David DeRango Owes the Library and the Community an Apology
David DeRango has made a lot of preposterous claims in his letters over the past few weeks, but the statements I consider to be most egregious are those that pertain to the increases in library usage and the quality of library services over the past few years. Mr. DeRango would have you believe that he is somehow personally responsible for these upticks in circulation and library traffic. In doing so, he has done an incredible disservice to the skilled and hard working staff members at the library—the very people who are truly responsible for all of the good things that are happening at our library.
My wife worked at the library for 33 years, many of those years as Head of Technical Services and a member of the Management Team, and so I am fully aware of the professionalism and the dedication that all of the staff members bring to their jobs. They are the people we can thank for the quality of service at the library and the continued growth in circulation statistics and library usage each year. They are the people who make our library such an important resource in our community and they deserve recognition for their hard work and professional service. By falsely claiming credit for their accomplishments, Mr. DeRango has essentially spit in their faces as he tries to diminish the value of their work to bolster his own record. Mr. DeRango should immediately issue a formal apology to Library Director Susan Westgate and the members of the library staff for his foolish and self-serving proclamations, but I doubt that will happen. In making these arrogant claims, he has tried to make himself look important, but sadly, he has instead made himself look very small indeed.
Mr. DeRango’s claims are even more specious when we notice that most of the library statistics he quotes reflect growth over the past two years—the same two years that he and Dominick Jeffrey have spent their time as the two Board members who have been in dissenting minority roles and have done little but raise obstructions to the positive and productive efforts of the other five trustees.
The good news is that there are three candidates in the upcoming election who are far more qualified and who are prepared to continue the good work that the current Board has done over the past two years. Justin Lynch, Nancy Bagdonas, and David Larimer are already actively involved in library matters, and two of them have taken an active role in drafting and implementing the Strategic Plan that will serve as the blueprint for the future of our library. They recognize and appreciate the importance of the library staff and will work to support their efforts as they serve the community. They are endorsed by former Library Director Lynn O’Dell and dozens of respected citizens and community leaders. My wife and I plan to vote for these three outstanding candidates, and I urge you to do the same.
Richard Marchessault (The Examiner of Carol Stream, March 18, 2015)
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Taking Issue With David DeRango's False Statements
As one of the SIX candidates running for the three Carol Stream Library Board Trustee positions, I cannot remain silent after reading the Examiner’s recent article and the Letters to the Editor. I specifically object to the blatant untruth in Mr. DeRango’s last paragraph where he states, “our challengers’ campaign is being run by someone outside our community but we are running our own campaign with the help of one Carol Stream resident”. Our campaign is being run solely by a legally organized group called Support the Library Carol Stream, and the members are all citizens of Carol Stream. Perhaps it is revealing that Mr. DeRango can only find one citizen to work on his campaign.
The Support the Library group supports a slate consisting of Justin Lynch, David Larimer and myself, Nancy Bagdonas. This group raises funds and accepts donations from a long list of respected residents to help pay for campaign materials. Further, this group is in no way affiliated with or supported by the “Friends of the Carol Stream Library” group as Mr. DeRango continues to falsely insinuate in public forums. ALL funds raised by the “Friends of the Library” group are spent solely on equipment and resources to support the Library’s mission. That includes funding special programs and speakers, providing refreshments for programs and events, and purchasing items for the Library that are outside their budget. Mr. DeRango would know this if he ever took time to attend a public Friends meeting or pay the annual $5 fee to become a member.
Contrary to Mr. DeRango’s statement that the “challengers” never attended a Board meeting until December, I have attended many Library Board Meetings and the claim that Mr. DeRango makes about the board “rubber stamping” these meetings is completely not true. Each Board Trustee receives a packet of information and documents to study before each meeting. What I have noticed is that Mr. DeRango seems to have difficulty comprehending the material in the board packets since he frequently asks questions that the other trustees seem to fully understand. It makes me wonder how well he prepares for meetings.
Mr. DeRango and Mr. Jeffrey continue to take the credit for all the good things happening at the Library, but the truth is that they voiced strong opposition to the preparation and implementation of the Strategic Plan and the use of a library professional to guide this important process. A few years ago, they were vocal opponents to the library renovation project that created a new circulation area as well as the computer lab that is in constant use. In fact, it is difficult to find a single positive contribution to our library that either Mr. DeRango or Mr. Jeffrey has made.
