Experience prevailed in Palatine Township Elementary District 15, where voters re-elected all three incumbents and put a former board member back on the board.
With all 76 precincts reporting, unofficial results show incumbents Peggy Babcock and David Seiffert led the crowded field with 3,605 votes and 3,545 votes, respectively.
Close behind were former board member Dr. James Ekeberg with 3,307 votes and incumbent Rich Bokor with 3,169 votes.
Donna Johnson, Matt Lyons, Jennifer Zold, Ramnath Cidambi and Abdul Javid trailed.
The incumbents emerged unscathed by recent turmoil in the district. Officials have faced criticism from some parents for their handling of the late start/early release proposal, and the relationship with the transportation union has become more strained by the day as contract negotiations and talk outsourcing continue.
Babcock said the board needs to get its priorities in place and work to reach a consensus on controversial issues.
“It seems to me that most of the arguments we’ve been hearing lately were based on past problems and recriminations,” Babcock said. “We need to keep moving the district forward and make sure it’s all about the kids.”
Babcock, a homemaker, and Bokor, an adjunct professor and retired teacher, each won a second term. They shared campaign signs and both said their priority is to have the district conduct a facilities study, which could have ramifications such as possible redistricting.
Ekeberg, a family physician who served one term before losing in the 2011 election, said the district needs to develop a long-range plan. Many recent measures have been positive, but shortsighted, steps, he said.
“The current animosity among different groups is really counterproductive and not the community I grew up in,” Ekeberg said. “We need to restore integrity and try to stop this infighting.”
Seiffert, who was appointed to the board in 2011, said his goal is to make sure the district continues to operate in a fiscally responsible manner. He also said it’s vital to have consistent leadership at the top.
Running mates Lyons, Zold and Johnson were the most mobilized of the candidates, creating a “Vote 1-2-3” campaign based on their ballot positions. They shared signs and robocalls and had the endorsement of current board President Tim Millar and community group Citizens for Accountability in D15.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.