Archive for the ‘Guest Essay’ Category

SD Aug 30

South Barrington resident Ashley Hosette voices her opposition Wednesday to a proposed land deal awaiting approval by the South Barrington Park District board. (Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer)

By Russell Lissau – Daily Herald

The South Barrington Park District’s sale of undeveloped land to the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church has been halted amid community opposition and legal action.

About 40 protesters, including some kids, waved signs and repeated chants including “Stop the sale” and “No PBCC” for a TV news helicopter that briefly hovered far overhead and for journalists on the ground. Their enthusiasm waned after the cameras left but returned shortly before the board meeting started.

The land deal wasn’t on the agenda, but officials moved the session to a gymnasium in anticipation of a large crowd.

About 100 people comprised the audience, and a dozen or so stood before the board to talk against the plan near the start of the meeting. Speakers included Michael Gentile, who complained about a lack of transparency, and Ashley Hosette, who said she was “extremely disappointed” by how the pending deal unfolded.

Before they spoke, the board approved a motion from Commissioner Shelby Elias to prevent any board discussion on items brought up by the audience. Elias cited the pending legal action for her maneuver.

Later, the board went into closed session to discuss unspecified litigation.

South Barrington voters in April approved a plan to sell the site at auction — but the buyer wasn’t determined at that time. When the auction was held in May, the church was the only bidder.

Read the full Daily Herald story here.

Related: “Why South Barrington Park District has halted land sale to church,” “South Barrington Park District proposed property sale updates include request for support,” “Hearing on controversial church plan canceled in South Barrington, but opponents still have their say,” “Why some South Barrington residents oppose plan for new church, school,”  “Nearby South Barrington Park District property sale concerns neighbors

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“Update on sale of 34 acre land, Area N at 59 & Penny: https://www.change.org/p/development-on-bartlett-road-and-route-59 (https://www.change.org/p/development-on-bartlett-road-and-route-59)

One day before a scheduled SBPD (South Barrington Park District) meeting where concerned residents would have had a chance to voice their opposition to the sale, the SBPD tried to close on the sale of the land with the PBCC TODAY at 2pm.

Official complaints have been filed with the Cook County Circuit Court which has STOPPED the sale for now.

We need your help to keep up the momentum.

Rally to oppose the sale will be held: 3 Tennis Club Lane on WEDS 8/30 at 5pm onwards

ABC 7 Chicago will be filming so we need a HUGE turnout!  Spread the word!”

Related: Hearing on controversial church plan canceled in South Barrington, but opponents still have their say,” “Why some South Barrington residents oppose plan for new church, school,”  “Nearby South Barrington Park District property sale concerns neighbors

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Dear Barrington Hills Observer Editor,

In response to a previous article in this publication from 2020, we would like to provide an update to the public regarding the sale of Parcel N located on the corner of Bartlett Road and IL 59, by the South Barrington Park District . Considering the proximity to Barrington Hills, we would like to urge the residents of Barrington Hills for their involvement in stopping the sale of this beautiful land to the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.

Based on our attendance at Village of South Barrington board meetings and South Barrington Park District Meetings, we have the following information:

A) The South Barrington Park District district used taxpayer money to purchase this land for $3M and are now selling it at a loss for $1.75 million. This is a mishandling of our contributions and the original poor purchase decision has resulted in a lack of maintenance and upkeep for our community parks and facilities in addition to a lack of regard for the greater South Barrington communities.

B) The village’s comprehensive plan, dated April 2023, has this area currently designated for parks and future use for single family detached homes. However, the Village is attempting to re-zone the area in an unconstitutional fashion which is not how our elected officials should be upholding municipal code.

C) The proposed buyer (Plymouth Brethren Christian Church) is proposing to build a 17,000 sq ft Church, 20,000 sq ft School, and a parking lot for 281 cars. They will have a pre-school as a part of this school as well as yearly national events held in both facilities.

D) The proposed buyer (Plymouth Brethren Christian Church) does not have members from its congregation residing in the South Barrington or Barrington area, yet they are trying to purchase 32 acres of our community land to build a massive parking lot and a facility that won’t be of any significance to our community. They would also not be paying taxes towards the betterment of our community – any additional police presence, emergency services, etc would be paid for by the citizens of South Barrington.

E) The buyer in question is being asked to leave from their current establishment and location. Historical data and media on the group alludes to issues within this group that we do not want to integrate within our South Barrington or even extended Barrington and Barrington Hills communities.