If Mr. DeRango and Mr. Jeffrey are elected to another term, the ultimate losers will be the citizens of Carol Stream. On April 7th, it is my hope that those citizens who truly desire a fiscally responsible and fair Board of Trustees will vote for myself, Nancy Bagdonas, and my running mates, Justin Lynch and David Larimer.
Nancy Bagdonas (The Examiner of Carol Stream, April 1, 2015)
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Justin Lynch Lays Out His Vision for the Library
As a candidate for the Carol Stream Library Board of Trustees, I want to inform voters why I am running and what I would do if elected. I’ve lived in the Village for over 25 years and am an avid library user. We have a wonderful library, but I know I can help make it better.
I want to make new technology a priority. I will spearhead a program to get donations of computers, Blu-rays, and DVD’s from local businesses and the community. I believe we can add to our current catalog without having to spend library money. The library has done an excellent job of expanding its programs in terms of drawing more folks in from young to old. I want there to be an additional focus on classes that involve Microsoft Office, SAP, and other software that employers are looking for in their job candidates.
Most importantly, I want to be accessible. I’ve put my home address and phone number on flyers while going door to door because if folks have a question or thought about the library, I want to hear it. When it comes to our library’s future, no idea is a bad one. I respectfully ask for your vote on April 7th for myself and my two running mates, Nancy Bagdonas and David Larimer.
Justin Lynch (The Examiner of Carol Stream, April 1, 2015)
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Clear Choice For Library Candidates
The Daily Herald has posted full profiles for all of the candidates for library trustee positions in Carol Stream except for Dominick Jeffrey who was apparently too disinterested to participate. It is quite easy to spot the candidates who are most qualified for the position.
Justin Lynch, Nancy Bagdonas, and David Larimer have all written complete and intelligent responses that clearly demonstrate that they value literacy, education, and a comprehensive library far more than the two incumbents who are holdovers from the previous Library Board that disgraced our library and our community two years ago. Ms. Bagdonas and Mr. Larimer both participated in the development of the library’s strategic plan with the guidance of a library professional, an important initiative for which the two incumbents, Mr. Jeffrey and Mr. DeRango, expressed strong opposition.
Compare the intelligent and informed profile statements of Justin Lynch, Nancy Bagdonas, and David Larimer with this indecipherable statement taken word-for-word from David DeRango’s assessment of his accomplishments: “Increased new Library card over the past 2 years is now over 9%. Increased patron traffic over 4,000 people in 2014. Continuous improved of customer service. Continuous imported of programs for all ages.” Aside from DeRango’s abysmal writing in which he clearly seeks to claim personal credit for the work done by the excellent library staff members in Carol Stream, he cites statistics from dates when his faction did not even enjoy majority control of the Board.
I am confident you will agree with me that Lynch, Bagdonas, and Larimer are the best candidates for the library trustee positions.
Ellen Marchessault (Submitted to the Daily Herald, March 29, 2015)
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The Truth About the Support the Library Organization
While reading David DeRango's letter in The Examiner (March 25, 2014) I learned I have apparently moved out of the village. DeRango states "Our challengers' campaign is being run by someone that lives outside our community..." I am the chairman of the Support the Library committee, a 6 1/2 year resident, and have had the honor of leading the group since February, 2013. STL is composed entirely of village residents, including business owners, past and present library trustees, retired persons, and other citizens who want the Carol Stream Library to be the best possible resource for all residents. We are a non-partisan group including members from across the political spectrum, because we do not believe there is a Republican or Democratic way to run a library.
The library is there to serve all Village residents, whether they want to borrow a book, an ebook, a DVD, or need access to the internet. Most critical is the understanding that the Library Board is there to set broad policy guidelines and to hire the best staff possible, then sit back and let the professionals run the facility without the micromanagement exhibited by the previous board, personified by David DeRango and Dominick Jeffrey. Our three candidates have been endorsed by a range of people, 36 at last count, including ten who have been honored by nomination or election as one of the Carol Stream Citizens of the Year, seven past or present Library Board members, Village Board members, Fire Protection District trustees, and a host of others.
In contrast, DeRango admits that the DeRango/Jeffrey campaign consists of the two of them and "one Carol Stream resident". Nothing illustrates the difference between the two groups more clearly than that fact. The Library Board has made great strides in the past two years and STL is intent upon continuing the progress into the future. The turmoil of the past and the monthly front page headlines are mostly a remnant of the past. Please give your strong consideration to the qualifications of our three candidates on April 7th - Justin Lynch, Nancy Bagdonas, and David Larimer.
