D-64 Board Attacks Free Speech, Ignores Conflicts Of Interest (Updated)


Yesterday we wrote about the stupid (Paterno’s tweets), the ridiculous (women proclaiming themselves “screaming” or “screeching, raging” vaginas) and the absurd (Tom “Tilted Kilt” Sotos claiming to be offended by “vagina”) aspects of the January 23, 2017 meeting of the Park Ridge-Niles District 64 School Board.

Today we’re going to focus on that Board’s “thought police” plans to crack down on a member’s exercise of his/her free speech rights by adopting the new “Policy 2:81” at tonight’s Board meeting. That new policy, as drafted, allows a majority of the Board to pass a “Resolution of Censure” against any member for saying or writing things (such as on social media, a la Paterno) that the majority finds objectionable or offensive.

One of those censure resolutions and two bucks won’t even buy you a latte at Starbucks. In other words, it’s useless.

But that totally arbitrary standard also can be applied by the Board majority to justify its request to the Regional Superintendent of Education that he/she remove the member from the Board if that majority deems the member’s comments to be “a failure to fulfill the member’s official duties.”

That’s another crock of hooey.

Borrelli sprung this bogus Policy 2:81 at the February 6 meeting without even the courtesy of first publishing it in the Board meeting packet so that residents might come out and speak to it. Then he and Sotos spent the better part of an hour discussing it in such an obtuse manner that its boredom value actually may have exceeded its stupidity. Borrelli tried to buy himself some time by saying that he’d need to “vet” the policy with the Board’s legal beagle, Tony Loizzi, before moving its adoption.

But the fact that it’s on tonight’s “Consent Agenda” suggests that this legal beagle blessed it. Which means this legal beagle can’t hunt.


Because a 10-minute Google search revealed that the Regional Superintendent can’t lawfully remove a school board member for something as benign as blogging and/or tweeting things that a majority of board members don’t like, or find offensive. Rather, 105 ILCS 5/3-15.5 gives the Regional Supt. the authority to remove a school board member only for “willful failure to perform his official duties.”

And guess what, Borrelli and beagle: blogging and commenting on social media don’t qualify.

Which is why Warren Twp. High School District 121’s board was unable to do more than censure board member Liz Biondi when she refused to resign after creating a furor back in 2014 by saying she did not want that district to hire a gay superintendent. We can only assume Borrelli and his legal beagle couldn’t find the news stories about that situation, but you can read them for yourself here, here and here.

Also on tonight’s agenda is the first reading of an amendment to the Board’s conflict-of-interest policy, which was drafted so lamely that even Borrelli – in one of his rare moments of candor – admitted: “There is [sic] no teeth in it, and it’s that way for a purpose.” Seriously? Is that so Board candidates Greg Bublitz, Norman Dziedzic and Michael Schaab, if they get elected, can vote to give their wives raises and better benefits when the next PREA contract is negotiated in 2020?

But we couldn’t end this post without a shout-out to the Tilted Kilt himself, Sotos, who is quoted in yesterday’s Park Ridge Herald-Advocate article (“District 64 considers addition to conflict of interest policy,” Feb. 20) as being “super torn by this” policy and claiming to “need every minute…to really sit with myself in a quiet place and try to figure out how to move forward.”

In the cartoon world that is the D-64 Board, the 7 Dwarfs draft, discuss and adopt toothless policies.

And one of them is so “super torn” over that toothless policy that he needs to lock himself away to think deep thoughts about it.

Yep, he’s “Dopey” du jour.

Update (02.27.17) Over this past weekend D-64 finally posted the video of last Tuesday (02.21.17) night’s Board meeting.

Yes, the toothless conflict of interest policy was approved, unanimously (Cameron stepping seemlessly back into the rubber-stamp role he previously played in his initial tenure on the Board), so Messrs. Bublitz, Dziedzic and Schaab will be free to vote their teacher-wives raises and better benefits in 2020 if the taxpayers are clueless enough to elect them to the Board in April.

And, yes, Borrelli’s Star Chamber anti-free speech Policy 2:81 was approved, unanimously, even if the removal-from-the-Board provision is legally unenforceable.

Just more business-as-usual from the lesser transparent of our two most expensive and under-achieving local units of government.

To read or post comments, click on title.

5 comments so far

I agree this resolution of censure is stupid and a waste of time. As someone who supported the women’s March I was somewhat embarrassed that so many of those who were outraged at Paterno were missing the point. It’s not up to the board to police its members extracurricular social media, it’s really up to voters to do our research on the candidates who run for office. Or better yet, offer up candidates who are more knowledgeable and better informed than Paterno and some of the other idiots on the board. Just like the country can do better than Trump, PR can do better than a guy like Paterno.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ironically, none of those folks outraged by Paterno’s “screechers” tweets – including his fellow Board members – seem to have had any problems with all of his go-along-to-get-along votes over the past four years.

It is mind-boggling to read about how these school board members spend more time, and ask more questions, about this stupid stuff and let far more significant things sail by with barely a mention.

I watched the video of Borrelli and Sotos and it was ludicrous.

Everything at D-64 would be great if it wasn’t for Paterno’s tweets, right?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yep, it’s all Paterno’s fault.

Free speech is always the first right to come under attack because it’s so dangerous to the establishment.

PREA, unions and spenders LOVE the distraction. The facebook tantrums by the left on facebook was so laughable.

Meanwhile, they want to ram FREE full day Kindergarten down our throats while we aren’t paying attention.

D64 & 207 get TOO MUCH of our tax dollars.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Correction: They get too much FOR THE VALUE THEY PRODUCE.

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