Lyons Village President Christopher Getty won back control of Lyons-Brookfield Elementary School District 103 last week, with a slate of four candidates cruising to a win on the back of strong support in the village of Lyons and in the small enclave of McCook.
Voters in Brookfield, Stickney and Forest View went solidly for those challenging the intervention of Lyons Village Hall into school board governance, but many voters chose to sit this election out. Turnout in those precincts was down sharply from two years ago, when the present majority was voted in.
To their credit, Getty’s candidates campaigned vigorously, making personal contact with many voters. They exploited an error made by school staff which resulted in the district hiring a man accused of attempted murder, blaming the board for the snafu – and hammered away at it nonstop, to great effect.
But Getty farmed out the real dirty work to a PAC ironically calling itself “Integrity,” formed apparently for the express purpose of funding misleading and downright false direct mail pieces.
One of the mailers went to great lengths to personally attack Joanne Schaeffer, who has served on the school board for 40 years. Schaeffer is not perfect, but to denigrate her service was shameless.
She was back at the board table last November less than a month after heart surgery, so the board could have a quorum to conduct business after Getty-backed board members Jorge Torres and Michael Bennett — unable to rule by fiat as part of a majority – simply refused to do their jobs and blew off board meetings.
Two of the most outrageous claims the Getty group made during the entire campaign was that the present majority was some sort of political force – well, we’re sure it hurt very badly indeed when Marge Hubacek handed the Getty slate their heads two years ago, but characterizing her and the Putting Students First slate as some sort of political operation is laughable — and that they were “bullying” the minority.
That, folks, is called projection. And you’re going to see both of those things in spades in the next four years.
As we’ve pointed out before, this group already has a track record – it’s hyper-political with a healthy side of cronyism. Look no further than to Assistant Superintendent Kyle Hastings, who has been kicked to the margins for the past two years, but who we’re sure will be able to resume collecting regular paychecks now that his patrons are back in power.
Lyons Public Works Director Ryan Grace made sure to remind everyone of the future state of affairs on Monday when, upon the school board accepting the resignations of interim superintendents Patrick Patt and Robert Madonia, Grace derisively clapped and shouted out, “See you later, Pat.”
Keeping it classy, always.
But, that’s what voters chose on April 2, and as H.L. Mencken would say, they’re going “to get it, good and hard.”
This editorial has been changed to correct the result of the vote in Forest View.