Chairman, Support the Library Carol Stream
(The Examiner of Carol Stream, April 1, 2015)
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Critical Vote for Carol Stream Library Board
Many of the races in the upcoming election are uncontested, but there is a critical race for seats on the Carol Stream Library Board that demands the full attention of all residents, especially all parents with children who rely so heavily on library services. There are six candidates on the ballot for three open positions, and the choice for voters could not be clearer.
On one side are three excellent candidates—Justin Lynch, Nancy Bagdonas, and David Larimer—all supported by the Support the Library committee and endorsed by dozens of respected Carol Stream residents. All three are already actively involved in library activities and two of them served on focus groups for the important Strategic Plan that will be the blueprint for our library as staff members look to serve the next generation of users. They are all avid library users and they all recognize the valuable role that the library serves in our community.
Opposing them are the last two holdovers from the destructive and dysfunctional previous Board that brought disgrace and shame to our library and our community. David DeRango and Dominick Jeffrey were close allies with Michael Wade and other cronies who were all soundly defeated in the last election, and we all remember the weekly onslaught of newspaper articles documenting their unethical and shameful actions when they controlled the Board. They have opposed virtually every productive proposal that the new Board has considered, yet when positive things happen at the library, they fraudulently jump in to claim full credit for the fine efforts of the library staff, the other board members, the Friends of the Library, and all of the other individuals who actually worked to better our library. There is no room on our Board for trustees like Mr. DeRango and Mr. Jeffrey who act in such a disingenuous and dishonorable way.
Things have been quiet for the past two years because all five of the excellent STL candidates in 2013 became library trustees after scoring overwhelming victories over Michael Wade and his cronies. Led by Board President Jim Bailey, the new Board has done a masterful job of restoring ethical and responsible leadership to our library. They worked quickly to scuttle an ill-advised attempt by DeRango and Jeffrey to fast-track the sale of a valuable piece of library property at a fraction of its true value and worked instead with the Park District to develop a sensible plan for the property with the option of selling at a later date when the real estate market improves. They have worked closely with Library Director Susan Westgate on many new initiatives including the Strategic Plan.
Justin Lynch, Nancy Bagdonas, and David Larimer are poised and prepared to work with the current board and help them to continue the positive and productive direction that the current trustees have established. Please visit the STL web site (http://stlcarolstream.blogspot.com) to read full profiles on all three candidates and to view the long list of respected Carol Stream citizens who endorse them.
If you care about the future of our library and want it to remain a valuable resource for your families, please plan to take a few short minutes out of your day on April 7 or take advantage of early voting on dates and times that are more convenient for you. It is time to close the book on the destructive actions of the previous board and replace Mr. DeRango and Mr. Jeffrey with the STL candidates who are far more qualified and informed about library issues and who truly value the library services. Taking time to vote this year will no doubt be one of the most important decisions you can make for your family.
Richard Marchessault (The Examiner of Carol Stream, April 1, 2015)
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Vote For Justin Lynch!
My son Justin is running for the Carol Stream library board in the April 7th election. I want to share a story about him that helps explain why he’s running. As a child, he couldn't put down a book. When he was about 7, one of the librarians told me that he had read all the non-fiction books in the kids section of the library! I loved (and still do) his desire to learn as much as possible about anything and everything. I raised my two boys in Carol Stream and lived there for 32 years. I hope you’ll vote for my son on April 7th. He’s been in the library since he was old enough to walk!
Sue Lynch (The Examiner of Carol Stream, April 1, 2015)
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Letters from the 2013 Campaign
In the weeks leading up to the elections in April, 2013, the STL candidates and many other library supporters submitted written public statements and letters to local newspapers to emphasize their positive and productive vision for the future of the Carol Stream Library and to refute the false statements and baseless character attacks that our opponents had made in their public statements. This section of the web site serves as an archive of these letters.
Need a Change of Direction on the Library Board
My wife and I moved to Carol Stream 4 1/2 years ago and the 2009 election for library trustee followed shortly thereafter. I saw numerous red signs which could only be interpreted as anti-library in tone. Unfortunately one of those candidates, Michael Wade, was elected. Two years later, two of his running mates joined him on the library board. In 2012, due to the resignation of two of the remaining library board members, the anti-library forces took majority control of the board.
