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Unofficial Write-in Results Indicate Hughes Won't Retain Seat

Current Board Member Janet Hughes has served on the District 113A Board since 2009.

Unofficial results released Wednesday afternoon by Cook County Clerk David Orr indicate write-in candidate Janet Hughes will not retain her seat on the Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education.

There were a total of 1,115 write-in votes cast in the District 113A race, where Hughes, was the only write-in candidate.

Results from Cook and DuPage counties give candidate Al Malley 2,353 votes, which puts him in position to win the fourth open seat.

Hughes would need 1,239 votes to surpass Malley, and only 868 ballots were cast in DuPage County.

In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Hughes said she was disappointed by the outcome, but grateful for the two years she has served on the District 113A Board.

"I wish the new board and the district well," she said.

Hughes also said she was proud of the challenges she has overcome during her time in office.

"I've been a true reformer, standing up for what's right," she said. "It's been a challenge, but it's challenge I was proud to take on. It's time for people to stand up for what's right and demand open, honest government."

Hughes has served on the District 113A Board since 2009. She entered the race as a write-in candidate after she was for failing to properly bind her nominating petition.

Official tallies for write-in candidates will not be released for two weeks, Orr said.

Sue Konieczka April 10, 2011 at 09:32 PM
Dianne, My comment was not cruel it was how I feel. You feel and say what you would like and I have a right to do the same. I don't believe her agenda is the children, children of Lemont will not benefit having over 30 children in their classes. I also do not believe her law suit has any merit. Done with this subject now.
Nora Waliczek April 10, 2011 at 10:21 PM
several of my comments have been deleted There wan't any venom in them
Nora Waliczek April 10, 2011 at 10:31 PM
Thank you. right on!
Dianne Bronzell April 11, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Sue. I take it then that you feel cruel. That is how you feel! Janet Hughes did not create the deficit that you now face. That honor belongs to the board that holds her in such disdain. Had you all been smart you would have worked with her to bring the unions and the state into line. Why do I say this? The state just raised our taxes and we have gambling boats all over the place that are supposed to fund education. Instead it goes down a big black hole.Unions preserve the pensions, salaries and other perks for YOUR teachers and other employees in this district. They are absolutely OK with the layoff of teachers, closing of schools and rooms and activities, as long as they get their power. I do not call that caring for the children, in fact one of the leaders of the Unions said recently that it is not because they care for children but rather they want to maintain the power!After that they will see what they can do maybe!Kicking the can down the road only delays the day when you wish you had classrooms with 30 kids in it. That is Janet Hughes. By the way. I went into the nursing program with a 4.0 average and my grade school class had 40 kids in it. This subject is not done
Dianne Bronzell April 11, 2011 at 12:51 AM
As for that law suit, it has merit. We will see if corruption saves face. If not, this board has a war on its' hands. A paper clip excuse to deprive a candidate of his or her right to be on the ballot has opened up a big can of worms. I am sorry that you just can't see reality here.I think in two years we will run Janet Hughes and 2 more worthy candidates and then something can get done. Until then keep your dislike of Janet Hughes to a mild roar. I am playing by your rules, or should I say feelings. This mother and grandmother of many can take it.
Dianne Bronzell April 11, 2011 at 01:52 AM
FYI. The man who said his union wants power not to help kids is Bob Chanin NEA general council. And you wonder why some want real reform. Go to utube and put the words "Unions want power not to help kids" and see for yourself.
Brenda Andrist-Gawenda April 11, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Dianne, It really isn't fair comparing your 40 kids in a class when you were in grade school to what it is like right now. Reason being is that now days, all children, even those with disabilities (hearing impaired, ADD, ADHD, individual IEPs, etc) are integrated into the classrooms. Additionally, now teachers are faced with "no child left behind" which requires a tremendous amount of record keeping and work to ensure that all children meet the goals. I don't know about you but when I was in grade school, there were separate classes and in some cases, even schools for disabled children and children with behavior issues. So, I do not think this is a fair analogy.
