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Wondering Who to Support in the 49th District Senate Race?

Wondering who to support in the 49th Senate District race? This should make the decision clear.

If the voters of Illinois Senate District 49 want someone who will totally follow the direction and wants of political cronies and more of the same in Springfield vote for Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. She has proven that with her performance as regional superintendent of schools.

Upon election to that office her first order of business was to appoint the son of the Democrat Will County Executive Larry Walsh as her assistant. She followed up by hiring the wife of a Democrat Judge to a clerical position. When there were no vacancies, she created them by abolishing the position of truant officer, thus getting rid of a retired Joliet police officer who had served two regional superintendents (a Democrat and a Republican) in that position for 14 years. 

When she could not find a reason to fire the chief administrative assistant who had served four regional superintendents (Democrat and Republican) in the office for over nineteen years, she abolished the position then offered her a lesser position at a $15,000 decrease in pay and requiring her to work the front counter with full knowledge of the health conditions that would be aggravated by the constant up and down movement. When that employee did not accept the new position, Ms Bertino-Tarrant did not even permit her to continue working for two more months so she could reach the 20-year credit on her pension and retire.

Her attendance at state and regional meetings of her colleagues has been sparse. She usually sends her assistant to cover them, thus missing the opportunity to network, directly interact, and learn from others in her field. She also has missed the opportunity to use her current job to participate in leadership at the state level which would greatly have benefited her in the position she is currently seeking.

Her understanding of efficiency and best use of limited funds can be illustrated by her handling of the Regional Safe Schools Program (RSSP) which was designed to mentor troubled kids from grades 6-12 with the goal of returning them to the regular classroom and graduate rather than dropping out. She took a program with a 10-year record of successfully serving and graduating more students than any other program in the state outside of Cook County and disassembled it. First, she dissolved the partnership with the Grundy-Kendal County Office that pooled the money resources of both offices to offer economy of scale in reducing administrative costs, provide a larger pool of professionals such as counselors, social workers, and other resources. Second, she dissolved the RSSP Leadership Partnership with the Educational Service Network which also provided over a dozen state and federal grant programs of intervention, outreach, community, and social services for troubled kids and families in the same schools served by the RSSP plus losing the leadership of the executive director who designed the award winning program described earlier.  

She closed the satellite site in Valley View School District that was designed to reduce transportation costs to schools in the northern Will County. She consolidated everything into the Joliet site and then took over leadership of the program thus having direct control over program, operations, hiring and firing.

How do I know all of this? I was the three-term Will County regional superintendent of schools who preceded her; worked with all the people she dismissed; and established the Regional Safe School Program she all but destroyed. I still have relationships with many of the people connected to the offices and programs mentioned locally, regionally and statewide. I took pride in professionalizing the office and hiring people who were “the best qualified” not “the best connected” to provide the highest level of service to everyone I was elected to serve. 

Think this is “sour grapes”? Think again. In retirement, I was contacted by the State Board of Education to be ready to take over leadership of the troubled Suburban Cook County Regional Office prior to legislation dissolving it and sending it’s duties to the three Cook County Intermediate Service Centers. In retirement, I am the School Compliance Coordinator for the 39 school districts of North Cook Intermediate Service Center/Regional Office of Education #5. Life is good.

Garrett Peck has the needed qualities to represent everyone as State Senator in District 49: Proven leadership; practice serving a local constituency; the skills required to work at the regional and state level; and the ability to work in a bi-partisan climate for the good of all. Garrett Peck’s work experience has taken him from an employee in a tech business to the founder of his own tech supply business – he knows how to manage resources and make a successful business and will apply that to straightening out the finances and programs of the state.

The choice is clear: Do the voters of Senate District 49 send someone who will serve the interests of the electors or someone who will simply maintain the current Chicago control and lack of action on the tough issues that continue to erode the credit and services of Illinois government?

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Garrett Peck will work with other courageous legislators to stop the insanity at the State Capitol. Help elect him as your State Senator in District 49.

