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Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

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 only action item on their agenda is, “Consideration to Approve Student Fees.”

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

Related:220 Parents call BS!What 220 voters need to know,” “What 220 voters need to know continued, including our recommendations

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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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VBH Village HallOur Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

This month’s agenda now has two options for residents to attempt to listen in to tonight’s meeting:

Audio OptionsWould those with the time and inclination try listening to both options and report back which one sucks less in terms of sound clarity?  It would be ever so much appreciated!

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Horizon Farm Master Plan: Your Feedback is Appreciated

The Park District will host a meeting with the Cook County Forest Preserve District to discuss a Master Plan for the Horizon Farm property. The public is encouraged to attend in person or via Zoom (check back here for a link to the meeting.) Meeting Date: Feb. 8th, at 7:00 p.m.  Meeting Location:  361 Bateman Rd. Barriington [sic] Hills, IL, at the Park District’s Riding Center Meeting Room.”

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Springfield

Illinois state lawmakers are looking to give themselves a $12,000 raise with a bill that spends more than $1.7 billion of taxpayer money.

Just before 9 p.m. Friday, the Illinois House approved an amendment to Senate Bill 1720. The measure now goes to the Illinois Senate, which returns Sunday evening.

Alongside giving pay raises to state legislators, constitutional officers and executive agency directors, the measure puts $850 million into the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund known as the rainy day fund, gives hospitals statewide a one time $460 million payment to help with the increased cost of nursing, puts $400 million into the Large Business Attraction Fund and deposits $72 million into the Disaster Recovery Fund, among other things.

“A hundred and seventy-four pages on a Friday night, the audacity of what we are doing,” state Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said in opposition. “Pay increase, Christmas in January, for legislators.”

In the 102nd General Assembly that ends Jan. 10, base pay for legislators is $72,906 a year. Legislative leaders get extra stipends ranging from committee chairman and minority spokesman receiving an additional $11,098 to the Senate president and House speaker getting an additional $29,530 a year. If Senate Bill 1720 as amended is approved by the Senate and is enacted by the governor, starting with the 103rd General Assembly that begins Jan. 11, the base pay for part-time state legislators will increase to $85,000.

The measure also increases the salaries of the governor from $181,670 to $205,700, the lieutenant governor from $140,000 to $160,900, the secretary of state from $161,500 to $183,300, and the attorney general from $161,000 to $183,300. The comptroller and treasurer would each get their salaries increased from $140,000 to $160,900.

More here.

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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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2022

Following are the eleven (11) most viewed posts published in The Barrington Hills Observer in 2022:

  1. Controversial ‘Gender Queer’ will remain on the shelf at Barrington High, school board decides
  2. Woman bit her daughter’s finger off during altercation in Barrington Hills, prosecutors say
  3. Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 1)
  4. Learn from your (big) mistake, Laura, Bryan, Dave and Tom
  5. Special Village Board meeting this afternoon
  6. Resident tells 220 Board of Education what they needed to hear (but did they listen?)
  7. Barrington Hills man severely injured in crash
  8. Some observations on tonight’s Appropriations public hearing
  9. Our predominantly pusillanimous Village Board (Part 4)
  10. District 220 goes too far (again)
  11. Petition started to “Filter Adult Obscene/Porn Content & SB818 Opt Out,” in D220 Schools

For those wondering why eleven and not an even number, we simply couldn’t end the year without reminding readers where we’ve been in 2022 by omitting #11.

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