On Saturday morning Sun City hosted a candidates’ forum for Huntley school board candidates.
There is only one contested race. Larry Snow, who is running for re-election, versus Mike Skala, who as board president was voted out of office in the last election. Aileen Seedorf was the top vote getter and Skala didn’t make the top “vote for 3” list.
The event turned out to be a tag team match with the three incumbent board majority board members – Skala, Kim Skaja and Shawn Green – one team and Snow on the other.
Rather than have a one-on-one debate between Snow and Skala, the organizers of the forum gave Skala a huge advantage. They included all of the uncontested candidates for the four-year terms.
In her opening remarks, Kim Skaja said Snow spun everything.
She attacked Snow for having helped Seedorf win election to the Board in the last election.
Seedorf did best in Sun City, so it seemed a strange venue for such an attack.
Next up was Snow opponent Skala. He advised the audience not to listen to what Snow said at the forum because he is always “spinning” everything.
Strangely enough, that, in itself, sounds like “a spin.”
Green, who genuinely dislikes Snow, savaged him in an attack which had nothing to do with his District 158 performance.
Snow was seated by the forum committee so he would give the last opening remarks.
His first sentence was,
“My proposals as a board member are saving our district millions of dollars.”
After making a few more comments, Snow said,
“I describe my accomplishments in detail at my web site VoteForLarrySnow.com.”
Referring to his opponent Skala, Snow got off one of the best lines of the day:
Moderator Shelly Appleton seemed less than fair minded in how he conducted the forum.
After both Skala and Skaja were allowed to speak for a combined 10 minutes (answers were supposed to be kept to one minute) for a question they were asked to answer, Snow asked if he could comment.
The reply was “No.”
But when a question was only asked for Snow to answer, Green asked to speak and offer his comment as a police officer.
Yes, that’s right, not as candidate Green but as “Officer” Green.
The audience started saying and yelling, “No, No!” It was obvious it was going to be a personal attack.
The moderator let Green speak. He launched a personal attack on Snow.
As Green went on audience members continued to say, “No, No, No.”
Continuing, Green ignored the audience.
What Officer Green tried to pin on Snow was “spousal abuse.” Green knows Snow hasn’t been married for well over 13 years, yet tried to tag him with the political smear.
Snow response at the forum was simple:
“You can see what I have to deal with and what the challenges are of being on this board.”
Virtually all of Skala’s campaign against Snow consists of personal smears.
It’s as if Skala tried campaigning on the issues two years ago, lost his seat and doesn’t want to risk a similar outcome this time around.
One might sense there is something a bit unsettling when a police officer specifically references his status as a police officer in a political campaign to imply a candidate, who he is not even running against him, committed a crime 15 years ago.
Green didn’t say,
“Can I comment?”
“Can I speak to that?”
He said something like,
“Would you like to hear how a police officer sees this?”
The original question was about Snow’s auto accident. Moderator Appleton let Green first attack Snow on this and then go on to other personal attacks.
Maybe Green and his buddies on the force will be sitting around having beers and laughing about how he implied a citizen committed a crime.
If you don’t think Green was “implying,” then you have to ask why Green started quoting statistics on the number of women who don’t report spousal abuse, not sexual harassment, about which the school district presumably has actually dealt, considering settlement checks were written last July.
Green made no objection as to how Snow performed his job as a school board member.
The third unopposed candidate, newcomer PaulTroy, spoke before Snow and gave a lengthy commentary about his visit to Ellis Island. He did not engage in personal attacks.
Just curious Cal — were you actually AT this forum to speak to the accuracy of all you have posted here?