There was some good news – well, as good as being in violation of the state’s rules on asbestos can be — out of Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 on Sept. 11. The state’s Department of Health agreed to lower the fine it was going to impose on the district for longstanding asbestos reporting and training violations from $20,000 to $5,000.
That agreement, of course, comes with the stipulation that the school district comply with all aspects of asbestos reporting and training in the future, something we trust the administration will do.
Of course, the way to make sure that happens is to have qualified people in place. That continues to be something of an issue, apparently, related to the maintenance department, whose chief has been on paid administrative leave since late August.
The school board appears ready to cut the cord with the maintenance director, a close friend of Lyons Village President Christopher Getty and a former Lyons Public Works employee, who was hired in 2016, when the school board’s majority had Getty’s backing.
It’s unclear exactly what the hold-up is, but the taxpayers of District 103 have paid an awful lot of money for high-ranking administrators not to show up for work during the past year.
This will get sorted out eventually. In the meantime, this is a replay of the situation last fall, which saw the district’s business director get paid to stay home for six months before officially making a break. The separation agreement paid her close to $30,000 more as a severance package.
At the same time, the school district had to hire an interim business manager on a part-time basis, for another $60,000.
That’s the cost of a school district becoming a playground for politicians who want to extend their reach by rewarding loyalists instead of making sure taxpayers get a professionally run organization.
We’re glad those days seem to be over, but it’s been an expensive lesson for the hard-working folks who pay the taxes that fund the schools in District 103.