Martire is eminently qualified for D200 board

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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The voters of Oak Park and River Forest have an unusual opportunity to elect an expert on school policy and finance to the OPRF District 200 School Board. He is Ralph Martire, currently finishing his term as president of the River Forest District 90 School Board and a recent Wednesday Journal Villager of the Year.

You have probably seen Ralph numerous times on WTTW's Chicago Tonight as a consultant on public finance issues, such as budgets, new construction and pensions, a skill sorely needed in these days of ImagineOPRF and other school-related issues.

Ralph is executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and a professor of public policy at Roosevelt University. He holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and co-wrote the new school funding formula for the state of Illinois. He has received several awards for his leadership on the issue of equity. His leadership and experiences in his professional life and in D90 make him uniquely qualified to serve on the D200 board.

River Forest residents and fair-minded Oak Parkers can also help resolve the issue of there currently being no board member from River Forest. Ralph is the only candidate to represent that village.

Vote Ralph Martire on April 2.

Charles Vietzen Sr.

River Forest

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Bruce Kline  

Posted: March 18th, 2019 10:05 PM

No Mr. Vietzen, "fair minded" Oak Parkers recognize that Mr. Matire is a shill for the teacher's union, irrespective of all his academic titles and credentials. Hey, my view is, if you want to shill for the teacher's union be my guest. Do all you want. Just don't do it on the tax payer's dime.

Monica Sheehan  

Posted: March 18th, 2019 8:29 PM

Leslie, The pension pickup language in the D90 contract lacks transparency. It disingenuously states that the D90 Board will pay a "portion" of teachers' required state retirement contributions. A FOIA revealed that the Board actually picks up the "entire" 9%, not a portion of it, for every teacher. This pension pickup is a practice continued by the current board and President Ralph Martire. He could have addressed the pension pickup and its lack of transparency in the contract, but apparently chose not to.

Leslie Sutphen  

Posted: March 18th, 2019 5:39 PM

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability is largely funded by the teachers' unions. The Board of that organization is full of people on the teachers' unions. To me, this is a clear conflict of interest. Also, Mr. Martire agreed to a D90 teachers' contract that had the district picking up the teachers' portion of their own pension payments - they pay nothing. I have not heard him address how he might recuse himself from Board votes in matter of negotiations with the teachers' unions. In fact, if he has to recuse himself, should he even be on the Board of D200?

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