District 103 disputes ability to hold two offices

? Board member Steven Mazur says he can be a school board member and a Lyons trustee. D103 lawyers say he can't.

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By BOB UPHUES

Lyons resident Steven Mazur is running for reelection to the District 103 school board. He's also running to be village trustee in Lyons. Mazur says there's absolutely no problem with him holding two offices simultaneously, but attorneys for District 103 attorney think otherwise.

According to an opinion written by the district's attorney, Mazur can only hold one of the local offices. If Mazur takes two oaths of office he will automatically forfeit one of them, they informed Superintendent Dr. Raymond Lauk.

Mazur disputed that position, saying the practice is not uncommon. He cited Peter Silvestri, who is an elected Cook County commissioner and president of Elmwood Park, and Patricia Fortunato, who is a Berwyn alderman and a member of the Morton High School board.

It's even happened in District 103 before. Henry Kuczek was a sitting school board member when he was elected to the Lyons board in 2001. He finished out his term as a school board member while serving as a Lyons trustee.

A call to the Illinois Attorney General's office seeking clarification was not returned before press time.

Mazur said the district's position is personal, and that it stems from the fact that he recently voted against renegotiating Lauk's three-year contract. In a 4-3 decision, the board raised Lauk's salary by $5,000 and gave him seven more vacation days per year.

Lauk responded that it was the school board driving the representation issue.

"Part of the issue," Lauk said, "is that we could be vulnerable if we have board members improperly seated."

School board President Mark Rogers, a Brookfield resident, said that the board wanted to "be proactive in case Steve is successful [in his election bids]. We're trying to plan for it."

Andrade off ballot

Meanwhile, incumbent school board member Humberto Andrade, a Stickney resident, was tossed off the ballot last week for not filing the requisite paperwork. While he did file proper petitions, he failed to file a Statement of Economic Interest.

However, there were some late filers after last week's press deadline in the District 103 race, including Michele Visk, the wife of David Visk, who is running for village president of Lyons. Running for the open two-year term is Lyons resident Joseph J. Pizzuto, who is the son of Roxanne Connolly, a current District 103 board member who chose not to run for reelection.

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