F) The proposed buyer is also proposing one access point into the residential neighborhood that is located adjacent to Area N

Area N (1)

Exhibit 1: Area/Parcel N (corner of Bartlett Rd and IL Route 59

Church Map

Exhibit 2: Proposed land development by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church

Our goal as a community is not to litigate this matter. However, depending on how this matter continues to develop, we will be forced to pursue legal remedies. This has the potential to delay the matter for a significant amount of time and will not be beneficial for any party.

We urge everyone to do their own research. We included a couple links below to assist the research process. The final public hearing on this matter is being held on August 17, 2023 at the South Barrington Village Hall. If there are further questions, please email us at sbarringtonresidents@gmail.com.

Plymouth Brethren Christian Church Wiki

Plymouth Brethren Christian Church Documentary

Please email us with any questions. In the meantime, please sign our petition against this development.


Concerned South Barrington Residents

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MM State House

Martin McLaughlin, 52nd House District State Representative

By State Rep. Martin McLaughlin
Daily Herald guest columnist

Illinois may be located in the Midwest, but it is home to a surprising and alarming number of deserts. At least that is what the Democrats like to tell us.

Healthcare deserts. Housing deserts. Education deserts. Food deserts. Hospital deserts. Infrastructure deserts. Pharmacy deserts. Transportation deserts. For every problem facing our state, there is an accompanying “desert” associated with it.

And right on queue, there is a measure (SB 850) being considered in the legislature to allow the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create a Grocery Initiative and to study food deserts in Illinois and provide money to underserved areas. In other words, more government spending

The so-called remedy to these “deserts” is not the cure but is instead the underlying problem. Democrats have had total control of the state for a long time, and at no point has the thought occurred to them that just maybe the aggravating factors contributing to all of these “deserts” is the policies they have implemented. The left loves to talk about systemic problems and yet they ignore the systemic problems their policies have created.

Illinois has “deserts” because there is a climate crisis in our state. No, not global warming. A business climate crisis.

The business climate in our state has been ignored for far too long. The Tax Foundation’s 2023 State Business Tax Climate rankings rank Illinois 36th in the nation for the state’s business tax climate, which is down seven spots from the 2018 rankings.

For those naysayers who point to the fact that this survey should be disregarded because it is from a conservative leaning think tank; consider that Chief Executive Magazine ranks Illinois as the third worst state in the nation for doing business. In other words, the policy wonks at the Tax Foundation have a better view of Illinois’ economy than the people making real world decisions on where to locate a business.

And the facts bear this out. In just the last couple of years, Illinois has lost Caterpillar, Boeing, Citadel, and Tyson just to name a few major corporations no longer headquartered in Illinois.

Our state is located in the center of the United States. Illinois is second only to Texas with the most miles of railroad tracks. Only Texas and California have more miles of Interstate highways than Illinois. We also have access to numerous rivers, and Chicago is home to one of the busiest airports in the nation. Illinois should be a destination for companies not a place these businesses are looking to leave.

These companies are leaving not just because of the bad policies in Illinois but also because our state’s leaders continue to refuse to do anything to address our state’s poor business climate. Business leaders have long pointed out the need for a reduced regulatory environment in Illinois. They have also pointed out the need for workers’ compensation reform and to at a minimum stop making concessions every legislative session to the trial bar.

The message our state’s leaders send to businesses is if you locate here, Illinois is going to regulate you to death, tax every aspect of your business and make it easier for your business to be sued out of existence. And we wonder why businesses leave.

What we need is a real climate change in Illinois. We have the second highest property taxes in the nation, and the second highest gas taxes in the nation. The Kim Foxx, Lori Lightfoot, and JB Pritzker soft-on-crime approach is also taking a toll on our business climate. The combination of poor business policies and the alarming rise in crime is the recipe for economic disaster.

We could stop the growing “deserts” in Illinois if we simply made business climate change a priority. Instead, we are making the problems worse by doubling down on the policies that have created these “deserts” in the first place. More jobs and more economic activity will stop Illinois from becoming Death Valley for Illinois businesses.

It is time for real business climate change in Illinois.


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We’ve all heard about woke curriculum. However, the Barrington, IL District 220 is setting the woke bar to a new standard. Graphic sexually explicit content has been placed in the school libraries, and most of the school board is fully on board with it.”

