MCC Board Contract Extension for Vicky Smith Brings More Negative Publicity

Dennis Adams

Dennis Adams

At the Thursday night McHenry County College Board meeting, retiring Trustee Dennis Adams argued against extending MCC President Vicky Smith’s contract through June 30, 2015.

“I don’t think any harm would come until the end of June,” he said, adding that he thought the new Board members would come to realize Smith should be retained.

“It has the appearance of impropriety.  It will have a long life…It is an affront to the new Board members.  It has nothing to do with Ms. Smith’s performance.  It has to do with the process.

“It is not urgent.  It doesn’t have to happen today.”

Before any vote, the contract already ran through June 30, 2014.

After the contract was extended on a 5-2 vote, with outgoing Board members Barbara Walters and Carol Larson being joined by Cynthia Kisser, Linda Liddell and Mary Miller, a meeting was held to install the three newly-elected members–Molly Walsh, Chris Jenner and Tom Wilbeck.

In her last comments Walters complained, “It is now political.  This [MCC] is about students, not moving up the [political ladder].”

Somehow that bothered me.

As a Republican Precinct Committeeman, I knocked on doors in my Algonquin 7 precinct the weekend before the election supporting MCC candidates.

But I also was one of two people in the room that attended the meeting in 1967 when McHenry County College got its start.  (Iris Bryan was the other.)

And, you know who called that meeting?

A Republican Precinct Committeeman–Cal Skinner, Sr.

I was McHenry County Treasurer at the time, certainly a political position.

So, I hope I will be pardoned for pointing out that if “political” people had not started the ball rolling, MCC would not have come into existence in 1968 when a ten-cent per $100 of assessed valuation referendum was passed.

My father served on the first MCC Board.

Later he was elected to the McHenry County Board.

Did he serve on the MCC Board as a stepping stone to higher office?

Considering my father came within a couple of hundred votes of winning the County Auditor’s race against the McHenry County Board Chairman in 1964, the MCC Board service certainly wasn’t a prelude to running for county office.

When I spoke before the installation meeting, I pointed out that the old Board’s action would result in more negative publicity for the College.

And, as you can see below, my prediction was fulfilled:

The Northwest Herald's front page the day after the outgoing MCC Board extended Vicky Smith's contract.

The Northwest Herald’s front page the day after the outgoing MCC Board extended Vicky Smith’s contract.


MCC Board Contract Extension for Vicky Smith Brings More Negative Publicity — 4 Comments

  1. The decision to extend Vicki Smith’s contract before the new board is seated represents everything that is wrong with Illinois politics, given her contract already ran through June 30, 2014.

    The decision receives an F-.

    The decision does not represent the wishes of the taxpayers, because the taxpayers have voted in new board members whom have not yet been seated.

    The board members who voted on this contract extension, yet will not retain their board seats as a result of the April 2013 MCC Board election, are lame duck board members.

    The decision to extend the MCC President’s contract was a show of political power by lame duck board members.

    Extending the contract of a President of a Community College or the Superintendent of a local public school, a year or two or three before the contract expires, happens all too often in Illinois politics.

    Public Pre-K thru high school public schools and community colleges are monopolistic governmental political bureaucracies.

  2. My last comment above should not be construed to be against public education.

    Rather, public education in Illinois has morphed into a machine over the last 40 years and the public largely has no clue how the machine operates.

    The machine is in serious need of competition and reform.

    The first step is awareness and admission.

    Recognize there is a machine.

    Community Colleges and Public Schools are not simply public education to educate children and adults.

    Public Education is a Machine.

    The Machine has a monopoly on taxpayer dollars.

    The Machine is government.

    The Machine is incredibly political at the Federal, State, and Local level.

    There is hope.

    The Machine is a bureaucracy.

    You and your children walk into a machine every day they walk into a public community college or school.
    Quality people and successes do exist in the machine that want to change the machine but they are largely engulfed by the machine.

    The best thing the public education machine could be compared to is Chicago and Cook County politics, and many people are aware that is a machine.

    One primary method the machine has been created is by changing the Illinois State Constitution and State Laws.

  3. April 25, 2013 MCC Board Meeting.

    Vote to extend the expiration of President Vicki Smith’s contract from June 30, 2014 to June 30, 2015 passed with a 5-2 margin.

    Barbara Walters – Voted for extension. Lame Duck (outgoing member).

    Carol Larson – Voted for extension. Lame Duck (outgoing board member).

    Cynthia Kisser – Voted for extension.

    Linda Liddell – Voted for extension.

    Mary Miller – Voted for extension.

    Ron Parrish – Voted against extension.

    Dennis Adams – Voted against extension. Lame duck (outgoing member).

    Three new board members sworn in .

    Molly Walsh – New board member. Sworn into office after extension vote.

    Chris Jenner – New board member. Sworn in after extension vote.

    Tom Wilbeck – New board member.

    Three new board officers.

    New Board President: Ron Parrish.

    New Board Vice-Chair: Linda Liddell.

    Chris Jenner – New Secretary.

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