Noel Kuriakos says he and Taxpayers United of America are "in good faith defending their Constitutional rights" by bringing a lawsuit against District 97 and each of its school board members. He wants to overturn the referendum results. He also asks the court to order school board members to pay his litigation costs and attorneys' fees "not from public funds" but out of their own pockets.
Is that supposed to make us feel better about this lawsuit?
Consider the lives of Oak Park school board members: They devote hundreds and hundreds of hours of their time to public service to our community, doing their best to educate our children with the available resources.
And for what? It's a volunteer position.
Criticism comes with the job. That's appropriate, since school board members are accountable to us, the taxpayers of Oak Park (not of all America—just Oak Park).
But Mr. Kuriakos has taken his criticism several steps too far. His lawsuit alleges that the board members, "knowing that the ballot language was misleading ... intentionally proceeded with the referendum using the misleading language."
In fact, as Mr. Kuriakos knows, school board members relied on the expertise of one of the leading school finance firms in drafting the ballot language. They asked the firm to check and re-check that language. What more could you expect? Imagine if they had ignored the experts' advice and instead proceeded with their own layman's concept of what the ballot ought to say. Would that fulfill their duty of care to the public?
Mr. Kuriakos, after your lawsuit is dismissed, I suggest you run for school board.
To the school board members you have sued: Thank you for your service.
Pam McLean Meyerson