With the addition of one new face, the District 89 School Board will change little after the election—in both members and direction.
Residents voted to retain Board President Lori Gaspar and board member Terry Lachcik, and added likely newcomer Tim Jedlicka on Tuesday night. The race between challengers Jedlicka and Arthur Hilliard was a tight race, with Hilliard losing by only 17 votes.
According to Gaspar, the public validated the direction of the board Tuesday night, and said the board will continue down the same path set out before the election. The district faces a tough budget, and has had to make significant cuts at recent meetings.
"I'm happy to be re-elected," Gaspar said. "I'm happy the community continues to put their trust in me."
Gaspar said she believes the public understands the hardships the district has faced in recent years, brought on by a slow economy and rising costs.
"I think the public understands the situation," Gaspar said. "I think we do a good job communicating with them about the issues."
Newly elected board member Tim Jedlicka said he was looking forward to sitting on the board, but said the district will have some tough decisions in front of it.
"I'm looking forward to not only facing the fiscal issues, but also the education issues," Jedlicka said. "The last round of budget cuts was really hard because it started to affect the students."
Jedlicka said the board will likely be looking at a tax referendum to increase revenue for the district, and said he thinks voters would be receptive because candidates have been honest about the increase from the start.
"It's such a local issue, and one thing we have going for us is that [the money] will stay in the community and help build the community," he said.