we can then also assume that the same goes for Jim Dennison. Was it objective and fair to attack me on his home page, and call me a “stealth candidate” and question my sincerity in wanting what’s best for the school district, using my voting record as the basis for that? Why was it only after several requests from various bloggers that Mr. Higgins addressed the voting records, even though he still tried to hide the facts (By Thom Higgins on April 1, 2009 2:07 AM)? “Dennison: voted in 2007 Municipal election only. Regular voter otherwise.” Let’s see, Thom, “regular voter”…is that the same as Jim has voted in only one municipal election in the 25 years he’s lived in Naperville? Is this what you consider to be sharing all the facts side by side and clearly for the public to decide? Or is that a little more of you interpreting and communicating the facts however you see fit to support your ends? Oh, and Mr. “Siefken registered in 2007 (was in Michigan previously).” How is that his voting record, Thom? As I already mentioned you knew that he didn’t vote in the last municipal election – but it was more convenient to avoid saying that. Thom, what you call “objective” I call dishonest! You apparently assume if you say enough things about enough subjects you will so obscure the facts that no one will know when you’re not telling the truth.

Finally, one wonders why someone with so many opinions on so many topics – and obviously with extra time on your hands to be able to weigh in on everything – wouldn’t run for the school board yourself. You would have us to believe you are an expert on all things 203 (even though you either misunderstand or deliberately misrepresent most of the financial facts). I guess it’s just easier to “hit and run” with your version of the “facts” and don’t have to undergo any personal scrutiny? Thom, it’s awfully hard for me to respect any of your positions when I look at what you’ve had to compromise to get to them. That is why I have ceased any communication with you – I simply don’t trust what you will do with it.

Sorry for the length, and the emotion. I do admit that it has not been pleasant to put up with this…but I guess it is just what one has to undergo to be able to serve his community and the schools of which he has two generations of experience with. So….if anyone would like to know anything more or communicate with mein any way, just visit my web site. All my contact information is there.

To: By Southeast Side on April 2, 2009 3:38 PM

Yes, PURE & McGuire DID do that kind of stuff!

They personally attacked other citizens of Naperville in both print AND through the use of immoral push polls leading up to the election. In fact, they accused the three candidates of wanting to hire sex offenders to drive the buses!

I would be interested in hearing about these "made up" answers you refer to. Can I assume you also think the qe203 questionnaires were made up? If not, why not?

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

Doing some research, I see that PURE and McGuire opposed Mike Davitt's attempted 2007 "coup" of the school board, along with a majority of voters.

Did PURE or McGuire try to cast doubt on the validity of the election? Did they try to say that someone had no right to vote on something because of their supporters? (Guilt by Association)

You believe you were wronged in a previous election - If that is so, I say that 2 wrongs do not make a right. Making false accusations about anyone is wrong. Posting "made up" answers to questions and attributing the to candidates is wrong (and potentially a libel suit).

McGuire has nothing to do with this election. If you think spreading lies is wrong, why do guys insist on doing it? Do the ends justify the means? Haven't you just become what you say you oppose?

As for Ms Drapalik, I think it says a lot about the union to stick with her. Above Mike Davitt (!) says that "Character is defined by what you do when no one is watching." Well, it's also defined by what you do when everyone is watching.

Even in Naperville, it's not all about "winning". Again, kudos to the union for being steadfast.

Mr. Higgnis or any candidate or anyone with knowledge.

What projections for teacher salary were used to project the deficit spending out a few years from now (before we were forced to recalculate things with the .1% CPI)?

Just wondering. I suspect the present board members have to have knowledge of that data, right?

thanks,

e^(i*pi)

A candidate only has to file with the Illinois Board of Elections if their campaign contributions exceed $3,000. What this tells us is that Crotty, Dennison, and Drapalik are running responsible campaigns by not spending exhorbitant amounts of money to be elected.

These three are exactly the types of people we should all be voting for the school board - financially responsible people who will spend our money like they spend their own!

Why don't you look up the D203 Board candidates who have filed with the IBE? Tell us who has filed, and where their money is coming from. If they are spending that much money to be elected to a volunteer position, imagine what they'll do with your money if they win.

I find it extremely interesting when you do a search on the Illinois State Board of Elections website you can find NOTHING on Crotty, Dennison, or Drapalik. Yet they have these really expensive yard signs popping up all over the place. How can you legally do that and not have to file an in-kind contribution of SOME kind?

Southeast Side, would you consider PURE and Dianne McGuire unpatriotic and unamerican?

By Southeast Side on April 2, 2009 11:30 AM
I'm not sure how you can even question the logic of either the candidate or the union pulling out of the race in Ms. Drapilak's case. If she has been unable to participate in the campaign process because of her personal situation...how will she be able to perform her board duties. Anyone who has been through a divorce (and about half of us have) knows that this is just the beginning of a long - and what will become a more difficult and nasty - process that will last easily a year.
As far as "kicking her when she's down", although I can emphathize with her situation - isn't this election about the public's representation - not the candidate. For the union to stick to their pick when she has been unable to participate in the vetting process is ridiculous.

Ms. Hodak, Mr. Dennison, and Mr. Siefkin,

Thank you for posting your thoughts here. Thanks to Mr. DelCiello for doing the same in the Mitrovich blog a while back. Thank you and the other candidates for spending all the time and energy running for this board.

I agree with Ms. Hodak regarding the one candidate from whom we have not heard a great deal. She obviously has more important issues to deal with right now. However, it is hard to rate a candidate who is unable to give complete a picture of herself.

e^(i*pi) -- the yawning anonymous above (3/31 5:19pm)

By Anonymous on April 2, 2009 9:39 AM

- you know very well that the union invited ALL of the candidates to interview well before the forums and made their endorsements based on those interviews. It is indeed unfortunate that Ms Drapalik was unable to participate in the forums, but for the union to pull their endorsement because she had a family issue would really be "kicking her when she was down" wouldn't it? I say kudos to the union for being steadfast.

Your attempts to make the election "illegitimate" through insinuation ("alleged democratic process") are disgusting and UnAmerican. If you have any evidence of election tampering I suggest you report it to the election commission. Otherwise I'd wonder if you are using the same smear tactics as Mr Denys. It's almost as though you were working together ;-) Or maybe even the same person. Hmmmmmm.....

Dan D -

To imply that someone would betray the best interests of their community because a completely independent group sent some mailers in support of their candidacy is just a vile smear.

If your contention is true - then how can Dave Weeks "objectively" negotiate a teachers contract when he has "tacitly accepted support" from people who "despise" teachers?
http://blogs.suburbanchicagonews.com/newsblog/2007/12/how_will_you_vote_on_d203s_ref.html#comment-26415
(Note: Davitt has a Weeks sign in his yard, and posts rants and smears against opposing candidates on multiple internet sites using multiple names- how's that for "tacit support"? )

Reality Check - Board of Education is an UNPAID position with NO benefits. No medical, no pension, no pay - NOTHING, ZERO, ZILCH, NADA, BUPKIS. To imply that ANYONE is doing it for any reason than to serve their community is a disgusting lie.

We all get to support whichever candidates best match our views - both with our votes and our donations if we wish. That's what the first amendment guarantees. That includes parents, taxpayers and teachers. Your attempts to falsely impugn and stifle those those don't agree with you are unpatriotic and UnAmerican.

To: By Lynn Hodak on April 1, 2009 3:10 PM

Lynn, you have my vote. However, I still need to take you to task!

We would all love to blog on issues ---unfortunately, Ms Drapalik is currently a ghost! Unlike you and all the other candidates, Ms Drapalik has not appeared at the forums. We do not KNOW what her issues are. Despite that, though, the Union has taken it upon themselves to endorse her.

Many of us find this suspicious, at best. The entire list of candidates is quite impressive, and it would seem that the Union could endorse any of them, based on their answers at the forums, and have a good Board member. Why concentrate on one that, to a point, does not exist?

Given her personal issue. Ms Drapalik would have done herself a favor by dropping out of the race for now. By staying in she adds to the general suspicion many of us have of the alleged democratic process here in D203.

Two comments about the union issue.

1. Candidate Dennison has gotten it only half right. He acknowledged that he was endorsed by the union. The other two candidates (Romberg and Crotty) put their faces in the dais and did not even admit to the voters at the Homeowners Confederation.

2. Mr. Dennison knows that the Naperville teachers union has at least $14,000 available to support the union candidates. He is aware that at least one mailer has gone out to a core group of Naperville voters that at one time belonged to the Teachers Union (not just Naperville teachers) supporting his candidacy.

