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  1. Yes – Bennett was a big proponent of the referendum – and he has also been very involved in trying to solve this problem for a very long time – much longer that some of the others that are running – people that only got involved when the needed reconfiguration of the district might have impacted them personally – Bennett was involved way before this – clearly proving that Bennett’s reasons for being involved are purely about doing what is best for the ENTIRE district.

    During the referendum – a plan that was far from perfect by the way – those of us that endorsed the referendum said numerous times that it would most likely cost a minimum of $125 million (or so – probably more) to simply fix what we have – and for this we would get no fire sprinklers, air conditioning, ADA compliance, and the average of our buildings would be over 75 years old – not including the fact that our kids would continue to go to school in buildings that are getting more difficult to deliver the best possible education (difficulty with teaming, etc given the layout of the buildings, etc).

    Through the work of 2.0 we are seeing that in order to reconfigure the district the all-in numbers for any viable reconfiguration option is at least $135 million up to approximately $176 million (based on a 2.0 presentation from the fall)

    Bennett and other supporters did not support the referendum for any other reason other than that we saw it as a way to get much more for our $$ and to catch up in terms of facility quality, age, etc to some of our neighbors since past boards did little if any maintenance to our facilities over many years. The referendum made it clear that this is not what the majority wanted – which is absolutely fine – this is democracy. However, to say that just because someone supported a plan that they felt was best for ALL of our kids – one that many other people also supported – is somehow an indicator that they would not make a great board member makes no sense – but I can see how it is convenient to make this claim in order to ensure that board members get seated that have a particular agenda. Bennett has proven to have no agenda other than to passionately and consistently – over many years – work tirelessly to make our district great for EVERY SINGLE STUDENT AND FAMILY.

    Keep in mind that a school board member has much more to do than to reconfigure a district – it is about facilitating. See the below from greatschools.org for an article that discusses the qualities of an effective and ineffective board member. http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/what-makes-a-great-school-board-member/ My favorite quality of an INEFFECTIVE board member is this:
    “The school board member uses his position on the school board as an opportunity to put forth a political agenda with little relevance to student achievement.”

    When making your decision on who to vote for in this most important election for our schools – please consider the agenda of each candidate and their ability to be a holistic board member in order to allow the district to deliver on the educational quality that ALL of our kids deserve. Bennett definitely fits this description and will work for the good of all of Highland Park – regardless what the anonymous trolls on The Patch – people that must have their own self interests at heart – would have you believe.

    • This is just too many words and too much information. The main take away in all these words is at the start of Brooks’ comment: “he [Lasko] has also been very involved in trying to solve this problem for a very long time.” That is exactly my point and a key reason we should NOT elect him. Lasko has been trying to solve this problem longer than just about anyone. The solution he came up with was a disastrous one that cost the community (in referendum planning dollars) a huge amount of money. With all due respect to Lasko for his past efforts, we’ve had enough of him. We need fresh eyes, new vision, and people willing to really listen to the community. In promoting the $198 mm referendum with the zeal of a true believer, he showed he was deaf to community priorities. We need the fresh perspective of Ross, Hirsh, and Brunk. BTW, did anyone hear Ross’s comments at this week’s school board meeting? If you didn’t hear them, listen to the videotape of that meeting. What a sharp, articulate man. I’m impressed.

      • I am not going to comment on particular candidates in a negative way other than to say that our community does not need school board members that are single issue and there are certain candidates that have shown to be all about saving a particular school or have clearly shown another specific agenda. I understand that the folks that are endorsed by CARE are individuals.. however they are endorsed by a political action committee that has proven to be all about a particular agenda….What they are now calling an ideology…..as they have now changed their mission (again) to be about supporting candidates that share their ideology…..Whatever that means (I and others have asked them to define their ideology and have received no response). The referendum plan…While not perfect and voted down by the community……Was a creative and out of the box way to solve the district’s challenges. I feel we need board members that are willing and able to think out of the box and come up with ideas that may be best for the entire community…..Then find a balance with what community members want (keep in mind everyone wants something different) and anyone that knows Bennett knows he has both the knowledge and temperament to be an extremely effective board member based upon the experts view of a quality board candidate (see the Great Schools website).

  2. I just read this same editorial in elsewhere online the other day. I learned a lot from the comments there. Voters need to be aware that Lasko was on the architectural subcommittee that came up with the idea of a single middle school of 1800+ students. As a leader in the Moving Forward group, he played a critical role in pushing the $198 mm referendum. He also told the community that it had no choice but to support the $198 mm referendum. Voters should not just focus on temperament and education. Those good qualities don’t mean anything if a candidate’s priorities are completely out of sync with the community’s. We need fresh eyes on D112’s problems. We don’t need the leadership of people who tried to solve the district’s problem with a $198 mm referendum. We don’t need people who couldn’t see any other solution. Voting for Lasko is equivalent to voting for the incumbent Jane Mordini–old thinking, old vision. Voters who really want leadership should look to people who were strong and independent enough to say no to the referendum. That includes Ross, Hirsh, and Brunk. I’m sure there are others.

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