There's a lot at stake in April for Brookfield-LaGrange Park Elementary School District 95. At the forefront is a referendum question that will ask voters in the district to raise taxes to boost the education fund.
If that wasn't enough, the school board is losing two of its leaders. Both school board President MariAnn Leibrandt and Vice President Jerry Werner will not seek reelection in the 2005 consolidated election. And as of Monday, the district had just four candidates for the five seats up for election.
"I'm 100 percent behind the referendum," said Leibrandt, who has been the board president for the past three years and has served on the board since 1998. "My decision [not to run] has nothing to do with that at all. I'll continue to support District 95 in everything."
Leibrandt, who said she is "passing the baton for family and business reasons" added that she hopes to remain involved in the future as a member of the district's Strategic Planning Committee, which is made up of administrators, teachers, board members and parents.
Meanwhile, Werner has opted not to run again for the school board due to the fact that a change in his work schedule has made it very difficult for him to attend the evening meetings. Elected in 2001, Werner chairs the board's Buildings and Grounds Committee, which was responsible for heading the district's long-range facilities study, completed in 2004.
Of the five open seats, four are four-year terms. One term, the unexpired term of Sharon MacDarmont who left the board in December of 2003, is for two-years. John LaBarbera was appointed to replace MacDarmont after her resignation; he has filed to run in April for one of the open four-year terms.
Others running for the four-year spots are incumbents Jim Landahl, who serves as the board's secretary, and Charles Snyder, who is chairman of the board's finance committee.
Running for the final four-year spot is Brookfield resident Jonathan Dunker. Although a new name on the ballot, Dunker had approached the board in December 2003 after MacDarmont's resignation. At that time, the board decided to go with LaBarbera, since he had served previously on the school board.
No one has filed to run for the remaining two years of MacDarmont's unexpired term. If no one files to run for that post by the filing deadline (which was at 5 p.m. Jan. 25) and no one decides to run as a write-in candidate, the board will appoint someone to fill the slot later in the spring.
D103 president not running
In School District 103, which includes the southeast quadrant of Brookfield, that board's president, Brookfield resident Mark Rogers, will also not run for reelection. With no other Brookfield candidates running for election, District 103 will not have any Brookfield representation on the board for at least the next two years.
There are three four-year terms and one two-year term up for election on April 5. Filing for the four year terms are Lyons residents James Gross and Judith Petrucci and Stickney resident Humberto Andrade, who is an incumbent. Petrucci has held elective office previously as village president and village trustee in Lyons.
Incumbent Steven Mazur has filed for both the four-year and two-year slots in District 103. Mazur is also running to be village trustee in Lyons under the New Era slate headed by Village President Marie Vachata.
In February, Mazur must choose to run for either the four-year or two-year spot. He is allowed to hold the school board and village trustee posts at the same time.
Roxanne Connolly, a board member whose seat is up for reelection in April, has not filed to run for another term.
Leadership change in D102
Sticking with the trends in both District 95 and 103, the school board president in LaGrange-Brookfield District 102 has also chosen not to run for reelection in April.
Brookfield resident Marci Hansen has not filed paperwork, and neither has incumbent Esther Meadors. Hansen is the only member of the District 102 board from Brookfield.
The only incumbent running for reelection in District 102 is Jennifer Crooks. She will be joined on the ballot by LaGrange residents Jennifer Comparoni and Michael Guagenti.