Dist. 46 board president's hubby gets school job; all not pleased

Updated 1/6/2011 7:27 PM

Although the husband of Grayslake Elementary District 46's board president was hired for a school job at an open meeting, one of her colleagues says officials should have been even more transparent.

District 46 board member Michael Carbone contends the names of people being hired should be made available when officials are voting on personnel, saying taxpayers deserve to know what's happening.

Board President Mary Garcia's husband, Robert, was hired at the public meeting Nov. 10 for a job in operations and maintenance at Grayslake Middle School.

But no one in the audience could have known he was hired while watching the vote.

"I think the way it was handled, I have a concern," Carbone said.

Similar to how other school boards operate, District 46 had an agenda item called "approval of personnel report as presented," with Robert Garcia listed as a separate employee action item but not listed by name.

Board members voted 4-0, with one abstention, in favor of the personnel recommendation. Mary Garcia asked for the separate vote on her husband and recused herself from the decision.

"I'm going to abstain," Mary Garcia said at the meeting. "I know someone on the personnel report."

Mary Garcia said this week she planned to raise the possibility of offering more detail on the agenda regarding to public votes on personnel matters.

Some school boards include the names of all employees involved in hirings, resignations and promotions that require board approval on meeting agendas. Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 agendas always include such names.

But school district officials are not required by law to include names on agendas, and many omit that information when listing action on personnel matters.

Lake Zurich Unit District 95, for example, followed that practice on Nov. 4 when officials accepted the resignation of high school drama instructor Ronald Culver at an open meeting.

Board vice president John Kropf revealed what occurred only when asked after the meeting. Lake County prosecutors had three days earlier charged Culver with molesting a student. Culver has pleaded not guilty.