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July 31, 2014

Poor choice by Edwardsville School Board

The Edwardsville District 7 School Board took a contentious, ill-advised step backward this week when the majority reappointed Greg Roosevelt to the board despite his loss at the ballot box last year.

Board President Jill Bertels said Roosevelt is uniquely qualified to fill a board vacancy because of his 12 years of previous service. (It probably didn't hurt that his wife, Brenda, is a Madison County Board member.) Actually, it's his past that should have disqualified him for this opening right from the start.

No offense to Roosevelt, but the voters decided they wanted different leadership. There were three open seats, and Roosevelt came in fourth. Bertels makes a point the Roosevelt lost to the third-place finisher by just 52 votes, but that's beside the point.

The board should have respected the voters' decision and chosen from among the other six applicants for the open seat. If Roosevelt wanted back on the board, he should have waited to run again at the next election.

The arrogance of sitting board members who think they know better than their constituents isn't going to play well. This appointment undermines public confidence in the board, which likely will make dealing with the district's ongoing financial challenges all the more difficult.

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