Wondering Who to Support in the 49th District Senate Race?

Wondering who to support in the 49th Senate District race? This should make the decision clear.

If the voters of Illinois Senate District 49 want someone who will totally follow the direction and wants of political cronies and more of the same in Springfield vote for Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. She has proven that with her performance as regional superintendent of schools.

Upon election to that office her first order of business was to appoint the son of the Democrat Will County Executive Larry Walsh as her assistant. She followed up by hiring the wife of a Democrat Judge to a clerical position. When there were no vacancies, she created them by abolishing the position of truant officer, thus getting rid of a retired Joliet police officer who had served two regional superintendents (a Democrat and a Republican) in that position for 14 years. 

When she could not find a reason to fire the chief administrative assistant who had served four regional superintendents (Democrat and Republican) in the office for over nineteen years, she abolished the position then offered her a lesser position at a $15,000 decrease in pay and requiring her to work the front counter with full knowledge of the health conditions that would be aggravated by the constant up and down movement. When that employee did not accept the new position, Ms Bertino-Tarrant did not even permit her to continue working for two more months so she could reach the 20-year credit on her pension and retire.

Her attendance at state and regional meetings of her colleagues has been sparse. She usually sends her assistant to cover them, thus missing the opportunity to network, directly interact, and learn from others in her field. She also has missed the opportunity to use her current job to participate in leadership at the state level which would greatly have benefited her in the position she is currently seeking.

Her understanding of efficiency and best use of limited funds can be illustrated by her handling of the Regional Safe Schools Program (RSSP) which was designed to mentor troubled kids from grades 6-12 with the goal of returning them to the regular classroom and graduate rather than dropping out. She took a program with a 10-year record of successfully serving and graduating more students than any other program in the state outside of Cook County and disassembled it. First, she dissolved the partnership with the Grundy-Kendal County Office that pooled the money resources of both offices to offer economy of scale in reducing administrative costs, provide a larger pool of professionals such as counselors, social workers, and other resources. Second, she dissolved the RSSP Leadership Partnership with the Educational Service Network which also provided over a dozen state and federal grant programs of intervention, outreach, community, and social services for troubled kids and families in the same schools served by the RSSP plus losing the leadership of the executive director who designed the award winning program described earlier.  

She closed the satellite site in Valley View School District that was designed to reduce transportation costs to schools in the northern Will County. She consolidated everything into the Joliet site and then took over leadership of the program thus having direct control over program, operations, hiring and firing.

How do I know all of this? I was the three-term Will County regional superintendent of schools who preceded her; worked with all the people she dismissed; and established the Regional Safe School Program she all but destroyed. I still have relationships with many of the people connected to the offices and programs mentioned locally, regionally and statewide. I took pride in professionalizing the office and hiring people who were “the best qualified” not “the best connected” to provide the highest level of service to everyone I was elected to serve. 

Think this is “sour grapes”? Think again. In retirement, I was contacted by the State Board of Education to be ready to take over leadership of the troubled Suburban Cook County Regional Office prior to legislation dissolving it and sending it’s duties to the three Cook County Intermediate Service Centers. In retirement, I am the School Compliance Coordinator for the 39 school districts of North Cook Intermediate Service Center/Regional Office of Education #5. Life is good.

Garrett Peck has the needed qualities to represent everyone as State Senator in District 49: Proven leadership; practice serving a local constituency; the skills required to work at the regional and state level; and the ability to work in a bi-partisan climate for the good of all. Garrett Peck’s work experience has taken him from an employee in a tech business to the founder of his own tech supply business – he knows how to manage resources and make a successful business and will apply that to straightening out the finances and programs of the state.

The choice is clear: Do the voters of Senate District 49 send someone who will serve the interests of the electors or someone who will simply maintain the current Chicago control and lack of action on the tough issues that continue to erode the credit and services of Illinois government?

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Garrett Peck will work with other courageous legislators to stop the insanity at the State Capitol. Help elect him as your State Senator in District 49.


