Patchak-Layman to seek third term on D200 board

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By Terry Dean

Staff Reporter

Sharon Patchak-Layman, a member of the District 200 Board of Education, is going for a third term.

Patchak-Layman says she will run for reelection next April. She was elected to the D200 board in 2007 and reelected in 2011. Prior to that, Patchak-Layman served two terms on the District 97 elementary school board. Patchak-Layman said there's more work she wants to accomplish on the D200 board. With her announcement, that leaves two open seats on the board that governs Oak Park and RiverForestHigh School. John Phelan and Ralph Lee both have said they're not running again. 

Two of four seats are open on the District 97 elementary school board. Incumbents Bob Spatz and Jim O'Connor are running again while Denise Sacks and Peter Traczyk said they will not. 

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OP Resident  

Posted: December 30th, 2014 8:38 AM

Love Sharon, love Qiana, we need more independent voices and not more of the same. Jackie Moore is another one who I hope is thinking of the bigger picture. The priority at the moment at OPRF should not be a pool.

Marilyn Mitchell from OP  

Posted: December 29th, 2014 8:24 PM

Qiana Carswell is a gem! I'm glad you mentioned her. An intelligent, well-reasoned person who I hope will run for office herself someday.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: December 9th, 2014 10:41 AM

Sharon provided a thorough substantiation of her recommendation for a 'No' vote, reminding the board of prior and current legal and ethical responsibilities with regard to use of TIF funds for education, not public buildings. Qiana Carswell also made the connection that community values place a priority on use of TIF funds for education of children, not offices for administrators. John Phelan, D200 President, embarrassed himself and D200 by shamelessly ingratiating himself before the board.

Mose from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 9th, 2014 1:08 AM

Sharon offered public comment during the board's meeting on Monday. She called for a vote against the proposal allowing TIF funds to be used to pay for new offices for district 97 administrators. Money intended and pledged to be used for educational purposes is being diverted thanks to deal cooked up with Anan. Another resident spoke about the need to create more outreach and support for students instead of paying for new digs for the bigwigs. Seems like a done deal but thanks to both speakers.


Posted: December 8th, 2014 9:03 PM

Sharon gets elected because she really represents the people. Sometimes she speaks uncomfortable truths - which is exactly what we need to protect us from "group think" mistakes. She's had my vote in the past and I'm thrilled that I'll have a chance to vote for her again.

OPRF Achievement  

Posted: December 8th, 2014 5:19 PM

Time for Change. 8 years is long enough.. Very few ideas, and rarely has a innovative suggestion.

Service In Oak Park  

Posted: December 8th, 2014 12:47 PM

Like a great Doctor with cool detachment at the bedside, Sharon will give us the medicine we need. While not always the warmest person, she delivers. I'm pleased she is seeking another term and commend her for her years of service.

Peggy Madigan from Oak Park  

Posted: December 8th, 2014 11:02 AM

Oak Park and River Forest have been well served by having Sharon as a Trustee at OPRF. For some, ,tenacity and focus may be problematic but for many her steadfast approach which has included saying things that have ruffled some feathers is exactly what is most needed.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 7th, 2014 3:15 PM

On the Mark, Bridgett.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: December 6th, 2014 10:29 PM

@RiverForestTax, If your cell phone carrier overcharged you taxes for over a decade, would you say, "Oh, just hold on to it as a 'nice buffer' for my future cell use?" If the answer is "no," then why would you want D200 to hold on to such money AND CONTINUE to collect more taxes from you than they need? Further, this pile of money is affecting current decisions about what is a want and what is a need. If they didn't have $100M, I highly doubt a $50M figure for a pool would be entertained.

M Nevins  

Posted: December 6th, 2014 2:10 PM

Ditto on every poster except for one. Sharon, my friend, is the best!

Gryan from OP  

Posted: December 6th, 2014 12:04 PM

I have known and worked with Sharon on many a local campaign here in Oak Park. She is ethical, honest, smart, has great ideas, stands up for her beliefs, follows through...and on and on. I'll be happy to see her win another election on the school board. Bravo, Sharon!


Posted: December 6th, 2014 11:28 AM

I am very confused why people would like the excess tax money returned? Would we like to not have a nice buffer? I know that gives me more peace of mind, people need to stop just thinking for today and start thinking for the future and a road map. We have shown very clearly how well the board is run, look at how well the pool selection process is Time for younger blood and more in touch views at the school. Let me guess the administration will be getting another payraise soon...

Chris Birkentall from Honeoye Falls NY  

Posted: December 6th, 2014 10:43 AM

I have know this wonderful woman since D97 days, where her practical demeanor helped many. I'm happy to see she is willing still to continue with the hard work still needing to be done in D200. Our thanks to this tireless leader!

Bruce Samuels from Oak Park  

Posted: December 6th, 2014 10:19 AM

I totally agree with Kevin. In addition she is smart and has a great sense of humor.


Posted: December 6th, 2014 7:18 AM

Good for her. I agree with the other poster that Sharon uses independent judgment. I will vote for her again.

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: December 5th, 2014 4:35 PM

Sharon is like the Tortoise in Aesop's fable. She may be not be flashy like the Hare, but her sober, stubborn persistence has staying power, that others don't have. Alluding to another fable, she is prepared to tell the Emperor that he has no clothes. She is the only Board member who fully supports returning D200's $102 million of overtaxed money -- that figure was calculated by Assessor Ali El Saffar. She also wants reform of the Step Table system. I'm glad Sharon is running, as our watchdog.

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