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220 2023

Leonard Munson, Katey Baldassano and Matt Sheriff

Yesterday we reviewed some candidates running for seats on the District 220 Board of Education (BOE) April 4, 2023 elections. To summarize, we recommended residents not vote for Leah Collister-Lazzari and Barry Altshuler so far.

Five other candidates are asking voters to consider voting for them, and they are:

Leonard Munson: Munson is a United States Air Force veteran, and served as a Survival Resistance and Escape instructor for 20 years. He brought these experiences to the private sector running small businesses including training and operational support on the Global War on Terror. Munson has served on the LEADS board educating and mentoring a drug free District 220.

Munson was often found to  be the voice of reason during public comment at  BOE meetings, advocating for choice and parental rights when it came to masking the District 220 students. In addition, Munson recently gave public comment at a BOE meeting in favor of the District funding all day kindergarten, which Collister-Lazari would presumably not support given her interest in raising the cost to parents of kindergarten enrichment.

Katey Baldassano:  Baldassano has a master’s degree in educational leadership with a bachelors in early childhood education. She’s been a teacher in Carpentersville and has provided educational support in the home setting.

Baldassano has spoken at BOE meetings during public comment urging the Board to ensure that parents retain their right to determine what books their children had access to when deciding on keeping books, such as Gender Queer, the book endorsed by Altshuler, in the school libraries. She also addressed the Board during the remote learning and masking debate, discussing the potential long term effects of denying young children the education they need, the need for human connection and relationships, and that true equity is about children getting what they need so they can learn.

Matt Sheriff: Sheriff has served many executive and c-level roles professionally with diverse business experience leading companies and negotiating contracts. Given the District’s contract with the Barrington Education Association is currently being negotiated, Sheriff’s experience negotiating with fortune 100 companies will be a great asset in the union negotiations, particularly in light of Hunt’s departure.

Sheriff volunteers with the Lake County Sheriff’s auxiliary deputy unit, assisting Lake County’s local municipalities in times of emergencies and when additional manpower resources are required.

Diana Clopton: Clopton works in marketing for AbbVie Pharmaceuticals. Clopton did face a challenge to her candidacy for failure to properly file her statement of economic interest. She prevailed in that proceeding and her name will remain on the ballot. She piloted two children programs, Born Beautiful, a workshop for young women, and Gamechangers, which teaches kids about entrepreneurship.

We have not seen Clopton speak at any Board of Education meetings, but we know that self-proclaimed activist Jim McGrath, a serial speaker before the BOE, who advocates against the rights of parents to choose whether to vaccinate, mask, or determine appropriate reading material for their children has advocated on Clopton’s behalf on Twitter, referring to her as one of  “our candidates,” along with Altshuler and Collister-Lazarri, each of whom has taken similar positions as McGrath on taking away these parental rights.

Nelda Munoz: Munoz has been outspoken during Board meetings over masking and indoctrination of students over the availability of the book Gender Queer. She was also a plaintiff in one of the pandemic related lawsuits brought against D220. Her grit and determination in the effort to raise awareness of issues to the current BOE has been commendable.

While we appreciate the passion of Munoz, in the wake of Superintendent Hunt’s departure, we think it important that the upcoming board have well-reasoned and thoughtful members to not only search for the next superintendent, but to figure out how to retain him or her for more than 18 months, and to control the madness of the current BOE President Ficke-Bradford.

Having considered all 7 candidates and weighing the pros and cons of each, we’re endorsing Leonard Munson, Katey Baldassano and Matt Sheriff for seats on the District 220 Board of Education.

In an era where the voices of the community have fallen on deaf ears, we believe they will bring a willingness to listen to all voices, integrity, common sense, fiscal responsibility, negotiating skills, and much needed balance to the District 220 Board of Education.

Related:What 220 voters need to know

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2023 Seats Up For Reelection

Angela Wilcox, Leah Collister-Lazzari and Barry Altshuler

Angela Wilcox, current and second longest serving 220 Board of Education member, recently withdrew from the race for another term on the board.  This week, the district’s superintendent, Dr. Robert Hunt, announced his departure only eighteen (18) after his installment (as an aside, the BOE under former President Kazmier and then VP Ficke-Bradford spent nearly a year and Lord knows how much in taxpayer dollars searching for Hunt in 2020).

In light of these two recent events, we think it’s time to take a good look at the candidates running for 220 Board of Education in the upcoming April election.

Incumbent Barry Altshuler, a pediatrician who espouses on his professional website to believing in ‘holistic’ care, routinely advocated for vaccination of students, to keep students remote and masked. Altshuler voted to keep Gender Queer in the District’s libraries, saying, “kids need the book,” and he “wished that book was around when (he) was in middle school.”  For reference, the book is recommended for ages 16 and up.

Altshuler was also heard violating the doctor/patient HIPPA confidentiality when he discussed his patient, Alex Strobl, publicly during BOE meetings surrounding the controversy of Strobl dropping from the 2021 BOE election.

