Geiger: Let’s collaborate more

Bill Geiger, president and CEO of Evanston’s McGaw YMCA and a candidate for the Evanston High School District 202 School Board, told a group of voters Sunday that he would like to see more collaboration between the high school and other community organizations.

Specifically, he mentioned the City of Evanston, Northwestern University, the Y’s, Youth Organizations Umbrella, and the Youth Job Center as organizations that can do more to help the young people of the community by working together on joint projects with the high school.
A positive example, he said, was the establishment by Northwestern of an office with a fulltime employee at the high school designated to help bring the research resources of the university to the school to augment courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics opportunities for ETHS students.
As executive director of the McGaw YMCA, Geiger feels that he has valuable experience in how good boards can operate, and he hopes to bring that experience to bear in his service on the school board.
On the financial side, for example, he is an advocate of contingency budgeting, particularly because of the uncertainty arising out of the state’s possible solutions to its underfunded pension liabilities that some in Springfield have suggested could be partially alleviated by having local school districts assume pension costs that are now paid for by the state.
“We ought to anticipate that burden,” he said, while noting that “the appetite for increased taxes is very, very low.”
Geiger sees the role of the board as determining the why and the what and then holding the administration responsible for achieving results.
Early in his career, Geiger said he taught at Haven Middle School and later joined the Y as youth director and as director of Camp Echo. He and his family lived in Germany for three years as an executive with Steelcase, but returned to Evanston to assume the executive leadership of the McGaw YMCA.
 

Comments

It's great to collaborate with yourself

Mr. Geiger says he wants ETHS to work on more joint projects with community organizations like Youth Organization Umbrella, the Youth Jobs Center, and, of course, his own YMCA. Great idea, but . . . . a couple of questions. Question 1: When ETHS is deciding which organization would be the best collaborator, I wonder who Mr. Geiger will recommend? Question 2: When ETHS and the YMCA sit down to hammer out an agreement on a project, which side of the table will Mr. Geiger sit on?

Conflict of interest swept under the rug

Mr. Geiger has kept a very low profile, avoiding questions about the huge conflict of interest that exists when he runs to fill in a position on the Board that supervises (employs, in fact) Dr. Witherspoon, who in turn, s on the YMCA Board that oversees Mr. Geiger. While securing supporters for his candidacy to the D202 Board, Mr. Geiger mentioned that no services/collaborations between YMCA and D202 would be crafted in the near future (that would be, he explained, a conflict of interest). Sure enough, a few days later an announcement was made about new agreements between the Y and D202. There's way too much going under the table here for voters to trust. Let's vote for candidates who have clear positions and are not afraid to answer the questions upfront. Readers, see articles on Pat Savage-Williams, Elena Garcia-Ensani and Casey Miller: A collection of veiled alliances to move PEG forward without any understanding of what D202 students and their parents and teachers want or need.