The “32%” Raises — 10/22/2009

on 1/21/2009, Curious Resident said… 

That being said, since Chris frequents this forum I thought I’d post a curiosity I had about the amount of focus in the “letter” on the past…and in particular the conclusion:

Accountability would get a jump-start with town hall meetings on why the majority approved a contract that requires higher property taxes to fund 32 percent raises.

It makes sense to clearly know “where we are”, but I guess I don’t know what we expect to achieve from reviewing the past and assigning “accountability”. It won’t change where we are and it would seem to take away from focusing on “where do we go from here”.

What’s the thinking?

and i replied…

As you point out, RBHS’ 32 percent raises and their impact on school finances and our property taxes have received scant attention. Not surprisingly, the Board has done all it can to avoid awareness of the contract “negotiation” and impact as such.

To get out of this fiscal mess, overcome the reign of error listed in the piece and shape RBHS into Illinois’ premiere public high school of its size, we need to know exactly how all this happened.

I assert we cannot simply blame a departed superintendent/principal as, I regret, some members of the Board seem bent on doing, and let it go at that. In light of the Board’s statutory responsibility to oversee the superintendent, that is convenient and evasive institutional question-begging.

The search firm reported that RBHS needs its integrity restored and that “accountability” is desired by all of its constituencies. “Accountability” for the disasters we have seen begins when those responsible are held accountable for their results.

That means public attention and understanding. The public attention you mention, and I hope the Landmark piece engenders, including this exchange before Riversideinfo readers, will, I hope, help clarify how we got here, so we know how not to return here.

POSTED THURSDAY OCT 22, 2009 06:32 #
and now i add:
the accountability i sought was public awareness of all who voted for the contract, against a referendum on the $5 million of  working cash bonds, and who then voted to issue the working cash bonds.  my thought was the more people understood what had been done, the less chance any of those folks would remain on the board.
one year later, i told jim marciniak i would publicly oppose his re-election, and by filing in 2010, neither he nor larry herbst, nor mariann liebrandt, nor the cicero lady had filed to run again.  the knowledge they had scampered away instead of fight for their disastrous contract was a moment of relief, signaling a new era.  in a lovely twist, laura hruska ran again, as the sole board member to have opposed the contract, and she walked onto the board.
Explore posts in the same categories: Riverside Brookfield High School -- Turnaround

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