Brenda Andrist-Gawenda April 11, 2011 at 02:01 AM
Additionally, I think that you must be rather intelligent to have graduated from nursing with a 4.0 and it is because of this intelligence, that you probably did as well as you did in a class with 40 kids. However, not every child can be of above average intelligence. It is children that are of average intelligence and below that will struggle with 40 children in a class. I'm sure you would agree that all children should be given the opportunity to succeed, not just those who are highly intelligent.
Dianne Bronzell April 11, 2011 at 03:16 AM
Brenda, Now this is more like what should be in a healthy difference of opinion. Thank you for your dignified reply. In reply I must correct you. I did not say I graduated from nursing school with a 4.0 average. I said I entered the program with a 4.0 average. I was not claiming any intelligence here, just making a point about how we can all survive hard times, even with 40 kids in a class room. My grade school and high school years presented with a b average. I studied until 3 am. My sister went to bed at 10 pm just before exams. She got the A and I got the B. So I am not so highly intelligent after all, although I have acquired some wisdom along the way. Continuing....
Dianne Bronzell April 11, 2011 at 03:29 AM
I agree that all children should have the opportunity, not just the highly intelligent. And your references to the hearing impaired, ADD,ADHD, individual IEPs, etc is noted and I see your point. Children integrated into regular classes have a one on one also. This is admirable and necessary in the no child left behind issue. The teachers are truly devoted to their children in so many instances. But, when teachers are laid off, rooms closed, Central school up for closure,{so I have heard} who is hurt? Would you think that the closing of a school, itself would cause an increase in students per class? And what does this do to the effectiveness of our teachers. The Unions seem to think that is OK as long as everything stays the same. Any attempts to spread this problem to all, not just the students is something Janet Hughes understood and she seems to be hated for upsetting the status quo. continuing....
Dianne Bronzell April 11, 2011 at 03:41 AM
The can keeps getting kicked down the alley and the result is now arriving at the school door. The residents of this community will never approve a referendum until what is wrong is corrected. They know what the state is doing. They know the money from those many betting boats that are supposed to be funding education, are just not helping. The black hole is there for all to see. Just imagine what profit comes out of that one thing! With the above reality already on the minds of residents, we now have to deal with some real unbelievable denial on the part of the board, locked in its' own little world, unwilling to listen to some real ideas on how to get us through all this. It may require hard times and hard choices, but everyone must participate in the loss, not just the students.That is why I said they would wish that they could have 30 students per class. I firmly believe it will get much worse than that before this is over.Again, I would like to thank you for your intelligent exchange with me. After what I have been reading it is a refreshing change.
Brian Thornber April 11, 2011 at 03:27 PM
So which is it Dianne? Is it the evil unions that are causing all of our problems? Or is it the evil State causing all of our problems? Or is it the evil Board that is causing all of our problems? Or is it the evil commenters who have the audacity to cheer when someone who was diametrically opposed to their viewpoints was defeated in an election? I mean, if I'm supposed to hate someone, you are going to have to narrow it down for me. Can you please settle on one scapegoat, so we can start hating them in earnest?
Nora Waliczek April 11, 2011 at 04:18 PM
It is not about hating as it appears that the board did. How many thousands of dollars did the board for the three hour meeting over a paper clip? How many thousands of dollars did the board spend to keep Mrs Hughes off the ballot in 2009 and 2011? This was tax money for children. This is not a duty of a school board. It is beyond their lawful jurisdiction. Just as wanting to spend tax money after the 2009 election to investigate rumors was. Again beyond their jusidiction. This is not in keeping with their fiduciary duty. One thing that concerned me from the first meeting when Mr. Hughes was seated: The board did not understand/know how to handle a consent agenda. That was ok, but refusing to learn the proper proceedure was disturbing to me. Their reasoning was "that's they way we always did it." How many other things was this board not willing to learn? Why were FOIA requests ignored? How much in legal fees trying to find out how they could keep information from the public? It was an attempt to cicumvent the law again. These and other incidents took away from their duty to serve the children and taxpayers. Mrs Hughes brought many things to the open that the board did not want known.I hope and pray that the newly elected board members will not join "the good ole boys and girls" and will proceed with proper conduct. I believe that they will. Whether or not you are able to ackokwledge it, Mrs Hughes did a lot of good for this district.
