Construction firm big donor to pro-referendum group

A rendering of the proposed new 5th Ward school that voters on March 20 will decide whether to build as part of a $48 million property tax referendum.
State records show that the biggest donor the citizens group backing the District 65 new school referendum is a Mount Prospect firm that has done work on District 65 construction projects.
Reports submitted by Citizens for a Better Evanston show that its largest donation -- $2,500 -- came from NEPCO Inc. of 1001 Feehanville Drive in Mount Prospect.
A story published by the Evanston RoundTable last year identified Nick Papanicholas, Jr., of NEPCO as District 65's construction manager for an expansion project at Lincoln School.
State law doesn't require committees to report all their donations until mid-April, after the election is over.
But it does require immediate reporting of contributions of $1,000 or more.
In addition to NEPCO, the only other contributions CBE has reported are ones of $1,000 each from Susan Greene of 922 Asbury Ave. and Terri Shepard of 150 Barton Ave.
Greene is listed as the bookkeeper for the committee. A health care benefits consultant, she was a member of district's ad-hoc budget committee appointed last year 
A Robyn Gabel supporter, Greene filed a petition signature challenge that resulted in State Rep. Gabel's Libertarian party opponent being kicked off the election ballot in 2010.
Shepard is a long-time activist on school issues who, among other things, supported the failed effort to rename Haven Middle School for former mayor Lorraine Morton.
No group opposing the referendum has filed reports with the state. Groups are only required to file once their contributions or expenditures hit the $3,000 mark.

Comments

Hardygate - D65 Referendum

I thought those slick signs, mailers, and newspaper inserts looked expensive.  Now we know where the money came from -- a passionate advocate of "social justice" from Mount Prospect who just happens to want in on another piece of the action from Evanston taxpayers' pockets.  What would make him even think that this could buy him some clout?  Oh, yeah  . . .  Never mind.
Vote NO on March 20.

Payback for the guy from Mount Prospect

Self serving and super cozy.   
Nick Papanicholas, Jr., of NEPCO - who happens to be District 65's construction manager for an expansion project at Lincoln School - he's helping sell the referendum?   You gotta be kidding me?
NEPCO is likely (or hoping)  to benefit financlially and professionally if the referendum passes - which is exactly why he should STAY OUT OF IT!   Why else would a resident of Mount Prospect be the largest donor to a pro referendum group?
And when did the school board become a place to serve your professsional interests first.   Mr. Pigozzi supported the choice of NEPCO and now Mr. Papanicholoas is running the school board in Mount Prospect.
Looks good on the resume - and heck - brings in good business.
It wouldn't even surprise me if the donation was written off as a business expense.
 
 
 

Standard Operating Procedure for This Contractor

According to this article, this is not the first time Mr. Papanicholas has contributed to a building referendum campaign in hopes of being awarded a contract:
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2007-03-01/news/0703010246_1_bond-issue-illinois-campaign-school-bond-sale
Correction, Ms. Berkley - he is not on the Mt. Prospect school board, he was merely a candidate. However, at that time : "Candidate Nick Papanicholas, Jr., said he doesn't support a referendum for a tax increase." [http://www.journal-topics.com/news/article_415b71a8-5bd9-11e0-bcef-0019b...
Apparently, he is in favor of tax increases in other communities, just not his own.
Oh, it should also be noted that a look at D65 contracts for 2011 shows over $460,888 to NEPCO.

impact of a NO vote

The referendum does not really apply to the work on existing schools. That work can go ahead irrespective of the vote. The refendum outcome only impacts the new school. Sly and manipulative to combine the two to make people think that a No vote would prevent rehabbing existing schools.

Show me the money

This is one of the false statements that have been going around town.  Where is the money?  Without funds from the referendum, the money to build classroom additions ONLY will have to come at the expense of something else - and the board must agree on this diversion of funds.  So I'd think really hard about those upgrades you've been promised by your favorite board member, people.  Talk about deceiving ...

