Good citizens of Waukegan, it is now time to ratchet up the pressure to compel the recalcitrant Board of seven to finalize negotiations and return students and teachers to their classrooms.
The community is galvanized and is experience a renewed sense of activism. Parlay this energy into grassroots support for providing a 21st Century Education for your children. Leaders must now be identified who desire to truly represent the people; not political hacks who have been elected and put their personal agendas and pursuit of personal gain in front of sound judgment and prudent use of taxpayer funds. Come forward and get involved in the next school board election. The current Board members only received about 3,000 votes to get themselves elected.
Read the WPS50 Budget. The administration has become bloated because Batiste and Lamping have been rewarding administrators at premium rates who have no direct contact with students and certainly cannot contribute to their academic growth. Fiscal conservatism and squeezing $1.25 out of every dollar is not their motivation. The current Board, lacking experience or understanding of municipal budgets, simply go along for the ride each and every time without taking your children's education to heart.
It doesn't take a college graduate to see that they are paying for duplicate legal fees with your tax dollars; first to Tom Morris at $235,000 per year and then to Anthony Ficarelli at $275 per hour running the meter up with his predatory and dilatory tactics for the sole purpose of making him rich. There are certainly more areas that could be trimmed of fat and enable redeployment of those dollars to the classroom.
We have received many inquiries on how this task may be accomplished. Our perspective is offered herein.
The American experience is based on civil disobedience in the face of an oppressive and remote despot. Americans have a capacity for tolerance that only goes so far. When we hit our limit, democracy in action is a valid remedy to remove folks who have breached the public trust and fiduciary duty as elected officials. From throwing tea into Boston Harbor, to marching for the right of women to vote, enacting legislation for collective bargaining and civil rights, there is power in numbers. Each individual counts. Make your voice heard.
In the old days, the teamsters would show solidarity with the striking workers and things got resolved very quickly. Ultimately, words and deeds are more powerful than brawn. You residents will remember the behavior of these Board members when it comes time to go to the voting poles.
Continue to provide solid evidence and facts to us at email@example.com that indicate financial improprieties, fraud and abuse of taxpayer funds. We will continue to research, investigate, validate and publish verifiable news items. Perhaps at some point these affairs may reach the desk of the Illinois Attorney General and US Attorney.
View this experience as a military operation with strategies and goals.
There is simply one goal here; namely to garner 4 votes out 7 to come to an agreement.
Here are concrete steps to rapidly achieve this goal:
1. The population of Waukegan was 89,000 in 2013. At a minimum each parent of the 17,000 students must call the District Office at 224-303-1000 to express their strong desire to provide a fair contract. Flood their switchboard with calls.
2. Every time you see board members in the community, confront them with their mandate as elected officials to properly represent their constituents. These are your neighbors. They cannot hide from you behind their curtains. Remind them of their duty to be your representatives.
3. The right to peaceful assembly enables quiet and orderly picketing at their personal residences.
4. Obtain phone numbers for each Board member and ring them up to express your desire to provide an equitable solution to the strike. No elected official can dance to their own drummer without accountability.
5. Contact your local press to print fair and balanced reports; not unilateral, biased and inaccurate WPS60 press release without the right to rebuttal
6. Contact City of Waukegan officials, including the Mayor's Office and Aldermen to enlist their direct intervention with the elected Board members
7. Send email blasts to all administrators and the seven board members
Donaldo Batiste firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Lamping email@example.com
Tom Morris firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Petition Tom Morris to open an Ethics Investigation into financial improprieties on the part of Batiste and Lamping, with particular emphasis on the hiring of Anthony Ficarelli.
9. Pressure 4 of 7 to vote for a fair contract for teachers. Stay strong and be confident that the goal can be swiftly achieved.