Huntley Teachers Union Lays Down Debate Rules; Snow Says, “Unfair!” – Part 3

This is the final segment of the email exchange between Huntley School Board member Larry Snow and Huntley Education Association spokeswoman Jen Weichle. (See Part 1 and Part 2.)

Below Snow finishes his reasons for declining to participate in last night union teachers union questioning of him and his opponent Mike Skala, whose wife is a teacher and former union leader.

Snow and Skala two the only two candidates who are running against each other for the two-year term. Those seeking four-year terms are unopposed.

Snow is basically contenting that the refusal to allow candidates to compare themselves to their opponents makes the forum a “set-up.”

Here is the rest of Snow’s last email:

“Mr. Skala’s voting for an extremely costly teachers contract and including himself in executive, closed sessions of negotiations with the HEA is a common sense conflict of interest issue in this campaign.

“I can understand where you would want voters to get the impression that this is not an issue by my attending the forum and under your ground rules have it be implied that his voting and acting on behalf of your union is not an issue.

“It is.

“It is so telling that even today Mr. Skala doesn’t admit that voting for his wife to receive an enormous pay raise was a conflict of interest and he shouldn’t have done it.

“Instead he is quoted today, as saying he ‘probably’ shouldn’t have. Your ground rules would not allow me to point out how Mr. Skala has yet to learn what he did was wrong.

“Last year Mr. Skala included himself in an executive closed session meeting of the Board before the teachers union actually went on strike. I understand you might want Mr. Skala to listen in to a secret and highly sensitive discussion of the roll out of board’s communication plan and whether this included hiring replacement teachers.

“It was wrong for Mr. Skala to include himself, and it is less than truthful for Mr. Skala to say he recused himself when, at a critical time and meeting, secret details were discussed, when he included himself. Your ground rules would not permit me to introduce facts to rebut what Mr. Skala’s interpretation of ‘recuse’ is.

“3. Before I got on the board our district had no specific measurable ACT goals, management goals or other test score goals.

“Your ground rules would not permit me to point how how before I was on the board Mr. Skala did nothing to put accountability in this regard for the education of our district. Your ground rules would also prevent my pointing out how Mr. Skala voted for budgets that caused deficit spending.

“I truly understand why the HEA wants to cover up Mr. Skala’s actions and voting record, and not allow me to compare it with mine so voters are not informed. Residents voted him out of office in the last election.

“I took a public position as lead or ‘chief’ negotiator the HEA’s strike was wrong and unnecessary.

“I understand how you may not want to give me the opportunity at your forum to point out how Mr. Skala did not (and refused) to publicly say the strike was wrong while it was happening.

“Your ground rules are intended to make your event a publicity event for Mr. Skala with restrictions that favor Mrs. Skala’s husband.

“Your remarks have highlighted how it will not be a neutral event but showcase the union’s bias (referring to your ‘strong reflections’ words) Again, I decline your invitation and have canceled the help I might need to physically attend your event.

“I appreciate your answering my questions about the ground rules and the intentions of the HEA having the event.


“Larry Snow”

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