A look at who's running in the District 200 race

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By Rosie Powers

Digital Editor

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Wednesday Journal sent a survey out to all 15 candidates vying for the four spots in the District 200 race. This graphic highlights the most common concerns facing OPRF High School brought up by the candidates in the surveys. Candidates not pictured did not return the survey.

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Click on the names below to learn more about each candidate.

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Reader Comments

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Comment Policy

Dan Haley from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: March 29th, 2013 9:43 AM

Dear Ms. Langer, The Journal has not censored you in any way. The portion of our website you referred to was created by the Journal to feature the responses of candidates for the OPRF board to the questionnaire we sent to all candidates many weeks ago. You received the questionnaire. It seems you chose not to fill out the form and return it to us for posting -- verbatim posting. Instead you want us to post a PDF of some campaign document. That was your choice. Just as it was your choice to not come in for an endorsement interview. Choices have consequences.


Posted: March 29th, 2013 9:29 AM

I agree and I am supporting Mr. Weissglass. I also support Ms. Moore. I will not support Gevinson for many reasons (failure to tell us who is asking him to run and his belief we are too dumb to understand the budget situation). The other two votes are up for grabs. I am still listening and attending events to figure it out.

Dr. Barb Langer  

Posted: March 29th, 2013 8:23 AM

Barb Langer IS a candidate for the D200 BOE. The WJ/Oak Park.com refused in writing either to post my name and photo along with the other D200 BOE candidates above or to link it to my official Candidate Statement/Handout For Voters at http://www.scribd.com/doc/132264862/Handout-for-Voters . For more on this apparent censorship, see: http://oakpark.patch.com/blog_posts/candidate-seeks-two-public-mandates-in-d200-election-on-april-9-2013-the-wednesday-journal-censors-candidate

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 25th, 2013 4:14 PM

Hmm, I think some of the candidates *did* answer WJ's question regarding if they thought the reserves were too high. Consistent with what I heard at the League of Women Voters sponsored event, JEFF WEISSGLASS, said to the WJ in this article, "The level of the District's reserves is unusually high as a percentage of annual operating costs and is adding to a history of distrust between the school and the community."

OPRF Parent  

Posted: March 21st, 2013 6:36 AM

I say NO to Gevinson. Didn't like him as a department chair and don't feel that he has the best interests of all OPRF students at heart. He is getting a very hefty pension from OPRF and bad mouths it in the press (imagine if we knew what he said to his friends and supporters -- 47 percent anyone?). I don't trust him and I would not vote for him. Also, Mr. Gevinson, the voters are not so dumb that we cannot understand the financial situation. Your arrogance is still obvious.

I Blinked from Oak Park  

Posted: March 21st, 2013 6:08 AM

What happened to Barbara Langer?

Mr. Middle  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 4:12 PM

Public service should be respected. However the relationship should be that we shape our representatives not the other way around. They should not be thought of as special because they have the time or inclination to run for office. We create too many classes of people; they are my neighbors and that is it.

Paying attention  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 3:47 PM

If the filing deadline weren't past, I'd say you both need to run. Otherwise, you're stuck with what you get. I actually think this group has promise. Points to them all for standing up to serve the public.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 3:39 PM

A campaign staff would tell them to never answer a question directly. Have you ever listened to a Senator give an interview? I hope my neighbor would just give me a straight answer based upon today's best information. This is where we have gone wrong as a nation. We make out our representatives to be special. It would be best if they where just a straight talking neighbor. I am tired of people who lack accountability or hold true to an idea instead of a solution. I guess a want too much

Done from Oak Park  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 3:33 PM

Avoid the big issue - the Illinois way. It even trickles down to a local school board election. Pathetic. This is a big issue and it needs resolution. It is as big as finding an answer to the gap, pension funding, etc. If you can't answer why OPRF needs two years worth of expenses sitting in the bank, maybe this job is over your head. Part of the problem with the majority of elected officials - these issues are way too complex for them to deal with.

Paying attention  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 3:06 PM

Or maybe what they really meant to say was they're for the fund and don't want to give it back but haven't decided about specifics for the future but don't really want to get into all that because what they really want to talk about is x, y, z? Don't overthink it. It's 15 of your neighbors who may or may not have all the answers. I'm guessing they don't all have professional campaign managers giving them pointers.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 2:51 PM

@ Paying. See you gave an answer. You say it does not matter. Great that is the type of clarity we need. I can vote for someone who says that and has solid answers for other issues. I probably will not vote for someone who says it is the be all end all issue and forgets the other stuff. The point is no one should be let off the hook and should clearly give solid answers. The should stand up and say exactly what the mean. Its complicated or I will get back to you does not count.

