By Devin Rose
Current board member was not endorsed by the community caucus
Roman Ebert, a current member of the District 90 school board, said he's planning to run for a second 4-year term, despite not being endorsed by the District 90 Community Caucus late last month.
"I have made a decision and I'm going to run this spring," Ebert said Monday. He was encouraged by a group of residents who came up to him after they heard he was not endorsed.
The caucus is backing current board Vice President Patrick Meyer and Secretary David Latham, who will be running for their second terms on April 9. They also endorsed Teresa Peavy, who has volunteer experience in D90, and Anne Gottlieb, an assistant principal at a Chicago charter high school.
Ebert said he feels it would be in the best interests of the district and of the village to serve another term because he can provide continuity.
"I know it's definitely a disadvantage," Ebert said of running without the caucus' endorsement, "but I think I would do a good job." He said he needs to get that message out to the community and let them decide instead of just letting a small group of caucus members decide the issue. Ebert said he still respects the caucus because they oversee the vetting process for candidates, but he was disappointed by their decision.
Caucus Co-chair Marcia Preston has said Peavy and Gottlieb were extremely strong candidates who answered every interview question in detail and were well-informed about community issues.
Ebert's wife, Portia, said three caucus members separately reached out to her and her husband and expressed disappointment with how the caucus was run. They told the Eberts it felt like there was an agenda and that people who were not part of it were trying to influence the members. Portia Ebert said her husband did not want to cause a ruckus, but it seemed unusual that he was not endorsed. She created a Facebook page in support of his campaign and said it makes her "uncomfortable that the [caucus] process is so secretive." She knows they have an uphill battle to win.
Her husband spoke with D90 Supt. Ed Condon before making his decision, Portia Ebert said. Condon said Ebert has been a valued and hard-working member of the board, but it's not his role to make comments about candidates that might be perceived as endorsement.
Ebert plans to collect signatures and file them with the Illinois Board of Elections. Potential candidates can file from Dec. 17 at 8 a.m. to Dec. 24 at 5 p.m.