An exciting 3-person team will be on the ballot April 7, 2015 for election to the Batavia School Board: William “Bill” Gabriel, Ron Rechenmacher, and Michelle Olache. Three seats are up on a board of 7. Eight candidates have filed.
This team was recruited by Batavians for Responsible Government, and became official when Ron Rechenmacher, who had filed as a candidate for both School Board and City Council Ward 6, withdrew from the aldermanic race today.
Even if all 3 of the team were to be elected, that would still not be a majority of the school board, so there is no guarantee the 3 could accomplish any reforms. But there would be a chance for real change in the way the school board/district operates if they could draw just one of the sitting board members to their side on important votes. And it would set up a positive situation for 2017 when the other 4 seats would be up for election.
Below is the press release issued by Mr. Rechenmacher:
December 31, 2014
Rechenmacher to focus on school board; withdraws from city race
Batavia, IL—Batavia resident Ron Rechenmacher has filed papers to withdraw from Batavia’s Ward 6 aldermanic race, leaving his name on the April 2015 ballot as a candidate for the Batavia Board of Education.
On December 15th, Rechenmacher had filed for two ballot positions, knowing he would have to withdraw from one or risk being taken off of both.
“I wanted to be certain that my ward would be adequately represented in the City Council,” said Rechenmacher. “With the empty seat in Ward 6, that was my primary concern. Seeing that another candidate had filed and having met with him, I feel comfortable that I can now turn all my attention to the school board.”
Rechenmacher was recruited by Batavians for Responsible Government to form a team with candidates Michelle Olache and Bill Gabriel to run for the three available school board seats.
“Mr. Rechenmacher was initially interested in a position on the City Council,” says BRG spokesperson Sylvia Keppel, “but since he has been made aware of problems at the school district, he has jumped in with both feet, attending school board meetings and researching documents. While each of the team’s candidates can stand on their own, their individual strengths complement each other to form a phenomenal team. One of Ron’s strengths is his understanding of procedure and structure. He clearly understands the function of the board and knows the way to effect change is through policy.”
The team approach to running for school board is a novel one in Batavia. The team’s members share a common platform of lower taxes, more transparency, respect, and effective education. Rechenmacher thinks that the current school board doesn’t listen to the people.
“Parents have concerns about the quality of their children’s education. Teachers have concerns about their working environment. The community has concerns about how tax dollars are being spent on education. There needs to be dialogue. That’s not happening now,” Rechenmacher said. “I hope to change that if the people of Batavia do me the honor of electing me to the school board.”