Dianne Bronzell April 11, 2011 at 07:56 PM
Brian, You just prove my case. You throw the words evil and hate all over the place. No one can get anywhere when they begin with evil and hate. Hatred and gossip and inflicting pain on others does no good and every time I hear it I will address it with a well deserved reprimand. Consider yourself reprimanded.I do not have to pick and choose. All of the above are hampering an answer to a budgetary problem . Go to utube "Unions want power, not to help kids"and you will see that I am totally justified in my concern over the attitudes of Unions, who need to have their power cut back to a level that makes them what they should be, what they once represented. The state is dropping what should be exclusively to education somewhere else and no one seems to be calling them to account for it.The board is responsible for kicking the can down the road and continuing to act as though this problem can only be solved by raising the taxes. Commentators treat anyone who opposes their point of view with a disdain that is absolutely childish. Therefore all of the above are responsible. Obviously they could have joined together and begin to address issues, but they forced a lone rep. to do it herself and have nothing but contempt for her. I do not hate. Therefore I can't comply with your specific request. Scapegoats are your bag, not mine. And if you need things narrowed down more, then you will have to do that yourself. I think I have been quite clear.
Dianne Bronzell April 11, 2011 at 08:03 PM
Nora, Could you be specific on what the cost was and how it came about, in regards to thousands being spent on the paper clip. Why did the school district foot that bill? And what about the investigation of "rumors"? I would appreciate some details . Thank you.
Nora Waliczek April 11, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Thousands were spent on legal fees in total, keeping her off ballot in 2009 It had to be taken to court,even though it was shown to the board that they couldn't do it. Then the costs of fighting FOIAS, The paper clip..3 hour kangaroo court, in my opinion, because board members and an employee swore under oath that they were unbiased and had no animosity towards Mrs Hughes. I found that hard to believe given the history of their animosity. Considering the legal bill had to be for more than the 3 hour trial ,at a low figure of $250 an hour, that could easily be $1,000. The district used their lawyer . Even on a contingency, anything extra is billed to the client. After the 2009 election, the board wanted to investigate where the negative rumors about them came from, when in my opinion the board should have been investigated for their rumor mill and the victory celebration they had at a restaurant at school district expense. If you need more info, these incidents were in the Lemont paper and some in the TRibune. You can see some of it on "you tube". I am grateful for your attempt to bring this discussion to an adult level. It would be easier if we could talk.
Kathy Cliff April 12, 2011 at 01:14 AM
Glad this ordeal is over
Brian Thornber April 12, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Dianne, respectfully, you know nothing about me other than the fact that I think you have a comically large cast of suspects you seem eager to vilify while chastising everyone else for their supposedly unkind tone. So you can reprimand me to your heart's content (it is America after all), call me childish, whatever names you'd like, all the while telling everyone else to keep their discourse at an adult level, but until I do something remotely reprimand-able, I'll still feel OK. One last thing that I will tell you I WON'T do is, youtube "Unions want power". I've seen more than enough polemics blaming unions for our countries ills, and seeing yet another won't sway me one way or the other, just as asking you to watch a video titled "Unions are the backbone of America" would not sway you. I could youtube "Bush planned 9/11" or "Obama is a communist from Kenya", and find plenty of videos describing those viewpoints, but I'd still come away from it no wiser than when I started.
Dianne Bronzell April 12, 2011 at 03:39 AM
