Proviso's history of nepotism

Opinion: Editorials

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'This board has a history and we need to separate ourselves from that." That's what Rodney Alexander, a new member of the District 209 school board, said last month as the board held an intense debate over a new and tougher policy prohibiting nepotism in hiring.

Alexander could not be more on point. On the long list of wrongs needing correction in the Proviso Township High Schools, determinedly, forcefully stomping out the taint of nepotism is a high priority. We're encouraged that the board's policy committee, led by Ned Wagner, brought this proposal forward.

We are very disappointed that board President Theresa Kelly and newly elected member Della Patterson argued in favor of the board's current and inadequate nepotism policy. What is currently on the books is more a guide to gaming the hiring process to allow nepotism than it is a ban on this pernicious practice. 

This school board, over the past two elections, was reconstituted by voters precisely to wipe the many decades of pure political stench from the district. That former board president and current state Rep. Chris Welch had multiple family members on the district's payroll was plain-faced evidence of who this district was being run to benefit. It wasn't students. It wasn't taxpayers. It was for the benefit of politically motivated school board members who worked to hire relatives and pals and steer business to political hacks.

Kelly and Patterson know that. They railed against Welch and his political ways. And now that they have the reins, it is incumbent on them to eradicate politics and favoritism from D209.

Their argument at the board table that tougher limits on hiring relatives and business associates is an effort to limit opportunities for community members to be hired at Proviso makes little sense. As Alexander noted, "The only kids we're talking about discouraging from working here are ours while we're board members."

If you're local, qualified and not related to a board member or district administrator, we'd support bonus points in any hiring process. Hiring local is a positive effort. Hiring your nephew is the corrupt business-as-usual that Proviso voters so thoroughly rejected these past two years.

Reader Comments

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Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 11th, 2017 5:41 PM

Bill Dwyer, not to take away the humor in your comment, I just want you to know that I never called you a drunk, just in case you are drunk while reading this

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 11th, 2017 5:38 PM

Bill Dwyer, now that is the humor I mean. You are very funny at times in your writing. I use to enjoy Mike Royko, columns because they almost always had humor and certainly a point to them.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 11th, 2017 4:43 PM

Not meds, Steve,. Pay attention to Tommy's posts. I'm a drunk, not a druggie.

Steven Woltman  

Posted: December 11th, 2017 9:48 AM

Hey Mr. Bill, you really seem to have some deep anger issues going dude. Someone gives you a compliment and you respond with snideness? What's wrong with you? Did you forget your meds?

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 9th, 2017 5:03 PM

Bill Dwyer, I knew of a person named Bill Dwyer, who had the nick name bunker. It was in high school, and not the Military. He seemed to be an out spoken individual who didn't get along with many people. I don't think you are the same bunker although you certainly have the same type of resentfulness towards others. From just having a lot of experience with people, I would say you don't relate well to a lot of people and that is unfortunate because you have a lot to offer people if you can just learn to get rid of the attitude you display in your writing towards others who have not insulted you and actually have a respect for you as a writer

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 9th, 2017 8:25 AM

Whatever, McCoy. Talk to the hand.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 8th, 2017 8:00 PM

Bill Dwyer, your comprehension needs a little work. You do have a sense of humor in your writing and you are right about what you posted. I certainly hope that makes it easier to comprehend now. Try to think once in a while that not everyone is in disagreement with you

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 8th, 2017 11:08 AM

Whatever, McCoy. Now you're an expert on D209 too?

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: December 8th, 2017 10:51 AM

Bill Dwyer, you have a very funny sense of humor in your writing along with it being factual.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 8th, 2017 8:39 AM

As usual, Bob Cox spews nonsense and untruth regarding D209's experience the last 17 years. The changes at Proviso between 2001 and 2013 were nearly all negative. Patronage and the kleptocratic nature of its political leadership ran its finances into the ground, requiring the State Board of Education to take control, and its educational ranking was in the bottom ten percent statewide. Blaming Chris Welch for that God awful mess is not holding a grudge, it's telling the truth. Cox had his chance to stand up to Welch's corruption while on the D209 board, and he rolled over like a puppy getting its tummy scratched.

Robert C. Cox from Forest Park  

Posted: December 6th, 2017 11:06 PM

To FPR Editorial Staff and Dan Haley.My rationale is still the same. Historically embedded at 209 has inherited nepotism from the Chicago machine patronage playbook, After considerable misuse and obvious conflict of interest, it is time to make this change . Professional Human Resources are competent to hire under merit. There is protection under for existing employees but BOE should stay out of the human resource business. This policy /debate battle is a low priority in raising the bar for instructional quality at Proviso anyway. The greater evil is in instructional mediocrity... not in coveting lunch lady and janitorial positions. That's where my head is at along with promoting One Team One Proviso I will take note that The Forest Park Review editorials hearken to an old narrative . 209 Boards have had quite a few changes since 2000, but your narrow perspective has kept you from reporting on anything new or about progressive change and the needs of Proviso students.Why do you sustain a double standard? OPRF 's human resources headed by former 209 administrator and I bet you don't remember her name... and its not Welch.Seems as an outsider, you relish in being a lighting rod for Proviso mistrust and still carrying a Welch grudge that distract readers from realistic stories about public education in PTHS classrooms. Tell us something new.Thats my challenge to your crisis journalistic skills in 2018.

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