Incumbent Leah Collister-Lazzari voted to keep students remote and masked.  Collister-Lazzari also wrote emails micro-managing Dr. Hunt, such as asking him to tell BHS basketball coaches to make sure the kids were properly masked while playing sports.

In December, Collister-Lazzari voted remotely for an increase in the levy while on a purported ‘business meeting’ in New Zealand, yet also advocated in favor of the District increasing the parental cost of kindergarten enrichment and voted against keeping the fees at their current rate in favor of raising them.

During the D220 strategic planning meetings she brought a 3×5 card with Ficke-Bradford’s equity statement written on it and advocated to have the equity statement put into the D220 mission statement.

Most egregiously, in the opinion of the Observer, in 2021 when three new members of the current Board were sworn in for their first BOE meeting, Altshuler and Collister-Lazzari colluded with Sandra Ficke-Bradford and Erin Chan Ding to oust Member Wilcox from any position as a Board Officer. Wilcox was 6 years into the position, to Altshuler’s and Collister-Lazzari’s 2, and had an exemplary record as the Treasurer of the Board in preceding years.

In addition, the public had made it clear to the BOE Board that Wilcox was preferred to succeed to the position of President surrounding controversial actions of Ficke-Bradford and Kazmierz and their treatment of Alex Strobl who withdrew as a candidate in the 2021 election following their strong-arm tactics.

For these reasons, and more to come, we urge voters NOT to vote for Barry Altshuler and Leah Collister-Lazzari.  They do not deserve to continue on our 220 school board.

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220 Ticket

Tuesday evening, during the District 220 school board meeting, member Collister-Lazzari once again claimed that when she called in remotely to vote at the December 20th Board of Education meeting on the controversial $170M tax levy she was on a 3 week “work” trip in New Zealand!

Collister-Lazzari has filed a Statement of Candidacy and of Economic Interest wherein she identifies her ‘Job Title’ as ‘School Board Member’ and stated ‘Not Applicable’ in response to the question regarding the source of any income “in excess of $7500 required to be reported during the preceding calendar year.” Are we to believe, then, that her jaunt to New Zealand was on the taxpayer’s dime in pursuit of Board of Education business?

After searching for alternative potential employment, the only position she seems to hold is with SHP Holland, Inc., an apartment complex in Holland, MI. What business could someone with real estate holdings In Michigan be conducting in New Zealand?

Thanks to the Overseas Investment Amendment Act of 2018, you must be a resident of New Zealand to purchase property, so that’s ruled out. Instead of addressing the issue and explaining exactly what ‘business’ she was conducting during her extended sojourn in New Zealand that caused her to be away for two board meetings, but, coincidentally, only calling into the one with an important vote implicating your tax dollars, Collister-Lazzari deflected with a call for “trust” among board members.

Trust? A person who kept our kids out of school and behind masks?

The community deserves clarity around this issue. What type of ‘business’ trip turns into a three-week vacation, in a country that doesn’t allow foreigners to purchase property? This does not follow the policy laid out for remote participation in school board business. And Collister-Lazzari and Ficke-Bradford, who colluded in this farce, know it.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Tonight is a meeting of the Committee of the Whole.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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Ed Zimel

Algonquin Township Trustee Ed Zimel, left, then a candidate, talks with a Fox River Grove resident during a 2021 meet-and-greet event at Cary Ale House. (Matthew Apgar/Shaw Local News Network)

A case that will decide whether an Algonquin Township trustee with a 30-year-old felony can stay in his role will move forward after a McHenry County judge denied a request to dismiss the suit on Thursday.

Judge Joel D. Berg on Thursday said while state election code does not state that the specific crime Trustee Ed Zimel committed in 1990 precludes him from holding office, Illinois township code is more wide-ranging than the election statutes, meriting a deeper look into the case.

“What a magnificent issue. I mean, it’s a very complex issue,” Berg said. “The township code is different than the election code. And it’s clearly different.”

Zimel was convicted in 1990 of felony intimidation in Cook County and sentenced to three months of home confinement and 30 months of court supervision.

State election code holds that a person becomes ineligible for office if they have been convicted of an “infamous crime,” which both sides on Thursday agreed did not include intimidation.

However, an Illinois township code provision states that a person is ineligible to hold office if they have “been convicted in any court located in the United States of any infamous crime, bribery, perjury or other felony.”

Read more here.

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220 BOE Photo copy

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. The Board will discuss and perhaps approve the, “Second Reading of Board Policy,” including:

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live streamed on the district YouTube channel.

Related:Two candidates in District 220 face ballot challenges

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Leah Collister-Lazzari

Leah Collister-Lazzari

A Cook County electoral board opened hearings Thursday on challenges to the nominating paperwork of two candidates for the Barrington Area Unit District 220 board.

