Let’s Go To The Videotape!


There is a famous East Coast sportscaster, Warner Wolf, who would punctuate his television reporting of game results with his catchphrase “Let’s go to the videotape” so that viewers could see the play he was describing.

If you want to see the difference between people who belong on the School Board of Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 and the folks we’ve actually put there, take a scant 24 minutes of your time to “go to the videotape” of last Monday night’s D-64 Board meeting – starting at the 1:03:20 mark.

At the risk of gilding a perfectly good lily we will tell you that, in less than 15 of those 24 minutes, resident Jayne Reardon and resident Joan Sandrik articulated more sound public policy and more critical thinking, respectively, than has emerged from the folks sitting at the big table so far this year. And maybe stretching into last year as well.

There also was a third speaker, Ms. Reardon’s husband Mike (a Library trustee), who had to play truth squad for Board president Tony “Who’s The Boss?” Borrelli’s first-ever “Citizens’ Corner” sideshow because Borrelli apparently couldn’t even quote Reardon accurately from the previous meeting.

Ms. Reardon – the executive director of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism – led off by making Board member Tom Sotos her beyotch when the latter foolishly tried to spar with her over the Board’s lack of transparency and its cowardly abuse of FOIA in continuing to hide the terms of the tentative contract with the PREA from the taxpayers until after the Board locks those same taxpayers into what is likely to be a 4-year, $200 million-plus deal that “Who’s The Boss?”, Sotos and their fellow lemmings will rubber-stamp any day now.

We’ve already placed a $1 bet on that new contract requiring that the next contract negotiation 4 years hence require closed-sessions, just like the current one negotiated in 2012 by Board negotiators John Heyde and Pat Fioretto saddled the current Board this time around.

Simple Sotos actually asked Ms. Reardon whether, if the contract would be published in advance of a Board vote on it, might he actually have to listen to all the taxpayers who have comments about it; and if he chooses to listen to those taxpayers, whether he would be expected to let those opinions dictate his vote on the contract?

Seriously, he actually asked her that.

Borrelli jumped in and tried to stanch Sotos’ bleeding-from-the-ears after Sotos asked Ms. Reardon: “What does [publishing the contract] have to do with transparency?”

Seriously, he actually asked that, too.

Translation: “What does being transparent have to do with transparency?”

It’s apparently all Greek to Sotos – literally and figuratively – as can be seen from a string of posts on the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate Facebook page which include a colloquy between Sotos and the editor of this blog that features a legal analysis (highlighted in yellow) of why there would appear to be no legal consequences from the Board’s or any individual Board member’s publication of the tentative PREA contract.

Batting second was Sandrik, who has become a semi-regular at those meetings, thereby displaying both an unusually high threshold of pain and the public-spiritedness to speak truth to abuse of power.

[SPOILER ALERT: Watch how Board member Vicki Lee – who has yet to prove she’s anything but a rubber-stamp for more spending with less transparency and accountability – puts her clasped hands to her forehead and appears to slip into a trance about eight seconds after Sandrik gets to the podium; and then returns to what passes for consciousness just as Sandrik concludes her remarks. It’s precious.]

Monday night Sandrik noted that while no D-64 schools were among Chicago Magazine’s recent Top 20, the more important fact was that 15 of those Top 20 schools reportedly have lower educational costs than D-64.

Sandrik also took proper umbrage at “Boss?” Borrelli’s and Simple Sotos’ suggestions that Park Ridge taxpayers like herself might not be smart enough to understand the contract language because we didn’t see and hear what went on during the negotiations – you know, those negotiations which Heyde and Fioretto, four years ago, chose to hide from us by the terms of that 2012 contract; and which the terms of the new contract are likely to hide from us in 2020, by which time “Who’s The Boss?” and most/all of the current lemmings (and perhaps Supt. Heinz, finance czarina Luann Kolstad and propaganda minister Bernadette Tramm as well) will have pulled an Elvis and left the building.

We’ve read all 61 pages of the current contract and we’re betting Sandrik has, too. And any literate adult with either a college degree or a good high school education should have no problem understanding its most significant terms and conditions.

Once Sandrik concluded, “Who’s The Boss?” took the floor to launch the maiden voyage of his “Citizens’ Corner” with a robotic reading from a script that we’d bet good money was written for him by Tramm – presumably with some editing from his ventriloquist, Heinz, who has yet to be observed drinking water while the “Boss?” is talking.

We could provide a play-by-play and commentary of that effort, but we’re stopping here because nothing besides those 24 minutes of that meeting video can do them justice.

So watch, listen, and learn for yourself why Mark Twain famously said: “God created the Idiot for practice: then he invented the School Board.”

And thereby insulted the Idiot.

To read or post comments, click on title.

8 comments so far

I agree that Ms. Reardon and Ms. Sandrik would be huge improvements over any of the current board members. So would Mr. Reardon, but I understand he already has his hands full on the library board.

And where do Borrelli and Sotos get off talking and acting like we cannot read and understand the tentative agreement?

This is Illinois-style government at its infuriating worst.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Chicago, Crook County and Springfield are their own special cesspools, but unless we start expecting better than this from our local units of government this state is lost.

Thank God for videotape. I would not have believed this if I had not seen it. Sotos sounded like he was trying to pin down Ms Reardon and she judoed him without him even knowing it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: He started to reveal his inner windsock, along with the stereotypical D-64 “Don’t tell us anything we don’t want to hear” attitude.

I agree with Sotos. We elect people like him to make all of these decisions for us and we should trust them to make these decisions without constantly looking over their shoulders. They are volunteers who deserve our appreciation and support, not the criticism you keep on churning up.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You’re right, they’re doing a real bang-up job.

How can any elected official honestly believe that treating his or her constituents like mushrooms (“Kept in the dark and covered with manure”) is the right way to represent them?

This is a $200 million dollar contract! $200 MILLION! They negotiate it in secret, now want to approve it in secret. And that clown Sotos is asking whether he should change his mind if thirty people tell him to? WTF!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cowardice combined with arrogance.

Excellent back and forth with Sotos on Facebook. If Sotos “wanted” to publish the contract you have shown him how he could do so without consequences. But that would offend his PREA pals so that will not happen. WHere’s Eggemann?

Borrelli, Sotos, etc. have no respect for the people they represent. Ms. Reardon and Ms. Sandrick clearly do, and I thank them for representing us when the people elected to do so fail or refuse to do so.

I can’t tell whose presentation was worse, Sotos’ or Borrelli’s. Sotos tried to cover up (spin?) for his and the school board’s lack of transparency and Borrelli tried to distract attention away from it by giving a half-baked lesson about PTELL and the CPI that we already knew.

Besides watching Lee while Sandrik was speaking, watch Heinz and, if you expand the video to full-screen, the smugness is unmistakable.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Borrelli allegedly was addressing comments made at the meeting two weeks previously – presumably because he didn’t have the chops to deal with those comments when they were made, and didn’t want to admit it by asking propaganda minister Tramm to speak for him.

Heinz has raised the smirk to an art form.

There is no agenda or packet posted on the District website, but am I correct that the school board will be approving the new unseen by the public contract at a meeting this Monday night, the same night as the first presidential debate?

If so, that’s just lovely and just dishonest.

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