Robert Lee calls for reform of Dist. 300

CONTACT: Robert Lee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TELEPHONE: (847) 844‐0397
January 19, 2009
CELLULAR: (970) 420‐6468
EMAIL: campaign@robertwadelee.com
ROBERT LEE CALLS FOR COMPREHENSIVE ETHICS REFORM IN DISTRICT 300
EAST DUNDEE ‐ Robert Lee, candidate for District 300 School Board, began pushing for the implementation of comprehensive ethics reform, working with the Policy and Legislation Committee to draft a proposal limiting the influence of pay‐to‐play tactics and other necessary reforms.
“Given that our state government passed a landmark pay‐to‐play ban in September, I think it is high time District 300 follow suit. Given the alleged actions of our governor, public officials at all levels of government should demonstrate their leadership by passing needed reforms,” Lee said. “District 300 must honestly evaluate its policies and pass comprehensive ethics reforms immediately.”
In August 2007, board member John Ryan sought to restrict campaign contributions from companies who receive $5,000 in business from District 300. Additionally, the policy prevented a business relationship if contributions were made to campaigns that directly affected the District any time during the two prior years. Lee hopes to finally see a similar reform package developed and passed by the District.
Lee said he’s worked to include language in the conflict of interest policy that would restrict campaign contributions to candidates for school board from companies that receive business from District 300. Additionally, he worked to place similar restrictions on contributions to support or oppose District 300 ballot referenda, and make clear that prohibited political activity by district staff includes supporting or opposing candidates and ballot measures during compensated time.
“I supported Mr. Ryan in his first attempt to pass meaningful change in District 300. The vote of the board to defeat this important policy would have angered me had it not been so disappointing. This is a clear chance for all seven members of the board to demonstrate their ethical responsibilities. I will work to see positive changes are developed in the Policy and Legislation Committee, and lobby the Board to encourage approval of the changes.”
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For more information about Robert Lee or his commitment to the District 300 community, please contact him by telephone at (847) 844‐0397, by cellular phone at (970) 420‐6468, by email at d300@robertwadelee.com, or by visiting http://www.robertwadelee.com.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Robert Lee calls for reform of Dist. 300

  1. As an update to that, I will be posting updates on my blog that can be found at http://www.robertwadelee.com.

  2. carpentersville2

    Robert,

    I was wondering, Do the Roesers support you and have you taken donations from the them to assist in your campaign?

    Just Curious?

    Richard

  3. carpentersville2

    As I understand it, Mr. Lee did receive 500 dollars from Jack Roeser. My question is this, are you a card carrying member of The Family Taxpayer’s Network?

    Jack Roeser has done everything to support extreme rightwing nutcases who crash and burn, during elections.

    Mr. Lee, do you believe in evolution? OR, creationism?

    Frank “?” Stoneham

    The questions will probably get tougher, when you get in front of the crowds at the Women’s League of Voters. Might as well practice here.

  4. carpentersville2

    Why would anyone taint themselves with Roeser Money. I’m sure the Kid could do better without being associated with the Roeser’s. Not that they are bad, but they are controlling, and shouldn’t have anymore puppets in politics.

    So for a measly $500.00, Robert Lee gets One check against him for poor judgment. Not a good start!

    Richard

  5. I’ll start with Frank.

    First thing I’ll say is that I’m happy to communicate with you on the issues, and let you determine if I’m a rightwing nutcase or not. My phone is (847) 844-0397 and email is campaign@robertwadelee.com.

    I can tell you this on my campaign – it’s mine, and I’m running it. Nobody is, or will, dictate to me how I campaign or what issues I campaign on. That I can guarantee you. I’m not a card carrying member of any organization if the requirement is I can’t be myself.

    As for evolution or creationism, I think it’s a false debate between the two. The subtle differences in animal variety suggest to me that something created us, and I think also created a system that can change. That, to me, reflects the beauty of the creation – it’s dynamic nature.

    The most important thing – whether science, math, reading and writing – is that students be taught to think responsibly about their education and take it seriously. My personal views will not be curriculum, to develop that is a collaborative process among many concerned people.

  6. To Richard.

    I chose to approach Jack Roeser about a contribution because, on issues of public education, we’re more likely than not to agree on policy. However, I don’t discuss village politics with him – and feel no need to.

    Again, I’ll repeat that nobody controls me. I listen to people, I listen to their comments, and I formulate my own opinions. My family is a diverse family – especially politically. I was taught to respect anyone regardless of their political opinions so long as I’m treated with the same level of respect, and to ALWAYS stand up for what I think is right. I will do that in my campaign.

    I would encourage you to contact me if Roeser’s contribution is a concern. I know he has many people that dislike him, and if that means they’ll dislike me in turn – then I accept those consequences. I personally think that’s a rash judgment, but it’s one I’ll respect.

