Friday, May 17, 2013

New Board Gets Down to Business

Director Susan Westgate talks with Jim Bailey and Nadia Sheikh
The five new trustees on the Carol Stream Library Board were sworn in by DuPage County Associate Judge Rob Douglas at the May 15 board meeting in a board room filled to capacity by residents who came to congratulate them and show their support. This was a ceremonial re-creation of the actual swearing-in procedures that were conducted by Rob Douglas on May 1 in the Business Center of the library witnessed by Library Director Susan Westgate. The five new trustees took this proactive course of action when it became clear that former trustee Michael Wade was intent on rushing through a sale of the Kuhn Road property in what he thought were his last days in office.

The new board got down to business immediately after the oaths of office were administered, and the main item on the agenda was the status of the Kuhn Road property. They first listened to an update from the realtors who have listed the property, and they heard more about the plans of a potential buyer, ManorCare, who is interested in building a 120-bed rehabilitation and convalescent center on the site. The board then stated its intent to study the issues in more detail and hire an experienced real estate attorney to advise them on the best course of action.

New Board President Jim Bailey along with the four new trustees—Bonita Gilliam, Patricia Johnson, Edward Jourdan, and Nadia Sheikh—are clearly demonstrating a more intelligent and responsible approach than the previous board had shown, and it is quite evident that they intend to keep the public informed during every step of the deliberations, something that former president Michael Wade had not done. Mr. Bailey was forced to file a Freedom of Information Act request to try to get information about the negotiations that Mr. Wade has conducted privately with the realtors and attorneys, but when Mr. Wade supplied the requested e-mail documents, many sections were redacted. It is easy to see why Mr. Bailey and the new trustees feel the need to make a “fresh start” on all matters relating to the Kuhn Road property.

Bonita Gilliam was one of five trustees who took the oath of office on May 15.

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