Wrong for D15 candidates to take union money

Updated 3/29/2011 3:01 PM

Jim Ekeberg, candidate for District 15 board of education, in response to questions from the Herald about accepting financial support from district employees in 2007 said, "We learned our lesson, I guess. Everybody makes such a negative thing of (accepting money from employee groups). Since that's offensive to some people, we stopped doing it."

His running mate, Gerald Chapman, had this to say on the subject, "Jim and I agreed we wouldn't accept any money because it might have the appearance of a conflict of interest."

"Offensive to some people"? "Might have the appearance of a conflict of interest"? Surely their moral compass has gone somewhat adrift. That elected servants of the public would temporize and hold the opinion that accepting financial support from employees that essentially report to them beggars disbelief.

That Ekeberg changed his mind about accepting such support because it was offensive to some people is beyond any rational comprehension.

Yet in going back and reading their words a second and third time, there is no doubt that Ekeberg and Chapman see nothing wrong with their actions, it's just fine to sit down at the negotiating table with the people from whom they've just received financial support. They both should read and heed the guidance provided by the Illinois Association of School Boards on the appearance or actual conflict of interest.

When the citizens of District 15 go to the polls on Tuesday, April 5th, to select who will represent them on the board of education, they need to ask themselves several question before they vote: Are these the candidates that you would want as leaders and role models? Do they embody the standards you want for the children of this community? Can you in good conscious vote for Ekeberg and Chapman?

Joe H. Heater