Mr. Dennison has not acknowledged this support (and of course none of the other three candidates). Second, he has not told us how he would deal with the union contracts based on this support. Lastly, while he gave very solid answers to Napervilletaxpayer.org questions, his weakness was on how to deal with the teachers union.

This is where his candidacy fails. He has offered no solutions to the taxpayers how he can objectively negotiate a teachers contract with the people he has tacitly accepted campaign support.

It is a shame. If the teachers union simply limited their actions to endorsing candidates based on some objective credentials (and not their position on the Omnia project like Higgins did with Weeks) or better yet said qualified and not qualified without the mailer, we would not have this issue. The Teachers Union makes no secret on their web site that these candidates need to be elected to further their "interests". In fact, the web site infers there is already an "agreement" to the upcoming contract with such candidates.

So Jim, just as you addressed the voting issue , we (and the District 203 voters) are interested in your solution to this issue. By the way, I personally accept your comments on voting. Higgins used voting to arbitrarily disparage a candidate, that is our concern, not you. Also, our society allows people to either cast a "none of the above" or "I don't care" vote. In fact, in the last school board election, 75% of all people did not bother letting a minority control 75% of our tax bill. I am glad that somebody who did not vote last time has been motivated to try to bring diversity to the school board.

We look forward to your comments.

Correction:

I posted this above: As an aside Mr. Weeks approached Darlene Senger and I while they were having coffee

Correct statement:

As an aside Mr. Weeks approached Darlene Senger and I whilewe were having coffee.

Gotta get some sleep...


boys, boys, boys - all the anger and wasted energy. What are the real issues here? Who serves our communities best interest for the next four years? Crotty has been a huge help with listening to the community she is out there all the time making our schools better. She serves as the Home and School representative from the board, has an outstanding track record, got buses for kids who had to cross Washington and Naper, spends time in the schools, volunteers with kids, pays for her own campaign and has been instrumental in the building updates. Hodak has been out there talking to the community at the train station, is invlolved with kids, the art and schools. Who is paying for all of Weeks brochures? mailings? robo calls? He talked while it was other's turn at the forum and was just plain bored. He hasn't bothered to vote in a school board election for nearly at least a decade.
Romberg has loads of $$$$ of her own to spend she doesn't need the union. Has tons of experience and a volunteering rap sheet going back a decade.
Wish I only had to vote for three Crotty, Hodak and Romberg since there isn't a deserving 4th.

Responding to anonymous’ post of 4-1-09 @ 5:08 pm


Regarding Mr. Weeks:

On his website he admits to the comments I reported he made in my presence. I certainly don't deny saying any of what is above, That in and of itself is disqualifying in my mind. If you are essentially hostile to the district and the board as he is, then I’ve got a problem. As an aside Mr. Weeks approached Darlene Senger and I while they were having coffee. For him to clumsily try to imply that I “overheard a conversation” or was “not included” in any of the conversation that took place is completely preposterous, especially as he later states .. that may have actually been what Ms. Senger and Mr. Higgins had been talking about before I bumped into them So let’s get this straight. He’s claiming I was overhearing a conversation, or not included in a conversation, but admits that he bumped into Darlene and I talking together, and he corroborates my comments. Sure……

Lastly as I have limited time, responding to this, There are 3 candidates who have earned significant business-related degrees and certifications and who work day in and day out with the financial markets – but the union didn’t think we needed any of that kind of experience on the board?

Mr. Weeks has a CFP designation, that's it. His BA was in biblical studies. He has lacks any kind of financial degree. He operates a small local business selling insurance products through AXA advisors . http://www.axaonline.com/rs/axa/services-products/Products_and_Services.html

Here is Jackie Romberg – Education: BS Accountancy DePaul University, Certified Public Accountant. Professional experience: 1979-1990 Deloite & Touche Financial Consulting- CNA Insurance Director of Financial Reporting.

Here’s Jim Dennison: Education: BS in Business Administration, Bowling Green State University - Master of Business Administration, Northern Illinois University Professional Experience, current: Director of Marketing. Having spent 26 years in increasingly responsible roles in marketing, general management and sales, I have developed and managed budgets, negotiated contracts, and managed people.

So I ask you, who has more financial education, and significant, real world financial experience, Mr. Weeks or Ms. Romberg and Mr. Dennison?

Lastly, the Naperville Chamber of Commerce endorsed both Jackie and Jim, and the Herald endorsed Jackie.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Please let me address two issues being discussed on this blog, the Teachers Association endorsements and funding, and my voting record.

1. Teachers Association – I have been endorsed by the Naperville Chamber of Commerce PAC, and the Teachers Association. I take these endorsements seriously. I appreciate the fact that these organizations took the time necessary to get to know all ten candidates.

All ten candidates were invited to be interviewed by both of these organizations. All ten candidates accepted the invitations and sought their endorsement. This is part of the political process.

To criticize any candidate simply because they were endorsed by any organization is unfair. Might I suggest that you research the candidates position on the issues, their background, community involvement, etc… before you make your decisions on whom to support?

As I have stated in the past, I am an independent candidate beholden to no one. I have not accepted, nor have I been offered any financial contributions from either of these organizations. In addition to the money my wife and I have invested, my campaign has been completely funded by contributions from family and friends. No one else.

2. My voting record – I have voted in all General elections, as well as the Primary elections (I missed 2006 traveling out-of-town on business). Additionally, I voted in the 2007 municipal elections. I had not voted in the municipal elections until recently because I hadn’t done my research on the candidates and didn’t feel I had enough information on them to make an informed choice.

Should I have taken the time to inform myself? Yes, shame on me for not doing so.
Am I accountable for my lack of participation? Yes, voting is our greatest right as citizens.

Would I do things differently if I could do it over? Sure I would. I’d take the time necessary to have an understanding of the candidates in the municipal elections, then cast an informed vote for those whom I feel best represent my positions on the issues.

But I can’t go back and undo the past. All I can do is make the commitment to do better in the future.

I want to comment on my voting record. I accepted my current position in 2006, but we did not move back to Illinois until August 2007. I registered in September 2007 when I received my Illinois Drivers License.

On February 5, 2007, the date of the election, I had a meeting in Bloomington until 3:00 pm then a 7:00pm at Oak Park River Forest High School (http://www.sea-oprf.org/2008_01_01_archive.html), which should have left enough time to vote; however, with traffic, and the weather I could not make it to the polls to vote between the meetings.

Mr. Higgens did question me about this and I shared with him the same information.

Tommy,

What was the ACTUAL average salary increase for a typical teacher in 2008? 3%? UH, UH NO 6.5%?, the lowest in ten years. ZOWIE!!!!

Romberg thinks this is made up? But the Board was incompetent?

What, pray tell, was she and the other union candidates afraid of? One candidate has not even gone out in public.

Check out more answers

http://www.napervilletaxpayer.org/District_203.html

Thom: Thanks for the info in your response. The only thing I like about school board elections is the non-party partisan politics of Republicans and Democrats. In other words, it makes little difference to me if these cadidates are Democrat or Republican. There is probably a mixture of each on the board now. I only care about their management of the school district and what really amounts to an incredible sum of money they are entrusted with. Sorry but I cannot support any candidate who earns an endorsement by a labor union they are required to deal with in salary and benefit negotiations. It is just too much of a potential conflict of interest. A while back it was the Taxpayer ticket that was the scorn of the union but this ticket of Crotty, Dennison, Romberg and Drapalik to me results in total union control of the board given Price and Reschke are already on board with them.

For What are they afraid of,

Methinks you doth protesteth too much

We offer the candidates 12 questions with the offer to post them side by side, in their entirety. All 12 take us up on the offer and their actual answers are posted on our website here:

http://www.qualityeducation203.org/

Mike Davitt and Den Denys of Taxpayer Ticket fame put up their website and tried to strong arm the candidates into filling out their questionnaire, or else they would "answer for them" which is what they did, made up the answers for 6 of them. I was their watching Dan Denys hassle the candidates. There is zero, zero chance he asked all candidates all the questions. As per usual he's just making it up as he goes, mostly. Color me unimpressed.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Curious question. What are the union candidates afraid of by answering the Napervilletaxpayer.org questions? In fact, was Romberg really that rude?

Being a board member is a tough job. They have to make tough decisions and follow through. Look at John F. Kennedy who took great pride in profiling those who had the courage to do what is right rather than what is popular.

Almost all taxpayers are voters. It is amazing at the arrogance of these candidates not to reply. The taxpayer questions are among the most relevant. I guess by ignoring them, the 70% of the taxpayers that do not have children should ignore these candidates.

And as for Drapalik, she posted her emergency. She promised to answer questions (and she has not). So is she so devastated that she cannot serve the post or is there some other motivation (can she answer the questions)?