In recent months I have attended board meetings and my initial impression has not changed. The board majority proudly claims credit for a computer upgrade conceived and planned by the library director whom they fired without warning. The most ambitious plans of Michael Wade and his cohorts are to maintain the library as a facility barely adequate to the needs of a vibrant and active community like Carol Stream, its families, students, and seniors.
We need a change of direction. Much more is possible using our recently remodeled library, our new library director and her staff, together with the help of a supportive board. We need new trustees with a positive view of the library to restore it to the influential role it has played in the lives of Carol Stream residents for 49 of its 50 years of existence. Please elect Edward Jourdan, Nadia Sheikh, Bonita Gilliam, and Patricia Johnson, and return incumbent James Bailey, who has served the library with distinction for eight years, as Carol Stream library trustees on April 9, 2013. More information is available at STLCarolStream.Blogspot.com.
-Craig Cronquist (submitted to the Daily Herald, April 4, 2013)
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STL Candidates Show Positive Image at Candidate's Night
As reported in this newspaper, on March 12, 2013, the League of Women Voters of Wheaton hosted a Candidate Forum. Most of the candidates were very civil and cordial, but sadly, our opponents (Mr. Wade, Mr. Clark, Mr. Moran, and Ms. Galle) did not hold themselves to the same standards of decorum or respectful political discussion. This forum was designed to be an opportunity for all of the candidates to speak to voters about their own qualifications and the ways that they hoped to serve the community. The good citizens who planned and hosted this event did NOT plan this event to provide a forum for candidates to take cheap shots at other candidates, especially when those negative comments bore little resemblance to the truth. It was quite evident that the audience was not pleased by these baseless personal attacks against Jim Bailey and other candidates on our slate, and the ugly campaign tactics used by our opponents made them look very petty and small in a room full of other candidates who showed far more class and respect for the residents of Carol Stream.
Our opponents also used the Candidate’s Night forum to falsely suggest that we are planning a fourth referendum—a complete and total fabrication. If they were honest, they would be forced to admit that there has been absolutely no talk or mention of a referendum for OVER SIX YEARS, and there is nothing in any of our campaign statements to suggest anything even remotely related to this topic. While my running mates and I are working to create a positive vision for the future of our library, our opponents continue to wage bitter personal attacks and continue their pointless obsession with library minutes from the previous decade and issues that were put to rest many years ago.
In one of the letters to the editor in last week’s paper, Mr. Clark, a current board member, wrote that “the individuals endorsing our opponents are the same people who spent your tax dollars! Same ideologies, just different names!” Lynn O’Dell, the respected library director from 1964-2005 and a 53-year resident of Carol Stream, has been a fierce and vocal critic of the actions of the current board, and she wrote a letter of endorsement for my running mates and me that we distributed at the Candidate Forum. This document also contained the names of many respected citizens of our community—not “the same people who spent your tax dollars.” The long list of endorsements includes current village trustees, several recipients of the Carol Stream Citizen of the Year awards, and many other long-time residents who are ardent library supporters with no direct ties to the library. It was quite clear that those who attended the event and looked over the long list endorsements were extremely impressed and could see that the support for our cause reaches all corners of our community. Mr. Clark’s comments were an insult to all of these respected citizens and patrons of the library that he represents, at least for now. Is this the type of disrespectful commentary you want from our elected officials? Instead of applauding their efforts in serving our community, our opponents found a way to disrespect all of them in a desperate attempt to gain attention.
Our opponents at the Candidate’s Night event conducted themselves in an extremely crass and immature manner, but sadly, a few of the audience members who support their cause were just as rude and disruptive. Two current board members aligned with our opponents were actually standing in the back of the forum near the doorway heckling and taunting my fellow candidates and me while the forum was taking place. Many people in the audience were as put off by their immature antics as I was and can attest to their bad behavior. They were so disruptive that many audience members couldn’t hear what the candidates up front were saying. They were acting like bullies on a school playground, hardly the kind of respectful behavior that the League of Women Voters expect of audience members at their events. I can assure these individuals that I will not be bullied or intimidated and will always advocate for the library and its patrons. We may be on opposite sides of the fence, but that doesn’t mean we cannot be respectful towards one another. Carol Stream residents expect and deserve more from their elected officials than the behavior our opponents and their supporters showed on Candidate’s Night. It is time to restore dignity and integrity to our Library Board. Jim Bailey, Bonita Gilliam, Patricia Johnson, Edward Jourdan, and I seek your vote to do just that.
