As a parent and interested community member, it is troubling to me (and, as I know, to other reasonable people) that the School Board put form over substance and interfered with my good intentions to try to give back to the community on such a technicality as an allegedly missing paperclip. The decision of who serves of the School Board should be determined by the public.
I am further disturbed, and I have no doubt that other Glenview parents are too, that at least one District 34 School Board member, Jack Murphy, conspired with members of the Glenview Caucus to keep me off of the ballot for School Board elections in April, especially since that conduct violates the most fundamental principles of the School Board. First, the School Board is required to act in a transparent manner; the School Board’s meetings are open to the public for this and other reasons. Each School Board member must take an oath to “avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety which could result from my position, and . . . not use [his] Board membership for personal gain or publicity [and] . . will take no private action that might compromise the board or administration….”
At the very least, the alleged conduct here risks disenfranchising Glenview voters and undermines the public’s trust in the School Board. Indeed, working behind the scenes with Caucus members to strike nominating petitions of other interested parents who seek to serve this community lacks transparency, raises serious ethical questions, undermines the fairness of the process, and suggests an appearance of impropriety and a conflict of interest. Because few parents are willing and/or able to volunteer to run for School Board election, it is in the District’s best interest to encourage more parents to participate in the process, rather than to unfairly exclude them.
And finally, I would like to sincerely thank Mike Cherry, a former school board member and current Glenview Caucus member for forwarding the email which brought to light the inappropriate behavior by the Caucus and Jack Murphy. I had never heard of his name nor met him before the email surfaced, and I am grateful that Mr. Cherry had the courage and character to expose this scheme to Glenview citizens.