Rich Duran

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mike Check November 01, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Fantastic letter Rich. I appreciate the insight into the "do nothing" culture that is killing this county/state. Peck already had my vote, now I need to educate others of the fraud that is Bertino-Tarrant.
Tim November 01, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Proven leadership - in what? List a single committee he has headed in his current role. practice serving a local constituency - again, serving what? He has abstained from most of the important votes in his current village board position. The skills required to work at the regional and state level - Really? Is that why the entire village board was completely surprised by the recent IDOT proposal for the main road in Plainfield? Not a single board member(including Peck) has had any communication with IDOT to communicate the needs of the community. I see a lot of fluff, but no actual details of what Garrett Peck has done. This is a race of choosing the 'least bad' candidate. While Bertino-Tarrant is far from the ideal candidate, she is 'less bad' than the alternative who by your own admission simply used his current position as 'practice' for his final goal. I do not feel that a person who can dismiss his constituents needs as 'practice' deserves any higher position than he has already been given. While this letter writer may not personally like a woman who she disagreed with in her executive decisions, at least she MADE those decisions, instead of grooming herself the entire time for another position. When it came time for Peck to make any decisions, he simply abstained from voting and let others decide.
tim 2.0 November 01, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Shame on Garrett Peck for saving the taxpayers of Plainfield School District $30k per year by responding to a public RFP and coming in $300.00 less per classroom than the next lowst bidder. Shame on Garrett Peck for being an efficient small business owner! We should exclude Peck from bidding since we don't like leaders with common sense and force the taxpayers pay more for the required technology to educate our children!
tim 2.0 November 01, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Why isn't Jenny Bertino talking about how she is named in a current $130,000.00 lawsuit in Will County for "not paying her bills"? Her mailers say she pays her bills on time. This is clearly a lie! How can we trust her in Springfield?
tim 2.0 November 01, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Tim, you are wrong in so many ways. Peck has been working with IDOT for years on this project. He helped several residents who had issues with the widening of RT 59 and has been actively working with sevreal residents who has property along rt 30. You should apologize to Mr. Peck for the 3 months of lies you have been posting about him.
tim 2.0 November 01, 2012 at 04:10 PM
and if you doubt me for any reason, please provide your email address and I'll send you the name of the active case so you can research it yourself at the clerk of the circuit court office. I already sent it to the Peck campaign last week. It sounds like they are holding on to it, or maintaining a positive message in their campaign. There are a few days left. You never know.
Skyler Perry November 01, 2012 at 04:24 PM
So let me get this straight. If you hold a municipal office and attempt to run for higher office it's a stepping stone and you should be excoritated. But if you've never been elected you have no experience and thus no business running. (That is unless you're a Democrat it seems. THEN you're a "fresh voiced outsider who's going to shake things up" or "drain the swamp" etc.) No offense, but double standards just really bother me- from both sides of the spectrum. I'm sure you'll respond to this immediately but by doing so, and judging by your prolific presence on this website, you'll only be proving that what YOU'RE abstaining from is life outside the basement.
Tim November 01, 2012 at 05:09 PM
You mean look it up with this link? http://www.willcountycircuitcourt.com/schedule/PUBLIC/B.txt Strangely, there is nothing there to confirm a single word you are saying.
Tim November 01, 2012 at 05:13 PM
No Skylar, if you hold a municipal office and have been criticized for your lack of action since day 1, and have given the majority of residents the feeling that you are just there to 'pad your resume' by avoiding the majority of votes by abstaining, THEN you are to be criticized. Peck just doesn't give the impression, or provide the background of action, that he is any different than the status quo, and if you want that that's perfectly fine. Not everyone wants that though.
Skyler Perry November 01, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Wait, if you're criticised since "Day One" for "lack of action", all that says to me is that you've been waiting to criticize that person all along proving your bias against them. I said the same thing to people who lambasted Obama after only 6 months. I'm no pundit, but the folks on the Editorial Board of the Tribune are, and they sure seemed to have very strong support for Garrett while completely writing his opponent off as "woefully short on specifics" regarding Illinois' problems. That doesn't sound like a "less bad" option to me. It sounds like another sychophantic Illinois Democrat who has voted us into a national laughing stock. And in the interest of fairness the Illinois GOP has them too, only thing is, they're aren't behind the wheel of the car right now and won't be anytime soon and I believe checks and balances are key for the success of ANY government.
Ernie Knight November 01, 2012 at 06:30 PM
And of course an anonymous poster who calls names and makes baseless accusations is someone we're supposed to pay attention to? Your bias is clear.
Tim November 01, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Or you know, I was actually paying attention. If you don't know what promises were broken on day one, you weren't paying attention to the past election Peck participted in. Remember when he stood before the village and said he was going to continue going to the meetings until Edward Hospital was in Plainfield? Broken - Day1 (because he has absolutely nothing to do with getting Edward Hospital in Plainfield. That is, and always has been, a decision that was up to a governing body he has never been a part of)
Skyler Perry November 01, 2012 at 07:01 PM
So by all means, deny him the opportunity to follow through at the state level and actually fight to bring a hospital to the Village. Keep making people drive to Claaringbrook 20 minutes away.