  7. Sorry about the delay, but for some reason yesterday I couldn’t post a response.

  8. carpentersville2

    Rob, I’m sure you’re a straight shooter and honest to boot. But, I’m afraid you might be a bit naive about Carpentersville politics.

    Sometimes, despite your qualifications and experience, you are judged by the company you keep.

    You are going to go against most of the teachers and voters of Carpentersville. You’ll be fighting a torrent of criticism.

    It would be easier for you to return the contribution back to the Roesers. The Roesers don’t live in our school district and would rather have all our children to be either home-schooled or sent to private schools. They don’t represent the best interests of the working class families who don’t have any other choice, but to send their children to public school.

    Frank “a black mark against you” Stoneham

  9. Frank –

    I understand all of that. I hope to have your support, and everyone else in the community. However, I know that won’t happen – I’m not perfect, and not everyone will vote for me. That’s the reality of it.

    So, regardless of how people (will) vote, I will take my case to them as a candidate. They don’t like me as a candidate – for whatever reason – then I don’t expect them to vote for me. If that contribution is indeed the scarlet letter that prevents me from winning a seat on the Board of Education, then I’ll accept those consequences.

    At the end of it all, win or lose, I’m not going to be disappointed with my actions. I’m doing nothing illegal nor immoral, and I will always treat people with the respect they deserve as community members – whether you vote for me or not.

    Most importantly, I’m standing up for what I think needs to happen in order to improve our school district – from the schools themselves to the administration.

    This school district is facing a budget deficit next year – we need better financial planning for the future.

    We have a $200 million dollar budget for 19,500 students, and we’re facing a budget deficit. The way our money is spent – and on what – needs to be strongly evaluated.

    We need a curriculum which requires students to take responsibility for their own education. One of the strongest ways to prevent violence on our campuses and improve achievement is to hold students to the expectation they can succeed on their own terms.

    We have a school board that has no governing policy on ethics when awarding contracts to vendors. Nothing. Nada. In light of what our (former) governor did, I think it’s important that District 300 take a tough stand on corruption before it ever takes place.

    These are the issues that are important – and if people still vote against me, those issues won’t change. They’ll always have a place at the table when I’m (hopefully) elected.

  10. carpentersville2

    Rob, thanks for your thoughtful response.

    I do question your, “students should take responsibility for their own education.” We have a lot of students from one parent families, not to mention, a boatload of students on the eastside of Carpentersville, who’s mother tongue is not ENGLISH. What are you going to say to these students? Mommy, can you help me with my ENGLISH homework? Oh, sorry Mommy, you don’t understand ENGLISH.

    I remember very clearly last year [I was present], a speech contest at Lakewood Elementary School [District 300 eastside C’ville] where 6 students competed in front of Judges for best speaker. Five of these students gave their speech in ENGLISH and the last student gave his speech entirely in SPANISH. Guess who won Rob…….drumroll please, the kid who gave his speech entirely in SPANISH! Did any of us parents who’s native tongue is ENGLISH, know what this kid was saying, NO!

    Rob, as a School Board member and please don’t be insulted, how the heck are you going to fix our schools on the eastside, when most schools have no diversity. They are overwhelmingly Hispanic, which requires teachers who speak fluently in SPANISH, rather then putting some more pressure on students to learn and speak ENGLISH!

    Right now we have a situation where, students who’s native tongue is ENGLISH are being hindered and held back to the HUGE grading curve as is the case of the schools on the eastside.

    How about this plan, distribute students who’s native tongue is not ENGLISH and some of our lower academically achieving students and bus them to the westside. Westside students who happen to be higher achieving students to be bussed to the eastside. I believe that this would help equal the playing field AND help with the diversity on the west and eastside, that most teachers shrill about in support. This would be less of a burden on the teachers on the eastside, while introducing low income and low achieving students to a better and different enviroment.

    Radical yes, but what other plan would you install or envision to improve our schools on the eastside?

    Frank “bussing to help diversity” Stoneham

    Rob, just so you know I’m not kidding about the lack of diversity on the eastside, go to the link below and check it out for yourself.

    http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/school_list.asp?search=1&Zip=60110

  11. Frank –

    I want to write in length on that very topic, so I’m going to on my blog. Probably not today, though, as my brain is mush from work. However, what my answer will reflect is an emphasis on the following:

    1. District 300 must use its size and influence as a school district to get the state government to end mandated bilingual education. This flexibility will allow us to adapt necessary programs to the conditions on the ground in an efficient – yet effective – way.

    2. Mundelein District 76 implemented a “Sheltered English” program that I think District 300 should reflect in principle, if not entirely in practice. This means that students must be immersed in English, and their native language must be used only as support of last resort.

    More information can be found on their specific method here:

    http://lexingtoninstitute.org/1352.shtml

    3. We must push for higher standards in our District, for all students. I cannot believe the number of times in a day I hear kids use the wrong words (e.g. “good” v. “well”). Students must learn grammatical accuracy beginning from the very first day they attend a D300 school as a kindergartner.