Barrington resident Timothy O’Donnell filed the challenges to the candidacies of incumbent board member Leah Collister-Lazzari and newcomer Diana L. Clopton.

O’Donnell, who described himself as a concerned citizen, said both candidates’ statements of economic interests were faulty.

The electoral board assigned all matters, including the District 220 case and other challenges, to hearing officers, who will conduct evidentiary hearings before making recommendations to the electoral board.

The board will meet again on Jan. 12 to assign additional cases for status updates and then on Jan. 18, when rulings will begin to be issued.

Collister-Lazzari declined to comment Thursday. Clopton could not be reached for comment.

Read more here.

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Village Hall

“The Village of Barrington Hills elects its official in at-large elections, therefore, no primaries are held for Village offices.

Consolidated Elections are held for such offices in April of odd-numbered years.  In 2023, the Consolidated Elections will be held on April 4, 2023. Primaries and General Elections for national or state offices are held separately.

Offices up for Election at the April 4, 2023, Consolidated Election

3 – Village Trustees
Each for a four (4) year term

Nominating Petitions for the Tuesday, April 4, 2023 election will be accepted at the Village Clerk’s Office during regular business hours at the Village of Barrington Hills Village Hall, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, Illinois, starting at 9:00 AM on December 12, 2022, through 5:00 PM on December 19, 2022.

The 2023 Candidate’s Guide for this election can be found on the Illinois State Board of Elections website, www.elections.il.gov.  Questions regarding required documents to file as a candidate for election should be directed to the Illinois State Board of Elections Department at 312-814-6440 or seek advice from an election attorney. Candidates are strongly advised to seek legal advice from their own attorney regarding the circulation and filing of nomination papers. The Village Clerk’s office cannot give legal advice. The Illinois State Board of Elections website will have the most current information for filing documents with an accurate timeline.”

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JB Trust

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker is using his personal trust fund to circumvent contribution limits in two races that will determine whether his party maintains its 4-3 majority on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Pritzker earlier this year signed into law a measure that limits contributions to a judicial candidate from “any single person” to $500,000.

In September, Pritzker’s campaign fund, JB for Governor, contributed $500,000 each to the campaigns of Democrats Elizabeth Rochford and Mary Kay O’Brien, who are running for two open seats on the high court. Last week, the billionaire entrepreneur and Hyatt Hotels heir dipped into his personal trust fund, Jay Robert Pritzker Revocable Trust, to give each candidate’s campaign another $500,000, state campaign finance records show.

The Illinois State Board of Elections historically has treated trusts as separate entities for the purpose of enforcing contribution limits, spokesperson Matt Dietrich said.

“Absent a complaint alleging a violation, we would not assess a penalty,” Dietrich said.

Pritzker’s contributions just ahead of the Nov. 8 election come as spending by the candidates and outside groups have once again made Illinois a leader in campaign spending for judicial races. A recent analysis by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice found Illinois has seen the most spending so far among 28 states where voters are electing justices to their high courts this fall.

Last month, a federal judge blocked other judicial contribution limits Pritzker signed into law, including a measure that bans contributions in excess of $500,000 per election cycle from a single source to independent expenditure committees set up to support or oppose judicial candidates.

Read more here.

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bhpd-logo-2-2021

The Barrington Hills Park District posted the following yesterday:

PUBLIC NOTICE

To The Residents Of The Barrington Hills Park District Cook, Lake and McHenry Counties, Illinois

Elections will be held to fill the following offices at the:

Consolidated election to be held April 4, 2023.

Park District CommissionerNumber of positions (3); 4-year term.

Signature Requirements: Petition must be signed by not less than 2% of the number of ballots cast at the last election for Park District Commissioner.

Petition Circulation: September 20, 2022: First day to circulate nomination papers.

Consolidated Election Candidate FilingMonday, December 12, 2022*: First day for candidates to file the original nominating petitions (must include original sheets signed by voters and circulators) with the Barrington Hills Park District representative at the Barrington Hills Riding Center, Meeting Room, 361 Bateman Road, Barrington Hills IL 60010.

General Filing Information: Petitions may be filed in person by the candidate or a representative, or by mail. Barrington Hills Park District c/o Kim Keper, 364 Bateman Road, Barrington, IL 60010.

Please note: Nomination papers received in the mail before the first day of filing period will be returned to the sender as not filed.

Filing Period: Mon, Dec 12: 9:00 AM* to 1:00 PM

Wed, Dec 14: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Fri,    Dec 16:  9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Mon, Dec 19: 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

*Ballot Placement Lottery: If two or more petitions are received simultaneously for the same office (a) as of the opening hour of the filing period, December 12, 2022; and/or (b) within the last hour of the filing period, Dec 19 2023.

Ballot Placement Lottery, if needed, is scheduled for Wednesday, December 22, 2022, noon at 361 Bateman Road, Barrington Hills, IL 60010.

Candidate document and filing information is available on the web: www.elections.il.gov

Source

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