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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A07, Sen. Don Harmon's picks for Triton [D504]

Sen. Don Harmon wrote in the Wednesday Journal:
Oak Park and River Forest voters also have an opportunity to open a new era at Triton College. Oak Park resident Thomas Gary is poised to be the first African-American trustee in the college's history, and the first Oak Parker in recent memory to serve on the board. Thomas brings an impressive record to the table. He served two terms on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, served on my legislative staff and the staff of Cong. Jesse Jackson Jr., worked on the Service Academy Nominating Committee of Senator Barack Obama, and currently works at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity bringing economic development and job training programs to communities in our metropolitan region. He also recently returned from a tour of duty with the Naval Reserve in Iraq.

Thomas has chosen to coordinate his campaign with the campaigns of incumbent trustees Diane Viverito of Elmwood Park and Steve Kubiczky of Riverside. I applaud his efforts to build a district-wide coalition that will help not only his election efforts but also his ability to work with his future colleagues on the Triton Board. I know Diane Viverito through her work with Cook County Commissioner Peter Silvestri, and she is a thoughtful and hard-working public servant. Mr. Kubiczky is a dedicated and detail-oriented trustee. I expect these three candidates will work as well at the board table as they do on the campaign trail.

Thomas Gary was motivated to run for the Triton Board, in part, by the series of articles in Wednesday Journal detailing the board's operation. He has long been a proponent of open and transparent government, dating back to his service on the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. I have encouraged Thomas to make compliance with the Open Meetings Act a top priority for his service on the Triton Board, should he be elected. I trust he will do his best, and I know that Oak Park and River Forest will be better served by having him at the board table.

No matter how you vote, I strongly encourage you to cast a ballot in our local elections. I hope you will join me in voting "yes" to abolish the Cicero Township Trustee of Schools, and to elect trustee candidates Maureen Sherwood and Louis Angeloni. I also hope you'll join with me in supporting a balanced coalition of leadership for Triton College by supporting Oak Parker Thomas Gary and his coalition partners Diane Viverito and Steven Kubiczky.

This was at least partially in response to the Wednesday Journal endorsing Irene Moskal Del Giudice, Alfonza "Al" McKinnor and Thomas Gary.

Harmon is a master deal maker. I think it's reasonable to speculate Harmon got the Stephens political machine to support Gary so he's supporting the Stephens candidates in Oak Park.

Harmon is Oak Park Township's Democratic Committeeman and his senate district includes Melrose Park and Stone Park.

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  • Carl, can you give a rundown of the candidates and issues for the Triton Board ?

    By Blogger chris miller, at 8:27 PM, April 11, 2007  

  • chris, I rely heavily on Wednesday Journal and Bill Dwyer.

    I think Triton deserves some credit for keeping the tuition costs down. However, this cost cutting has relied heavily on gradually replacing full-time faculty with adjuncts. This is a bad trend b/c there needs to be a sense of ownership of the institution among the faculty.

    However, this issue probably needs to be addressed at the state level.

    Triton is facing accreditation issues. This is more the fault of the board of trustees.

    Also, Triton paid a large settlement for improperly dismissing the head of the college. This was also the fault of the board.

    I believe the analysis that too much power is concentrated in the hands of board president Mark Stephens.

    There are seven trustees with three up for election this cycle. Terms are six years.

    I have met Thomas Gary and like him. He's a bright, ambitious Navy reservist who was elected to the DeKalb County board as a NIU student.

    I think Gary will do a good job. I share the concerns that he's being invited into Stephens clique, but think he will stay his own man.

    McKinnor is definitely an independent. He's from Maywood. He's run before, but as he points out, each time he runs he gets more votes.

    Irene Moskal Del Guidice is someone I've never met. Bill Dwyer says she's the most independent member of the board of trustees.

    The other two guys seem to be relying on the insiders like Stephens, Silvestri, Serpico and Harmon to pull them across the finish line.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 11:18 AM, April 12, 2007  

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