Endorsements: Buttimer, Estes, Clark for Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board
The removal of one superintendent and the hiring process for his successor have put some people in Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 on edge and created for some contentious board meetings of late.
It's also brought a trio of challengers to the fore, all of whom could serve capably. There are five candidates for three seats for the April 2 election.
School board President Stephanie Clark and Vice President Kurt Buchholz are running as a team to get re-elected.
They ran as a slate in their last election with another candidate who didn't win. They say that while their views are very similar, they do disagree occasionally. Both say they ran before on a platform that included being transparent, but candidates Jessica Buttimer, Ted Estes and Julie Hill challenge that assertion, saying they still have heard no reason why a "beloved" superintendent -- Paul Gordon -- was voted out in January in a split vote.
They also take issue with how the board has conducted its search for a replacement, both in the hiring of the search firm and in the secretive nature of the selection process.
Both incumbents defended the closed-door nature of their work, saying it's necessary to ensure a good pool of candidates.
Buttimer called "penny wise and pound-foolish" the board's decision to limit its tax levy in recent years, something she said has prevented the district from being able to pay for full-day kindergarten with funds on hand within a couple of years. She gets concurrence from Estes and Hill.
The incumbents shrug that off, saying residents have expressed they don't want to pay for full-day kindergarten.
Buttimer is the strongest of the challengers and would lend an important perspective to the board. Estes impresses us as a thoughtful, calming presence, which the board could use.
Clark, a former engineer, brings a level-headed, fiscally conservative approach to the board. Instead of mending fences, though, Buchholz can be antagonistic.
Buttimer, Estes and Clark are endorsed.