Thank you very much for

Thank you very much for exposing this outrageous conflict of interest and, actually, dishonest failure to disclose. Those previously aware should be ashamed of themselves, in my opinion.  I am so glad I early voted NO on this referendum.

upcoming referendum on district 65 school

Here are the reasons why Vito and I are voting no on the referendum on tuesday, and i urge any who are opposed to this referendum to get out and vote.  I think its supporters are counting on a low turnout.
Population projections are notoriously wobbly, and change rapidly in short periods of time.  Why would we expect an influx of new residents in the ward with the largest number of foreclosures in the city?  Evanston's population has been relatively flat between the last two censuses, and the black population has declined, although the Hispanic population has increased dramatically.
Without herculean effort and money, it seems that clustering low income and minority students together in a school is not a recipe for academic success.  The superintendent's idealistic picture of a neighborhood full of involved parents, active neighbor support and an encouraging, high-expectations teaching staff sound wonderful.  Why has that idealism not already been realized in the 47 years we have been in Evanston?
If the desire for a neighborhood school were so great, why did a majority of the neighbors surveyed say that they were pleased with the schools their children were attending, and didn't want to change?
If the new school does not have an acceptable enrollment, how does that problem get solved?  Mandatory busing for those students who live in the 5th ward but go to school out of it?  Mandatory busing of a variety of students from all over Evanston?  And what of the District's informal 60/40 racial balance guideline?  Will that be scrapped?  Will we have several schools with greater than 60% of one race or another?
To me, the bundling of the school improvements with the new school is a cynical way of confusing the people into thinking that if they vote no, the improvements can't be made.  That is false.  The referendum is only needed for the new school. Bond issues can be done for the various additions, as they were for recent ones at Dewey and others.
In the late 1960s, when our children started school, and the great desegregation push was on,  thousands of black parents came out to vote for then Superintendent Greg Coffin's supporting school board members, when traditionally, black turnout for school board elections was even smaller than that of whites.  They accepted the busing of their children because they sincerely believed that desegregating all District 65 schools was more important to their children, and to Evanston than having a neighborhood school.  
It is instructive to note the negative position on this referendum taken by former teacher/alderman/principal/mayor Lorraine Morton, and activist/school board member and businssman Hecky Powell.
And doesn't the dramatic about-face numbers about District 65's budget and deficits raise some concern?  How can this change occur in such a short time?
It seems to me that the only way this school could succeed is if it followed the original model of the King Lab school that made it a magnet that many good civic-minded Evanstonians were eager to send their kids to, or if it were to become a truly ground-breaking charter school such as the many in Chicago and elsewhere across the country.  This seems highly unlikely.
So we are voting no on Tuesday.
Mary Brugliera

History and the law

In the sixties the 5th ward agreed to bus their children in exchange for having a magnet school in their community that bused white children in.  So Foster School became King Lab.  Twelve years later King Lab moved to it's current site and Foster School was closed.  The community has been asking for a neighborhood school ever since.
Years ago the 60/40 ration you refer to was abandoned as it was found illegal due to new laws.  It can be argued that the current busing of students out of the fifth ward based on race is illegal, too.

For anyone who has followed

For anyone who has followed politics for any amount of time, it should come as no surprise that many who weigh in on matters via monetary contributions have a significant economic stake in those matters.   That should not have any impact on voters' decisions, however, since this is primarily a social and educational issue.  As such, I think that with the continued and increasing encroachment into schools by the federal government, one of the few ways for people to exert any influence over their own educational system is to support and even create neighborhood schools.   While it is all but impossible for schools to totally eradicate the deleterious effects of poverty, poor family education, and other environmental matters, once those kids do get to school, the place can have an enormous impact, and it will be greatest in a school where the community feels like it's theirs.  That's my hope for a 5th ward school, and it's why I support the referendum to build it. 
   Oh, and by the way, there are very FEW excellent charter schools in Chicago OR in the rest of the country, but those that do exhibit some success (17% on the most significant recent study)  frequently do not even accept difficult students, even if they live in the neighborhood.  This new school has the greatest potential of any school in Evanston to be not only good, but great. 

