Incumbents win re-election in Elk Grove Township District 59
The four incumbents in the Elk Grove Township District 59 school board race held off their single challenger in Tuesday's election to earn additional four-year terms on the panel.
Gary Ofisher, director of operations at Keeneyville Elementary District 20, made the election a race by challenging Janice Krinsky, Sharon Roberts, Karen Osmanski and Mardell Schumacher in their re-election bids.
With all 39 precincts reporting, unofficial totals showed Roberts with 2,127 votes, Osmanski with 2,096, Krinsky with 2,031, Schumacher with 1,760, and Ofisher with 1,317.
Ofisher argued his business experience would be valuable in questioning district staff on a planned $13.6 million administration building. Money saved by constructing a more basic facility would be better used on a facility for students, such as a performing arts center, he argued.
However, the incumbents said that plans for the administration center at 999 Leicester Road in Elk Grove Village already had been scaled back to reduce costs. They said a commissary included to prepare school meals would save money in the long term.
Krinsky, the board vice president, and Osmanski, the board secretary, said a new administration building is necessary and the building should serve the district for decades.
Roberts was the lone board member to vote against selling the current administration building and neighboring property for $5 million last fall. She applauded her fellow board members for scaling back plans for the replacement building.
Another issue in the campaign was whether the district should expand its early childhood education programs.
Krinsky, Osmanski and Roberts thought it should, while Schumacher and Ofisher were more wary of adding costs given the state's budget problems and questioned whether serving children preschool age and earlier should be part of the district's mission.