Tim November 01, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Of course his bias is clear. It's an election, people are SUPPOSED to have a bias Ernie. That's how this is supposed to work. After all, we all know what your bias is, after you hosted a press conference for Garrett Peck, in your own house. http://plainfield.patch.com/articles/gop-candidates-talk-taxes-in-plainfield "State Sen. Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) joined candidates Garrett Peck and Bob Kalnicky at the Plainfield home of Vicki and Ernie Knight."
Tim November 01, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Yes. now you are starting to get it. After being elected he had absolutely nothing to do with bringing a hospital to Plainfield. His lack of actions betrayed his words, which has been a continuing pattern throughout his term. The mayor, however, did act on this. http://naperville.patch.com/articles/a-new-edward-hospital-in-plainfield-remains-a-top-priority When Peck had the opportunity to even slightly live up to his campaigning, he was nowhere to be found. The mayor, and multiple board members actually went to Springfield to address the legislatures on behalf of the residents, while Garrett Peck was busy planning how to run for his next office. Why in the world should the voters expect anything different from him now?
Ernie Knight November 01, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Tim, There is a difference between showing support for candidates based on their principles and plans, and bias evidenced by unfounded accusations and name-calling. No Tim, bias is not desirable. But I know you don't understand that.
Mike Keniley November 02, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Bottom line...vote for PROVEN Leadership...the one to vote for is Jennifer Bertino Tarrant.
Skyler Perry November 02, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Compelling point after reading facts about HOW she leads Mike. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWpU8sX10_4 People have minds of their own here pal. We KNOW when someone has our best interest in mind. Sell crazy in Cook County.
Margie Bonuchi November 02, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Mike, I respectfully disagree with you on voting for Jennifer. Take a look at the letter on the Patch for the truly experienced Regional SUpt, Rich Duran. You know I respect you Mike, personally and politically but Jennifer Bertino Tarrant is a hand selected Madigan bobblehead who is there only to nod her head n the driection of whatever way Madigan wants the vote to go. Her camp is running huge lies about no-bid contracts and that is totally wrong. They FOIA'd the nformation, couldn't find dirt because there isn't any and so they made up lies for commercials and mailers. Garrett's company won the business by substantially lower pricing for D202 and was picked by the Supt and by the Finance Committee and FULL board. She came out to greet new teachers the first days of school and all she did was campaign, in my opinion, taking about police and fire persions and her own as a teacher. I know you don't condoen the nastiness but this campaign is out of control. I know there are attacks on both sides, but I am not the candidate, Garrett Peck is. (I know Tim is warming up to take another swing at me but I could not let this post go by unanswered and I am not a coward I sign my fulll, complete, real name) Jennifer Bertino Tarrant is another useless person who thinks she can do any job and is ENTITLED. BOBBLEHEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mike Keniley November 02, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Margie...thank you for a portion of your comment, with the rest, I beg to differ. I have yet to see exactly what Garret Peck brings to the table for the position of State Senator. I have personally seen and heard how the Republican Party likes to spin an election and it was the Republican Party who decided to take the first shot at negative campaigning. Garratt's association, deals, press conferences and personal life are on record, as are yours, since you are both elected officials. Sorry, but it goes with the territory. Bobblehead...well, I guess this says it all. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant deserves more respect from an elected official. I would say best of luck for your Republican slate, including Garrett Peck, but I voted for and continue to encourage voters in our Township, along with the entire 49th District to support and vote for Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant for State Senate and our entire slate of qualified Democratic Candidates. By the way, I am open to discuss ways to bring clean politicking back to Plainfield, please feel free to contact me. Thank you, again for your comments. Mike Keniley Precinct Committeeman, Plainfield Precinct 14 and proud Chairman of the Plainfield Township Democratic Organization
Tim November 02, 2012 at 06:41 PM
There is an article published barely a week ago that shows the entire village board has not had any contact with IDOT until the rt30 plan was given to the village. That is your job Margie, and you failed. If your response is 'this is a nightmare', it shows all of us that you have had no input, given no direction, done nothing at all to work with other agencies for the betterment of the community. Phase II of the project is beginning now, and not one single attempt by the village board was made to be involved in phase I. That is frankly, unacceptable. I don't care about your words, you are a politician, so I don't believe any of them. I don't care about what political party you belong to, I have voted for both Republicans and Democrats alike. All I care about are your actions, and they are very, very sparse when it comes to dealing with the major issues of the village. This isn't a town of 1800 people anymore, and the 'sit back and wait' approach that the village has used for as long as I can remember is not a pattern that can continue, if the village is to develop to its full potential. We need people of action, not of words. Which is why I am voting against every single local incumbent this year. They were given their chance, and I voted for many of them for their first term for exactly the same reasons, yet they still dropped the ball.
Scott November 03, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Margie, I hope many people see how you conduct yourself in a public forum before they decide your fate the next time you run for any office.