I admire Davitt and Denys for putting out the information and letting voters act. Oh yes, they have endorsements. But they provide their side of the information. And I know they have no desire to compete with QE203, they simply could care less about Higgins rantings.

And none of us should care about Higgins and Shulman's opinions, just that they now know teachers salaries have gone up 7% in the last ten years. ZOWIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

People who do not vote give up their votes to the minority. Take a look at the last school board election. "Record turnout" of 25%. The 75% were willing to let their votes be decided by a minority. And if you really don't think you can effect the outcome (like Republicans in Chicago elections and Democrats in DuPage elections--Milachek was elected as an anti Cassioppi vote--he is really a Democrat), then a no vote means "I am not going along with the majority."

So I hope the other people in the 75% that did not vote the last election like Dave Weeks votes. And vote for the non union candidates so that we get checks and balances on the board.

By the way, the 203 Union is counting on low turnout. That means union victory and no control over upcoming salary increases.

Ms. Hodak, are you aware of PURE and what they did in the last election in 2007?

Higgins, you are the one that made voting records an issue in this election. Not me. You bear the responsibility of being fair and honest on YOUR website since you made this an issue. I can't help this came back to bite you on Dennison. That is your own fault.

I've got news for Miss Hodak. She is incredibly naive. If she thinks the union will play nice then she is not suited for the school board. Ms. Hodak, if you oppose the union in anyway you will be crushed. People like Mike Davitt know this and that is why they are opposed to shills like Higgins and Shulman.

By Thom Higgins on April 1, 2009 2:07 AM
“Voting records, I can’t guarantee 100% accuracy. For that you have to get a certification from the election commission “
Thom, you thought it was important enough to get a certification for Weeks’ voting record, why not Dennison & Siefkin? The only municipal election Dennison voted in was in ’07…after he began working with the referendum group and started hearing people suggest he run for the board? Siefkin moved here in ’06 but didn’t register in time to vote in ’07…or was he registered and just didn’t vote? You’ve castigated Weeks for his record but didn’t even want to report the others? The only comment is, “Yes, Mr. Dennison has some explaining to do. As does Mr. Weeks.” NewsFlash – Weeks has responded on his web site several days ago! (www.ElectWeeks.com)

“And herein lies the problem and why I get so tired of all the union bashing. To simply attack someone just because they received an endorsement is incredibly closed minded.”
Wow, Thom, isn’t that exactly what you’ve been doing to Weeks? Once the NapervilleTaxpayer endorsed Weeks you have been all over him and tying him to everything any of those folk have in the past said or done. If, in fact, he is so antagonistic why, when endorsing Weeks, did the Daily Herald say, “"Relations between the teachers union and district have been less than stellar, given the history of strikes, near-strikes and oft-contentious negotiations? We think Weeks, a longtime resident, recognizes this as well as any candidate in the field and recommends finding a way to ease the ‘always adversarial’ negotiations process.” Weeks was also the one who suggested, in the last forum, of actually inviting the union’s involvement on the board by seating one of the teacher members as a non-voting member.

“I give the teachers union credit, for not looking at labels or party affiliations, but instead looking at the person and what they stand for, and making their recommendations accordingly.”
We agree... they took a look at the individuals and what they stand for and then chose their candidates. There are 3 candidates who have earned significant business-related degrees and certifications and who work day in and day out with the financial markets – but the union didn’t think we needed any of that kind of experience on the board? The people who have the strongest educational backgrounds – Seifkin and Mathewson – were of no interest to the union. It does make you wonder what the criterion for their selection was. Could it have been they chose the candidates that they could count on to back their positions all the time – but especially at salary negotiation time?

Mr. Davitt,

As you stated character is defined by what you do when no one is watching.
As you well know, the school board didn't invite or approve Ayer's so they didn't get caught doing anything. Your toxic attitude makes you unelectable and you can't live with that.
About a year ago, I heard the story that your neighbor and Board of Education member Susan Crotty found your dog wandering in her yard, took it into her home to keep it safe while she called you to retrieve your dog. You unfairly paint her all the time and never own up to the fact that she did the right thing when nobody was watching as she does all the time as a guardian for this community and our children.
Good for Hodak for speaking up - these attacks have got to stop poisoning our community.
So, let us find common ground by agreeing to your statement "it is time for a change" a change in attitude toward those who give unselfishly in our community. Elect Hodak and Reelect Crotty.

I believe that the sharing of diverse ideas is the way that we come to the truth and to information for the greater good. When forming our constitution, our founding fathers believed in this diversity and sharing of ideas because they believed that from diversity and intellectual argument truth is discovered. We are lucky we have new ways to communicate and share information about our candidacy – including the many forums, questionnaires, and Internet websites and even this blog.

I do believe that people from the Unions, Naperville Homeowners Association, STAGE, League of Women Voters, the Daily Herald, the Sun, Positively Naperville, NCTV, NACPAC, the Republican Forum Committee, the media, QE203.org and the Taxpayers tickets all have the interest of the community and the future of the schools at the front of their minds when writing, reporting, and communicating. And, I appreciate the sharing of factual information to share with the readers and viewers.

That being said – I am just not comfortable with the direction that this blog and the campaign has taken and I’m uncomfortable with the negative “campaigning” and personal attacks that have become prevalent and it is clouding the real issues of this election.

I’d be a fool if I didn’t say I have been relieved that the personal attacks aren’t directed at me – I don’t think that there is anyone who wishes this on themselves. However, I don’t wish this on any of my fellow candidates either. Through this campaign, we have all become acquaintances and we are all people – people who want to give and VOLUNTEER for this community…I can’t just read these blogs and do nothing. That is not my way. And, I’m sure after someone reads this – the tables will turn – but I have to sleep at night and I cannot in good conscience let people I am working with be hurt personally in the blogs.

I believe in running a positive campaign and I’m highly bothered by the continuing personal attacks on the candidates.

Although so many comments are bothersome and unproductive, in particular I’m bothered that Nancy Drapalik’s personal situation has been a talk of this campaign. I do understand the immense pain she must be going through and even though she made a promise to answer questions – I have to believe that she underestimated the anguish in her life and is busy taking care of her family. She is human and at the end of the day – we have to be humanistic and to recognize that the School Board and this campaign can’t be at the forefront of everyone’s life at all times. Everyone has issues in their lives and every day priorities change. Unfortunately for Nancy, the timing couldn't be worse.

Going forward – can we please focus on the issues and just stop the negativity?

Character is defined by what you do when no one is watching.

D203 just got caught. The Ayers debacle speaks volumes of the character of this union-controlled board. The school board supported Ayers coming to North until overwhelming community outrage forced the board to do a 180. So much for doing the right thing when no one is watching. Imagine all the other decisions being made by this out-of-touch board! Incumbents Crotty & Romberg are up for re-election on April 7.

It's time for a "change" in D203. We need board mememnbers with common sense and integrity. The teachers' union is spending thousands in an effort to seat 7 out of 7 school board members who will be sympathetic to the union.

For the sake of "checks and balances," parents and taxpayers cannot allow the teachers' union to elect their slate: Crotty, Romberg, Dennison, and Drapalik. No more endless deficits. No more skyrocketing property taxes. No more union-controlled boards negotiating multi-million dollar contracts. No more Ayers.

NapervilleTaxpayer.org. Pass it on!

Anonymous,

I'll make you a deal. Contact Mike Davitt or Dan Denys. If they posts both Weeks and Dennison's voting records, I'll add Dennison's.

I take it that your comments regarding Mr. Dennison's record apply even more so to Mr. Weeks as he never voted in a Municipal election since registering in 1992.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

So Higgins, are you going to make a big deal about Dennison's voting record on your website just like you did about Weeks? If Dennison is such a true republican conservative he would have voted more. Nice try to make us think Dennison is a Reagan Republican. I don't buy it. He sounds more like a Rockefeller country club kind of guy.

A lot to comment on so here goes:

Voting records, I can’t guarantee 100% accuracy. For that you have to get a certification from the election commission :

Dennison: voted in 2007 Municipal election only. Regular voter otherwise.

Crotty, Drapalik, Deutsch, Romberg: vote in all elections.

Hodak: missed 1 municipal election only, otherwise votes in all elections

Matthewson: did not receive information.

DelCiello registered in 2007.

Siefken registered in 2007 (was in Michigan previously).

So Yes, Mr. Dennison has some explaining to do. As does Mr. Weeks. I will comment briefly that my discomfort regarding Mr. Weeks is far more than his lack of a voting record in municipal election. His affiliation with the taxpayers ticket people, and his thinly veiled antagonism towards the district are more than enough to sour me. Anyone interested in reading further can go to our website QE203.org.