-Mrs. Nadia Sheikh, MHA (The Examiner of Carol Stream, March 27, 2013)
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Appalled by Actions of the Current Library Board
As a 35 year resident of Carol Stream, I am appalled by what is happening with our Library board since a new majority took control this past summer. They are trying to micromanage library operations, and this is not the role of trustees. They also keep bringing up the past referendum attempts and undermining the dedicated trustees that served on the board at the time. There is no crime in bringing a proposal to a referendum vote – if there were, we would not have any library, park district buildings or schools in our village! Yet they keep bringing up this dead issue as if it were wrong to bring it to a vote.
I grew up in an unincorporated area, without access to a public library, so I fully appreciate a library. Our current library was just opening when I moved to Carol Stream (population 8,500) and I was delighted with the books and the programs it offered. Ten years ago I was excited to work on a referendum to build a bigger library (Carol Stream population 40,000) and was sad when it didn’t pass. After additional attempts to pass the referendum failed, the Director and the Library Board decided to make the best of what they had within the physical limitations of the current building and remodeled the library to accommodate for the greater use of technology, among other things.
I am ready for a new majority, and I plan to vote for Edward Jourdan, Nadia Sheikh, Bonita B. Gilliam, Patricia Johnson, and Jim Bailey - candidates who care about our library. These candidates view the library as a valuable part of our community and not just a vehicle to further extreme personal and political agendas.
- Susan Evans (The Examiner of Carol Stream, March 27, 2013)
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Take Time to Vote on April 9
Carol Stream voters, please take the time to vote in the April 9 local election. In particular, we need to make a change at the Carol Stream Public Library. Vote to put an end to unnecessary drama, bullying, and personal agendas on the library board. Vote for Edward Jourdan, Nadia Sheikh, Bonita B. Gilliam, Patricia Johnson, and James Bailey to restore integrity and productive working relationships to the board. They will listen and put the needs of our community and the well-being of our library first. They bring a wealth of experience, education, enthusiasm and public service to the job. Their opponents have demonstrated they will ignore the will of the community when it conflicts with their own agenda. They tried to deny you any choice on the ballot by filing a challenge to the nominating petitions of Edward, Nadia, Bonita, Patricia, and James. They lost their challenge, but they wasted village time and tax dollars in the process. Don't waste your opportunity to vote and make a positive and much needed change at the library.
-Suzanne Carlstedt (submitted to the Carol Stream Press)
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End the Madness at the Library
Carol Stream voters, please vote for change at the Carol Stream Library. The majority on the current library board just does not work well with others and causes needless tension and drama at board meetings, such as a politically motivated censure of another trustee. The girlfriend of one of these board members filed a challenge to the nominating petitions of all of the opposing candidates, trying to deny you the opportunity to vote for anyone else. This challenge was overturned because it had no merit, but it did cost the village significant time and money. Library trustee candidates Edward Jourdan, Nadia Sheikh, Bonita B. Gilliam, Patricia Johnson and current trustee James Bailey are like a breath of fresh air after observing the antics of the current board majority. These highly qualified candidates bring academic achievement, work experience, and an extensive record of community service to the trustee position. As long time library patrons, they're enthused about the library and what it can do for Carol Stream. They have good ideas for improving library services, while being good stewards of our tax dollars. Please vote in the April 9 local election and end the madness at the library.
-Suzanne Carlstedt (submitted to the Daily Herald)
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Support for the STL Slate
I am writing to express my support for the library slate of candidates: Nadia Sheikh, Bonita B, Gilliam, Patricia Johnson, Edward Jourdan, and Jim Bailey in the election on April 9. I, like many other residents, was not happy with some of the decisions made by board members several years ago, and some of the current board members have made some good decisions such as moving funds from a non-interest bearing account into one that pays interest.
What I cannot accept is the bullying tactics engaged in by some of these current members against one board member. They have demonstrated that they do not know how to pick their battles and focus on those issues that effect the community’s taxpayers and library patrons. In this current election campaign, they have chosen to attack one man who, I might point out, was just one member of the previous board and is still just one member of the current board. It seems that they will not stop until they have ousted every member who disagrees with their views.
