MCC – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – Part 4

When we last left yesterday’s article about the “first we say we will, then we say we won’t” activity of McHenry County College board members and top employee President Walt Packard, two security officers had completed their assigned task to block the view from the hall inside the boardroom.

The room was wrapped up like a son’s Christmas gift to his mom using whatever wrapping material was available.

Shortly thereafter I went to the bathroom.

As we were standing at urinals, the younger of the two security guys informed that I would have to leave the building, that only employees (and, he may have said students) were allowed inside after ten o’clock.

I asked him about the non-employees in the board room and he told me that he had been told they were all college employees.

I informed him that was not the case.

We both made our way out into the hall where Town Crier editor Iris Bryan, Kim Willis and Jane Collins were talking outside the boardroom, waiting for the board to adjourn.

The officer who had previously been securing the visual privacy of the Broadcast Tower Proposers then proceeded to inform us that we would have to leave the building.

“After 10 o’clock everyone who is not an employee has to leave the building…The campus is closed after 10 o’clock to everyone who isn’t an employee,”

he repeated as various of the women pointed out the presence of the non-employees on the other side of the masked windows.

“If you are not a student or employee you can’t be in the meeting,” are what my notes say he said next.

By then we had learned his name was William Schultz.

He was a pleasant enough young man sent to do what whoever called him from inside the room (at least once President Packard) told him to do.

He had been on the job two weeks.

I reminded Schultz that he had told me that all in the board room were college employees. I pointed out that attorney Tom Zanck was certainly not a college employee.

It didn’t matter.

Iris Bryan was livid.

And she should have been.

I have know Iris for over 40 years. At one point she worked for my father’s weekly newspaper, The Star Reporter.

I have never seen her as angry.

As I said, she should have been.

The public cannot be evicted from a hall outside a secret meeting because they have the right to see the board go back into open session and observe any action, even if it is merely to adjourn.

Now, those of you who have been reading McHenry County Blog for a long while will remember my eviction from the Prairie Grove very Grade School during a secret meeting at which I was also taking pictures through the window.

The effort of Karen Bowman, now school board president, to lower the Venetian blinds while in a fit of rage was even funnier than Packard’s moving the American Flag to block my view of the power point presentation by the BMB high tower folks.

At least this time the person who accompanied me to the door This time wasn’t armed. (Considering what happened at NIU, carrying a firearm probably should be a requirement for college security officers.)

That incident led to this memorable wanted poster, a creation of Heck of a Guy blog’s Allan Showalter, who lives north of Crystal Lake.

Iris and I were certainly the only two people in the building who were in on the formation of McHenry County College. Iris was in charge of publicity for the April 1, 1968 referendum campaign and I assisted her. My father called the meeting to organize the committee that successfully proposed the ballot question that was passed. I know I was at the meeting and I’ll bet Iris was also.

So, she and I have as much stake in this college as any of the current board members or employees.

She was angry. Here is what she wrote for her Town Crier.

I was more amused at how the dysfunctional group of people running things behind the blocked windows had managed to negate any good will they achieved when they posted the board packet on the internet so taxpayers, as well as MCC employees could see the material that the board members would consider Thursday night.

Needless to say, I filed a complaint with both the McHenry County State’s Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General.

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