For Redskin:

Ms. Shipley is retiring from the board, as is Dean Reschke. This election is for their replacements. As to your union comments, if you feel that you have a problem voting for a candidate simply because of their endorsement, then don’t, but as Mr. Dennison seems to be the topic du jour allow me to stir the pot a bit. Will it surprise you that Mr. Dennison is not only a registered Republican but a strongly conservative one as well? I’ve talked to the man at length, I know. I suspect if you called him a union hack you better be ready to duck, and fast. And herein lies the problem and why I get so tired of all the union bashing. To simply attack someone just because they received an endorsement is incredibly closed minded. I give the teachers union credit, for not looking at labels or party affiliations, but instead looking at the person and what they stand for, and making their recommendations accordingly.

Using your criterion you could have voted for Susan Crotty in 2005 as she was not endorsed, but not in 2009. And what about Steve Deutsch? He was endorsed in 05 and not in 09. Are either of these people different because of the endorsement or lack of it? Would they carry out their duties any differently? I think we all know that answer is no.

Lastly, we all need to remember just how little this district spends as compared to its peers. Whether it based on OEPP, or straight revenue or expenses, D203 is Chicago’s best bargain, and the board, (some union endorsed, some not), deserve our gratitude, not our anger.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

A while back Thom Higgins challenged me when I asserted that the school board was cozy with the teachers union. Today I drive by the home of Mrs. Price, President of the SD203 board and I see signs for the union backed candidates in her yard: Drapalik, Crotty, Romberg and Dennison. So Thom, it occurred to me that perhaps this is further evidence that if the union backs these four candidates as Mrs. Price apparently does, why should I as a taxpayer expect any of these people to represent my interests? The answer is I do not which is another reason I support Weeks and some of the other candidates. And after this election Thom: Price and Shipley are on the target list to be removed. Shipley is exactly the perfect example of either an ignorant electorate or one that simply is not engaged. I'm not sure about Dean. Previously I had to support him as a fellow West Highlander. Funny though Thom, his mother signed diplomas for Mr. Weeks and me. I would like to think she would not approve of Dean supporting founders of a criminal organization speaking in our schools as a member of the school board. That was not the leadership I recall in 1970.

By Anonymous on March 31, 2009 4:50 PM. "Kevin, you know what I am talking about. Higgins, where are the details on Jim Dennison's voting record? We are still waiting."

Actually, I don't know what you are talking about and I don't know who "Higgins" is either...I jumped into this conversation late in the game. I just know that Jim Dennison is not on the school board currently. So I was wondering which board you are referring too so I could do my homework. I am sorting through all of these candidates for the various elections and I’m trying to find out who I want to vote for next week. So, if you could fill those of us who are not in your loop in I would appreciate it. Thanks!

I suspect the question is in regard to who has voted in recent municipal elections.

yawn

Higgins says Weeks is a stealth candidate because has not voted in past several municipal elections. That is the big yellow highlighted print on the home page. I suspect the implication is that Dennison hasn't either, so Higgins' claim against Weeks is bs.

Do we really care if someone voted in a school board election before in order to be qualified to be on a school board? That would disqualify a huge section of very bright minds who are not turned on to the importance of the school board until later in life.

If true about Dennison, then Higgins is proving he is full of stuff.

Higgins?

Kevin, you know what I am talking about. Higgins, where are the details on Jim Dennison's voting record? We are still waiting.

By Anonymous on March 30, 2009 7:21 PM "Higgins, why don't you fill everyone in on the voting record of Jim Dennison? What are you waiting for?"

I put the post below in another blog on this site, it seems more appropriate here. (I assume you are the same Anonymous one as below, but I can't keep track of all of the Anonymous' on this site as there are many). I am interested to know what board you are referring too.

By Kevin on March 31, 2009 1:00 PM. By Anonymous on March 31, 2009 11:32 AM "Notice how Higgins hasn't informed anyone about the voting record of Jim Dennison? I wonder why that is? Higgins attacks Dave Weeks but fails to mention the voting record of one of his endorsed candidates, Jim Dennison."

What voting record are you referring too? Jim Dennison is not on the school board currently. Please tell us what board voting record you are referring too so we can be informed for the election. Thanks!

To paraphrase Senator Grassley:

"The 203 School Board and Mr. Leis should politely apologize to Naperville for inviting Ayers, and commit suicide (seppuku)"

Since I doubt that any of them have the values or integrity to even admit a mistake, we'll have to settle for voting out all incumbents.

I have not heard from any of the cowards (supporters?) in the City Council, or 203 School board on this.

Higgins, why don't you fill everyone in on the voting record of Jim Dennison? What are you waiting for?

Hey Higgins, what's the voting record of your endorsed candidates? Surely you checked that out before you attacked David Weeks? Why don't you post their voting records in the interest of fair play? Oh, one other thing, have all your endorsed candidates declared any finished basements with the city and county? After all it would be embarassing to find out one of your candidates remodeled their basement on the sly to avoid paying more in property taxes, don't you think?

Now that the Ayers fiasco appears to be over, we all need to look closer at what almost happened.

HOW DID OUR 203 SCHOOL BOARD ALLOW AYERS TO BE INVITED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

It is clear that our Board is NOT up to the task of actually running the District within the confines of State law and the needs/wants of the parents of 203.

Allowing the unapproved textbook is a violation of State law and an insult to our community.

Allowing Ayers to be booked as a speaker is worse ----it is an outright assault on OUR town's value system.

Many questions have risen:

Where was Crotty & Romberg during the scheduling of Ayers?

Where was Crotty & Romberg during all the outrage this past week?

Where are Crotty & Romberg NOW as we discuss this issue and wonder what in the Hell they were thinking?

What did Crotty and Romberg know, and When did they know it?

Unfortunatley, there are only two incumbant Board members running at this time. We need to start now and NOT Re-Elect Susan Crotty or Jackie Romberg to the School Board!

Vote for the independent candidates (if there are any) on April 7th!

Gale,

Are you sure Arts are being cut to help revenue? It seems like cutting it would be to help expenditures.

I know this sounds snide, but it isn't. If Arts created revenues, then cutting them would actually hurt your Districts finances.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXtYiJxt36s

Watch this video and see Dianne McGuire and her sneaky tactics.

Well, it is quite clear all the "adults" on this blog are loving this safe forum for talking beyond blunt to one another, to the point of being rude.
I appreciate the comments from Denise Raleigh: straight to the point showing support without feeling she has to be rude to express herself.
I work in a school district were the arts are being cut way down to help their revenue. I am adamantly opposed to this. I am looking for a candidate who would be thoroughly dedicated to the position, with a strong educational, economic and community service background. For these reasons, I, too, support Lynn Hodak.

Actually the correct website that chronicles the activities of Ayers and Dohrn's Weathermen organization is ODMP.org. Its Waverly M. Jones of NYPD 5/12/71 too. Interesting of 14 policemen murdered by the Weathermen from 1970 to 1981, two had the unusual first name of Waverly. And where was Ayers during these years? Oh, we don't really know because he was a federal fugitive. In any event, I would not allow my children to attend any lecture by these two imbiciles and I would be causing a scene at the high school if any of the idiot staff members like Kermit wanted to make an issue about it. I just wonder when you consider the human wreckage left by this group (parents, siblings, widows, women raising their children alone, children who were deprived of their fathers etc., what exactly is going on with the school district?) Its really not about political ideaology folks. It is about an organized group of people engaged in violent crime across the country. Robbing an armored car, shooting and killing guards and Ayer's and Dorhn are Viet Nam era reformers? Who writes that crap on the Anderson's wesite? A guess imbiciles of a feather flock together even at the bookstore. And now they are treated by this school district and of all things, a family run Naperville business with dignity and respect. I too think either Barnes and Noble or better yet, Amazon.com for the my purchase of the new Mark Levin book "Liberty and Tyranny". (which by the way will most likely not be on the approved book list or in the libraries at the schools)

e^(i*pi)wrote:

Intelligent Design is not a well-defined entity. Some people define it as an opposing view to evolution. Some people see it as consistent with evolution.

Well, you could argue that the question should have contrasted intelligent design with Darwinism, since some propopents of ID do allow for some degree of evolution. For that matter, if you're willing to allow for a little flexibility and creativity on the part of the intelligent designer, I don't think even Darwinism is incompatible with the concept of a creator. But I think the intent of the question is pretty clear in regards to intelligent design and evolution as those terms are popularly understood.

And:

There may also be a subtle point of what "adding..to the curriculum" means. How is the curriculum defined? Is it a set of course offered or the core content which everyone must experience?

