Letter to the Chronicle

The letter to the editor published April 1 in the Daily Chronicle is here for the moment. What follows is the version I sent to the paper originally.

Cohen Barnes is a sharp cookie, a local success story and a civic Energizer Bunny. We need all three.

However, my aim with this letter is to counter the love fest that is the Cohen Barnes campaign for C.U.S.D. 428 School Board. He’s a bad fit. Here’s why. Continue reading Letter to the Chronicle

New High School Going Short on Custodians

So begins systemic neglect at the new high school — my interpretation of an article in the Daily Chronicle today:

The all-day kindergarten would also be paid for by not filling four custodial staff positions at the new high school until the district has more revenue.

In 2008, the Facilities Planning Committee (FPC) voted to approve the original, pre-referendum size of the new DeKalb High School in the face of a) market collapses; b) new information from its demographer that showed drops in projected enrollment for years to come; and c) admissions that maintenance of existing schools already was not up to par.

Whence will sufficient revenue arise? Development remains at a virtual standstill, DeKalb is losing population and the state is still in bad shape.

Several candidates running in the April election supported the overbuild. Later today I’ll be supporting accountability at the polls by posting FPC meeting minutes containing discussions and a key vote.

ReNew Our Schools and Candidate Barnes

Below are listed the officers of ReNew Our Schools, the political action committee (PAC) set up to campaign for the $110 million District 428 construction referendum that passed in early 2008. One of the co-chairs of the PAC, Cohen Barnes, is currently running for a spot on the District 428 school board.

Renew Our Schools D1 page 2

In the comments section of an earlier, related post, District 428 & the Grassroots: Yeah, Right: Part 2, participants expressed dismay at ReNew Our Schools’ having accepted sizable donations from big firms that hoped to (and at least in one case, did) do business with the school district on the school construction projects resulting from the referendum. Continue reading ReNew Our Schools and Candidate Barnes

Candidate Outreach

Some of the local candidates have Facebook pages now. Here are the ones I’ve found so far. Feel free to point to other campaign pages and sites in the comments and I’ll add them.

It’s interesting how many ways one can use a Facebook campaign page. Some are newsy, some pep-talky. One has become an active tool for volunteer mobilization, another a veritable online shrine to achievements that nevertheless remain vague.

DeKalb City Council

Rob Fischer for 5th Ward Alderman

Kristen Lash for Alderman, DeKalb Ward 3

Monica O’Leary for DeKalb City Council Ward 7

Paulette Sherman for DeKalb Alderman and paulettesherman.com

Bertrand Joseph Simpson, Jr., Esq. for DeKalb Alderman (from 2007) or Bertrand Simpson for the City of DeKalb 1st Ward Alderman (also 2007).

Community Unit School District 428 School Board

Cohen Barnes for School Board

Statements of Economic Interest, 2011 District 428 School Board Candidates

There are 11 candidates in this race, and three of them listed something other than “none” or “NA” on their Statements of Economic Interest (SEI).

As is true of yesterday’s post about the City of DeKalb candidates’ SEIs, all items should be read as reports of what has occurred “in the preceding calendar year”; and again, I have shortened the descriptions in the table so have tucked a sample SEI in the post after the jump for clarification if needed.

[table id=10 /] Continue reading Statements of Economic Interest, 2011 District 428 School Board Candidates

Local Debates

There will be two local debates for April 5th Consolidated election. The first will be on Monday, March 21st, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the DeKalb Area Women’s Center, 1021 State Street, in DeKalb. Audience members may submit questions at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Candidates for the DeKalb School District 428 will go first, followed by City of DeKalb alderman candidates. Malta residents are strongly encouraged to attend the debate for the school board candidates. There will be a break before the City of DeKalb alderman candidates, so Malta residents will not feel obligated to stay for the entire evening. Barry Schrader, columnist for the “Daily Chronicle” will moderate the DeKalb debate.

Parking will be available in the DeKalb Area Women’s Center parking lot 1/2 block south off N. 11th Street. There is a handicapped accessible entrance behind the DeKalb Area Women’s Center, with a passenger drop off area in the alley.

There will be second debate in Cortland, on Thursday, March 24th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Cortland Community Park Lions Den, 70 S. Llanos Street. Audience members may submit questions at the door. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Details on the Cortland debate will be posted as they emerge–save the date!

The League of Women Voters sponsors both events, specifically unaffiliated members currently without an active local chapter.