Margie Bonuchi November 03, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Mike, I agree on the clean politiking and you and I have had discussions on this in the past. Sign stealing is childish at best and you know I would never condone that as you don't. On the dealings: I am angry because they are blatant lies. I understand public office and what comes with it but I also know the facts were subject to a FOIA request and then the mailers and comments are sent to tell voters that we committed a crime, that is the part I can't take. Attack the candidate, not the school district she represents, or me. This implies that several levels of D202 were involved in a conspiracy. There was/is an entire process in place and several district employees were involved. You know I do respect you and I would love to sit down one on one anytime to see what we both can do as the respective leaders of our local organizations to establsih a better rapport especially with the next election just around the corner. Let's talk after next week and see if we can make a difference! I prefer to run a campaign on what I did or can do. I know the public is just sick of all of the ads on every level on both sides! I think that is what hurts voter turnout. I hope we have some answers!!Thanks Mike.
Mike Keniley November 03, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Margie...I have been and remain open to discussions on clean politicking in our Township. The Plainfield Township Democratic Organization members and supporters have been above board on keeping this election clean. Unfortunately, there are those on your side of the aisle, where you are the Township Chairwoman, who have decided to be less than above board. Our local Democratic Candidates did not fire the first shot at negative campaigning…your party did…and continue to do so. Again, you are an elected official as a Plainfield Village Board member, who is and will continue to be scrutinized by your associations, actions, statements and comments…and will be up for re-election this spring, along with Garrett Peck. Your statement about a very honorable woman, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant calling her a “bobblehead”, was uncalled for...period. You wish to be a leader, then please lead and let those who look to you for guidance follow suit by doing the same. Thank you.
Margie Bonuchi November 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Well Mike we will continue to disagree on some items. I stand by the fact that he can attack her she can attack him but they need to leave others out of it. Garrett did not attack you or other Dems, just Jennifer's lack of experience, but she attacked an entire group people, D202 , not only me and the facts were in front of them, that is the issue for me. This behavior will never earn my respect. Yes I am an elected official, I get that but they took facts and ignored them to discredit Garrett, but the part that I am so angry about is others dragged through the mud. I support Garrett Peck for State Senate 49th Dist and encourage others to vote for him as endorsed by the Chicago Tribune as well. As for clean politics, I just opened an e-mail from Garrett and his 4X4 is slashed apart with the fram still attached to the poles. You and I will never be able to totally fix this issue, it seems.
Mike Keniley November 04, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Yes, Margie, we will continue to disagree on items concerning your candidates, especially Mr. Peck. Sorry to hear about his sign...Democratic Candidate had MANY signs "taken" and "destroyed" by small minded people. Again, unfortunately, being a public official you are called out by politicians and voters on decisions you were connected, and as I mentioned, this goes with the territory. I really do not understand your statement concerning Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant's "lack of experience"?? The REGIONAL SUPERINTENDANT OF SCHOOLS is inexperienced?? Please explain to me and the voters Garrett’s “experience”. By the way, yesterday, some small minded folks, were caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar...well, a mailbox...stuffing unstamped envelopes in mail boxes in my precinct. A report was filed with the Plainfield Police, but I really do not expect any follow up. I would wish you best of luck for your candidate, but the path is clear: State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant has a nice ring to it. I voted for and encourage ALL voters in the 49th District to give the nod to Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant for State Senate
Margie Bonuchi November 05, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Senator Peck has a great ring to it. Why do you and others in the education field believe that a person who achieves a certain degree in education is automatically qualified for every job, especially where business experience is concerned? FIrst of all she doesn't know her job as a Regional Supt, which she proved in 2010 and that WRONG answer caused a lot of issues for some people and now we should automatically make her a senator? NO WAY! Garrett Peck started a business from nothing, made it a success and yes he has several other large customers so not only D202. He has provided the lowest pricing and that benefits the very schools she represents and that's a bad thing...how? Oh well Mike, either way we will know tomorrow! Again as far as signs go you know my stance on that and I have tried to promote clean politcs as you have but there are certain zealots on both teams who take that to the extreme. I would like to see the proof that the envelopes were in mailboxes because nothing was put into mailboxes. VOTE FOR GARRETT PECK because Garrett is a strong candidate, endorsed by reputable sources, including the Chicago Tribune and he will never be under the thumb of Mike Madigan.
Mike Keniley November 05, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Margie, the "small minded individuals" committing an unlawful act of stuffing unstamped envelopes in mailboxes was witnessed by me and my neighbors...check Plainfield police report #32501. The three "small minded individuals" were riding around in a Buick, claimed they were committing the unlawful act on behalf of Garrett Peck. I have a picture, if you wish...of the car, license plate & occupants. They also joked about it, as they sped off down the road, throwing rocks all over the place with my neighbor and his small kids walking down the road. Sorry, Margie, your candidate for State Senate and his supporters have proven they do not understand the process of clean politicking. So, I guess it will be up to the voters to elect an experienced and proven leader or a candidate and his supporters who feel they have to stoop to underhanded and illegal tactics. Democrats in Plainfield Township have not stooped to underhanded tactics. I am asking, again for the voters to select Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant as their State Senator. Please vote tomorrow. And for those who already cast their ballots…thank you.


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