D86 board candidate pledges open dialogue

Board of education members are elected officials responsible for carrying out and executing, through policy, the collective demand of the community they represent. The recent Hinsdalean endorsement of the current District 86 BOE president is not aligned with the mindset and expectations of residents from the seven towns that feed into D86. As a flagrant attempt to stifle engagement with the community, BOE President Camden moved public comments, an agenda item mandated by the Illinois Open Meetings Act, from the beginning to the end of board meetings. Not coincidentally, Camden reversed his action with the approach of Election Day. In another disappointing action, in the words of The Hinsdalean just four months ago, “Camden shocked us — and others — with his unprofessional use of inflammatory terms in an ill-advised attempt to make a point about problematic speech.” The current BOE President’s cavalier use of three vile and polarizing scenarios was unprofessional and inappropriate. Equally appalling, Camden shared these epithets with the lawyer for the Citizen Advocacy Center, dispatched to deliver training to the D86 BOE as part of the settlement agreement for an alleged 1st amendment violation. I believe open, respectful dialogue is essential to effective leadership and a mandate for elected officials. A degree in communications coupled with my 25-year career leading strategic initiatives attest to my commitment to making data-driven decisions and will benefit our students and all taxpayers in our community. Please consider me, Peggy James #4 on the ballot, for D86 Board of Education. — Peggy James, Hinsdale