Vote for every student in every ward- VOTE NO

The difference here is this is on the local political level. We are not talking about Romney v. Santorum here, this is about a referendum for the schools of Evanston. And even on the nationalism, cronyism is not looked highly upon. This type of sly politics should have no place in Evanston.
Although it is true that this is an educational and social issue, this vote is largely an economic one too. Taxes will be raised by enormous amounts. But that amount does not include the expenses for hiring new teachers, jump starting after school programs, etc. 
But you are right, this is a social and educational issue. However, this referendum would not lead to better education for all of D65. In order to balance the district budget and compensate for the operating costs of a new school, D65 will have to eliminate teaching assistants, aids in the TWI program, as well as hiring new and inexperienced teachers to teach our students. We will be spreading ourselves to thin. Voting yes will negatively impact the district as a whole. Both north end schools and schools Oakton and Washington will be hurt. This is not just about giving one neighborhood a school. It's about giving a whole city an education.
Although this school is not a charter school, that does not mean it will be great. Also, if you look at schools in the country who are made up of primarily low income students, (both those who live in the community and those who don't) you will find that they also exhibit little success. Building the 5th ward school and spreading D65s resources so thin lowers the potential of any D65 school to be great.
If we want the whole district to be great, VOTE NO. Board president Katie Bailey has said that the upgrades to middle schools can be made whether the referendum passes or not. 65 just tagged those on to try to get people to vote for the referendum. 
VOTE NO FOR EVERY STUDENT, FOR EVERY WARD.
www.NoD65Referendum.com to learn more.

Business as usually is no excuse for a yes vote for district 65

This is quite troubling but no suprising, it puts a shadow on all the work being done on the schools,  and the oversight of Hardy Murphy and the borad.
This goes beyond the election and into the operating procedures of district 65.  Years ago when I attend a business meeting ( I was the only member of the public ) the then business manager stated she could not account for $400,000 in construction funds. 
District 65 has been a mess for years - this recent item on the ballot - shows its a continued mess - I am not so much against a 5th ward school as I am in the process the board went into and the questions they refused to answer.   I am not against neighborhood schools - just the boards approach to create a true neighborhood school system!
My guess is this will lose on tuesday - those who support  this  have not line up the support of enouigh people, it is clear many former board members do not support this - and many others do not support it since it goes against what they have been claiming they want here for years intergraded schools!

Resegregating the Schools

Resegregation of the public schools is a disturbing trend across the country. Not long ago the national NAACP addressed this question specifically:
"Ending busing to integrate schools and dwindling funding for public schools is the newest form of re-segregation,” NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement.  “All children of all backgrounds, of all races, colors and creeds deserve an accessible, high quality public education. School boards across this country are rolling the clock back to the time before Brown vs. The Board of Education and the NAACP will not continue to let this happen.”
[http://www.minnpost.com/learning-curve/2010/12/naacp-calls-end-resegregation-bloomington-among-local-districts-grappling-stu]
Evanston should not be part of perpetuating this trend.
 

Who solicited NEPCO for the contribution?

Bill,
Thank you for reporting the information about the funding behind the Pro Referendum PAC, C4BE.
 I'd like to know who solicited NEPCO for a contribution. What was the communication between District 65 administration and/or board members and the contractor? Will NEPCO be allowed to bid and participate in the proposed building projects. I hope you or someone will be able to provide the answers to these questions.
One would think that it would be illegal for D65 vendors, employees (and close relatives of employees - e.g. spouse or parent of a D65 employee) to engage in political activity on behalf of the D65 referendum. I guess this is not the case as I review the names of the contributors and watch the video that was produced by C4BE. Apparently it is not illegal for the President of the District 65 School Board to participate in the Pro Referendum video.
 Many thanks for revealing this information.

D65

What in the world do you expect in an exurb of the most corrupt city (and the worst-run state) in the nation? Look at the latest CPS scandal and draw your own conclusions. BTW, what, besides the obvious one, are Mr (Dr) Hardy's qualifications for his job? Thank God we're moving soon out of Illinois!!!

Picture's worth more than 1000 words

See the architectural rendering accompanying this article? It cost well over than $2500 to make that happen, and for a school D65 has not yet committed funds to build.. How much did the district pay to have the building designed to this point and a rendering drawn? Or, which hopeful architectural firm invested a considerable amount of funds to do it?
Individuals and companies are free, subject to legal limits, to attempt to influence voters. Voters are free to make up their own minds.