I find the fresh slate of candidates to be open to new ideas, willing to listen to the taxpayers who elect them, and focused on the mission of the library.
-Suzanne G. Hlotke (The Examiner of Carol Stream, March 20, 2013)
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False Claims About the Kuhn Road Property
It seems that Michael Wade and his fellow candidates want to claim every side of the issue of the Kuhn Road property owned by the library. In his letter on February 13, Mr. Wade states that previous trustees “wasted” taxpayer money when they purchased the land, yet Jerry Clark crows about the fact that he and the new majority on the board hope to sell the property for $1.8 million. If they are able to do that (which is highly unlikely in this depressed real estate market), taxpayers would see a sizeable return on the original investment. If that happens, it would seem that the previous trustees made a very wise investment and did not “waste” the money as Mr. Wade suggests. Which is it Mr. Wade? Which is it Mr. Clark?
The fact is that the previous trustees did not “waste” taxpayer money and the purchase did not lead to any increase in library taxes. They were acting on the results of an independent survey that indicated interest in a new library about a decade ago and proceeded in good faith to make plans. They found one of the few remaining pieces of property in Carol Stream that would be large enough for a new facility, shared their plans with the public, and then purchased the land in good faith and in full view of all residents in their attempt to meet the wishes of the public. When they purchased the land, they could have no way of knowing that voter turnout for the referendums would be extremely low or that they would face a vicious campaign of misinformation by opponents such as Mr. Wade.
If the library trustees show any common sense and fiscal responsibility, they will wait until property values improve before trying to sell the property. In the meantime, the land is a valuable asset that will continue to gain value until the matter is finally resolved.
-Edward Jourdan (The Examiner of Carol Stream, February 13, 2013)
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Running to Restore a Positive Vision For Our Library
My name is Nadia Sheikh and I’d like to introduce myself to Examiner readers. I am currently running for Carol Stream Library Trustee in the consolidated election on April 9, 2013. I’d like to first start off by saying that I am very proud citizen of our community. I moved here about 5 ½ years ago with my husband. One of the first things I did after moving here was sign up for a library card. My daughter and I visit the library at least 2-3 times a week. I also attend the Bloomingdale and Bartlett library youth services programs because we love libraries so much. My motivation for running in this election is because I sincerely care about our library.
It has been alleged on the campaign web site of my opponents that I have “no library trustee experience”. I’d like to respond by saying this is my second time running for public office and I am an active member of the community. I hold a Masters in Health Administration from the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development. I also hold a B.S. in Neuroscience from UCLA. I belong to the Carol Stream Woman’s Club and Friends of the Carol Stream Library. I am a volunteer at a respite center for medically fragile children and have tutored children in a YMCA after-school program. When I lived in Minnesota, I volunteered at a battered women’s clinic as a crisis line advocate. I have a strong ethical character, positive attitude, and charismatic leadership traits. The ability to communicate effectively, work well with others, orchestrate successful outcomes, manage time, and remain organized, has been vital in my previous roles as a Health Administrator.
Community service is a virtue that is too often overlooked in today’s busy world. One of the reasons that public service is so appealing to me is the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds. I believe that the library board should represent the diverse economic and cultural backgrounds of the residents of Carol Stream so that trustees can best serve the needs and interests of all residents and not just special interest groups. I will provide the library board with valuable insight into current trends in surrounding libraries.
In a recent letter to the editor, Mr. Michael Wade commented that five candidates (myself included) filled out the wrong candidate petition forms. I’d like to respond to this. The Village Clerk’s office mistakenly gave us packets for Carol Stream Village Trustee, not library trustee. This clerical error was so insignificant that the Village Clerk sent letters to all five of us candidates to assure that we could continue to use the forms we had been given with no problem. Nevertheless, in January, 2013, the residents of the Village of Carol Stream had to endure a frivolous legal challenge brought by our opponents to attempt to remove us from the April 9 ballot. Currently, the legal fees resulting from library board actions are taking away the focus from the library and services it could be offering to constituents. The voters of Carol Stream should be the ones to decide if candidates are qualified or not, and thanks to the ruling by the Hearing Board that denied the frivolous challenge, they will have that choice.
Lately, there has been far too much negative attention to the library board and its individual members and not enough attention to what really matters: positive library advocacy. I have been an avid reader and enthusiastic patron of libraries my entire life. My personal and professional background, my drive to make the Carol Stream Library a great facility for all residents, and my enthusiasm combine to make me a great asset to the Village of Carol Stream and the Library Board.
