Sriram: District 15 board climate made it impossible to do job
In her letter of resignation from the Palatine Township Elementary School District 15 school board, Manjula Sriram says she stepped down from the panel because she didn't think the board was allowing her to carry out the job she was elected to do.
Sriram submitted her letter of resignation, addressed to Board President Peggy Babcock, Nov. 24. It was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
"The Palatine community elected me to contribute and be their voice representing their best interests on the District 15 School Board," Sriram wrote in her resignation letter. "However, the current climate of this school board structure leaves it impossible for me to participate when I feel that everything spoken by someone who may not agree with the board majority or the administration goes unheard and or unaddressed."
Earlier this week, Sriram said she often felt shut out for asking questions and voting against the majority.
Superintendent Scott Thompson said he and the other six board members just want what's best for the students.
"Just because she didn't get her way doesn't mean that her way is the right way," Thompson said. "I'm sorry Manjula didn't feel she could influence the other board members to vote the way she wanted them to."
The board, Sriram wrote in her letter, allows issues "to be rubber stamped instead of utilizing concrete business tools to rectify the problem at hand."
Sriram said she plans to continue serving the community of Palatine through different avenues.
Sriram was first elected to the board in 2011 as part of a slate with former board members Scott Herr and Gerard Iannuzzelli. The slate often challenged budget decisions made by the other board members and opposed deficit spending.
She was re-elected to the board in April, but her running mates Iannuzzelli and Frank Annerino lost, leaving Sriram often the only board member to ask questions and vote against the board majority.
District 15 has 45 days to appoint a new board member to fill the position until the 2017 election. Applicants have until Dec. 18 to submit their applications electronically.
Senior Executive Assistant June Becker said the district has not yet received any applications for the position, but Thompson said the district has sent emails to the candidates who submitted applications when there was a board vacancy after the death of board member Richard Bokor in January.
He said the board will meet before the regularly scheduled Dec. 9 meeting to discuss its plan for choosing a new board member.