Huntley Teachers Union Lays Down Debate Rules; Snow Says, “Unfair!” – Part 1

I have received a series of emails between Huntley School District 158 board member Larry Snow and a representative of the Huntley Education Association.

The interchange concerns whether the candidates will be able to compare and contrast their performance in office with that of the opponent.

The short answer is “No.”

I found it so fascinating that I am publishing it in three parts, letting the combatants speak for themselves:

Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2009 1:21:47 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central

Subject: [Fwd: Re: Meet the Candidates Night Ground Rules]

Can you confirm if this is correct? (the forwarded email)

Also, are you going to allow any time for an opening remark?

Larry Snow

= = = = =
Jen (Weichle) wrote:

The intention is for the candidates to share what they themselves have to offer. You are more than welcome to discuss your voting record. There will not be time for opening remarks.

If you have any other questions, please let me know!

= = = = =
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2009 5:44:58 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: Meet the Candidates Night Ground Rules]

It is a yes/no question. Will comparisons between the two board candidates be allowed or will it be considered contrary to the ground rules?

Mr. Skala was a board member and I was a resident, and not a board member for many years.

Is it a “candidate forum” if you will not allow a candidate to compare his and his opponent’s voting record?

Does the HEA want to take a position against professionally phrased political free speech?


= = = = =

Jen wrote:

Mr. Snow,

No. Comparisons between candidates’ positions will not be permitted. The event is designed to allow candidates to share anything about themselves they wish to convey to the public.
However, candidates are not permitted to share their views on other candidates or other candidates’ views, board voting history etc. We hope you can see where that type of interaction could quickly deteriorate into personal attacks.

In response to concerns initially expressed by at least one candidate that the event might turn into a free for all or X number against one, we decided to eliminate the variables that might promote hostile and negative interaction between the candidates. It was made very clear that the event will be a strong reflection on the two unions hosting the event. We took that feedback under consideration in arriving at the format we did.

Candidates will be guests of the HEA and the HESPA. Candidates are invited to participate in what we understand to be the only candidate forum open to the public. We do not believe that it is too much to ask that participants abide by the ground rules put in place to address the concerns expressed by those very same individuals.

Part 2 tomorrow.

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