If voters would like to see a list of four other highly qualified library trustee candidates, I suggest they check out the bios of Jim Bailey, Bonita Gilliam, Patricia Johnson, and Edward Jourdan, on the Support the Library Carol Stream site:
If you would like to learn more about me, please visit my Facebook Page:
- Nadia Sheikh, MHA (The Examiner of Carol Stream, February 20, 2013)
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The "Censure" of Jim Bailey
This should have been a straightforward statement to write about the censure of Jim Bailey, but it wasn’t. I had what I knew were the important points to bring up, and I knew how I drew my conclusions, because even though listening to the recording of the meeting clarified my thoughts, it also sharpened my anger at the actions taken in the January meeting.
This board has denigrated Jim’s service and commitment to this library and the community, in the unwarranted action it took in January.
Last month’s agenda included both a discussion of the Daily Herald article “5 Carol Stream Library Candidates Stay on the Ballot”, immediately followed by a motion “to adopt censure resolution as presented or amended of Trustee Bailey”, and a second choice of motions to approve a different version of the censure. There was no other alternative on the agenda other than censure which means this was clearly the intended action from the beginning.
The focus of discussion regarding the article centered on Jim’s quotes in the paper to which Mike took exception, but Mike referred to Elaine, not by name, but as a patron in his remarks, a point not noted in the text. Notable by its absence then, was any discussion of Dominic’s complaints in the same article about the five candidates for the Library Board, who are also patrons of the library, and his comments on their inability and lack of desire to read. Were those comments not insulting to patrons and a fellow trustee?
It’s of no use to say that the censure is not related to the newspaper article, because the 2nd version of the censure was pulled just moments before the vote was taken, and the 1st version from October was substituted, even though its provisions no longer applied since none of the issues or “behaviors” had been called into question since the resolution was tabled indefinitely – until that night’s discussion with Jim regarding his views about both the article and censure. I listened to board members bring up old issues that should have been laid to rest with the tabled resolution, and then watched the same issues turn into an unwarranted attack to which Jim reacted much as you would if all of that animosity had been directed at you. If censure had not been the goal following discussion of the article, it would not have been on the agenda at all, and you would not be able to use this as a campaign issue as you have done on your election website.
I believe that the trustees owe Jim a public apology for the attack against his character and his reputation, and I also believe that it is unethical to try to use this manufactured action as a campaign issue. At some point in your tenure as trustees you will understand that your actions must be designed to benefit only the library, and not yourselves; you cannot create the problem then profit from its solution.
-Mary Hudspeath (CSPL Board Meeting, February 20, 2013)
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New Library Board Spending Out of Control
The majority of the Carol Stream Library Board is starting to look like something out of Cook County. Instead of looking out for the people, they push their own agendas. Board President Michael Wade and members David DeRango, Jerry Clark, Susan Galle, and Dominick Jeffrey seem to care little about the library itself. By having total control, they feel they have the key to the bank and can spend money however they choose. What’s to come if they maintain this control, or even add more allies to the board?
They pushed the firing of previous Director Ann Kennedy without the full board present because they knew they didn’t have enough votes. It still didn’t pass with DeRango abstaining because of a conflict of interest, so they set up another meeting without Jim Bailey, and suddenly DeRango didn’t have a conflict.
They insist they want to keep taxes down, but continue accruing expenses such as approving settlements involving DeRango’s wife and Jeffrey’s girlfriend (nothing like having friends determine your settlement) and the cost of hiring a firm to hire a new director. Added is the cost of a challenge in the upcoming election petitions brought up by Jeffrey’s girlfriend, Elaine Wierdak, paid by the village. Even with these additional expenses, this group harps on how their opponents will tax the people. All of this is paid for by the citizens of Carol Stream.
When Bailey and Mary Hudspeath proposed a clause to prohibit family members from being hired, it was quickly shut down. This could easily be seen as a move for the board to get their friends and family members positions at the library.
When vacated spots opened, they controlled whose applications were accepted, only voting in Clark and Galle who are affiliated with the local Tea Party originally set up by Wade. Is that not stacking the board to control it? These members ran based on keeping expenses down! How much more will the citizens of Carol Stream have to pay to cover the expenses incurred by the library board?
-Frank Virnich (The Examiner of Carol Stream, January 30, 2013)