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Orland SD 135 special meeting fizzles

Updated: June 2, 2013 6:24AM



A special meeting of the Orland School District 135 Board, called for Tuesday night to fill a board vacancy, fizzled when three board members didn’t show up.

Tom Cunningham, Ann Gentile and Tina Zekich — who had called the meeting following the April 25 resignation of board president John Carmody — didn’t have a quorum and couldn’t take a vote after board members Mary Bragg, Lynne Donegan and Joe La Margo failed to show.

Carmody, who had been on the board since 2007, said in his resignation letter that he couldn’t remain because he no longer lives in District 135.

The three members who called the special meeting lost in the April 9 election and will soon leave the board. The district has scheduled a special meeting for May 6 to swear in new board members Laura Berry, Michael Carroll, Sandra Kulak and Michael Maratea.

After the three board members did not attend Tuesday night’s meeting, Cunningham said their actions were “disrespectful to taxpayers and the children” in the district, adding that the three had an “obligation” to attend.

But La Margo, in a letter Friday to the other board members, questioned the timing of the special meeting, saying the school board had not had a chance to solicit or interview candidates to fill the vacancy.

La Margo, who is Orland Park’s deputy village clerk, says in the letter that the outgoing members wanted to fill the seat rather than allow the newly elected members to have input, calling the attempt “bad decision-making” and “unethical.”

Cunningham declined to acknowledge the criticisms that La Margo had leveled against him and the other departing members.

“When there is a vacancy, you fill it,” he said.

Carmody, 45, indicated last year that he planned to challenge Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin in the April 9 election but never filed paperwork to do so.



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