Who would ever have dreamed that a school board race could be so important to a local politician that he’d contribute $30,000 from his own campaign fund in an attempt to maintain control of the school board.
But that’s just what Lyons Village President Christopher Getty did in his bid to maintain a lock on decisions made by the Lyons-Brookfield District 103 school board. Only he failed spectacularly, outworked by a trio of women who had about $4,000 but a whole lot of motivated supporters behind them.
Not that Getty’s influence will be disappearing soon. His band of cronies on the school board, who won a majority in 2015, made sure to give long-term contracts to key administrators – with no clauses allowing for buyouts, except for cause.
But the current majority and their backers in Lyons Village Hall don’t really care about what voters want – which is clearly a change of direction from the past two years. They’ll continue to try to wield as much as influence as they can without a majority on the school board.
While the new majority figures out how to move forward, we’d encourage them to demand results from the administrators now in charge of improving education in District 103. And if there’s cause to get rid of them, do it.
A word of warning to the folks in District 103, however. This battle has just begun. All of that hard work and grassroots action that ended in victory in 2017 can slip from grasp in two years without continued effort to make sure the money that Getty is able to bring to bear doesn’t overwhelm them.
And make no mistake, he’s got a ton of it. At the end of 2016, Citizens for Christopher Getty had $100,000 in its war chest. That was before the roughly $75,000 donated to that committee since Jan. 1.
Not bad for the president of a town of 11,000 people. Oh, Getty’s also now the Lyons Township supervisor, so his web of influence and access to donors continues to grow.
Who knows, maybe that means he’ll have bigger fish to fry in 2019, when four seats on the District 103 Board of Education – a majority — are up for election? Or he could seek to take back what he obviously believes to be his turf, real estate he has spent a lot of money to buy.
District 103 voters simply rejected Getty’s first offer. There will no doubt be a second.