Seven citizens delivered messages to the Crystal Lake District 155 High School Board Tuesday night before it went behind closed doors to evaluate the year’s performance of Superintendent Johnnie Thomas.
A suggestion for more transparency came from McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz.
Board President Ted Wagner, replying to the assumption of many in the crowd that the Board would come out of Executive (secred) Session said,”There’s nothing going to be voted upon tonight.”
He pointed out board members objected to having to evaluate Thomas last year late into the night and deciding not to repeat that this year.
“The money tree is empty,” Fox River Grove resident Lisa Siedentop-Wing told the board.
Bill Lyons wanted to know who convinced the board to bypass the City of Crystal Lake in the building of the bleachers.
He said he had asked a year ago and still had not gotten an answer and the public “deserve to know where the responsibility lies.”
He also asked for a public apology for “the poor leadership” displayed.
Jim Bishop, a former President of the D155 School Board delivered three points. He criticized
- Thomas for not participating in a citizen attempt to mediate between the city and the school district
- the sending out of a memo to parents saying never before had D155 gone to municipalities with regard to zoning matters. “That was recklessly false.”
- the lack of leadership’s attending the oral arguments before the appellate court
Crystal Lake Paul Mingus criticized the lack of transparency, especially the lack of audio or visual transmission of the meetings.
Andrew Gasser read a letter from his father Andrew Gasser that was sharply critical of the possibility of a bonus for Thomas or other administrators.
“No one has earned it.”
He contended the school district was “the poster child of how not to engage the public.”
Gasser pointed out that county government had cut its tax levy but “that hard work was erased by District 155.”
The conclusion was
“We the people are watching you.
“The taxpayers of McHenry County are watching you.”
When the Board reconvened, it took no action.