Referendum to change D65 school board

This past week I attended an information session at Chute conducted by C4BE and two D65 Board Members.
Let me rewrite that.
This past week I attended an information session funded in part by NEPCO, Inc., a district 65 construction vendor, and two district board members including one who is an architect specializing in school development projects who recently promoted the selection of NEPCO, Inc. on district projects.
At the information session, the D65 President present in an informational capacity only, was told that the Chute PTA President was anti referendum. The Board President, whose name I won't share here, responded, "we can do something about that..." 
I am not against a 5th ward school but I am against this referendum. I am also against the unseemly nature by which this board operates. Let me be specific so that I'm not hurling unsubstantiated accusations.
1. Use of data is not scientific and looks to be cherry-picked to support a predetermined outcome. In this latest case its population projections. And didn't the superintendent and special committee toss aside it's own adminstrators numbers for other, higher numbers?;
2. Financial case is insufficient and financial information is purposely kept opaque. The fact that the board president and vice president are incapable of communicating an operating expense number for an individual school ("that's not how we do it") is beyond remarkable to me. Management incompetence all the way around;
3. Leveraging race politics to stifle thoughtful discussion and opposition is unjustified. A theme of C4BE, as one of its principals uttered, and other referendum advocates is that Evanston desegregation has occurred, "on the backs of fifth ward children." Hey school board president and vice president sitting in the room and hearing this, how about using your soap box to present a little history on D65 desegregation. Perhaps justify why you are overtly and publicly advocating (against the law) changes that will resegregate. Even though every study to date has shown that this will negatively affect student performance.
D65 is using the same gameplan on this referendum as they used on other issues such as the Africentric curriculum. Fudge or ignore the data. Obscure the finances. And lean on the race card versus doing thorough work. On Africentric there was no science to cite, the board and administration responded to questions about cost with "it's really not that much money" but remarkably (it's a trend) could not provide specfics. And of course used race to coalesce support and intimidate thoughtful discussion.
I'm not against a fifth ward school. I think there's a problem that still needs a fix. But this is not how a responsible agency goes about formulating and building support for a solution.

Big Money / Old Boys Network

Old Boys Network - Cronyism.... whatever you want to call it - it lacks integrity.
Last Years D65 financial statement that was submitted to the state, shows NEPCO receiving $1,380,619 for services.   This is the firm that is the primary underwriter of CB4E.   They certainly have some skin in the game.   And this goes back some years.
Back in 1991 D65 financial statements show
$299,911.37 going to a firm O'Donnell Wicklund Pigozzi and Peterson and  $197,048.71 being paid to NEPCO.
If you or your family financially benefits from a situation - good business practice and ethics dictates you recuse yourself - not pony up to help it pass.
Jane Berkley

Not the current board member

In a phone call to Evanston Now this afternoon, school board member Andrew Pigozzi noted that the Pigozzi mentioned in the above comment who was a partner in the firm that did business 21 years ago with District 65 was his late father, not him.
-- Bill

So Many Factors to Consider...Racism, Economics, Trust?

I have gone back and forth on the referendum question, and as the hours wind down until the voting begins, I am still on the fence.  Factors I am considering:
Pros:
-Most of the schools in D65 are severely outdated and falling apart.  They all need to be replaced eventually.
-The neighborhood where the proposed school is to be built has been without a school for so long as a result of racism.  Whether it was by the School Board or the white parents who would have protested the busing of their children.  The magnet school was simply an excuse; a more palatable option for those in power, at the time.  If the new school is built, it should pull from a new, redistricted area, including parts of Northwest Evanston (Willard) and Northeast Evanston (Orrington), in order to keep it economically balanced. If the new school isn't built, King Lab should be demagnetized and reintegrated into the elementary equation.
-The children in that neighborhood are some of the lowest acheiving in the District, and nothing that has been done thus far, in the last 40 years, has significantly changed that.  I have worked with many of these children over the years, and I am willing to try something new to solve this crisis.  (Expecting them to do well, simply as a result of being around many high acheiving students is as naive as thinking lumping them all together by itself would work.)  At the very least, a new vision of how to address their education, combined with a new appreciation for their school, might be a step in the right direction.  Obviously, It would take more than new walls and desks.
-The interest rates would seem to make it a good bargain.
 
