Roselle Dist. 12 cancels candidate forum

Updated 2/11/2011 12:41 PM

On the heels of a formal complaint from a resident, officials in Roselle Elementary District 12 will cancel a Feb. 16 forum for Roselle village board candidates.

Superintendent Lori Bein has csaid the event was planned as a service to the community. But in a statement Friday she said the district would have to spend money on legal council to defend itself against the complaint to proceed with the forum.

"Though we are confident in our legal right to host this nonpartisan forum, we are not willing to commit money toward defending our position," she said in the statement.

Roselle businessman Paul Jendrycki lodged a complaint against the district Wednesday, saying the forum violated the district's ethics and gifts ban by allowing campaigning on school grounds.

He also said the forum seemed slanted, since four school board members are listed as "vocal supporters" of incumbent candidate Barbara Rendall-Hochstadt on her campaign website.

Three candidates who are members of the Roselle United Party voiced similar concerns last month after the forum was announced. Party members Eleanor "Elly" Paletta, Richard Rhode and Todd Eichholz declined to participate, while independent candidates Ron Baker, Wayne Domke and Hochstadt were scheduled to appear.

Jendrycki said he does not support any candidate so far, and was strictly concerned with the proper use of taxpayer money.

"I believe this was the proper decision because I believe it was a political event," said Jendrycki "If this was truly an event to raise awareness, where were the candidates for the library and the park district? I commend Dr. Bein for re-evaluating the original actions of the district board."