The Facebook group Edwardsville School District 7 Parents now numbers nearly 2,500 strong and has fought for more community input into school board decisions. The board has written off these concerned constituents, ignoring them as a lunatic fringe.
Board members' disdain and arrogance cost them dearly in the last election; using classic grassroots organization, the Facebook group spearheaded a successful effort to defeat incumbents Greg Roosevelt and Bob Perica and elect their own candidates, current board members Jeff Miller and Lelan Olsen. The victory was resounding and sent a clear message to the board that business as usual will no longer be tolerated.
Unfortunately, the board did not learn its lesson. Voting 4-2 last week to appoint Roosevelt (with Miller and Olsen voting against), the board reaffirmed its contempt for parents and community members who dare to challenge their decisions.
Board members argued that Roosevelt was the best candidate based on his prior experience, but they fooled no one. This was clear retaliation and a bold-face attempt to overturn the will of the voters and restore their exclusive reign.
This ham-fisted attempt to retain power will only fan the flames of a community increasingly alarmed by elected officials who do not listen to their constituents.
There is another board election in April and the community will redouble their efforts to elect a candidate who wants participatory governance in District 7.