Northwest Herald Commentary on the Huntley School Board Majority Threats and Slander

It’s pretty clear that the Northwest Herald biggies have decided it’s pile on time in the Huntley District 158 School Board controversy.

And who are the editors piling on?

Is it the policeman who called the two minority board members, Aileen Seedorf and Larry Snow, terrorists?

Not a chance, although this editorial is big enough admit that School Board President Shawn Green’s “likening Seedorf and Snow to terrorists was way over the top.”

Later in the editorial, noting that fellow majority bloc board member Tony Quagliano has apologized for physically threatening a woman, the Herald biggies suggests Green should also apologize.

Isn’t that special?

Not a word about his refusal to do so last Thursday night.

It’s a good thing the two minority board members don’t have an attorney friend or Green could be in a position similar to the Northwest Herald’s sister paper. The Kane County Chronicle lost a libel and false light suit when Illinois Supreme Court Justice Robert Thomas successfully sued it.

I’d love to see a Green lawyer trying to defend a policeman, whom one would think would have had some training in recognizing terrorist acts, who labeled his fellow board members as “terrorists,” wouldn’t you?

It cost the parent company of the Northwest Herald (and/or its insurance company) a goodly sum of money after it lost a jury trial. I wonder how much a jury would award to Seedorf and Snow, should they sue Green. Since the terrorist charge was made to a newspaper reporter and not at a board meeting, I would think the district would not pay his attorney in such a suit, wouldn’t you?

Paying for legal fees alone might put Green in big financial trouble.

What if one of the two minority members had called Green a Nazi for his desire to stifle debate on the school board he chairs?

Would Seedorf and Snow have gotten off as easily as Green did in the Northwest Herald?

But stiffing debate is just what the editorial suggests, so no problem for Green and the majority bloc there.

“Use procedural votes
to control meetings and debate,”

is the editorial’s suggestion.

I guess that sounds more acceptable than

“Muzzle the opposition!”

Group editor Chris Krug put in two more cents in his Sunday column (paragraphing added):

“Should I have written about the shenanigans in Huntley School District 158?

“According to published reports in the Northwest Herald, a handful of school board members had a little dust-up while banging the chalk out of the erasers. Although there was no hair pulled or knuckle sandwiches served, it appears as if fighting words were exchanged.

“Settle it at the bike rack at 3 p.m., gang. We’ll Webcast it.”

Krug, of course, is the one who called opponents to the McHenry County College baseball stadium “cranks, crabs and curmudgeons.”

I guess we opponents should be thankful that Krug is familiar with libel law and didn’t call us “terrorists.”

Cindi Wyss, the person just named community editor for Huntley and Lake in the Hills and nearby communities, also expressed her opinion of the situation:

“If I were a Huntley taxpayer, all I’d want for Christmas would be a functional school board. Threat allegations between board members. Complaints filed with police. Complaints filed with the state’s attorney’s office.

”Community leaders? More like Jerry Springer guests.”

I, for one, hope she assigns Huntley reporter Tom Musick to find out who has made what allegations to whom. Who pointed out what laws were broken by whom?

Of course, I hoped the Northwest Herald would report on the devastating critique by Economics Research Associates of EquityOne’s financial projections on the baseball stadium, but they are still being withheld from readers’ eyes.

From her past columns I must admit that I would have thought that Wyss would have empathized with a woman being threatened with physical violence. I wonder what Wyss would have done if someone had threatened her with physical violence.

Keeping silent would not be in Wyss’ nature, I’d be willing to bet.

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