Carl G. Meyer: Candidate profile
Name: Carl G. Meyer
Office sought: West Chicago Elementary District 33 school board member.
Family: 3 grown children; 4 grandchildren.
Occupation: Maintenance engineer.
Education: Stationary engineering
Civic involvement: N/A
Previous elected offices held: None
Q. What are the most important issues facing District 33 and how do you intend to address them?
The education of our children, and fiscal responsibility. We have put numerous programs in place to address the obstacles that our students face, which have proved to be very effective. The implementation of holding our teachers/principals accountable ensures that students are not being passed from grade level to grade level.
We need to do more in the area of financial responsibility. The board needs to be kept abreast by the superintendent before decisions are made and the board needs to have a "real" vote in what happens when it comes to decisions that affect the district financially.
Q. How satisfied are you that District 33 is adequately preparing students for the next stage in their lives, going from elementary into high school? What changes, if any, need to be made?
In my 22 years working for West Chicago District 33, I saw firsthand how the administration was lacking in the support of staff in certain areas. The teachers are on the front line with our students and they know our students extremely well and what needs to be done. Our principals, teachers and support staff need to be know that they are supported by administration on their decisions. This support with teachers/administrators will ensure that the teacher/student relationship is addressing what the student needs and that they are getting the best possible tools/solutions to prepare them to go into high school.
Q. What budgetary issues will District 33 have to confront during the next four years and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, be specific about programs and expenses that should be considered for reduction or elimination. On the income side, do you support tax increases? Be specific.
We know there will be programs that will be closely looked at and possibly cut due to the uncertainty in our state and our country. Programs and expenses related to those programs should be the last thing cut.
My real concern and what will be my focus is expenses as it relates to administration. We have administrators in positions they are not qualified for, and a lot of excess support staff for those administrators. If we are going to look at cutting anything I believe that we should look in this area first as it will not impact the education of our children the way that other cuts would. I do not support any tax increase because I feel that the homeowners in West Chicago already pay some of the highest real estate taxes in DuPage County.
Q. Are you currently employed by or retired from a school district, if so, which one? Is any member of your direct family -- spouse, child or child-in-law -- employed by the school district where you are seeking a school board seat?
I retired in 2016 from West Chicago District 33. where I was Director of Facilities and Grounds. I am currently employed at Maercker School, District 60, as a maintenance engineer. I do not have any relations working District 33 nor do I believe in or support nepotism.
Q. As contract talks come up with various school employee groups -- teachers, support staff, etc. -- what posture should the school board take? Do you believe the district should ask for concessions from its employees, expect employee costs to stay about the same as they are now or provide increases in pay or benefits?
You should never ask an employee to take less, especially if they are doing their job well. Performance reviews and accountability should be part of any increase. The board needs to hold the superintendent accountable for having administrators lead by example when it comes to salaries and benefits for all employee groups in the district.
Q. If your district had a superintendent or other administrator nearing retirement, would you support a substantial increase in his or her pay to help boost pension benefits? Why or why not?
No. I do not believe in raising an individual's salary to boost pension benefits. Our administrators are paid extremely well which should more than prepare them for retirement.