Watch the enlightening and disturbing ten-minute video here.

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Tom Roeser

Updated 7/10/2022 8:58 AM

The Daily Herald Editorial Board regularly seeks opinions and reflections on issues we expect to comment on from a Sounding Board formed as a diverse group of independent suburban voices. In the aftermath of the July 4 shootings in Highland Park, we have struggled to find words to respond to unspeakable crimes with the depth and range of ideas such a tragedy demands. So we decided to hold our own voice for a day and instead turn over the editorial space directly to individuals on the Sounding Board. We asked members who felt comfortable doing so to provide in a few sentences their reactions to the mass shooting and offer their ideas about solutions. This is one essay from that project.

After every shooting tragedy, there is a cry for more gun control. Illinois has some of the tightest gun control regulations and red flag laws yet shootings continue.

One might reflect there are other important issues on which one should reflect. Have we taught that there is a reduced sanctity to life?

Abortion is supported up to birth. Madonna said to burn the White House. Our elected officials imply that a Supreme Court Justice might be expendable or to “get more confrontational.” Most video games are based upon gun violence. Should there be more video game regulations? This is teaching that life is not sacred.

Adding to that, there is the discourse that the most generous country in the world, which is viewed as exceptional by most of the world, is called a racist nation by influential celebrities, some of whom say that people should leave.

Does this discourse add to despair that motivates or justifies these tragedies?

Calls for more gun control may be an excuse for not addressing other causes.


Tom Roeser, of Barrington Hills, is president of OTTO Engineering in Carpentersville. He is a former school board member at Barrington Unit District 220 and is active in numerous community projects, including Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

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By Greg Ganske

May 15, 2022

Before I retired from reconstructive surgery, I cared for toddlers who bit into electrical cords and burned their lips. Maybe that is why I feel like I am bound in a chair, gagged, arms and legs tied, watching a two-year-old chewing through a plugged-in electrical cord when I watch the nightly news.

I see one Biden disaster after another on TV and feel as if I am helplessly waiting for the next to occur. Just when it seems it can’t get worse, something even more worrisome, and in some cases more absurd, happens on the national and international stage.

It starts with the failing mental acuity of President Biden. A year ago, I wrote a column for the Des Moines Register (Opinion: Joe Biden isn’t the person I knew in Congress. He should get cognitive testing, with the result made public.), on Biden’s failing cognition. Sadly, his gibberish has gotten worse.

Recently President Biden spoke about his administration’s request to Congress for additional Ukrainian aid. The president’s inability to even read his teleprompter causes the White House to alter the official transcripts of his word mishmashes.

Biden said the plan would “enhance our underlying effort to accommodate the Russian oligarchs. . .”   Accommodate! Then a weird laugh, “We’re gonna accommodate them.” Then he couldn’t pronounce kleptocrats, “Klep–the guys who are in the kleptocracies. Ha, ha, ha,” accenting the laughs.

The White House official version substituted “hold accountable” for “accommodate.”   Correcting these gaffes is a full-time job at the White House. Last month in talking about lower gas prices, Biden said solar, or heat pumps could “save you $500 per month.” This, too, had to be cleaned up in the official transcripts as it is false.

We watch President Biden with trepidation wondering when he’s next going to bite into the electrical cord.

Read more here.

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App Cap

Earlier today we published the agenda (seen here) for tonight’s Board of Trustees meeting.  We included links to both the approved 2021 Appropriations, and the proposed 2022 Appropriations, and a longtime subscriber shared the following:

“Of the total decrease in Legal Expense ($948,937), decrease in Litigation, Planning/Zoning and FOIA expense ($446,000) represents 56.3 % of the total decrease.

Unless one examines the budget items in detail, one might conclude that the current administration is doing a pretty good job of managing the finances of the Village.  That would be an incorrect assumption.  It hides other areas of the budget (such as Permit Administration) where improper management may be concluded.

It should also be noted that much of the huge legal expense incurred in recent years revolves around the desires of one resident to impose a huge commercial horse boarding operation on residents, in effect having residents subsidizing equestrian amenities and lifestyle to non-residents by giving access to the Equestrian Trail System.”

Related: “Village Board of Trustees meets tonight

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The District 220 Board met last week, and we are here to report that the wheels are coming off the Ficke-Bradford, Collister-Lazzari, Altshuler and Chan Ding, Covid “Fear Mongering Foursome” cart.

