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updated: 3/30/2011 7:21 PM

Stark differences in Carol Stream Library race

Stark differences in Carol Stream library board race

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  • Thomas Arends

      Thomas Arends

  • James Outland

      James Outland

  • David DeRango

      David DeRango

  • Dominick Jeffrey

      Dominick Jeffrey

  • Nadia Sheik

      Nadia Sheik

 
 

The campaign platforms for many of the candidates in the race for Carol Stream Public Library board couldn't be more starkly different.

On one side, David DeRango and Dominick Jeffrey say library officials tax and spend irresponsibly, and think a piece of property the library bought for a potential new facility at 480 Kuhn Road isn't needed.

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On the other side, incumbent Trustee James Outland and newcomer Nadia Sheikh say they support the direction of the library and its director, Ann Kennedy.

Another candidate, incumbent Tom Arends, said he shares ideas with candidates on all sides, and considers himself someone who can make compromises.

The five candidates are seeking three available 4-year terms. One 2-year term also is available, with incumbent Trustee James Bailey facing Joshua Jeffrey, the son of Dominick Jeffrey.

The two Jeffreys and DeRango are running on an anti-tax slate, just as they did in 2009. In that election, they also ran with Michael Wade, who won election and is now on the board.

The slate members argue they would be a check against Kennedy and the majority of current board members who approve her budgets. The next fiscal year budget approved this month includes funding for three new staff members and 3 percent salary increases. Wade proposed his own budget that called for no new hires and 2 percent salary increases.

"She puts together a wish list and has a board that rubber-stamps everything she wants," Dominick Jeffrey said. "Somebody has to rein her in."

Added DeRango: "The current trustees are allowing her to do whatever she wants. The taxpayers are not a bottomless pit. We're not an open checkbook for her or the current trustees."

Arends, who along with Wade voted against Kennedy's budget, said he's been able to approach the budget and levy process in a fiscally responsible way. He said some categories of spending in the recent budget should have been reduced.

Outland, who was appointed to the board in October, said there's a need to expand library services, especially to seniors and children, and that costs money.

"I think there's quite a difference between what some of us want and what others want," Outland said. "I am taking the position that I think the library is on the right track, under the guidance of Ann Kennedy as director and Rob (Douglas) being president of the board. I know that's quite counter to what some people think. But that's the position I'm taking."

Sheikh said she's running to be an advocate for the library, and wants to focus on its positives.

"I'm really a huge fan of our library. It'd be nice to have somebody in their corner who backs them up and likes what's going on," Sheikh said. "My focus is to be a cheerleader for our library, and I'm doing it for the right reasons."

DeRango and Jeffrey said they were opposed to the library's purchase of property on Kuhn Road -- before voters rejected three referendum proposals that called for building a new library there.

"It's like putting the cart before the horse," DeRango said.

Jeffrey said he doesn't think there's a space issue at the current Hiawatha Avenue facility, and argued the land on Kuhn Road should be sold. He also said he thinks library officials will try to seek a referendum again down the line.

"These people are still determined to build it. These people have no conscience. They're very arrogant people," Jeffrey said.

Outland said board members have to accept that the community has said it does not want a new library. But he also believes the land shouldn't be sold but held onto in case a new library is needed down the line.

In the meantime, he said the board should explore options for the space that will benefit the community or bring in revenue.

Arends said the library should keep all options open about the property, including intergovernmental uses, or selling it.

Sheikh said she didn't have an opinion on the Kuhn Road property but did say in 10 or 15 years the library will need more space.

Bailey and Joshua Jeffrey, who are running for the lone 2-year term seat, couldn't be reached for comment.

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