District 65 school board candidate John B. Rees, of 3321 Grant St., is a contract attorney with Axiom in Chicago.
Four children. Two sons, one a junior at ETHS, the other at the Easter Seals school for autism. Two daughters, one in 8th grade at Chute, the other in 4th grade at King Lab.
Law degree from Indiana University, bachelor’s degree in history from DePauw University.
In his own words
Opening statement at Feb. 10 candidate forum at Haven Middle School.
Thank you, my name is J.B. Rees. I’ve lived in the community for 20 years. I am an attorney, don’t hold that against me.
I have four kids, one is a junior at Evanston. I have a son who’s at the Easter Seals school for autism in the city. I have a daughter who’s an 8th grader at Chute and a 4th grader at King Lab.
As I mentioned, I started out at the Illinois Attorney General’s office for four years, went into private practice, went into the family printing business, worked at two startups and now currently as a an attorney with a company called Axiom.
I’ve had experience both in government, large corporations, startups and family businesses. I’ve been on the board of directors of a family business that was multi-million dollar company.
So I too, understand the kind of financial difficulties and the different intricacies of a large budget.
When I decided to run for this position I really narrowed it down to three big issues.
One is I believe that the board member needs to have a fiduciary duty to the taxpayers and the parents of this district.
I think the board has done a good job of getting our budget, District 65’s budget, balanced. But with the financial problem in Springfield, the budget is in a precarious position, we’re not sure how much money’s going to be coming from Springfield. And that I think means for us, the board, to remain diligent in keeping that budget balanced.
The other big issue that’s coming up in 2012 is the teacher negotiations with the union.
We gave the largest increase in teacher salaries, 27 percent over four years. This next negotiation, I think, we need to have a little bit more backbone. We need to extend the school year to 180 days, and also look to maybe extend the day as well for our children.