If you didn’t attend or watch the meeting(video can be viewed here), it was primarily centered on discussions on Covid Protocols for the upcoming school year. Discussions that D220 parents have anxiously been awaiting so they can decide whether they will leave their kids in the tax funded District or pull them in favor of private, charter or home schooling.

Following are our takeaways from the meeting. We are focusing on the discussions surrounding the masking of your K-5 students, as a majority of the Board gave direction to the Superintendent to come up with a Mask Optional approach for the 6-12 students.

Most disturbing was Chan Dings’ reasoning behind denying parents of grade school students the right to choose whether their children should wear a mask, citing her own fears for her unvaccinated grade school child and wanting her to have an approved vaccine prior to sending her to school without a mask:

“Those parents with kids like me, who are 11 and under, I have one who is in the process of getting vaccinated, I have one who cannot yet get vaccinated, I would like to eventually vaccinate her, but until she is vaccinated, I’m not comfortable with her not wearing a mask while she’s indoors…”

Wang clarified Chan Ding’s comments, stating your daughter can still wear a mask. Chan Ding responded:

“She can still wear a mask but she’s extra vulnerable if unvaccinated kids are around her…”

Putting aside the fact that Chan Ding promised throughout her campaign that she would be an independent voice (…and we all know how long that lasted the minute she showed obvious collusion with Ficke-Bradford, Altshuler, and Collister-Lazzari within seconds of being sworn into office to destroy the decades old tradition and sided with the 3 of them to vote Wilcox out of any officer position on the board despite her 6 years of dedicated and impeccable service to Collister-Lazzari & Altshuler’s 2 years), last we checked, one is sworn to put aside personal motivations when acting on behalf of a community while serving on a school board. Ignoring the voices of in excess of 500 for ones self-serving interests is reason alone to call for a recall of Chan Ding.

We will have to keep a very close eye on Chan Ding moving forward as it appears she is in deep doo-doo with her campaign supporters. Some communications between Chan Ding and a person named Kyla were shared by Kyla on social media and it is apparent that Chan Ding is in major back pedal mode as a result of her position at the last meeting, assuring Kyla that:

“It has been a huge help to receive emails from people with your perspective, as we were getting crushed by emails from anti-maskers… we still need to know there’s a segment of the community that’s behind us doing responsible things… The anti-maskers are incredibly well-organized… This Wednesday, there will be the opportunity to call in a voicemail or show up in person to show the Board and the media who cover the meeting that the other side is just as passionate (and I hope, more respectful).”

It’s obvious now that Chan Ding is not the independent voice she promised to be. She believes there are sides, and she has taken one. She believes that those who asked her for mask choice are “anti-maskers”. She believes that those who came before her last week to advocate on behalf of their children are disrespectful. And she has also advised Kyla that “volume matters” and to encourage people to email and show up to address the Board on a mask mandate.

Graphic 1

Graphic 2

Perhaps most disturbing was the very palpable orchestration by Ficke-Bradford to manipulate the votes of Altshuler, Chan Ding, and Collister-Lazzari, when they failed to be able to closely adhere to what was obviously discussed by the four of them prior to meeting.

The pre-meeting discussions were as much admitted to by Chan Ding and reinforced by her jumping in at the very beginning of the discussion to seek a “compromise”. For those not familiar with the Open Meetings Act (OMA), discussions by board members are to be held in front of the public that they represent. Any discussion outside of the public by more than 3 members is a violation of the OMA. While there are ways around this, we doubt that these members are savvy enough to adhere to them.

So, how else could Chan Ding be seeking a compromise at the beginning of the meeting unless she’d already determined that there were members who weren’t in agreement with her? It seems the “Fear Mongering Foursome” was thrown off when the Board was provided four different options to pursue:

  1. Universal Masking
  2. Non-Vaccinated Masking
  3. Phased Masking, and
  4. Mask Optional

Ficke-Bradford reinforced the coercion of the Fear Mongering Foursome, re-directing the opinions of Altshuler and Collister-Lazzari who clearly desired Non-Vaccinated Masking, repeatedly saying each time after they voiced their opinion: “…it sounds to me like you are leaning towards phased masking…” which Chan Ding was in favor of for K-5 students.

