The three members of the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board that voted against appointing Anne Sills to a board vacancy have requested a special meeting of the board for next week.

Jonathan Baum, on behalf of himself and members Doug Holt and Gretchen Livingston, said Friday that the trio had requested a meeting, to be held in open session, for Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of next week “for the purpose of discussing selection of a member to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Bill Geiger from the board.”

By late Friday afternoon, the meeting had not yet been scheduled, but Board President Pat Savage-Williams told Evanston Now that “I am working to find a time when the entire board is available to meet.  We will post it as soon as I get confirmation that all can attend.”

The board is up against a July 10 deadline for filling the vacancy, or it goes to regional school superintendent Bruce Brown to do the job.

Savage-Williams and the other two members of the board, Mark Metz and Monique Parsons, twice tried unsuccessfully to appoint Anne Sills to the post, as she just missed by about 200 votes being elected to the board in the biennial election of school board members last April.

But Baum, Holt, and Livingston insisted that the board pick someone else among the 14 candidates who applied to fill the vacancy. Because there are only six members left on the seven-member board, any decision would require four votes.

Since Geiger officially announced his resignation on May 27, the Board has interviewed all 14 candidates who are vying for the job.

Related story:

Who do you like for the ETHS Board?

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. This is a good first step

    I have been watching the discussions around the replacement of filling the Board. The board has acted with the due consideration of the process, considering the different voices of this community. The board has weighted the different positions, debated them and proceeded with a vote. It is clear from the board votes (which represent the position of this constituency) that the board should not modify the policy, nor appoint somebody on the basis of the number of votes received, since there is not a clear majority that favors this policy change. 

    Given that the policy will not be modified, I would like to request the board to implement the existing policy and create a transparent procedure to make the appointment.  The board is in a strong position as it can select from several candidates, probably highly qualified.  As parent of ETHS students I would like to see the board choosing a candidate from the list of applicants, using criteria that are convincing and can be explained clearly to your constituency.

    An acceptable process is to define many valuable skills and characteristics that could be helpful to the board.  Subsequently, the board should evaluate each candidate based on those skills and short list a number of candidates.   As parent of two ETHS students, I would like the board to announce the new board member with a description of expertise(s) that this person will bring to the board, possibly augmenting the knowledge of the existing board in areas that you deem to be important. More important, given the fact that there are many applicants for this position, it is important that the board treats equally all the candidates and evaluate them on the basis of objective and defensible criteria.

    The board has the power and the responsibility to choose excellent criteria for the fulfilling of this vacancy and announce a selection compatible with those criteria and the existing policy.


  2. Our problem isn’t picking a replacement

    If district 202 cannot appoint a replacement for Bill Gieger by July 10th, filling the vacancy goes to regional superintendent Bruce Brown.  Without going to Wickpedia, or any other reference tool, how many voters of Evanston (or Illinois for that matter) can tell me what is the job of a "regional superintendent" and what does it pay in salary & benifits?  How many regional superintendents does the state have?  How many people work for the regional superintendent and what is their salary and benefits?  What do they do?  As the cartoon character said " We have met the enemy and they are us".

    1. I don’t remember

      but I know there are numerous levels of school superintendents and asst. superintendents. The number was quite high about 10 years ago.

      1. “Too many chiefs and not enough Indians”
        As with most government/schools and sadly business, you have far to many bosses/administrators and not enough people doing the work.
        If the schools and all the administration would hire people who can “Do” [highly qualified competent teachers] instead of so many principals, assistant principals, superintendents, regional superintendents, administrators, and associate this, assistant that, we would have better schools and far less debt.
        Instead Evanston has two school districts to run up costs, create fiefdoms, hire friends and politically connected staff that hope to have lifetime jobs and themselves off-load their work to others they hire.

  3. Simple solution

    Just appoint the most politically connected Democrat to fill the seat. That's how Miller got to be Alderman.

  4. Judicial quote that applies to D202

    Over the weekend I read the following quote:

    “More importantly, the Court forgets that ours is a government of laws and not of men. That means we are governed by the terms of our laws,not by the un‐enacted will of our lawmakers. ‘If Congress enacted into law something different from what it intended, then it should amend the statute to conform to its intent.’ In the meantime, this Court ‘has no roving license … to disregard clear language simply on the view that …Congress ‘must have intended’ something broader.”

    Our community has entrusted the D202 Board to provide appropriate governance and fulfill its responsibilities.

    “…ours is a government of laws and not of men.”

    D202 policies clearly state the policies and procedures to replace a board member.

    Our community expects the Board to adhere to these policies and rules and select a new member from the list of 14 applicants, many of whom are highly qualified.

    We look forward to future deliberations and discussions and await your decision.

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