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.