Muzzling the Minority

So a second minority member—Aileen Seedorf–is elected to the Huntley School District 158 board. She even runs first.

Quite a shock to the five-member ruling majority.

Now Larry Snow has someone who can second a motion.

What to do?

Change the rules to muzzle the minority, of course.

Having Board President Shawn Green interrupt them in mid-sentence doesn’t look or sound good on the video recording.

And, letting people know what’s happening two days ahead of time?

The board majority is set to eliminate the requirement that Superintendent John Burkey distribute a tentative agenda 48 hours before the meeting.

And, letting board members put items on the agenda for discussion?

When Snow first got on the board the District used the Illinois School Board Association’s recommendation. Each board member could put an unlimited items on the agenda, but then school board President Mike Skala refused to put Snow’s requested items on.

This got cut to one per meeting by board action.

Then it got increased to two agenda items and, then, to the original—as many as a board members wants.

Now, the items would have to be submitted 4 days before the meeting and comply with other new rules.

How do you like this one?

“Except when exigent circumstances exist, items shall go to committee first. If a suggestion is not approved at committee, it may be brought before the full board at the next regular meeting.”

So, discussion of a topic would routinely be delayed for a month.

Nothing like killing a topic like bus screw-ups for a month.

And, agendas for committee meetings.

Forget that.

The requirement that agendas be available two days ahead of time will be eliminated.

And, if an elected board member wants a topic discussed, again, four days notice is required.

But, the board member making the suggestion doesn’t automatically get the right to speak in favor of his or her suggestion.

“Mother, may I?

will be the game played.

It allows for the board member to place it on the agenda if it is not approved by the majority of the committee. (The board majority has 2 of 3 members on EVERY committee.) Opponents get to publicly discredit anything they don’t like prior to a vote at a regular board meeting.

Sounds very much like Michael Madigan’s Illinois House of Representatives rules.

If, by some miracle, a committee majority agrees, then the item gets put on the consent agenda.

That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Except it means that no discussion will be allowed at the full board meeting.

Oh, yes.

The new rules say that Robert’s Rules of Order shall apply.

Having watched a number of Huntley School Board meetings, I can tell you more than one of the members will need to read the book.

The Northwest Herald’s headline on its internet story by Tom Musick is

“D-158 school board to look
into speeding up process”

If you want speedy government, dictatorships are a good model.

You know.

A police state.

Of course, they don’t allow democracy or dissent.

You can find the policy changes proposed by Board President Shawn Green, seen to the right in an admonishing mood, here.

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