Entire College of DuPage board meets, votes for first time since November

 
 
Updated 2/3/2016 11:34 PM
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  • All six College of DuPage trustees, plus two attorneys, attend the 7 p.m. board meeting Wednesday in Glen Ellyn.

      All six College of DuPage trustees, plus two attorneys, attend the 7 p.m. board meeting Wednesday in Glen Ellyn. Jessica Cilella | Staff Photographer

  • Trustees Dianne McGuire, Erin Birt and Joe Wozniak showed their faces for the first time Wednesday, after boycotting every meeting since Nov. 19. They attended a special meeting they scheduled at 5:30 p.m., as well as a 7 p.m. special meeting scheduled by the remaining three trustees. During the later meeting, the board unanimously approved the consent agenda, minutes from two previous meetings and financial reports.

      Trustees Dianne McGuire, Erin Birt and Joe Wozniak showed their faces for the first time Wednesday, after boycotting every meeting since Nov. 19. They attended a special meeting they scheduled at 5:30 p.m., as well as a 7 p.m. special meeting scheduled by the remaining three trustees. During the later meeting, the board unanimously approved the consent agenda, minutes from two previous meetings and financial reports. Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

Three College of DuPage trustees who had been boycotting meetings for more than two months were in attendance at two meetings Wednesday at the Glen Ellyn school, resulting in a quorum -- and business getting done -- for the first time since Nov. 19.

All six trustees on the deeply divided board attended a special meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday and unanimously approved several items, including a lengthy consent agenda, minutes from two previous meetings and financial reports.

"Thank you very much for being here tonight," Vice Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi said to the boycotting trustees -- Dianne McGuire, Erin Birt and Joseph Wozniak -- at the conclusion of the meeting, which lasted less than an hour. "I look forward to having more productive meetings in the future."

McGuire, Birt and Wozniak were also present at the start of another special meeting they scheduled at 5:30 p.m. However, after waiting 15 minutes for any other trustees to show, they announced a meeting would not go on, due to lack of quorum.

The three previously said they would boycott meetings until an organizational session is held to pick a new chairman to replace former Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton, who unexpectedly stepped down on Dec. 13. No such session has been held.

As the three got up to leave Wednesday, the crowd of more than 80 people started booing and chanting, "Stay till 7, stay till 7," referring to the 7 p.m. meeting called by Mazzochi and Trustees Frank Napolitano and Charles Bernstein.

The 7 p.m. meeting had the same agenda as the 5:30 p.m. meeting but included a note that said the 7 p.m. meeting was necessary because a quorum might not be possible at 5:30 p.m., due to prior scheduling commitments.

Shortly before 6:30 p.m. Mazzochi, Napolitano and Bernstein hurried into the room -- but the other three trustees had already left. Mazzochi, Napolitano and Bernstein agreed to wait until 7 p.m. to start any discussions in case McGuire, Birt and Wozniak showed up.

They did, to applause.

Several residents expressed their dissatisfaction with the board during public comment, including Bill Graham, who told McGuire, Birt and Wozniak, "If you prefer not to come here we would all prefer that you resign."

While some agenda items were passed, legal bills, a software upgrade, architectural services and personnel action items did not get enough votes from the six-member board to be approved.

The board did not discuss the Feb. 11 deadline to select a replacement for Hamilton. If the six trustees can't agree on someone by then, the chairman of the Illinois Community College Board will pick the new trustee.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18.

• Daily Herald staff writer Robert Sanchez contributed to this report.

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