Better late than never, I guess.
The Northwest Herald did not endorse anyone in the Huntley School District 158 school board race between Mike Skala and Larry Snow.
After one of the dirtiest campaigns I have seen the two that led to my unseating in 2000, Snow lost over 70%-30%.
One could easily argue that an endorsement would have made no difference.
But is is nice (that’s about the strongest word I can come up with) for the NW Herald editorial writers to notice that Snow has made a difference in the way District 158 operates.
He failed in his efforts to keep unemployed board majority member Glen Stewart from getting the $101,000 Chief Operating Officer post when Skala was board president and Stewart, elected when Snow was, still served on the board.
That was the position for which a professional from the Cincinnati school district paid his own air fare to be interviewed, but withdrew his name from consideration when he saw the fix was in for Stewart. That’s Stewart shaking hands to express appreciation with a very surprised Skala after the board meeting where he got the good job, but before Stewart resigned from the board.
It appears Snow’s evaluation of Stewart was on the mark, because Stewart mysteriously left his post last spring. No reason was ever made public.
The open warfare on the board mysteriously ended after Stewart and 2007 board winner Jim Carlin left the scene. The board even allowed Snow to be chief negotiator with the school teachers.
Skala’s wife was a union official of the Huntley Education Association. Skala voted for the contract in 2002 and continued to attend secret strategy union negotiation meetings in 2006 and 2008, even though he announced that he would not vote on the final deal.
Maybe that was a set-up for the election fall he took last week.
Snow was more successful in preventing another friend of the board majority from getting the pretty important post of curriculum director.
(If you want to see how far behind Huntley High School is from where the much more profession Crystal Lake High School District 155 is, read this explanation of how a teacher of any of the four high schools can go on the internet to find out what she or he is supposed to be teaching in a class.)
And the NW Herald does not even mention Snow’s fight against cronyism in is editorial, which hopes
“…that losing Snow
will not equate
with the board losing
Fat chance of independent thought and honest discussion with the board majority now having 6-1 control. The only one left who asks questions will be Snow ally Aileen Seedorf.
One person, of course, can’t even get a subject discussed if the board majority doesn’t want it to be exposed to the light of day.
Under Skala’s leadership, as the editorial points out,
“…voters were told that the rate increase would be less than half of what the district actually could access. The district soon would deal with revelations of financial missteps and revolving administrators.”
Snow blew the whistle at his own expense before the referendum passed and was called a liar and vilified for doing so.
The editorial mentions Skala and his board majority’s attempted to intimidate Snow from talking to the press.
Snow, of course, had read the First Amendment.
The board did something when Snow was on the board that I have seen no other school board do.
It made public its salary proposal and the union demands. The Northwest Herald did not mention that in its editorial.
I will give odds this will never happen again in Huntley as long as this union-dominated school board majority is in control. I’ll be surprised to see it happen anywhere else either.
When Skala was in control, the public did not see the contract until after it was ratified and, even then, it was changed from what the teachers voted upon…to the teachers’ benefit.
“Upcoming meetings might be more cordial,” the editorial concludes.
“But the District 158 board cannot slip back into the nearly hypnotic state that led to the messes of 2004.”
One thing is certain. All the major decisions will be made before the meeting and honest discussion will be inhibited.
As I said in my analysis of the election,
“I wonder when the next tax hike referendum will be held.”