Cons:
-I am not a Hardy Murphy fan, and I do not trust what he says.  He has become so powerful in his extended tenure that he seems to do and say whatever he feels like.  This may well be a referendum vote on him.  The building of this school will be his own Jordan statue (United Center) to himself.  The referendum failure may start his exit out of town.
-I don't like the way that the other different improvements have been bootstrapped to the referendum, in order to get more votes.  The administration seems to assume that we are all idiots. (Parents, staff, community) and this poorly veiled attempt at coercion is another example.
-The recent information (from this site) that has disclosed the not-so-strange bedfellows involved in the suggestion/solicitation/construction of this proposed new school.
-As a result of the above, I don't really feel confident that the school board will make the right choices and fully support what it would take to make the school successful.  After all, it is ultimately their decisions that have allowed Murphy to have his way with our school district. 
-It is difficult, in this economy, to agree to any tax increase, no matter the purpose.   Particularly when proposed by those who make more money than the rest of us. 
Conclusion:
I really thought that I had decided to vote NO on Tuesday, until I received a flyer, hand delivered to me as I spent Sunday playing with my kids in my front yard.  The flyer basically said:
VOTE NO TO THE REFERENDUM FOR DISTRICT 65.  THOSE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES HAVE IT EASY WITH THEIR GUARANTEED JOBS, PENSIONS AND THREE MONTHS OFF PER YEAR, WHILE THE REST OF US STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET.   THEY NEED TO BE BROUGHT BACK TO REALITY LIKE THE REST OF US.
I know that this issue has become an important one for many Evanston/Skokie residents, with the proposed tax increase, and the standards we set for our schools, but for this person, and whatever others he represents, to attack me personally, (in my own front yard, in front of my family) by claiming that somehow I have it easier than everyone else, and that I will benefit from this as an employee of the District, I am leaning back towards YES.  I am a teacher in District 65.  I could have done many different things in life, but I teach.  In order to make ends meet, I also work two other jobs after school hours, and work during my "vacation time" in the Summer.  I am contemplating selling my home and relocating to a more affordable community in order to support my children in college and to afford continuously rising health insurance.  I certainly never asked for the sympathy that I would get from people a few years back, (when the economy was working for everyone else)  ("Aren't you a saint, working with all those kids"; "That is such a sacrifice" etc) because that was the choice I made and what I wanted to do.  But the last thing I should be hearing as an Evanston resident is that somehow teachers are to blame for this new school chaos, the Administrative deceit, or that we have benefitted during this economic downturn. 
I wonder if this issue would still be as emotional if the location for the new school was near the lakefront, or to replace Willard/Orrington/Dewey? 
I'm sure I will come to my senses by tomorrow and make a decision based upon what I think is right for my family, and I hope everyone else will, as well.  I would love to see a record setting turnout for this issue.  Let's see where we really stand as a community.

Please think long and hard

Please don't let the views of one person's stupid reasons for voting NO to color your views for all the good reasons for voting NO. There are some very good reasons (you enumerated several) and many very smart, sensible people chosing to vote know for those reasons. See them here:
http://noD65referendum.com
We are not teacher bashers. We are people who live in this community who care about the impact of this on the students' themselves. We genuinely believe that creating a low-income, minority school is not in the best interests of the students or the community-at-large. In the long run, this will cause more problems than it will solve.
Please consider carefully the impact of your vote. This is a decision that will impact us for a long time.

Why is It  okay

Why is It  okay for the students in the fifth ward to be on buses ... While all the students in north area to walk to their neighborhood school.. How is that fair. 
Why is okay for some students of color not to make yearly adequate progress. While the students up north can.
It is not fair we deserve a neighborhood school in the fifth ward. 

That is because those parents

That is because those parents choose to have the kids attend a magnet school.  Why is it fair... It is not... Students of color deserve better.  
Everthing comes down to race and class in this community. We can do better. 
Think about the children.

Kids of Every Color Take the Bus At Every D65 School

This is simply not true.  My kids are white and take the bus to Kingsley.  Many kids have to take the bus (white, black, latino, etc..) due to the way the district lines are drawn.  Go to any non-magnet school like Kingsley and you will see kids of all colors getting on and off buses.

Our shared concerns -- Board & Supt. lack wisdom and credibility

You have clearly spent much thoughtful time considering the $48 million referendum.  Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
And I disagree 100 percent with the rube who appears to place the blame for our current predicament on classroom teachers.  That was wrong.
I hope that you will see that that inartfully worded flyer reflects, with misdirected frustration, some of the same concerns that you have -- the administrative hierarchy of District 65 lacks wisdom and credibility.
Everyone in my family and among our friends values the important work done by our teachers.  But building a new school threatens our District's commitment to qualified teachers supported by qualified professionals, such as teachers aides, reading specialists, speech therapists and the list goes on.
Scarce funds will be siphoned off for Hardy Murphy's showplace with its half-empty classrooms.  Staff cuts will need to be made at all other schools.  The District has already cut valued professional support staff just to show its amazing disappearing deficit routine to bolster its ill-advised referendum.
Please tell the Superintendent and the Board that they are misguided about what will truly help our students overall and specifically those that are most at risk.  Re-segregating our students is not the answer to what ails District 65.  The answer is:  (1) no more contract extensions for Hardy Murphy; and (2) hand him his walking papers as soon as his curent contract expires.  We need some fresh ideas that are not his brand of racial division. 
And your NO vote will also send a message to the Superintendent' and his business pals (like the Mount Prospect builder who has gotten what appears to be more than $1 million dollars from District 65 in 2010) that Evanston voters cannot be bought by rah-rah slogans, glossy displays and expensive drawings paid for by another someone who wants to get their hands into Evanston taxpayers' pockets.
This whole mess is very unsavory, ugly and divisive.  Please don't make it worse by voting to approve this unneeded school that will be proclaimed the Hardy Murphy Magnet School just as soon as he can get the Board together after the vote -- probably during spring break when many District 65 families are out of town.  That's his usual MO.

