While the absence of Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 Board of Education member Vito Campanile for the past four months hasn’t made any difference in any policy decisions the school board has made – it’s a lockstep board – the fact that no one on the board seems to care speaks volumes.
Rumored to have moved out of town – out of state, actually – Campanile spoke to our reporter, Bob Skolnik, to say he still resides in Brookfield. But he certainly has not been in town very much, and it doesn’t seem like he’s much interested in getting back to the board table any time soon.
Representing the public interest on a school board isn’t particularly glamorous. And after you get done clearing the field of any opposition with the backing of powerful, well-funded politicians, there’s not a whole lot of “fun” left. It was all about the pursuit of power in the first place.
This isn’t the first time a Christopher Getty-backed elected official in District 103 has simply decided to take a pass on fulfilling their duties. In 2018, the head of West 40 gave a Getty-backed board member the heave-ho after she failed to show up for six months.
That person decided it wasn’t fun any longer after Getty’s group was driven from the board majority, and she was removed when others on the board complained directly to West 40.
No complaint has been lodged with West 40 this time around, because there’s no opposition left to care. And while replacing Campanile on the board wouldn’t result in any sort of challenge to the majority – they’d pick the replacement – we guess they’re content to wait until next spring when Campanile’s term is up to worry about that.
In the meantime, you wonder what voters who elected Campanile in the first place think of being abandoned. Maybe they really don’t care either.
Earlier this month the Illinois Department of Transportation unveiled its 2023-28 capital spending plan and included in it was $59 million for a grade-separation project at Harlem Avenue and the BNSF tracks.
That’s the first time we’ve ever seen a number associat ed with the long-rumored project and certainly the first time anyone’s given it a time frame to happen.
But we’ve learned that the funding promise may be more symbolic at this point than real. The initiative is still in the very early stages and planners may never come up with a feasible project.
By including funding in the 2023-28 plan, IDOT certainly is signaling an interest in the project. However, we wouldn’t want to have to place a wager on during whose lifetime such a project will become a reality.