member Sue Facklam will retain her appointed position as the district’s representative on the Special Education District of Lake County’s governing board.
A vote on Facklam’s SEDOL position was taken at the Feb. 1 D46 meeting at the request of board member Kip Evans, who feels she does not represent him.
Evans had asked the board to remove Facklam from any appointments and committees in which she represents D46.
The request stemmed from the fact that Facklam was censured by the board last November after a Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office investigation concluded she had violated the state’s election code by giving high school students free gift cards in exchange for registering to vote for her in the April 2011 school board elections.
Though Facklam’s actions constituted a Class 4 felony, the state’s attorney’s office declined to prosecute.
While the school board did not have the authority to remove Facklam as board secretary or prevent her from serving as an elected, at-large member of an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) committee, it did take a vote on her appointed SEDOL position.
“We need new blood,” said Evans. “I recommend Sue step down or we take a vote.”
When Evans questioned whether Facklam was elected to represent D46 on the SEDOL governing board, she responded that she had been appointed several years ago.
“We have a problem here,” said Evans. “I would like the (board) president or vice president to take over (the position). I feel like this board needs to take some action.”
In support of Facklam, board president Ray Millington said, “I think Sue has done a commendable job on the SEDOL board. I don’t see any reason why she shouldn’t continue in that role.”
Facklam said it was tradition for the board president to make all committee appointments, though board member Shannon Smigielski said she felt such decisions should be made by vote.
Ultimately, the board voted 4 to 3 to allow Facklam to retain her SEDOL appointment.
Board members Ray Millington, Keith Surroz and Karen Weinert, who attended an earlier closed session meeting and then had to leave for a work commitment, all voted in favor of Facklam keeping her position. Weinert voted via phone. Facklam also voted in her own favor.
Evans, Smigielski and Michael Carbone cast the dissenting votes.
Millington agreed, though, that the board needs to review its policy on whether such positions should be elected or appointed.
CORRECTION: To correct the original article, Karen Weinert attended the earlier closed session of the meeting, and then had to leave the meeting due to a work commitment. She later cast her vote in Facklam's favor via phone conferencing. Patch regrets the error.