It appears that there will be a change in the number of people on the board of the Lyons Township Treasurer of Schools Office, following legislation crafted by state Sen. Steve Landek and sponsored by state Rep. Mike Zalewski and state Sen. Antonio Munoz.
Instead of three elected members, there will now be four members elected by voters and three others appointed by school districts the office represents.
Landek’s parting gift to school districts served by the Township Treasurer’s Office (or TTO, for short) – after filing to run for re-election, Landek just announced he’s making way for longtime ally Mike Porfirio — is being painted as a compromise after years of questionable governance that has included a former treasurer being convicted of stealing more than $100,000 in agency funds and the agency’s board spending $4 million in a lawsuit where they collected less than $800,000 – not to mention its politically connected hiring practices.
The four elected members of the board will retain a majority on the future board, and traditionally those candidates have come from the ranks of those connected politically to the power structure that continues to give the TTO life.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that good-government candidates will want to line up to serve voters’ interests regarding this obscure, obsolete office. Good luck with that.
This is kabuki theater serving to maintain the status quo, and it will succeed, for now – until the next head-scratching example of wasteful governance, or worse. Until then, long live the TTO, if anyone cares.
A lasting memory
There’s something extraordinarily touching knowing that every time you see the Purple Prince crabapple tree in flower, overlooking the new canoe launch in Brookfield’s Kiwanis Park, you’ll think of Kendra Kuehlem.
The late village planner, just 27 at the time of her death and a full-time village employee for less than a year, leaves a legacy in the form of that tree, sustained in part by Kendra’s ashes buried among its roots.
It’s a perpetual sign of life born out of tragedy, a gift she and her family – her mom Amee, in particular – has generously shared with the village Kendra served.