No excuse to bash unions

Members of my family proudly serve the public in the military, as teachers, and in other government organizations on the east coast, midwest, and the west coast. (not in the south). They are dedicated workers and work hard and proudly at their jobs just like i do in the private sector.
During discussions, sometimes heated, over the holidays, there is a growing recognition at the divergence in pay and benefits for the public relative to the private sector. Public sector wages and benefits continued to grow over the last decade, while private sector wages stagnated and benefits were reduced. This issue is sensitive, and needs to be considered in a data driven, objective fashion. For example, my parents don't pay anything, never have, and never will for health care. Maybe when that benefit was provided 40 years ago that made sense. Today is a different story.
This is a difficult and complex issue to discuss and should be conducted in a professional respectful manner.

Re: Big Money/Old Boys Network and Who Solicited Donation

It really bothers me that the LARGEST DONOR to C4BE, the group backing the new school referendum, is a construction firm from Mount Prospect that has done a lot of business with the school district.  But it also bothers me that up to this point, C4BE has not listed NEPCO, Inc. (the construction company/donor) on their roster of "Organizations and Corporate Sponsors" on their "Our Supporters" page of their web site.  I am curious as to why the largest donor was omitted from the list.  Given that omission, I appreciate that this article shed light on the donation..
In this era of Superpacs and other invisible donors who are influencing national and state elections, I still was naive enough to think that the referendum was a local matter that would not be subject to the influence of outsiders standing to gain financially from the outcome. 
For this and many other reasons, voting NO.
http://nod65referendum.com/

In my heart, I can't vote to re-segregate our schools

     Over the years I've attended a few Martin Luther King assemblies in our elementary schools.  These are beautiful events, and I think those who attend generally leave with a feeling of pride about the community in which we live.
     At some point, one of the speakers ususally says to the schoolchildren something like, "You are living Dr. King's Dream" - and I think it's true.  At times, in Evanston, we see ourselves as being at the leading edge of the long, long march to equality, which is far from over.
    There are strong arguments to be made on either side of this referendum, but in my heart, I can't vote to re-segregate our schools.

Contributions

I am on the fence about the referendum because I wish we had different leadership at District 65.
But, I don't think anyone should be deciding "no" because of a $2500 contribution.

Coverup?

 
The 2500 donation appears to be amoung many things that should lead people to vote NO. Has the whole process been part of a larger coverup or has D65 just bungled their way through the entire affair. Either way, the citizens of Evanston might want to consider replacing the board and the president.

Don't replace the entire D65 School Board

I have very closely watched this D65 school board since the most recent elections and have been very impressed with the leadership demonstrated by Ms. Quattrocki, Ms. Budde, and Mr. Ryckhus.
All three are well prepared, ask thoughtful questions and think about what's in the best interest of the community and all students. We not only need to keep these 3 on the board, but find 4 more capable people who are willing to do the work, represent the diversity of Evanston and serve as leaders on our school board, not as puppets.
As a corollary, we should respectfully thank Ms. Bailey, Mr. Summers, Ms. Weaver and Mr. Pigozzi for their service and vote them off the board ASAP.
We need real change in leadership at D65 that supports our teachers and children in the classroom.

Reality check

Do you people really think that a meager $2500 donation to a citizen group supporting a proposed capital plan to better our schools for our kids is going to decide this referendum?
If you want to talk about political contributions, check out the $50 million pledged to Obama in the month of February alone, who is on his way to a $1 BILLION re-election bid!
My decision will made with the children of Evanston in mind and certainly not some $2500 contribution.