I suppose you have a point there. Talking about ID in a philosophy or theology course (do we offer theology courses in 203?) or even a civics class would certainly be covered by curriculum. Perhaps the question should have specified science classes or science curriculum.

-JQP

ramblings:

Intelligent Design is not a well-defined entity. Some people define it as an opposing view to evolution. Some people see it as consistent with evolution.

I do not interpret the qe203 response by Mr. Weeks as saying intelligent design (whatever it is) should be taught in Science class. I do not believe his forum response said that either.

There may also be a subtle point of what "adding..to the curriculum" means. How is the curriculum defined? Is it a set of course offered or the core content which everyone must experience?

Two poorly defined phrases in the same question make some responses (except for MS) hard to fully interpret.

e^(i*pi)

JQP,

I missed your reference to qe203.

I do not know the chain of "evidence", so to speak, on the QE202 questionnaire.

Since QE202 has proven to NOT be independent in that they actually endorse candidates, negatively endorse others, and offer cash to even others, I cannot speak to ANYTHING they put out on the blogs.

I CAN speak to the forums I attended, and my depiction is accurate. When asked in front of everyone, on tv and tape, all the candidates said it does NOT belong in the sciense cleass at all, and if it fit anywhere it was philosophy or religion.

In fact, only one candidate (Mathewson) said it really didn't belong in the public school curriculum at all but should be saved for the home!


Anonymous wrote:

You either did NOT attend the SD203 Forum OR you are simply a liar.

How about a third option: you didn't pay close attention to my post. I was referring to his response to the QE203 questionnaire. I did not attend the SD203 Forum, so I don't know what he said there. The question put to him on the QE203 questionnaire was: Why do we teach evolution in our schools and would you support adding intelligent design to the curriculum?

Here is his response (with apologies to Thom Higgins):

I would like to see alternative theories presented. No matter how much I personally believe in “creation by intelligent design”, one should obviously know that there are many who hold a differing perspective and our children should be aware of that. The opposite is also true.

Maybe this is not a ringing endorsement of teaching ID, but it certainly suggests that he is open to the idea. If he said something else at the SD203 Forum, maybe someone should get in touch with him to clear up this discrepancy.

BTW, this is how Merle Siefken answered the QE203 question:

The Illinois Learning Standards in science includes, “concepts that explain the composition and structure of the universe and Earth’s place in it.” Evolution is taught in our schools because it is a theory. I support the teaching of evolution and intelligent design within the science curriculum as theories.

Teaching opposing theories provides a problem-solving opportunity for students to explain the environment in which we live. The classroom teacher is a facilitator, allowing students to explore the arguments and draw conclusions based on the evidence presented and investigated.

Was he at the SD203 Forum? If so, how did he answer the question there?

-JQP

Anonymous at 3:53 pm.

You are incorrect. I too was at the NAHC forum and Mr. Weeks DID NOT make that statement. According to my notes, that statement was made by Mr. Dennison as he was asked to address the question first. He specifically stated that ID should not be included in Science curriculum as it has no basis in scientific fact. He did say that if it were to be taught, he could see it in a Philosophy Class or Comparative Religion class.


For those of us who actually did attend, and listened, and took copious notes, every candidate including the two incumbants (Crotty & Romberg) answered the question of teaching intelligent design in our schools in basically the same way.

Candidate Weeks was crystal clear: it did NOT belong in the science classes. If it was deemed necessary, he could accept it in a philosophy class or a comp religion class.

To: By mark eriksen on March 27, 2009 4:17 PM

Outstanding points, Mark!

On the subject of having domestic terrorists talk to our children (and paid for by our hard earned taxdollars), I have heard the following (I do not know if it is true --- I would be interested in knowing if it is):

The talk by the domestic terrorist has been endorsed/set-up by an American history teacher at Naperville North High School. I have also heard he is using a supplemental textbook in his class written by Howard Zinn. I am to understand this supplemental book is NOT approved by the School Board (note here that it is State of Illinois law that School Boards, and not faculty advisory groups, must approve all textbooks).

This begs a series of questions, begining with that of Mark Eriksen, above:

Why are we letting a domestic terrorist talk at our high school?

Why are unauthorized materials are being used in our classrooms?

Where do the School Board candidates stand on this issue?

Should the teacher in question, if this is true, be dismissed?

Should his direct supervisor and building principal also be dismissed?

Where does the sitting Board stand on this?

Why is Dr Leis allowing this to happen?

I mean really, folks, is it our school system, our schools, our Board, or does it belong to the employees (teachers) who work for us?

Has it finally happened.....are the inmates running the asylum?

I noticed School District 203 has decided our community needs to support two people who are in part responsible for the deaths of approximately a dozen police officers and others in this country during the 60's, 70's and 80's by promoting the Weather Underground Ayers family both at NNHS and at Anderson's Bookstore on 4/8/09. Ayers and Dohrn are founding members of the Weather Underground (go to ODMO.org, click officers and enter Waverly L. Brown, Nyack Police Department, New York 10/20/1981). Bill Ayers and his group were the source of urban terror in our country during three decades. I don't think these school district candidates or current board members are worth a tinkers damn if they do not speak out against these so called Weathermen. My suggestion is if you think they are not wanted in OUR community, you should contact the SD 203 offices, NNHS or Anderson's Bookstore at 630-355-2665 to voice your displeasure. I urge you to protest in front of Anderson's too. I will be there on Sunday afternoon. It seems to me Anderson's has decided to sell out our community values of the rule of law in favor of criminal, social activism. Funny, after about 40 years in this town Anderson's would think Ayers and Dohrn are a good idea. This means my family in Naperville now shops for books at the Barnes & Noble.

To: By John Q. Public on March 27, 2009 12:01 PM

You either did NOT attend the SD203 Forum OR you are simply a liar.

For those of us who actually did attend, and listened, and took copious notes, every candidate including the two incumbants (Crotty & Romberg) answered the question of teaching intelligent design in our schools in basically the same way.

Candidate Weeks was crystal clear: it did NOT belong in the science classes. If it was deemed necessary, he could accept it in a philosophy class or a comp religion class.

So, based on your comment and position, you will not be voting for ANY of the candidates?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-superintendent-contract-w-zomar27,0,4391378.story

Got to love the education establishment. They just ignore the law when it suits them.

Abused 203 Resident wrote:

After all of the creme puff questions by the newspapers and this left wing textbook/evolution group "QEy", it is about time some people ask some real questions. Dave Weeks is already done.

Speaking of Dave Weeks, according to the response he gave QE203, he favors teaching Intelligent Design in our schools. That's a pretty big reason NOT to vote for him, in my opinion.

Dist 203 Superintendent, Alan Leis is allowing Naperville North's speaking invitation to Terrorist (and murderer) Bill Ayers to stand. He looks forward to it!

Ayers will probably be followed by another global (bs) warming brainwashing session. Actually, this is every day at 203.

When is Ann Coulter going to be invited to speak at North? Since Coulter is not a terrorst or murderer, the comparisson is not fair to her.

For intellectual balance, Leis should invite some German or Russian neo-Nazzis on campus to speak and recruit too.

Dist. 203 in addition to purveying far left National Socialist information for critical thinking; should also distribute far Right National Socialist information like Mein Kamph as required reading and debate it in class.

The great divide between the far-left and far-right is the color of the uniforms; Ayers and Leis are wearing Red and Nazi's wear black or brown.

Other than the uniforms, I can't tell them apart.

2 should have read

Only two [203] candidates have been endorsed.

You will note that three are considered. And if any of the union candidates disavow their funding support, they could be considered. Dennison might make a good candidate if he disavowed the union.

After all of the creme puff questions by the newspapers and this left wing textbook/evolution group "QEy", it is about time some people ask some real questions. Dave Weeks is already done.

What are all of these people afraid of? And now we find that the candidates (except this mysterious Drapalack) have already answered the questions. Fine. Don't give these people time to tidy up their answers, print them as they responded. It would be VERY interesting. In fact print the answers they gave you and what they change them to.

Higgins thought that teachers only got 2% salary increases. He said everyone who said 6 to 7% were nuts. Those type of increases would kill us. ZOWIE!!! But that is why my taxes increased.

By Anonymous on March 26, 2009 6:35 PM

Psssst..........Dan, check your web site. You already made your decisions on who to endorse.

Three points.

1. These questions are not for endorsement.
2. Only two candidates have not been endorsed.
3. Read closely, we already asked all but one of the candidates the questions. We have answers and will print them (several questions were dropped and a couple slightly reworded as we solicited answers). So rest assured, there will be nine responses, we thought it would be more fair to let the candidates word them rather than us dictating the response. And all nine candidates knew this already.

