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Contract extension

Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

To the Editor:

Taxpayers of McHenry County were upset, though maybe not surprised, by the McHenry County College Board’s recent action to extend President Vicky Smith’s contract.

Why the rush? Her contract did not expire until next June. The rush was not to extend the contract, but to extend the contract before the new board was seated. Why?  Because the voters have indicated dissatisfaction with how the old board was running things. So the old board chose to subvert the electoral process and ram through an extension for Ms. Smith.

This puts Ms. Smith in an untenable position. It makes her look as though she colluded with the old board (several of whom were voted out) in order to keep the new board (with new members voted in) from deciding whether she will stay.

This smoke-filled, backroomtype action comes at a bad time, because the old board’s spending plans ($500 million now down to $42 million, for a health club!) have not been well-received by taxpayers. It appears as though MCC has no respect for the electoral process.

And that has put Ms. Smith in an untenable position: If she accepts the contract extension, she will appear to be in agreement with the old board’s actions. The solution is for Ms. Smith to decline the old board’s contract extension and leave it up to the new board. That will show that Ms. Smith does have respect for the electoral process. And it will keep her from starting off on the wrong foot with the new board.

Scott Nolan

Crystal Lake

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