“I’m for non-vaccinated masking for 6 to 12 and for masking for elementary, and then for phased masking for all of them…” Collister-Lazzari repeatedly stated, with Ficke-Bradford re-directing, because they had already lost the 6 to 12 discussions when Chan Ding agreed to Mask Optional for those grades with Karam, Wang and Wilcox. While the crowd did become boisterous on occasion, Collister-Lazzari showed herself to be completely incapable of living in reality:

“I don’t think it’s fair to blame the school board for closing school last year… for having kids be at home… I think there was a pandemic and school was closed all over the world…”

So, the inability to open D220 schools is our fault due to Covid and not the school board that she was a member of and that voted to keep schools closed? Yet the new Superintendent came from a school district that remained open during the spring semester, so it can’t be Covid, can it?

According to Collister-Lazzari, we should be rejoicing those kids are going back to school. But she fails to mention that the decision to do so came amidst a mandate from the Illinois State Board of Education that schools return to in-person learning this fall. I think we all know where Collister-Lazzari’s vote would have been on the issue absent the mandate.

Altshuler “shared his heart…” admitting there were hundreds of emails and he was not capable of responding to all of them, in favor of Mask Optional. We know that any insinuation that there was a vocal pro-mask population out there before the meeting was false when Karam responded to Collister-Lazzari’s claim that people in favor of masking may have stayed home to attend the meeting online (as Collister-Lazzari commanded all critics of her and her band of maskers should) sharing that the BOE members had received only seven (7) communications advocating for masks compared to the countless ones requesting the BOE to make masks optional.

Altshuler, further sharing his heart, stated

“… if we say no masking, or mask optional, then I feel like we are prejudiced against the people who want to mask…”

What?! Offering a choice is a sign of prejudice? When questioned by the crowd that it was clearly not prejudicial since people would have the option, pointing out that Altshuler himself was wearing a mask at his own discretion, he responded:

“I have a mask on because I’m not feeling well and I don’t want to get everyone else sick. I’m trying to be a good citizen…”

Yet we know this ‘good citizen’ was not wearing a mask before the public meeting, having seen him walking around inside the building prior to the meeting without one. Rumor has it he didn’t have one on in closed session either.

Perhaps Altshuler was suddenly overcome with sickness when he saw that hundreds of parents and children of D220 had shown up to speak their voice on allowing mask choice to the students of D220? Whatever the cause, we know from Alshuler’s public comments during meetings and on his social media pages that he admonished people to “Stay home if unwell” and “Stay home when we are not feeling well,” so the ‘good citizen’ doc should have followed his own advice and removed himself from the meeting as soon as he was not feeling well. (See Facebook posts of Barry Altshuler – 220 School Board on January 9 and March 5, 2021).

After all, what was the point of his presence when there was no formal vote on the agenda and everyone on the Board seemed to already know that he is in favor of keeping the District, possibly the world, in masks? At one point in discussing a future meeting on the subject, the new Superintendent leaned over to Altshuler and said to him:

“Well let’s be honest, your vote is not going to change… your vote is not going to change to vote unmasked…” and our resident pediatrician responded, “I cannot get to unmasking…”

So, finally some honesty from the ‘good citizen’.

It appears that Ficke-Bradford has lost more than just control of the room (has anyone ever banged a gavel more), she has also lost control of the Fear Mongering Foursome, despite her constant attempts to re-phrase their opinions and to direct their ‘votes’ … “it sounds to me like you are leaning towards…”

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220 Green

Did you know you need to be approved by a school board’s candidate steering committee?  You didn’t?  Neither did former Marine, Masters Degree educated teaching  professional Alex Strobl. He learned this very quickly when he decided to run for Barrington District 220 School Board last December.  To be fair, there isn’t an actual steering committee, just a bunch of local partisan, woke “agendists”, pulling strings behind the scenes, making sure that anyone who runs for the Board shares their leftist ideals and philosophies.  Alex Strobl surely wasn’t aware of this when he accepted an invitation from what he thought was a group of interested parents who might get behind his candidacy.  He thought the Zoom call he was invited to would be informal, cordial, informative and helpful in assessing his chances to win election to the school board.

He was surprised that there were about 30 people on the call, including:

  • Penny Kazmier – current D220 Board President
  • Sandra Bradford-Fike – incumbent Board Member running for re-election
  • Maria Peterson – former Democratic candidate for Lake County Board
  • Members of the Illinois Education Association, local Barrington teachers’ union and other official and non-official local organizations

(It should be noted that the two D220 Board members, Kazmier and Fike-Bradford, never notified the other five D220 school board members about this meeting, and thus, they possibly broke several Open Meetings Act laws, not to mention violated ethics policies and standards of practice for any public board member.)