We are not QE203.

Psssst..........Dan, check your web site. You already made your decisions on who to endorse.

I don't think you're going to hear from any of the ten (other than maybe the three you endorsed). Next time maybe you should talk with the candidates BEFORE you make your decisions.


By Dan D. on March 25, 2009 11:20 PM
Responding to

By Research? We don't need no stinkin' research! on March 25, 2009 7:26 PM

We have had two candidate forums and have had the chance to ask questions of all candidates except 1 who has had a long family emergency. I will assume that is correct and hope that that candidate will answer the questions that were asked at the forums. She should post the answers on her web sites.

A loosely configured group of taxpayers representing many backgrounds and not a single group made up a comprehensive list of questions and asked them to the candidates orally at the Central forum. We refined these questions based on some very reasoned input from the candidates and submitted them at the Confederation forum.

We updated the list and eliminated the questions that had already been asked at the Confederation forum. Instead of simply publishing the oral answers we have from last Wednesday, we thought we would let every candidate respond to them in a more thoughtful and comprehensive manner. In fact, we told that to every candidate last Wednesday.

These are questions that we feel need to be answered to make our decisions. In fact, if people have others, please list. The election is two weeks away. More information should lead to better decisions.

Hey Thom, what about this entire list of supporters of David Weeks? Are they all evil too? Again, I will make sure they know you think so.


Jim Boyajian
Gerry Cassioppi
Steve DeGraff
Ann Elliott
Bev & Bill Frier
Todd Gardner
Don Hagemeyer
Ray Kinney
Howard Larson
Fred & Bonnie Martin
Chuck Millington
Randy Noble
Jack & Diane Persin
Gary Pradel
Cindy Silke
Rob Swe
Maureen Taylor
Jackie Thurlby
Kenn Miller
Chet Rybicki
Ron & Nancy Nyberg
Steven Keller
Rose Case
Dick Kuhn
Dick & Kathe Hillyard
Annie Udell
Dick Kuhn
Ed Schmidgall
Lori & Bud Montgomery Pat Benton
Betsy Brosnan
Michael Connelly
Steve & Jayne Dobes
Paul Feith
Richard Furstenau
Eric Jungnickel
Tom Hagemeyer
John Knobloch
John & Jan Miller
Michelle Moore
Paul & Faith Owens
Robert Reeves Jr
Mark & Kim Putbrese
Rick Spencer
Bob Swininoga
Cal Thurlby
Bill Young
Bud & Marian Joy
Robert Fieseler
Tony Chirico
RG & Kim Javorek
Kathy Galasso
Pam Nelson
Nancy Trattner
John & Ginger Aymond
Marilyn Collins
Brett & Robin Hersma
Rob Hankins
Rick & Lori Strawbridge Ray & Debbie Bjoraith
Roger Brown
Rick & Ann Covert
Kurt Dorr
Tom & Carol Foote
James & Georgene Frego
Bill & Sharon Goodwin
Robert & Jane Heap
Jim & Barb Kopchok
Sharon Lutes
David & Suzanne Martin
Brien & Carolyn Nagle
Rebecca & Bob Obarski
Mike & Paula Pisarcik
Randy & Graceanne Simoni
Ron & Claudia Stenger
Bill & Betty Stewart
Greg & Carol Matre
Richard Macko
John and Ann Zediker
Bob & Judy Turner
Nancy Quigley
Don & Kate Gingold
Lauren Pfister
Grant Wehrli
Patti Mau
Debi & Carl Bertrams
Jerry & Mary Buch
William & Peggy Steink

Thom, you forgot to mention that Nancy Quigley is supporting David Weeks too. Is she evil as well? I will be sure to tell her you think so next time I'm at Quigley's.

And the Taxpayers Ticket has the weapons of mass destruction as well.

In the 2007 there was a website that purported to be anti Taxpayers Ticket, as well as supposed teachers making comments guaranteed to provoke a negative response. All to make the teachers look bad, and the portray the Taxpayers Ticket as innocent victims.

Congratulations everyone we have our first sighting for 2009 in Underpaid Teacher. Can't you guys try to be a little more convincing?

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Come on Anonymous

I must say the "Underpaid Teacher" comment above was a pretty poor attempt at humor. Whomever did it could certainly do better. If not, they are on par with (boo, don't vote for her) SC.

Anyone have anything to say about the candidates, like Michael DelCiello should be voted in?

And a link to the qe203 candidate answers bypassing the intro bs.

-1 (e^(i*pi)'s grammar impaired alter-ego)

to: Underpaid Teacher on March 26, 2009 11:52 AM

Your statements reak of such malice that it is hard to pick where to start.

How about first with your moniker --- teachers in D203 are definitley not underpaid. The District average of $75,000.00 is quite healthy and there is NOTHING about it that can be described as underpaid!

Next, your bad info that the teachers "settled" for a 3.8% raise for two years. This is a complete lie and you know it (or you are ignorant --- either is scary). To get to this number you must conveniently forget about lanes and steps and pensions, oh my!

Finally, quit your whining about the Taxpayers' Ticket. With a built in base of almost 5000 votes, the Teachers' Union Candidates will always get enough votes to win an election because the rest of the town is apathetic. The Teaqchers' Union knew from the get go that the Taxpayers' Ticket had no chance of winning!

For anyone interested in reading all ten District 203 school board candidates answer the same twelve questions, as well as our recommendations and a special warning regarding Dave Weeks, go to:

http://qualityeducation203.org/

Real research, real questions, and real answers.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Does Higgins think he is the "Wizard behind the Curtain" in Naperville? I don't think many people do.

The Internet gives all of us access to information and lets us make our own decisions. This includes the responses that were solicited and posted by QE203.

But so far, all entities (QE203, the newspapers, STAGE) have failed to ask the tough questions. The napervilletaxpayer.org questions hit some of them. I am looking forward to the candidate's answers just as the others that are posted.

And Thomas, this is America. People are allowed to express their opinions. It is no secret that you and Petey, two very liberal people, would disagree with Davitt and Denis, two conservative people. It is good to have varied opinions, people get to chose.

Rest assured, the teachers union could care less about Higgins and Petey, they want their four candidates. In fact, QE 203 is not even part of the equation.

Given the need to separate unions from their bosses (a basic tenant in our United States government based on checks and balances), all of the union candidates should be ignored. So it come down to whether any of the other five are worthy.

And what is Higgins and Petey afraid of?

To Becky R.

One additional point. Those social workers and psychologists do not have to maintain logs of who they meet. They might just be sitting and having coffee with each other.

And maybe these services should be done on the parents dime. Are they going to hire dentists next to give every student periodic dental services?

You said it very well, "an unemotional, but still compassionate, debate."

Ms. Rudolph,

I refer to your prior post as what happens to someone when they have given and given and given to the district, and then realize what is really going on.

We all care about the education of our children. We all care about our tax dollars going to programs to help our children. We all care about raising money for Home & School to get extras for the schools for our children. We care the most, though, when things we fight for get grabbed by someone we thought was an partner with us. You post crystallized that beautifully.

Thom Higgins will come to that realization some day. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

Nobody will agree with me on everything. I'll agree to disagree on the librarian salaries. Truth be told, I don't even agree with myself sometimes. Keep caring about the children and their education. I think we can agree on that.

e^(i*pi)

The people of this town do not get it.

They are all getting multimillion dollar bonuses and then give us the crumbs.

There needs to be more union representation on the school Board. We had to take a salary cut in 2007 because of the Taxpayers Ticket. For the next two years we get only 3.8% rather than 5.2% on the old contract. We settled when our foolish union leadership thought the Taxpayers Ticket was going to beat us. And instead of giving us a new contract after we helped elect them, the Board sat quietly.

But there will be enough time to get a larger increases before next school year after our people get elected. Forget about facilities, we need our money now. In fact, as cited by QE203, our costs are too low. We should be getting 10% increases rather than 5%.

Vote union candidates. Romberg, Crotty, Dennison, Drapilik

No wonder QE203 endorses those candidates --- you share a propinquity of insular views and narrow-mindedness on the state of the District and it's potential to achieve greater things. The exchange of cash between candidates and QE203 just allows you all to validate each other.

I'm sure you feel warm and fuzzy over having a School Board that is 100% supported by the Teachers' Union. However, this incestuous relationship has gotten us to where we are today, with projected deficit spending looming in the very near future.

Your chummy attitude of rearranging deck chairs has already imperiled our District. You were well-warned of the impending drop in home values and it's affect on funds during the last election.