Respectfully,

Rich Duran

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michael "Mike" Keniley November 03, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Margie...I have been and remain open to discussions on clean politicking in our Township. The Plainfield Township Democratic Organization members and supporters have been above board on keeping this election clean. Unfortunately, there are those on your side of the aisle, where you are the Township Chairwoman, who have decided to be less than above board. Our local Democratic Candidates did not fire the first shot at negative campaigning…your party did…and continue to do so. Again, you are an elected official as a Plainfield Village Board member, who is and will continue to be scrutinized by your associations, actions, statements and comments…and will be up for re-election this spring, along with Garrett Peck. Your statement about a very honorable woman, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant calling her a “bobblehead”, was uncalled for...period. You wish to be a leader, then please lead and let those who look to you for guidance follow suit by doing the same. Thank you.
Margie Bonuchi November 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Well Mike we will continue to disagree on some items. I stand by the fact that he can attack her she can attack him but they need to leave others out of it. Garrett did not attack you or other Dems, just Jennifer's lack of experience, but she attacked an entire group people, D202 , not only me and the facts were in front of them, that is the issue for me. This behavior will never earn my respect. Yes I am an elected official, I get that but they took facts and ignored them to discredit Garrett, but the part that I am so angry about is others dragged through the mud. I support Garrett Peck for State Senate 49th Dist and encourage others to vote for him as endorsed by the Chicago Tribune as well. As for clean politics, I just opened an e-mail from Garrett and his 4X4 is slashed apart with the fram still attached to the poles. You and I will never be able to totally fix this issue, it seems.
Michael "Mike" Keniley November 04, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Yes, Margie, we will continue to disagree on items concerning your candidates, especially Mr. Peck. Sorry to hear about his sign...Democratic Candidate had MANY signs "taken" and "destroyed" by small minded people. Again, unfortunately, being a public official you are called out by politicians and voters on decisions you were connected, and as I mentioned, this goes with the territory. I really do not understand your statement concerning Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant's "lack of experience"?? The REGIONAL SUPERINTENDANT OF SCHOOLS is inexperienced?? Please explain to me and the voters Garrett’s “experience”. By the way, yesterday, some small minded folks, were caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar...well, a mailbox...stuffing unstamped envelopes in mail boxes in my precinct. A report was filed with the Plainfield Police, but I really do not expect any follow up. I would wish you best of luck for your candidate, but the path is clear: State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant has a nice ring to it. I voted for and encourage ALL voters in the 49th District to give the nod to Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant for State Senate
Margie Bonuchi November 05, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Senator Peck has a great ring to it. Why do you and others in the education field believe that a person who achieves a certain degree in education is automatically qualified for every job, especially where business experience is concerned? FIrst of all she doesn't know her job as a Regional Supt, which she proved in 2010 and that WRONG answer caused a lot of issues for some people and now we should automatically make her a senator? NO WAY! Garrett Peck started a business from nothing, made it a success and yes he has several other large customers so not only D202. He has provided the lowest pricing and that benefits the very schools she represents and that's a bad thing...how? Oh well Mike, either way we will know tomorrow! Again as far as signs go you know my stance on that and I have tried to promote clean politcs as you have but there are certain zealots on both teams who take that to the extreme. I would like to see the proof that the envelopes were in mailboxes because nothing was put into mailboxes. VOTE FOR GARRETT PECK because Garrett is a strong candidate, endorsed by reputable sources, including the Chicago Tribune and he will never be under the thumb of Mike Madigan.
Michael "Mike" Keniley November 05, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Margie, the "small minded individuals" committing an unlawful act of stuffing unstamped envelopes in mailboxes was witnessed by me and my neighbors...check Plainfield police report #32501. The three "small minded individuals" were riding around in a Buick, claimed they were committing the unlawful act on behalf of Garrett Peck. I have a picture, if you wish...of the car, license plate & occupants. They also joked about it, as they sped off down the road, throwing rocks all over the place with my neighbor and his small kids walking down the road. Sorry, Margie, your candidate for State Senate and his supporters have proven they do not understand the process of clean politicking. So, I guess it will be up to the voters to elect an experienced and proven leader or a candidate and his supporters who feel they have to stoop to underhanded and illegal tactics. Democrats in Plainfield Township have not stooped to underhanded tactics. I am asking, again for the voters to select Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant as their State Senator. Please vote tomorrow. And for those who already cast their ballots…thank you.

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