Citizen Vetter Attends Second CL Grade School Meeting

Newly election Republican Precinct Committeeman from a mainly northern Four Colonies precinct reports on attending his seconde Crystal Lake Grade School Board meeting:

So, I attended my second D47 School Board Meeting on March 22nd. The meeting started off with a presentation and demonstration of the very impressive and fruitful program, Reading Recovery.

I encourage all to look into this program and its success. (

District 47 Board President Jeff Mason

District 47 Board President Jeff Mason introducing the children from the Reading Recovery program, who were going to read a book to the board members.

As soon as this was completed, Board President, Jeff Mason, addressed the people congregated and I quote,

“We will begin the meeting shortly and we do not expect you parents to sit through the whole meeting, so we will give you a moment to exit. Thank you for coming.”

First of all, I want to make sure to set the record straight. I DO NOT believe that Mr. Mason meant any bitterness within this statement.

I do not believe he intended to, in any way, tell anyone to leave outright.

Although I think, I would have stated it differently. I would have presented it with as much “invitation” as I could possibly muster because these parents SHOULD be attending the board meetings.

But, it was understandable as they all had their children in tow.

What I do want to do, is take this statement and make it UNUSABLE in the future!

I want to send out a request to ALL precinct committeemen and committeewomen, within the D47 boundaries.

This request is to get involved, get your constituents involved and make sure that our opinions and needs are being met by this school board.

What I would love to see the board do is to wonder how many more seats need to be set up instead of waiting for people to leave.

After all the parents, family and children had left, I was once again the lone attendant that was not a teacher, principal or administrator.

This is unacceptable!

We, the taxpayers, the parents and homeowners, must be present and involved, especially once it comes down to our tax dollars and the levels of taxation set forth for us.

I CHALLENGE all D47 precinct committeemen and committeewomen to attend at least one meeting a month.

I CHALLENGE all D47 precinct committeemen and committeewomen to recruit at least one of their constituents to participate in the meetings.

I CHALLENGE all D47 precinct committeemen and committeewomen to start asking questions within their precinct about taxes and what their constituents concerns are.

I CHALLENGE all D47 precinct committeemen and committeewomen to help me start stating “WE” instead of “I” when I write these blog entries!

I understand Republicans and Democrats are at work for the battle in the upcoming election. I understand we all have candidates to push for in November. But I ask you while you are out there while you are knocking on doors and shaking hands, that you take on my challenges and we start to see a greater interest in what is happening at these school board meetings!

Are you a new precinct committeeman or committeewoman? Are you newly elected? Re-elected? Please contact me. ( or (847) 445-2927) Please get involved. I’m not asking much, just that we get involved! I look forward to seeing more of you at the next meeting. I look forward to seeing some parents, taxpayers and homeowners at the next session. I look forward.

See you at the next meeting on April 4th, 7 pm at the Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 CORE Center, 300 Commerce Dr. Crystal Lake, IL 60014.

I will be the guy in the bow tie if you want to say hi!


Citizen Vetter Attends Second CL Grade School Meeting — 14 Comments

  1. The Rah Rah PR bit before the board meeting is standard practice at many if not most school boards, followed by the feel free to leave comment, which has caught the attention of more than a few people suspect of the speakers motivations.

    Have never heard, not once, a Board stating they encourage parents to stay if they have time or come back for another board meeting, that the Board welcomes parent involvement in school board meetings.


    Would be good to read what the watchdog thought citizens should know about the board meeting.

    Woodstock and a few others are watching Woodstock District 200.

  2. Just like Crystal Lake / Cary / Fox River Grove High School District 155, the Crystal Lake Elementary School District does not videotape board meetings, and thus does not indefinitely archive the tapes on its website, and does not have a board packet for citizens, thus does not have the board packet available for citizens prior to the board meeting.

    Look at McHenry County College Board site to see what might be contained in a board packet, and for an example of a taped board meeting.

    Videotaped board meetings and board packets for citizens are basic transparency measures.

  3. Here is a way to get parents really involved let them pay for their own children attending school, and tax payers who do not have kids in school can stop having to pay !

    then may be they will pay more attention to what is going on.

    This would also stop any more frivolous lawsuits from taking place since the extra $$ won’t be available to entice any gov to just throw away over and over.

  4. In McHenry it was recently proposed a d rejected that we begin video taping our meetings.

    Because they will not being keeping an official record, I have begun taping the meetings and posting them myself.

    Check out if you are a resident of district 15 in McHenry.

  5. Mark!!!
    Thank you for the inspitation!

    Videotaping and or live feed!

    I wonder if that is allowed!

    Going to have to look into that!


  6. Erik, please contact me.

    I would like to know more about your efforts.

    Thank you!

  7. Scott, it is absolutely allowed.

    Probably won’t be welcomed, but, absolutely allowed.

  8. Yes it’s allowed.

    It’s a public meeting.

    If they tell you otherwise they are in violation of the open meetings act. (and they can be arrested, I believe)

  9. Just document who votes against taping board meetings and vote them out.

    Videotaping board meetings by citizens is allowed.

    It is helpful there is a local resource.

    It is a good idea to read the open meetings act to understand the rules and watch YouTube videos on the subject.

    Do not rely on the school board or administration or any public body for knowledge on FOIA as they have their best interests in mind not yours.

    Edgar County Watchdogs specialize in the minutae of open meetings act and FOIA, another good resource is Better Government Association, another Citizens Advocacy Center, look on YouTube for videos.

    So there is Susan & a few others in Woodstock, Scott in Crystal Lake Elementary, Erik in McHenry Elementary.

    School boards in McHenty County seem to have lousy transparency, look at websites in Lake.

    DuPage, and Cook for examples of school boards that videotape Board meetings, and examples of boards that post board packets prior to board metrings for citizens to review.

    A lot of municipalities, which are generally smaller than the unit district or combined high school and elementary district in terms of annual revenues, have better transparency than school boards.

    Again, McHenry County College posts board packets prior to board meetings for citizens to review, and videotapes Board meetings and archives them on the website.

    Chris Jenner on the MCCC Board is an ex Cary Elementary District 23 School Board member.

  10. As far back as the 1870 State Constitution education has been free.

    One cannot finance it by user fees, although, as my family learned in 1958, the schools can charge for books, which is something of a user fee.

    In Maryland, Utah and New York, there was no extra charge for books.

  11. The politics in public education in Illinois are stupifying.
    Many Superintendents have the school board wrapped around their finger.

    The unions are the major behind the scenes player with a lot of power locally, nationally, and a the Federal level.

    Every faction has an association with state and national meetings:

    – school board
    – superintendents
    – principals
    – business officials
    – school administrators
    – teacher union
    – other unions which may include teaching assistants, maintenance, bys drivers, etc.
    – PTA or PTO.

    Often the teacher union or once in awhile the superintendent will encourage a person to run for school board whom they know will not cause waves, so called rubber stamoers and cheerleaders.


    Most school districts have a fee schedule on their website.

    If not submit a FOIA request for it.

  12. Re: “Many Superintendents have the school board wrapped around their finger.”

    As do some municipalities, counties, and other units of government which employ an administrator.

    At least within Townships, the one doing the ‘wrapping’ (Supervisor and / or Road Commissioner) is an elected official.

    The problem is that enough voters take the time to attend ANY meetings to observe and learn.

  13. “The problem is that enough voters take the time to attend ANY meetings to observe and learn.”

    Should read:

    The problem is that NOT enough voters take the time to attend ANY meetings to observe and learn.

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