Instead of heeding it, QE203, Dianne McGuire and PURE’s sneaky funneling of cash from one pocket to another, and this School Board chose to spend it's efforts attacking other fellow citizens instead of actually preparing for this economic downturn. Now, we begin yet another period of emergency. Can another operating referendum be far behind?


The Teachers’ Union,and all of it’s related Political Action Committees is, at the base, the largest vendor to D203. Why doesn’t the School Board have an ethics policy that prevents it from taking cash from the Teachers’ Union?

We already know that the current School Board has been financially supported by the Teachers’ Union at some point in their efforts to get on the Board. Is this not an obvious conflict of interest that would be avoided by even the most dishonest of U.S. corporations, such as ENRON and AIG?

Unfortunately, the end joke ends up being on the rest of us taxpayers, parents, and plain old citizens, as we "carry the water", so to speak, by having to pay for all of it!

To: Tom

You wrote "Yeah, we changed our format in mid stream so to speak".

No wonder you have been too busy to finish the salary data with Denis ---- you have been spending all your time lying to us (about the format for QE203) and bending your data to fit your recommendations.

The old "bait & switheroo"! Start out by telling us how magnanimous you will be, then BOOM! Chnage in midstream to better meet your transparent agenda.

Well played, young Prince M!


"QE203.org candidate recommendations are now on line"

What a sham! I reviewed the d1/d2s from Ms Romberg, and she is receiving financial support from QE203 through it's members! No wonder she is being recommended by them!

Nice transparency, dude!

To e^(i*pi):

Thank-you for your kind comments. However, I am getting a little uncomfortable with regular mention in your blog posts, since I have no idea who your are. While I agree with some of your points, I don't agree with all of them (like the librarian salaries - I'm not with you on that.)

I am not affiliated with any organization, just a concerned parent who values education AND careful decision-making.

I went to the SB candidate forum last week. While all the candidates mentioned the need to cut expenses "without touching the students", there were only a few specific suggestions, for example, when Michael DelCiello said perhaps we don't need to automatically replace staff laptops every 4 years.

Here's another one: has anyone noticed that almost all the elementary schools have both a full time social worker and a full time psychologist? (Six schools out of 14 have a half-time psychologist, two split a social worker) I don't have the access to understand how necessary this is or how, exactly, they are funded, but I'm pretty sure when society at large talks about "public education" they don't realize the vast amount of social services the schools are now called upon to provide. Wouldn't it be nice to have an unemotional, but still compassionate, debate about this?

I'm glad that Suzie Crotty took more of my money to save me money. This sounds like Barak Obama wanted to spend trillions of new deficits for my benefit.

Well I am out of Naperville, house foreclosed. I hope you others can carry the load.

One more thing.

$18 million NOT in the taxpayers hands now prevents us from earning value on it. If what we could earn is greater than the additional interest expense to the district (which we taxpayers would pay in the future over the life of the bond), the taxpayers end up ahead by having the money in pocket now. Even if it less than what the "district" has to pay in interest, it is not the number she used.

Her accounting ONLY looks at it from the district side. "We would have had to ask for more money which would have increased our interest costs". The opportunity cost to the taxpayer by not having the money in their pocket now is not included in her analysis. So whatever number she claims she saved the taxpayer is severely mathematically flawed. And egotistically flawed. And team player flawed. And probably present-value flawed.

NO Susan Crotty NO She does not get it.

e^(i*pi)

Mr. Higgins,

So Dr. Leis specifically said using the funds for Site And Construction was NOT part of the 2002 referendum, yet the board used the funds for this anyway? There in black and white and you seem to agree. Thanks. It was for operations, not site and construction.

Note the big O in Operating Expense Per Pupil. It stands for "Operating". As you are so keenly aware the OEPP does not include site and construction. Any attempt to say the 2002 Operating referendum could be confused to meaning Site And Construction clearly does not see the written word.

In no way, shape, or form can SC claim she saved the taxpayers $18 million. Way too many assumptions and I am pretty sure she did not have the only vote on doing that. As I said elsewhere, a normal person on a board would say "Upon my initiative to place the surplus funds* ....the board agreed to ...which could have prevented...had a larger referendum been passed"

NOT NOT NOT "I'm responsible for saving the taxpayers $18 million." That is so offensive on so many levels that someone with that attitude should not be on any board. You find some candidates' words offensive. I find these very offensive. You had a 20-30 minute personal conversation with Mr. Weeks one year ago. SC had a public conversation on Monday. Everyone heard what SC said. Very few heard what Mr. Weeks said. Only by your recollection does that exist.

I have no problem with money going to teachers if it is needed for additional staff to do additional programs or better differential instruction. However, additional money to teachers who were already in a contract raising the base pay 3.5% per year would not be my idea of doing things for the kids. Big difference.

You seem to be shocked by Mr. Weeks' comments, yet you say nothing of MS botching the layoff concept. Hmm...

e^(i*pi)

e^(i*pi)

One more time. Funds set aside in the Site and Construction fund upon her initiative, as opposed to being refunded, or not otherwise earmarked, allowed the district to save the interest on that amount had that cash not been available.

There were others who wanted to refund these funds. They either lost their re-election bid or resigned from the board. But she as well could have said refund the surplus and we'll just have to finance more of the referendum with higher interest costs. She could have made that choice. She didn't. She was very active on the facilities committee and worked in the best interest of district to minimize costs by creating the S&F fund and funneling surplus funds into it.

Thanks for pointing out there was no talk in 2002 about any of this and the debate raged through 2007. But it was Susan who suggested corralling these funds for facilities, and not raises for the teachers (you should appreciate that)or other endeavors. Having this cash available saved the taxpayer money.


Thom Higgins
Qe203.org

Let the fum begin kids.

Nice try Dan, regarding this:

I received one set of comments from Mr. Higgins with editorial information. He cannot provide proof for the information, so per our agreement, we would not include that in our joint statement. And to all of you, I checked out all of his information including calling leading economists and even the government statisticians themselves in Washington.

Dan wanted to limit the amount of information we presented and has been working overtime to discredit the ECI. Fine Dan go for it. Let the record show that I set Dan free saying I would post what I feel is relevant and he could do the same, after he started trying to limit the discussion. I can post the relevant e-mails on our website if necessary.

Unfortunately this is a flat out lie: I am afraid that the only way I will get a joint statement from Mr. Higgins is if I also unequivocally state that the increases were more than fair.


Lastly, yes I have been busy Dan. QE203 is conducting face to face interviews, evaluating candidates and doing the kind of responsible work necessary when you recommend candidates for an elected position. It take a lot longer than just posting names like Mike Davitt does.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Responding to

By Research? We don't need no stinkin' research! on March 25, 2009 7:26 PM

We have had two candidate forums and have had the chance to ask questions of all candidates except 1 who has had a long family emergency. I will assume that is correct and hope that that candidate will answer the questions that were asked at the forums. She should post the answers on her web sites.

A loosely configured group of taxpayers representing many backgrounds and not a single group made up a comprehensive list of questions and asked them to the candidates orally at the Central forum. We refined these questions based on some very reasoned input from the candidates and submitted them at the Confederation forum.

We updated the list and eliminated the questions that had already been asked at the Confederation forum. Instead of simply publishing the oral answers we have from last Wednesday, we thought we would let every candidate respond to them in a more thoughtful and comprehensive manner. In fact, we told that to every candidate last Wednesday.

These are questions that we feel need to be answered to make our decisions. In fact, if people have others, please list. The election is two weeks away. More information should lead to better decisions.

She was the leading force in allocating the surplus funds for the site and construction fund.

You mean I am correct that all she did was suggest placing the over collection of taxes in a different bucket. That is a LONG LONG way from "I'm responsible for saving taxpayers $18 million." Not even in the same side of the planet. NO for SC for D203 school board.

If Davitt and Denys had had their way the district would have refunded those funds, and then asked for them right back in a more expensive referendum. But if you are part of the 60% majority who approved the referendum, you are happy her leadership saved taxpayers additional interest expense. Who is to say the extra cost referendum would have passed? An over collection of funds was used to do 2 things -- decrease the amount of referendum request and thus prevent the additional raise in the OEPP keeping you happy. I will assume additional interest would have been saved had the larger referendum been passed in 2008 after returning the money to the people who did not approve it to be used for site and construction funds in the first place. Did I somehow miss a discussion of Site and Construction funds back in 2002?

July 1, 2005. From the D203 website regarding the fact that the budget deficits projected in the 2002 referendum disappeared much quicker than anticipated and what to do with the excess revenue:

"Access the increase allowed under the law next year and use the money to improve aging facilities (although that was not part of the 2002 referendum) and/or use the money to delay the need for any future operating rate increase."

