Levinthal resigns from District 86 Board

Debbie Levinthal resigned this week from the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board.

She addressed several topics in her resignation letter, which she emailed to The Hinsdalean Tuesday morning. She opened with words of support for Interim Superintendents Linda Yonke and Ray Lechner.

“The district is in excellent hands under the leadership of Drs. Yonke and Lechner,” she wrote. “Their collective wisdom, along with the wisdom of member (Kay) Gallo at the board table, can optimally guide this district through this transition period if the remainder of the board chooses to heed their wisdom and act according to policy, oath, protocol, good faith, the spirit and the letter of the Open Meetings Act, with their governing roles and in the best interest of all children in the district.”

Levinthal went on to compliment the administrative team and talk about the work she enjoyed as a board member.

“I am proud that the totality of my work remained true to the platform I campaigned on,” she wrote.

Levinthal explained her decision to resign in the penultimate paragraph.

“My personal guiding principles, though, have led me to conclude that my moral and ethical compasses are too divergent from, and are clearly irreconcilable with, those of the board majority,” she wrote. “I am no longer willing to tolerate what, in my opinion, has become the resultant toxic exercise in futility and frustration. Therefore I am resigning from the board.”

Board President Cat Greenspon did not respond to a request for comment, but Gallo did.

“I will miss Debbie Levinthal’s expertise and knowledge of the district at the board table,” she stated in an email.

Levinthal’s resignation comes five days after an exchange at the Sept. 14 board meeting regarding a motion to withdrawal approval of minutes from five closed session meetings in June and July.

Levinthal said the minutes did not contain summaries of all topics discussed as required by the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Only she and Gallo voted to withdraw approval and revise the minutes.

Later the board approved minutes of a July 20 special meeting that had been amended. Levinthal called the approval a double standard, and Greenspon shot her down.

“It’s not a double standard but I appreciate your perspective,” Greenspon quipped. “It’s not quite as simple as you’re suggesting.”

When contacted Tuesday, Levinthal told The Hinsdalean she had no further comment.

According to board policy, the vacancy will be publicized and residents will have an opportunity to submit resumes. The board may invite prospective candidates for personal interviews in closed session. The board must fill the vacancy within 60 days by a public vote at a board meeting.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean