Kleber deserves another two years on D181 Board

✔︎ Margaret Kleber

Christine Dannhausen-Brun

Incumbent Margie Kleber and challenger Christine Dannhausen-Brun are vying for the two-year seat on the Community Consolidated District 181 Board.

We endorse Kleber to complete the term of Bill Merchantz, who resigned in February 2020.

Dannhausen-Brun is a strong candidate and we have no doubt she would be a constructive board member. Her voluminous resume of service activities demonstrates a deep appreciation for the community and a heart to give back. She clearly follows developments in the district, has a strong grasp of the issues and is thoughtful in her responses.

No matter how facile one’s understanding is, however, there’s still a lot to learn as a new board member, and our concern is that, in running for a two-year term, a good portion of Dannhausen-Brun’s tenure would be dedicated to just getting up to speed on matters. Add to that her expressed consideration of running for a seat on the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board and we’re left wondering to what degree she would, or could, ever truly settle into the position.

Kleber has served as board president for the last year, which has been dominated by decisions relating to the pandemic, including implementing safety measures and navigating the return-to-school path. Kleber has exercised capable leadership during this time, keeping the board on task but not trying to impose her agenda on her colleagues.

She also served as chair of the facilities committee during the design refinement and construction of the new Hinsdale Middle School. The finished result of an on-time and under-budget faculty, as well as her mention her resolute advocacy for district priorities in negotiations with the Village of Hinsdale over specifications for the shared parking deck, testify to a pragmatic approach that also keeps taxpayers’ bottom line in mind.

Although Kleber was on the losing side of a 4-3 vote to fully reopen schools to students April 5, her desire to gather more health guidance before moving forward was not unreasonable.

We should note that Kleber worked part-time for The Hinsdalean for 13 months more than a decade ago. We do not believe that relationship requires us to recuse ourselves from making endorsements in this race.

Kleber said she decided to seek the two-year seat instead of a four-year term because she felt the shorter commitment was more workable for her.

We believe she has worked well as a board member these last four years and has certainly qualified for another two.