Joseph D. Donnelly Sr.: Candidate Profile
Rosemont Elementary D78
Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Office sought: Rosemont Elementary D78
Family: Son Sean and Daughter-In-Law, Shelby; Daughter Erin; Son Joseph, Jr.; Daughter Shannon.
Occupation: Attorney at law.
Education: Graduate, 1976, University of Illinois, Chicago Circle Campus (Now known as the University of Illinois at Chicago) B.A.; Graduate, 1979, DePaul University, College of Law.
Civic involvement: I have been on the School Board of District 78 since 1986. Zoning Board Member, Village of Rosemont since 2010. Rosemont Department of Public Safety, Auxiliary Officer since 1977. Board of Directors, Emerald Society of Illinois (Irish-American Police Association) since 1999. Member, Community Relations Committee, Lake Wildwood Association.
Elected offices held: Board of Education, District 78.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Parental involvement in their children's public education.
Key Issue 2
More state funding for sucessful public education programs.
Key Issue 3
More active community role in public education.
How satisfied are you that your district is preparing students for the next stage in their lives, whether it be from elementary into high school or high school into college or full-time employment? What changes, if any, do you think need to be made?
I am very happy and satisfied with the current preparation that our district provides its students to not only prepare them for their next step in the education process but also the preparation provided to provide meaningful assistance for their entire lives.
What budget issues will the district have to confront? What measures do you support to address them? If cuts are needed, be specific about programs and expenses that should be reduced or eliminated. Do you support any tax increases for local schools?
I do not support any tax increases. The State of Illinois is dysfunctional thinking that raising taxes, with no budget cuts, during the worse recession since the Great Depression will result in anything but a worsening of the state economy. Illinois will be the Michigan of this new decade. All schools are faced with budget crunches, mainly becasue the State of Illinois continues to fail to live up to its Constitutional requirement that it be the primary source of public education funding. To make matters worse, the state imposes considerable unfunded mandates on districts simply to satisfy the special interest groups that shower campaign contributions on the Springfield politicians. District 78 is in a very good position for the future in that we just negotiated a five year contract with our teacher's union. We calculate that the school budget will be in good shape and we do not anticipate budget cuts or lay offs, thanks to the Village of Rosemont. In years to come, TIF Districts will expire and additional tax revenue is anticipated as a result.
Is experience as a teacher or support from a union valuable because it suggests educational insights or detrimental because it creates pro-teacher bias? Please clarify whether you have such experience or would accept union support.
Rosemont has a very good relationship between the Board of Education and the Rosemont Professional Association (Teacher's Union). We have just settled a new five year contract. I only wish all teacher's unions throughout the State of Illinois were as concerned about children's education as is the Rosemont Professional Association, and not so much about their own petty agendas.
As contract talks come up with various employee groups, what posture should the board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
As we have concluded a new five year contract with our Profesional Association this question would not apply.
If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
No. Pensions do not exist any loinger outside the public sector. Taxpayers should not be expected to pay for a benfit they cannot hope for, and they should especially not be asked to ""super"" fund pensions to provide extraordinary benefits to public employees. All public employees pensions should be converted to 401(k) plans as soon as practicable and legal.