The margin was overwhelming on election day.
65% to 35%.
Before adding in absentee and early votes, Skala led the two-county school district by about 3,700 to 1,300.
Mike Skala, who lost a campaign two years ago while Huntley School District 158 Board President to Aileen Seedorf, Kevin Gentry and Jim Carlin, trounced elected incumbent Larry Snow.
Skala can again refer to himself as an “elected school board member,” rather than an “appointed school board member.”
Skala’s was a well-run campaign.
Snow’s was handicapped by an automobile accident that left him incapable of mounting a door-to-door campaign.
Skala’s campaign consisted of at least three mailings, including a post card of endorsement from State Representative and McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Mike Tryon, one of the recipients of a generous Skala company contribution, and Pam Althoff, similarly, a recipient of a generous contribution.
He had two at least other mailings, neither of which I got a copy of.
There was a phone call the last weekend and plenty of signs, none of which could I find a mere one hour after the polls closed. Skala’s efficient organization had taken them all down. Virtually all seem to have been illegally put on the public right of way.
I especially like the homemade-looking ones (maybe they were homemade) saying, “Vote Today.”
That’s an innovation worth copying.
My guess is that Skala’s was a classic voter identification and get out the vote campaign built upon the base of approximately 1,000 teachers and family members who live within the District 158 boundaries.
More than teachers and their families voted for Skala, of course.
He got almost 2,000 votes in McHenry County and 317 in the Kane County part of Sun City. Still incomplete, but let’s say 2,300-plus.
Two years ago, in his close loss, Skala received 1,570 votes in McHenry County and 301 in Kane County. That’s almost 1,900.
Four years ago, Snow got 1,877 in McHenry County and 1,191 in Kane County for 2,978, more than Skala received this time around.
Snow got 833 in McHenry this year and 462 in Kane, totally about 1,300. A 1,600 vote drop off.
So Skala’s vote increased 400 from two years ago and Snow’s decreased 1,600 from four years ago.
Of course, people aren’t as angry today about the deceptive tax hike Skala spoke for way back then. Political memories are short.
Politicians who hike taxes count on that.
And, lots of the Sun City folks probably have not yet returned from their snowbird homes, since Easter is next weekend.
It is interesting to note that most of Snow’s supporters did not vote for the four unopposed candidates for the four-year seats. Those spots will be filled by incumbents Shawn Green and Kim Skaja, plus newcomers Paul Troy and Donald Drzal.
Typically, lots of people are turned off by the type of smear campaign mounted by Skala’s allies.
Voters decide just not to participate.
That is exactly the reaction that those mounting the smear campaign usually hope for.
I wonder if this was a deliberately thought out strategy by the Skala campaign manager.
In any event, Skala’s campaign was obviously professionally managed and adequately financed.
I can hear the cheers of the teachers for the husband of their former co-president.
No more pesky questions on behalf of the taxpayers from Larry Snow.
No more forensic audits being pushed to look at illegally approved payments to administrators, which were never recovered by the board majority.
No more questions from Snow about why sexual harassment settlements are not discussed at public board meetings.
No more from Snow questions about why cronies are being pushed for high paid district positions for which they are unqualified.
And, most importantly, no more Larry Snow as chief salary negotiator.
The question remains whether this “lesson” will keep future taxpayer-oriented citizens from daring to invade the teacher-controlled school board majority citadel.
Back to the old way of doing things.
I wonder when the next tax hike referendum will be held.