Newcomers Rule the Board as District 113A Seats Members, Elects Officers

Mike Aurelio will serve as the president, David Molitor will serve as vice president and Cindy Kelly will serve as secretary.

UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.

The four new District 113A board members released the following statement Tuesday evening:

"We would like to thank the Lemont community for electing us to these important positions and entrusting us with overseeing the education of the children in our community. The task ahead is not easy, as many difficult decisions need to be made, but we will provide the best education we can with the resources we have, in an open and fiscally responsible way.

“We have a dedicated group of teachers and staff, children eager to learn, involved
parents, and supportive businesses and community members. We look forward to
working together with board members Kevin Doherty, Karen Siston and Lisa Wright
to determine the way forward for our district.

“Over the next few weeks we will be attending board training and an in-house team-
building retreat. We ask the community to be patient with us as we familiarize ourselves with the workings of the District”.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

's Board of Education seated four new members, three of whom were elected as officers, during a special meeting Monday night.

Newcomer Mike Aurelio was elected as the board's new president, replacing current board member Lisa Wright. David Molitor was elected to the office of vice president, replacing current board member Kevin Doherty.

Cindy Kelly will serve as the new board secretary, replacing Andy Taylor, who lost his bid for re-election.

Aurelio, Molitor and Kelly were the lone nominees for the respective offices.

New board member Al Malley, who also was sworn into office Monday night, turned down a nomination by Molitor to serve as the new board treasurer.

Current District 113A Treasurer Jay Tovian will continue to serve in his position.

Although District 113A Superintendent Tim Ricker said it is very rare for incoming board members to be chosen as officers, the newcomers said they are up to the task.

"I'm very happy the board trusts me to serve as president, and I look forward to working closely with Dr. Ricker and Lisa Wright as we transition in the coming weeks," Aurelio said. "I ask for everyone's patience as I get myself up to speed, but I'm a quick learner so I'm confident the board will be able to hit the ground running."

Molitor said he was excited about his new position and encouraged by the board's first meeting.

"I thought things went really well tonight, and that we were able to have a great discussion," he said. "We have a really solid group. Even though we might have different opinions, I think we'll be able to talk things through and come together to make important decisions."

The new board has already scheduled training sessions, as well as a special meeting on May 9, so board members can begin discussing issues like the closing of Central School.

"We're just trying to start off on the right foot and come into the next regular board meeting (May 16) as informed as humanly possible," Kelly said.

Malley said he was happy with the new group of officers, and added that he only turned down the treasurer position because he thought it would be too much work for a board member.

"I was flattered to receive the nomination, but I  think it's uncommon for a board member to take on that role," he said. "It would essentially be like taking another job, and I think that would take away from my existing commitments to the Board of Education."

During the meeting, outgoing board members Taylor, John Wood, Susan Murphy and Janet Hughes were recognized for their years of service to the district.

Renate Meyer May 03, 2011 at 12:48 PM
Best wishes to the new board...you have a long road ahead, but with the big picture always in mind you will succeed.
Mike Whatley May 03, 2011 at 02:20 PM
It's good to see some new faces and new attitudes on the board. It will take a few meetings to get the procedures down but that is to be expected. However, it is very disappointing the board was forced to vote on a new bus lease last night with little to no time to review the financials of the deal. Mr. Tovian informed the board last night he HAD to inform the winning bid TODAY or the district could face not having any buses for the opening day of school. It’s hard to believe two or three days could not have been approved to allow further review. Mr. Aurelio and Mr. Malley wanted to delay the decision for several days to have appropriate time to review the financials and be sure they were comfortable with the decision. That was ultimately voted against. If Mr. Tovian needed his answer last night, he should have invited the two RFP responders to the meeting to discuss the proposals with the board. If they wanted the sale they would had sent a representative to speak to the board. Additionally to prevent this from happening in the future the board should put a new rule in place that any decision that is over $100K annually or for two to three years in length should require the board members a minimum of 72 hours to review the information so that they don’t have a gun held to their heads. (continued)
Mike Whatley May 03, 2011 at 02:20 PM
I will say Mr. Aurelio, Mrs. Siston, and Mr. Malley fought the good fight to have more time to review the financials where Mrs. Wright, Mr. Doherty, Mrs. Kelly and Mr. Molitor seemed ok with moving forward. Mr. Molitor did have a number of questions but not so much for the others. With all of the corporate experience Mrs. Kelly brings to the table in the area of sales, marketing and negotiations I would have thought she would have had some ideas or questions. It’s time to step up and do the right thing for the right reason. I truly hope this will be the last of the FORCED rubber stamps and business as usual.
Brenda Douglass May 03, 2011 at 04:57 PM
By law - the agenda for the meeting and the contract in question were posted at least 48 hours prior to the meeting - I was able to review those documents from home. Preparation prior to a meeting is key for our new members going forward.
Mike Whatley May 03, 2011 at 05:24 PM
I saw the agenda as well. Item number 10 is New Business. It said "Consider School Bus Lease Proposal". That is very different then a VOTE on school bus lease proposal. I was at the meeting and it seemed more then one person was surprised by the required vote. Where is the contract in question posted?
Brenda Douglass May 03, 2011 at 07:45 PM
If you visit the 113a website, under board docs - click on the May 2nd meeting, and when you get to the line item on the agenda, the commentary box on the right of the screen has the supporting documentation attached.
Lee Ristow May 03, 2011 at 09:03 PM
Actually, the lease that is in board docs is the old lease not the one they were voting on last night. I am assuming they actually got a copy of that lease last night. I don't think I could have based a decision on the information in the board docs, the proposal was almost unreadable. And if that stuff was posted on Friday, was anyone available over the weekend to answer questions if the board members had them?


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