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D87 Board Member Speaks Out Before Memorial Lights Referendum Vote

The following is a letter to the editor from D87 board member Mary Ozog.

On March 20, 2012 the registered voters of Glen Ellyn will be asked the following question:

Should High School District 87 be permitted to install and operate permanent stadium field lighting on Memorial Field at Glenbard West High School (consisting of two 60' tall and four 70' tall light towers) for after-dark athletic practices, competitions, and non-school related rentals?

The Illinois Association of School Board states in its Foundational Principles of Elective Governance that “The School Board must be aggressive in reaching out to the community – the district’s owners - to engage people in conversations about education and the public good.”  Our own District 87 Board Policy (8:10 paragraph 4) states we will “solicit public opinion as part of the decision making process.”

Last Fall constituents of the Glen Ellyn community amassed over 700 signatures to put this referendum on the upcoming March ballot. Critical comments  have been circulating regarding the fact that only Glen Ellyn residents will be voting on this issue. This is a land use issue that affects Glen Ellyn residents only, and that is why it is on the Glen Ellyn ballot. The District’s website calls the language misleading. The District only removed its request for leasing in late November, four months after Plan Commission hearings began. Also, the District had an opportunity to object to the question’s language and did not do so. The District’s disparaging remarks on this issue appear to me to be an effort to obstruct the elective process and have no factual basis. I have no idea what the results of this referendum will be, but I expect that, as elected officials, we will of course take into consideration the results of this advisory referendum when we make our final decisions about this project.


Mary Ozog

 

District 87 Board Member

March 18, 2012

 

Rich Magurkey March 19, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Apparently Mrs. Ozag doesn't understand the meaning of the term "losing gracefully".
Susan March 19, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Perhaps the 700 signatures submitted to the Village are legit but of the 653 on the OTOF site 80 are Anonymous, 44 are from Non residents and 23 are duplicates. This vote is a waste of time. Ms. Ozog needs to move on, support the decision of her board and the Village of Glen Ellyn. But if we must...VOTE YES!!!
David March 19, 2012 at 01:57 PM
People need to understand that the kids today need organized activities at all ages and levels. Without these organized activities kids will find more ways to get themselves in trouble. If the lights on the field will keep kids occupied from otherwise roaming the streets and getting into trouble, they are well worth it.
Lombard Voter March 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM
If only the same amount of press and board/parent concern was put into things that really impact the schools like class sizes, boundaries, curriculum, and the top heavy administration at the Glenbard schools (where there are assistant principals for nearly everything it seems). It truly is a sad reflection on the schools when a school board member can get elected based on a trivial issue like lights for athletic fields....
Glen Ellyn Parent March 19, 2012 at 03:43 PM
The real "Elephant in the room" is the fact that Mrs. Ozog lives within close proximity to the new Memorial Field lights which would effect her personal property value. I do not think the interests of the village as a whole are represented when she speaks under the false pretense that she somehow represents the village or the school board. Unfortunately she speaks through the veil of personal gain.
Rich Magurkey March 19, 2012 at 08:47 PM
All of these comments are succinct and point to the conclusion that no one should pay any attention whatsoever to comments from the Ozags. Thank you all for the support of lights at Memorial!
Susan March 19, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Correction 83 are anonymous...
Ramona March 20, 2012 at 12:31 AM
And I am sure that the Glen Ellyn residents who live south of Roosevelt will care greatly if West has lights! Let there be light!!
Steve Seaney March 20, 2012 at 01:21 AM
The 'disparaging remarks' referenced by Ms. Ozog are the result of false and misleading statements in the referendum. Had Ms. Ozog's colleagues in OFOT produced an honest and accurate referendum question the ballot would be relevant and useful. The members of OFOT created an incorrect and biased ballot question and seem 'surprised' the community can not use the results. Do they really think the Village Board and School Board are naive? When OFOT created the ballot, they assumed the responsibility to create an honest and useful referendum. As the facts regarding the lighting changed throughout the fall, the individuals who created the ballot are responsible for updating the ballot so that it is honest. Did OFOT really think the community would use the results of a referendum with an obliviously flawed ballot question? Steve
Marilyn March 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Marilyn I can't believe after all that has gone on, meetings, signs,etc., not one comment is posted showing how disappointing this whole issue has been. I posted a reply yesterday, only to find that today, it is not shown. Perhaps I am not as articulate as the above...just a "voice shouting in the wilderness". Once again, this area is the entrance to our town. What a beautiful site to behold, light towers where there once was a park dedicated to the veterans of our country,. The traffic will be a joke, along with the safety. And yes, as a local resident, it will lower my property value. Although, I am a senior citizen and not a full time resident in my older years, I will still have to pay 100% real estate taxes and you can bet the values will not change on the tax roles as no one can sell their house to get comparibles. Do you really think these lights are going to keep your children safe from trouble and drugs? That character should have been molded long ago AT HOME!!! GOD BLESS THIS MESS!
Glen Ellyn Parent March 20, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I hope that some day when I am a senior citizen, I am realistic enough to know that I should not put my personal financial challenges ahead of the students at my local high school. I am astounded at the short sightedness that may of our seniors show on issues involving our schools. Our country spend more on schools during their childhood years then in any other era. They never went to school in wooden trailers. All you have to do is read between the lines on some of these comments and you can see selfishness. I like the repremand that assumes we do not know how to raise kids and that we should stay at home , so that somehow it will ease the tax burden of a retired "snow bird". Sorry if our local high school gets in the way of your goals to sustain multiple residences in your senior years. Young folks you need to get out and vote. My gosh...
Rich Magurkey March 20, 2012 at 01:56 PM
This issue has already been decided, regardless of the results of the non-binding referendum. Why does this need to be debated again? Please move on to another more important subject, this one is settled.
Jeffrey Gahris March 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Without getting judgmental one way or another, I noticed the congestion and confusion this afternoon by Memorial Field to be quite amazing, to the point that Pennsylvania Ave would benefit by being sealed off from through traffic, especially for any night events. I got through only by driving about 5 mph for the sake of safety.
J. Burket March 23, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Your prayers will be answered when a three way stop sign is installed at Ellyn and Crescent.

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