Brian, The words spoken by Bob Chanin, General Council for the NEA was carried on the news and I was able to see it again on utube. Normally, I agree with you that The internet is unsupervised and is not held accountable for what it shows, Like Bush planned 9-11. I can only tell you that this man came out and said in plain English that the Unions are not about caring for children, but rather they were in it for the power. That is shocking and you can ignore it if you wish. That is entirely up to you. As for the rest of your reference to my large cast of suspects and my chastising people for unkind tone, someone has to do it. I am not one to sit still and watch such things and I don't believe anyone else should either. Allowing the kind of comments I am repudiating, is what you would call endorsing them. I do not. From what I have seen here, Janet Hughes was very gracious in her defeat. Her opponents just kept going and yes, their remarks were as childish as they could be. I don't even know if they understand what gracious is? Time will tell won't it. Thank you for your input. As fot the rest of your comments, you have the right to make them.
Dave Maher April 12, 2011 at 06:37 PM
Dianne/Nora, I read all of the posts that haven't been deleted that you made. You talk about the good things Janet did. I see it a little differently. I think it is important to have a board that disagrees with each other. I believe this challenges them to think about alternative solutions. However, disagreeing at the board meetings is not the same as being disruptive at board meetings. In the year + that I have gone to board meetings I have seen Janet do the following. 1. Vote no on meeting minutes from a previous meeting because a comment she made 6 months prior as opposed to the previous meeting was not in the minutes 2. Vote no for a referendum, then vote no or abstain from teacher and other staff layoffs 3. Object to overspending, but only suggest laying off the superintendent and cutting the teacher salaries (which by the way, the board was unable to do since there was a binding contract that didn't allow for renegotiations unless both parties agreed). 4. Propose firing the superintendent to save $200,000. Knowing very well that the state REQUIRES a superintendent. I wonder where we could get a volunteer superintendent. 5. Answer with "Transparency" as the solution when asked by the board president "How do you propose to fund the districts additional funding needs". to be continued...
Tom Schatz April 12, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Hank, Try again. It was Jack Nicholson while being interrogated by Tom Cruise.
Dave Maher April 12, 2011 at 06:50 PM
So Nora, you posted the boards oath and one of the lines is as follows "I shall abide by majority decisions of the board, while retaining the right to seek changes in such decisions through ethical and constructive channels. " Now, if the majority of the board decides to put a referendum on the ballot, and Janet advertises "Vote No" on her campaign fliers, but doesn't give any solutions to the cash flow problem, then is this abiding by her oath of "seeking change through constructive channels". I was a supporter of the referendum because no one gave me another option. I asked on numberous occassions and spent a significant amount of time looking, but I never found a valid one.
Dave Maher April 12, 2011 at 06:50 PM
In another line of the oath it reads "I shall encourage and respect the free expression of opinion by my fellow board members and others who seek a hearing before the board, while respecting the privacy of students and employees" Yet I saw Mrs Hughes demand the resignation of the superintendent at numerous board meetings. In addition, a complaint was filed against her for asking for papers to be removed from the superintendents office without his approval. While I am not supporting the superintendent with this post, I do not believe she abided by this part of the OATH either. Thoughts?
Nora Waliczek April 12, 2011 at 09:27 PM
The oath was abused by a majority of board members, more often by some than others.. My point being, that the oath is the kind of board we deserve to have. With a majority of new members, I believe that it can be that way. IN my opinioin the superintendent lead the district into the financial mess we are in as he did in his former district. This story was in the newspaper. Also using tax money for a vacation. After Janet made it known(again a board member had to do a FOIA in order to get the info that any taxpayer is entitled to) the Superintendent had to pay it and other things back. Mrs Hughes suggestions were to cut administrators and cut their salaries, to negotiate with the union to freeze salaries, which the union refused to do. So your are right, after that the board was bond by the contract. I wondered why teachers would not take a freeze(only after adminstration) to save their brothers and sisters jobs and for the sake of classroom size and curriculum. Salary freezes were happening all over this country. "I shall encourage and respect the free expression of opinion by my fellow board members and others". This oath was ignored for years before Mrs. Hughes was seated. One more thing- Do you believe that the people involved with the paper clip hearing were unbiased and not prejudicial towards Mrs Hughes?
Hank Olenick April 12, 2011 at 09:38 PM
Exactly from "A Few Good Men" a 20 year old movie and his first comment "Winning" from Charlie Sheen. Tom pay attention.
