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updated: 4/22/2017 3:10 PM

Editorial: Delay Palatine District 15 school board appointment

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  • Outgoing members of the Palatine School District 15 board appear set to rush in an appointee to a seat that became vacant after the election.

      Outgoing members of the Palatine School District 15 board appear set to rush in an appointee to a seat that became vacant after the election.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald Editorial Board

The background: In Palatine Township Elementary District 15, an opposition slate of five candidates convincingly swept the five school board seats up for election earlier this month. In doing so, three incumbents were unceremoniously shown the door.

What message from the community could be clearer or louder?

Unfortunately, the reason the old guard members of the board got trounced is because, for all their other attributes, they are horrible at hearing or listening to community messages.

So, instead of responding to their defeat with grace, they are apparently about to conduct a power play to seize one of the other two seats.

Old guard ally Jessica Morrison has suddenly resigned -- the timing of that departure seeming more than coincidental -- and the old guard board members are intent on rushing through an appointment two days before they leave office.

It is so bizarre that it seems surreal.

One of the sad things about this is that, on a personal level, we happen to like the old guard members of the board of education. In their other lives, they seem to be nice people who mean well.

We have no doubts that they are devoted to the school district and to the students it serves.

But, gosh, how myopic can otherwise intelligent people be?

We ask Board President Peggy Babcock and her board allies to stop and reconsider what they are about to do.

If they go ahead and rush through an appointment to this suddenly open seat, they would be doing the school district a disservice, the community a disservice and, ultimately, their own legacies and good names a disservice.

We can only think that the emotions of the moment and the heat of local politics have gotten the better of them.

How else to explain how they should be tempted to engineer such a transparent and odious ploy?

May cooler heads and common sense prevail.

May they safeguard their dignity.

May they promote harmony rather than dissension.

May they model the right behavior for the schoolchildren.

And may they rightfully delay the appointment until the new board is seated.

But if they don't, if the school board itself should fail to exercise good and ethical judgment, we call on any candidates for the school board position to do so.

We ask applicants for that seat to withdraw their applications until after the new school board is seated. No one should wish to enter public service under such a manipulative arrangement and such a regrettable cloud.

This is, after all, beyond politics.

It is cynicism.

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