To be honest, I think Ms. Hodak did a very nice job also.

e^(i*pi)

To all,

It has been a week since Dave Zager signed off on the third draft of the summary of salary information for fiscal years 2007 to 2009. I received one set of comments from Mr. Higgins with editorial information. He cannot provide proof for the information, so per our agreement, we would not include that in our joint statement. And to all of you, I checked out all of his information including calling leading economists and even the government statisticians themselves in Washington.

I am afraid that the only way I will get a joint statement from Mr. Higgins is if I also unequivocally state that the increases were more than fair. That was not the deal. So I will finalize a format, submit it to QE203, Positively Naperville, Naperville Sun, Daily Herald and Napervilletaxpayer.org tomorrow. I will provide a link as soon as one of these organizations post or I will use an internet source for provide the information.

I think Higgins was more busy calling about Napervilletaxpayer.org than doing what he promised to do.

e^(i*pi)

Yeah, we changed our format in mid stream so to speak. This is our first time doing this, and when we all sat down and talked it over, with various people liking different candidates, we came to the position that we should just recommend the strongest five, to give people a choice. There are other candidates that could serve well but for different reasons didn't make the cut.

We also felt it was important to inform people regarding Mr. Weeks. The fact that he hasn't bothered to vote in the last 5 municipal elections, is in essence, this years Taxpayer's Ticket candidate, as well as his comments made to me in an unguarded moment a year ago, merited it's own page.

You are welcome to your view regarding SC. We disagree completely. She was the leading force in allocating the surplus funds for the site and construction fund. If Davitt and Denys had had their way the district would have refunded those funds, and then asked for them right back in a more expensive referendum. Only this time we would be selling more bonds and paying more in interest. If you were against the facilities referendum you aren't happy. But if you are part of the 60% majority who approved the referendum, you are happy her leadership saved taxpayers additional interest expense.

As to the rest, I might ask you reproduce our entire quotes so as to not mislead the reader. Anyone reading our website knows we are supporting candidates that are not only concerned about the districts' finances, but also have a record on community involvement and a commitment to public education.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

I watched the D203 candidate forum on cable and it looks like we have a number of qualified people in the race. I wrote about schools for a number of years and Jackie Romberg has been a dedicated contributor for a long time. Another candidate that I find compelling is Lynn Hodak. She has worked with area kids on the local arts scene for many years as a volunteer and it would be great for the district to have a longtime arts advocate at the table. Lynn is also a great listener and has also ran her own successful small business for many years. All this said, thanks to all the candidates for running and good luck.

Research,

It's actually better than you think. I noticed that (until a few days ago) the website was both anonymous and registered anonymously. After the endorsements went up, I called 25 of the names listed on the endorsement page and asked these questions:

1. Do you know who Naperville Taxpayer is?

2. Have you been contacted, interviewed, or asked to fill out a questionnaire?

3. Have you sought their endorsement?

25 people, 25 answers, and to each and every question the answer was NO.

Probably because of my calling around and my telling people it was most certainly Mike Davitt, (he's even recycling info from his other anonymous website that I outed him on in the past) We now have his name on the website, so I guess it's some progress.

I do wonder if someone should contact the Naperville Police Department. Mr. Davitt's group leafleted cars in the municipal parking lot during the NAHC District 204 candidate forum. That's decidedly illegal. I wonder if Chief Dial would be interested in Mr. Davitt's address.

You might want to read "out out of the mainstream's" post tonight. Buddies of Davitt, still trying to convince people we're not to be trusted. I always enjoy that, and consider it a compliment, as they spend so much time on attacking the messenger because they know their message, and chosen messenger (Davitt), will shock reasonable people. Believe me, I welcome people going to QE203.org and seeing how a legitimate group conducts itself: real questions, face to face interviews, and research vs. a lot of angry rhetoric from Mr. Davitt and his few followers. We will win that contest with reasonable people every single time.

Thom Higgins
QE203.org


Thom Higgins Wrote:

This year we are doing it differently. We will not be running ads supporting candidates. Nor will we endorse just 4 candidates at the expense of the others. Once we receive the completed questionnaires and hopefully have a brief interviews, we will rank the candidates in a “Highly Recommended, Recommended, Not Recommended”. If all 10 are 10’s, they all get Highly Recommended.

Not quite what you did there, Mr. Higgins. I do appreciate the work you did in collecting and posting the responses. Perhaps you can keep to your word next time. By the way, where is the salary data?

I truly cannot believe "QE" rated SC as endorsed. She was awful in the forums. Awful. Horrible. Embarrassing. Maybe she does much better one-on-one, but she was completely outclassed by everyone except MS -- whom you also endorsed. I certainly would not want her to be on any board with her "me,me,me" attitude.

There was one clear choice among all the candidates -- Michael DelCiello. This man did his research, knew his data, showed that he cares about education with his two kids at River Woods, and actually dared to address the elephant in the room -- One billion dollars of contracts to be negotiated by the board in the next few years. Negotiating those successfully can free up dollars for expanding programs for the students. Isn't that what we all want -- better programs for our kids? Anyone can say they want to find ways to increase the revenue stream while looking at costs. Clearly Mr. DelCiello's background gives him the best skill set of all the candidates to do that.

We are recommending candidates who know the that District 203 provides more than just high home resale values. It arguably provides the best educational value in all of Illinois.

You mean you are endorsing candidates based on your Cult of the Red Dot? You are not endorsing candidates who want to improve the district, improve education for all, improve opportunities. Just ones who think that D203 provides the best educational value in all of Illinois.

You seem to fail to grasp that there is a finite amount of money in the district. Saving money one place frees it up elsewhere. Anytime we can free up money that actually goes to the programs for the kids (re-refer to my hero, Mrs. Rudolph) then the board has done its job.

e^(i*pi)

It has been confirmed that the Naperville Taxpayer group just sent out questionnaires to the candidates for the School Board in the last 24 hours.

What’s the problem with that, you ask?

Their “endorsements” for candidates have been up for at least two weeks! Which begs the question – what did they base their endorsements on?

OUIJA board?

Flipping a coin?

Picking names out of a hat?

C’mon guys, help us out here. I’m sure everyone would like to hear your explanation.

Please don’t say interviews with the candidates because it is well known that you have not talked with any of them! If I am wrong, please list which candidates you have interviewed.

You also are constantly badgering people to “…get off your butts and vote…”

You might be well served to heed your own advice before you start upbraiding an entire community. Next time get off your butts and do your research before you start with your uninformed angry rants. This community is growing weary of them.

Its called “Credibility” and yours is gone. Your "endorsements" are baseless and thus not worthy of anyones consideration.

On your web site you proclaim “Research you can Trust”. Well, now we know that yours is “research” that no one should trust.

Thomas Higgins tries to rewrite history.

Go to this link.

http://napervilletaxpayer.org/uploads/QE203_Who_We_Are.pdf

Clearly shows that Jackie Romberg is a member of QE203. Never saw her disavow her association back then.

I wonder why she denies it now? Could it be the radical organizations these people are associated with? Only Jackie knows.

The real irony, QE203 calls regular citizens extreme and out of mainstream. UH, Berkeley is 2,000 miles to the west. You all seem to be lost.

Does anyone else find it odd (at the least!) that the Teachers' Union did NOT endorse two teachers running in the race?

That by itself makes those two look better and better!

To all:

QE203.org candidate recommendations are now on line.

http://www.qualityeducation203.org/

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

Naperville Chamber of Commerce

Michael Delciello
Jim Dennison
Steve Deutsch
Jackie Romberg
Dave Weeks


Teachers Association

Susan Crotty
Jim Dennison
Nancy Drapalik
Jackie Romberg


Daily Herald

Susan Crotty
Michael Delciello
Jackie Romberg
Dave Weeks


I attended the forums, and there are some very good candidates who did a sometimes excellent job of presenting their cases.

Unfortunatley, the current Board members who are up for election ran little uneven.

I was outright embarassed by Susan Crotty's performance at both. She appeared very poorly prepared, uses the presentation cadence of a "valley girl", took credit for a lot of work that was not hers, and often seemed very, very satisfied with the status quo.

When all candidates were generally asked if they were supported by the highly-funded Teachers' Union, both Crotty and Romberg did NOT step forward with this info. (only Dennison did --- good for him!)

Later, Crotty outright misled all by stating she was not supported by the union (when she actually IS supported by the Union!)

Does anyonw know who is being supported by the papers, NACPAC, etc?


Quality Education 203.org has posted completed questionnaires from all ten D203 candidates, answering 12 indentical questions posted side by side. Be an informed voter and see what the candidates themselves say on various issues.


http://qualityeducation203.org

Thom Higgins
QE203.org

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