Dianne Bronzell April 12, 2011 at 10:36 PM
Dave, Your comments were very interesting and just shows why everyone should have worked together, but they did not. Looking over your 1-5 thoughts, I was wondering what else went on to cause Janet to oppose minutes. In other words, how many other incidents were there in which the minutes do not reflect the facts. Imagine yourself being a new board member and being faced with detailed opposition from the onset. Personally, I'd be a nervous wreck! Then she voted no to the referendum but also no to teacher and staff layoffs.There went that darned binding contract and that comes from union deals. Unions have habitually refused to adjust much of anything to the level that would retain those teachers and staff members. Because you looked only to the board for an answer you found no other option but to vote for the referendum. I think you know that the board has allowed its hands to be tied. The answer to your problem is to start playing hard ball with not just the board, but also the Unions, and the State! Because no one will do this you get a negative vote for the referendum. Continuing...
Dianne Bronzell April 12, 2011 at 10:59 PM
Wouldn't you like to see an audit of the whereabouts of every dime in profits from the betting boats that is supposed to go to education. Does it????? And the Unions are not adjusting to the times we now live in, although people in the private sector are not as blessed. People don't like the comparison and will vote no until they see some of the same adjustments first. The superintendent , one who should be taking this bull by the horn, is not doing so. Perhaps Janet was not even given an opportunity to cover this idea in a way that this board would even entertain. Did the board cut any of its extra expenditures or did the status quo remain? I don't care if they saved only $10,000, it would be a beginning. Asking teachers to pay a little more into their benefits and pensions also would have helped defer the layoffs and those teachers love students which leads me to believe that they could accept some of those cuts, like the rest of the world is experiencing. We are living in horrible times and no one is going to be able to continue as is. Yet only the students are losing. Central school will have to be closed, Rooms are closed, activities cancelled, teachers facing increased students per room even though they are already overburdened. And yet the unions, the state, the superintendent and everyone else is rolling along saying that they have no other options. I certainly see a few more options. continuing...
Dianne Bronzell April 12, 2011 at 11:16 PM
No one wants to cut teacher salaries and I think just changing some contribution rules could help avoid this. Any way you look at it, the real monster is acceptance of "I see no other option". This is simply not true. There is a lot of corruption in this state and it has made things very difficult for everyone. It will require some real harsh attacks on those that are bleeding us all dry. When they first started allowing gambling and reasoned it as a way to help fund schools, everyone thought wow! That should solve our problems. I have seen absolutely no improvements in education, have you? There is so much profit in gambling that I am certain something is not right. This community. This board needs to start attacking those responsible for not providing our fair share instead of attacking a woman on a board, putting her in a defensive mode. The frustration is misplaced and should be directed in one direction only and done by all. Personally I think this board needs some fresh blood in the superintendents chair. Until then, things will probably go to the four winds and no one will get anywhere. In conclusion, if you have attended so many meetings, I think you could agree that Janet Hughes was put into a very uncomfortable position for much of her time on the board. Thanks for your thoughts.
Dianne Bronzell April 12, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Coming from politics, I am absolutely certain they were biased and willing to do whatever it took to keep her off the ballot. It is not a new idea. The paper clip was there and they know it. Getting back to my point about saving wasted money, the superintendent was forced to return money he misused right while his students were in desperate need of every single dime. Had Janet Hughes not been on the ball, the black hole would have eaten it. No wonder they hated her so much. Whatever little things that seem irritating on the surface, this woman had the students best interest in mind all along.I hope the new board members will keep demanding this kind of accountability while Janet is gone from the board. She will hopefully be joining them in two years.
Dianne Bronzell April 12, 2011 at 11:45 PM
I take it you are joking about the state of Illinois being solvent! The state should be audited.

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