As you will read from Mr. Strobl himself, this was not a “get to know you …how can we help you” call.  This was a full interview and a formal vetting.  And it was evident from the start, if the candidate didn’t share the “woke” agenda of the panel, he was not welcome.  By the end of the interview, Alex was confused and disappointed in the questions and responses from the unofficial tribunal. He decided that this was NOT for him and this whole vetting process did not make sense.  Who were these people? Who gave them authority? How could his candidacy succeed after this inquisition.  He withdrew from the ballot shortly thereafter.

He decided to chalk it up to experience, and put the whole incident behind him until an article showed up on March 27th https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20210326/league-of-women-voters-decries-party-politics-in-barrington-local-elections in the Daily Herald from Elena Ferrarin and then another https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20210330/party-support-appearing-in-district-211-other-local-races?cid=search by Eric Petersen on March 30th.

In the articles, co-President of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of the Palatine Area, Vicki Martin and others criticized a group of local Barrington moms who had assembled to run for the D220 school board and other offices, accusing them of infusing party politics into non-partisan local elections. The LWV claims of partisan organization were unfounded and frankly stung Alex as quite ironic, based on his experience.

This is what prompted him to submit his letter attached:

It is with heavy heart that I write this but I could not remain silent. My name is Alex Strobl. I am a resident of Lake Barrington, a parent of three elementary aged students, and a former teacher and coach at Barrington High School (2005-2015). Recently I was a candidate running for the Barrington Area Unit School District 220. I am writing to share my experience in running for the school board and why I ultimately dropped my candidacy due to the partisan nature of some of the members on the school board.

I write now in response to (and to further expand on) a Daily Herald article titled “League of Women Voters decries party politics in Barrington local elections.” This article struck a chord with me as I agree that transparency is key. My purpose is to inform my community members and to shed additional light on the process as I experienced it. Specifically to inform you that currently two members of the school board are working hand in hand with partisan groups to select, vet, and sponsor candidates of their choosing. While I believe in robust political engagement of citizens across the spectrum, I believe it is a conflict of interest for school board members – who are in non-partisan positions – to actively be working with groups who select and vet candidates along partisan/ideological lines.

In December I was contacted by a current board member to run. I had previously expressed interest in running for a school board position to that board member and appreciated them reaching out. I am passionate about education, well versed on how things operate within the district, and I thought I could make a positive impact. Like many others, I want what is best for the children of Barrington.

I was told that I would be put in touch with a group that was initially described to me as a “group of community parents that could help get out the vote” and one that has helped to “elect other candidates.” Days later, someone else reached out to me to set up a meeting. The next day I signed into a Zoom call with about thirty members of the community. On the call were two current school board members: Penny Kazmier (current president) and Sandra Ficke-Bradford. I was told at the time that the group was a sort of steering committee and that the group was looking to diversify the school board in Barrington. The discussion we had and the questions that were asked seemed to be at one end of the spectrum. I mentioned to the group that I was not only a social studies teacher but was also an executive coach and a former Marine. In each instance, when I responded, my answers were analyzed and a member of the committee would “encourage” me to fine-tune it or at times to reframe it in another way. It was not at all what I expected. I had expected more of a dialogue in my first interaction. More importantly, I was taken aback that I was speaking to a group which I felt represented the school board and was left feeling that I did not fit their desired mold. Again, citizen groups can align to whomever they choose. The difficulty comes with the addition of school board members and the feeling that I needed to change to be welcomed on the board. I felt this interaction represented the board at large because I had been put in touch with the group by a current member coupled with the visible presence and participation of another two board members on the call. In short, in the weeks after the call I was disheartened by what I perceived to be the partisan nature of the group and a directive around what could and could not be said. It is ultimately why I withdrew from the race.

I have genuine desire to help unite this community and serve the students in another capacity. Perhaps I was a little naïve in believing that a non-partisan position such as the school board could ultimately be non-partisan. That said, I feel compelled to surface the hypocrisy of groups and articles pointing to “party politics” while other groups are quietly doing it themselves. I want to ensure that my friends, neighbors, and fellow community members know the machinery behind the scenes of the school board election.

Alex Strobl

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