After the April 7 election, new Park Ridge-Niles District 64 School Board members will take an oath of office which requires them to promise they “will avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety which could result from [their] position, and will not use [their] board membership for personal gain….”
Mr. Bublitz, a full-time administrator in Maine East School District 63, was admittedly recruited to run for the School District 64 School Board by its teachers union, Park Ridge Education Association. Also, Mr. Bublitz’s spouse is a full-time teacher in District 64 and a member of the PREA union.
The problem is that, if elected, Mr. Bublitz will vote on how PREA members – including his own family – will be compensated.
Nepotism at the school board level is legal in Illinois. Mr. Bublitz is a taxpayer and has a right to run. But, while not impermissible under law, it still is a conflict of interest to decide how much income comes into your own household. It is unethical and taxpayers understand that.
When confronted about this very issue at the District 64 Candidate Forum by a local blogger, Mr. Bublitz refused to say whether he’d recuse himself from voting on the PREA contract.
However, even if Mr. Bublitz is elected and does recuse himself, our community will still be underserved by having a board member who remains silent on 83 percent of the budget and all other labor issues over the next four years.