    Like I said, check the blog over the course of the next week and I’ll offer much more detail. Right now, I have the intellectual capacity of a dirty sock.

  12. carpentersville2

    Robert,

    Thanks for being so informative,

    I do agree with Frank that you’d would be better off giving back the donated money to Jack Roeser, And show some Independence. I believe you’d gain more respect from the average voting Citizen.

    You have some really good Ideas, but with Ryan and Clark also being part of the Roeser $$$$ Clan on the School Board and with your addition of support from the Roeser’s, Really does bother the anti Lobbyists groups.

    The Rich Political Lobbyists support, excuse the term, does have a significant affect on the public’s perspective of you, Robert Lee.

    It’s only $500.00

    Richard

  13. d300mom

    Richard:

    Lee is in way deeper with Jack Roeser than a simple $500 contribution.

    He worked on the failed Krenz campaign for Jack; worked on John Ryan’s BOE campaign which was entirely funded by Jack, and; he is using Roberta Andresen, longtime FTN fundraiser, as his treasurer. He is in with Roeser so deep that at some point I am sure that he will be running around town in a chicken suit.

    As for Roeser not telling him what to think, it isn’t telling him what to think if he already agrees with Jack.

    He is very young, extremely right-wing, pliable and has not a single personal interest in the health of our district.

    He is the perfect Roeser plant.

    He will not give back the $500 because Jack is his best bet for winning this election. He will not bite the hand that will pay for his entire campaign – just like Jack paid for Ryan & Clark’s entire campaign.

    As for tactics, Lee is already starting with the Roeser tactics – raising a false “ethics” issue where one does not exist. How is he helping the district by throwing the district’s reputation under the bus to advance his campaign?

    Classic Jack Roeser!

  14. carpentersville2

    D300 mom, is Roberta Andresen the wife of Kenneth Andresen? Kenneth Andresen is running for Carpentersville trustee.

  15. carpentersville2

    As far as Jim Krenz is concerned, he has the signed endorsement of Mrs. Caulusinski from Otto Engineering. She’s the mother of Melissa Calusinski, who slammed 16 month old Bejamin on his head and killed him.

    Krenz let Tina Curtis circulate his petitions over at Otto Engineering. Yes, Tom and Jack Roeser are harvesting votes from their employees. Sounds downright unethical!

    Tell me this, what employee, especially in these harsh economic times, will refuse to sign a petition to get Tom and Jack Roeser’s buddies elected to office. I find this quite offensive!

    Mr. Lee, did you help Jim Krenz with his failed election? Do you condone Otto Engineering harvesting of signatures?

    Mr. Lee, like I told you yesterday at the forum, your connections to the Roesers may sink your campaign. you said that you’d risk that, why? Is your connections to the Roesers and his supporters that important to you?

    Return the money and wash your hands.

    Frank “unethical and bullying” Stoneham

  16. carpentersville2

    D300 mom, just this one thing I do want to mention to you. Dist. 300 does need “ethics reform,” we don’t need contractors and service companies that supply our school district, to be able to buy support and favors from School Board members.

    Pay to play must stop!

    Frank “remember Blagojevich” Stoneham

  17. cvillegonewild

    Well I must admit,

    TOM and JACK ROESER have influenced my vote for years.
    Every election I observe the campaing signs around the property of OTTO ENGINEERING, carefully. I automatically
    disregard ANYONE who has permission to put up their GOODS.
    Makes election day decisions less complicated.

    BEWARE CANDIDATES…….
    I have been known to influence MANY others,who are all
    regular voters!!!!!!!

  18. d300mom

    Frank:

    Sorry, I don’t know whether or not Roberta and Kenneth are related.

    As for ethics “reform” in d300; if I thought for one second that there were political favors being traded in d300 I would make Jack Roeser look like a liberal in my zeal to root it out and punish the perpetrators.

    There is not now, nor has there ever been any pay for play in d300. There are plenty of measures in place right now both in state and federal law, as well as in the BOE’s own policies, that covers the issue.

    In addition, Lee and Ryan’s so-called reform would not stop anyone from trying to commit pay for play if they wanted to. It is all a political stunt.

    Afterall, if Lee were really all that concerned about ethics, he would take money from Roeser who has been fined in excess of $60k for campaign finance rules violations in the not-so-distant past.

    No one has yet to point out a single instance where contracts were awarded because of political influence.

  19. carpentersville2

    cvillegonewild,

    I think many people do the same thing! That is, Vote for the Candidates who ARE NOT associated with the Roeser’s.

    It’s Too bad Robert Lee doesn’t understand this, like Frank said he may have good ideas, but since he won’t give back the $500.00 to Jack Roeser, he’ll undoubtedly suffer the consequences that Sherry Dobson, Laura Zambrano and Ex Trustee James Frost in the last Village Election, they all ran with Roeser’s support.

    Richard

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