Mayor Chris Getty of Lyons doesn’t think things through very well. Granted, he got four of his henchmen elected to the Lyons Elementary School District 103 (Cook County, Illinois) board of education in April by funding their election from his own campaign war chest. It’s amazing what you can buy with $11,512 – a whole school district!
So the henchmen were scheduled to be sworn in on May 4th according to Illinois School Code and District 103 school board policy. But Mayor Getty couldn’t wait – he had the village’s attorney “swear in” his henchmen as school board members (will the village of Lyons or School District 103 will be billed for attorney Odelson’s time?). Then Mayor Getty had his flunky assistant post a school board meeting agenda on the doors of District 103’s Administrative Building.
The agenda announced a previously unscheduled school board meeting at 6 PM Thursday, April 30th in District 103’s Administrative Building. Nobody except Getty, his attorney, and the four henchmen recognized the legality of the agenda. Anticipating trouble (Getty’s goons are not known for their civility) the Admin Building was vacated early Thursday afternoon.
According to eyewitness reports, at 6 PM Mayor Getty and about 50 of his followers showed up at the Administrative Building only to find the building closed. Imagine that – the building wasn’t open to host an illegal meeting! They were incensed! Mayor Getty spoke to his people about how unfair it was that his henchmen couldn’t meet (to fire the interim superintendents, hire Getty’s political friend as interim superintendent, fire the district’s law firm, and hire his village’s law firm). He was so incensed that he encouraged his followers to bombard the school board meeting on May 4th.
So what did you expect, Mayor Getty? You ignore School Code and school board policy to schedule a meeting and expect to be welcomed there with open arms? Did you really expect the doors to be open, the seven existing board members to be in attendance, the board’s recording secretary ready to take minutes? You couldn’t wait four days till your henchmen were legally sworn in to start the patronage?
Four days isn’t very long to wait, but it’s all the staff members in District 103 have under the district’s old philosophy – be of service to children. After Monday the philosophy changes – be of service to Mayor Getty.