Only three members Lyons School District 103 Board of Education showed up for last week’s school board meeting, so it could not be held due to a lack of a quorum.
Under Illinois law four members of a seven-person school board must be physically present for a meeting to be held.
Missing from the Nov. 12 Committee of the Whole meeting was Joanne Schaeffer, who had just been released from the hospital after undergoing open heart surgery in late October, along with Michael Bennett, Coleen Shipbaugh, and Jorge Torres, the three members of the school board elected in 2015 with the backing of Lyons Village President Christopher Getty.
The three board members who showed up for the meeting, Sharon Anderson, Shannon Johnson, and board president Marge Hubacek waited for 15 minutes to see if anyone else would show up before giving up and going home.
Hubacek said that she was not told by Bennett, Shipbaugh or Torres that they were going to miss the meeting. Schaeffer was not expected to attend the meeting since she only recently came home from the hospital.
The school board’s previous meeting on Oct. 22 attracted a standing-room-only crowd and drew television cameras and TV news reporters in the aftermath of news that a man facing a charge of attempted murder had been hired this year as a teacher at George Washington Middle School. Shipbaugh missed that meeting also.
During the public comment portion of that meeting, Bennett harshly criticized the current board majority and the current top administration before leaving the meeting before it was finished.
Torres had criticized the board majority and top administrators in television news interviews and also left before the Oct. 22 meeting was finished.
Hubacek criticized the three Getty backed school board members for skipping the Nov. 12 meeting.
“You can count on grandstanding at its best. I’m disappointed but I’m not shocked,” Hubacek said.
Shipbaugh has not attended a school board meeting since June 25 and has missed 19 of the 25 board meetings held in 2018. Torres has missed nine meeting this year, while Bennett has missed seven.
Bennett, Shipbaugh and Torres did not respond to emails from the Landmark asking why they missed the Nov. 12 meeting.
Schaeffer has missed three meetings this year, while board members Sharon Anderson and Shannon Johnson have only missed one meeting each this year. Hubacek has not missed a meeting this year.
Torres apparently is planning to run for another term on the school board this spring, though it appears that neither Bennett nor Shipbaugh will seek another term.
“Jorge is out there circulating petitions,” Hubacek said. “I’d have thought he would have been here.”
At the Nov. 12 meeting, the school board was supposed to hold a public hearing on the proposed 2018 tax levy and was going to vote on a resolution to establish an estimated levy amount.
Those things are now expected to take place at the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 26. School boards usually approve the tax levy in December.
By law the board must adopt its 2018 levy and submit it to the Cook County Clerk’s office by the final Tuesday in December, which this year is Christmas Day.
The board on Nov. 12 was also supposed to approve the hiring of two aides, a special education aide at Lincoln School and a pre-kindergarten aide at Home School.
Those aides began work as scheduled on Nov. 12 pending board approval. They have remained on the job and their hiring is expected to be officially approved at the Nov. 26 meeting.