If anyone had any doubts as to whether the newly constituted majority of the Lyons-Brookfield School District 103 Board of Education would allow Superintendent Kristopher Rivera to manage the day-to-day affairs of the district, those doubts should now be cleared up.
The school board majority has no intention of letting the superintendent manage the school district, and it broadcast that fact last week by forcing him to hire their hand-picked candidate for human resources director.
Will that new human resources director be trusted to operate independent of the school board and under the direction of his nominal boss, the superintendent? Time will tell, we suppose, but we're not holding our breath.
A bit of background might be in order here. District 103 didn't have a human resources director until quite recently. Its first-ever was Martin Stack, an attorney with no experience as a human resources manager, who was hired by a Lyons Village Hall-controlled school board majority in 2015.
It was a convenient way for the school board majority's political patrons to keep a close eye on who and how people got hired. The school board, which thought having a full-time human resources director was vital, also allowed Stack to cut his hours to part time when he wanted to make a run for a seat on the Cook County Board of Review.
One other key post, still unfilled, is the District 103 business manager. Like the human resources director, this hire has been held up by school board President Jorge Torres. Rivera has identified a preferred candidate for the business manager position – just as he had with the human resources director – but he can't get a board vote on that person.
Perhaps Torres will finally allow that person to be hired – the school district's budget needs to be approved by the end of the month, so you'd think this would be a priority – but just as likely is that Torres is waiting for Rivera to knuckle under to another of the board majority's demands and hire someone they've picked for him.
It's almost as if the school board majority wants to aggravate their new superintendent to the point that he gets fed up and will hit the road at the end of the school year, to a place where he can be far from a school board that doesn't know what its boundaries are.