Paying attention  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 2:26 PM

Middle, You're upset that others aren't upset enough to address what made you upset. Which is fine. It's not "avoiding an issue" per se. Some of us don't even see it as an issue. Now, you want them to SAY that. lol I'm thankful anybody wants the job at all. We have 15 candidates, take your pick!

Mr. Middle  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 2:13 PM

@ Paying. So what your suggestion is that candidates should say what they need to say to get elected? Avoid an issue if it gets votes? Or worse eliminate a candidate based upon one answer? Can we not live in a smarter society. Require hard answers and vote on the sum total. Your suggestion is what leads to bad G. Let a candidate avoid tough questions and you will reward that. Over the next few months if you do not answer all questions with hard reality, you will not get my vote.

Paying attention  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 1:40 PM

LOL @NoStraightAnswer I'm not the one uptight about the answers though. They were fine by me. I narrowed it down to 6 then it got tough and I want to know more. @Faith I like Mr. Gevinson as well.

Faith from RF  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 1:33 PM

I am against the current Board's Budget Policy. The candidates make a long statement in the recent (paper) WJ, and here are the ones I am considering: Davis, Gevinson, Weissglass, Nations and Perkovich.

No Straight Answer  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 1:27 PM

If these people cannot formulate a coherent opinion or make a tough decision on the issue of the fund balance because it is "nuanced," do we really want them setting educational policy for our kids? Seeking solutions for the Achievement Gap? Sorry, Paying Attention, I don't.

Paying attention  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 1:03 PM

I'm not saying don't make your argument. You're right, this is the time to have it out. I'm just saying the voters will decide and don't assume that's the pressing concern for everybody--or even a majority of voters.Or that voters see it as unhealthy. What it takes to win is up to the candidates & who they feel like can get them elected.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 1:00 PM

Elections are meant to clarify and the fund balance issue is in need of total clarity. It should be incumbent on every candidate to say; "The fund balance is fine where it is at and required for what OPRF needs" or "The fund balance needs to be reduced in a responsible manner to bring us inline with with the CC Treasure's advice." That really takes no effort and needs not be a "one issue" thing. They should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time to quote the President.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 12:52 PM

@ Paying. True misdirection...if an election is not when to talk about taxation when is the correct time? You parrot the line by Mr. Finnegan that Referendum politics are bad. Meaning that the voter is the last person that should be deciding what taxes should be. Come on, we are intelligent and know what it takes to have a great community. A school that sits on nearly two years of funds is unhealthy. Yes there are other issues but the fund balance needs election clarity .

Paying attention  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 12:36 PM

"It's complicated" can also mean that one doesn't want to get bogged down in the details of a discussion that is best left for another time. I think this group was smart to tread lightly. Going after one issue too hard can lead an intelligent voter to the conclusion that a candidate has a one-sided agenda. I saw several really interesting candidates with very diff but balanced backgrounds. Since we're making lists lately...not everybody ranks the fund as a top issue. They have to woo everybody.

Mr. Middle  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 12:23 PM

@ Paying. When someone says something is complicated it usually means that they have no good argument for it. Take Mr. Finnegan, he said the fund should be 9 months. The CC Treasure says it should be 9 months. Its 20 months for the foreseeable future based upon the Board's budget. Almost 2 years of expenses. Its simple, what is your plan to return the reserves to the suggested amount by our current President and CC Treasure? If it involves more spending what is that? Simple!

Paying attention  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:58 AM

@NoStraightAnswers That's because they're liable to lose votes if they come out and say the fund balance is wrong. It's taking a controversial stand on an issue that can be debated as fiscally healthy for the schools. Most voters, like us, want to hear a more well-rounded discussion of both non-budget & budget policy. The fund balance is a complicated question. It shouldn't monopolize the election.

No Straight Answers  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:51 AM

No, Tom, the funny thing is how not one of these people running for office could or would give a simple, straight answer to the fund balance question. It is hard to believe that not a single person simply said that the latest levy should be rolled back given the huge balance. So very disappointing.


Posted: January 24th, 2013 11:15 AM

Wheres WALDO?

Paying attention  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 8:03 AM

2 votes in this household...thank you for your answers, candidates! Nevermind the complainers. We're looking at you as a whole &, frankly, not that concerned with the money side. Much more interested in some of your experiences and thoughts on education. Please don't let a few people make this all about the money.

Concerned taxpayer from Oak Park  

Posted: January 24th, 2013 5:54 AM

Tom- I'm with you on this one. Only exception is that I want my money back!

Tom from River Forest  

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 11:11 AM

Funny how every candidate who is from Oak Park and who answered the question favored the use of District 200 money to educate Oak Park kids. How is this fair. It seems every time that River Forest gets entangled with Oak Park, River Forest pays for something that benefits Oak Park. I would love for someone to explain how that is fair to River Forest taxpayers.

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