BOURBONNAIS — On Friday night, many Bourbonnais residents will run into friends, listen to music or enjoy carnival rides at the Bourbonnais Friendship Festival.
Not the Bourbonnais Elementary school board.
Late last week, the school board delayed its monthly meeting to Friday night, three days later than usual. The meeting will be two days before the end of the budget year.
At this meeting, members are expected to act on an undisclosed personnel matter, said Rob Rodewald, the board’s president. The board has been holding closed meetings over the issue.
Friday is an unusual day for a public meeting, but it’s not unprecedented for the Bourbonnais school board. Meetings occasionally have been held on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the years, particularly in 2013, when the board was looking for a new superintendent.
Board members have declined to speak about details of the recent personnel matter — a silence that is common in such situations. Some are resisting any questions at all.
In an interview Monday, member Kelly Dunnill, who was elected to the board in April, said some residents are questioning the delay.
“People were concerned that no one would come because of the Bourbonnais Friendship Festival. That’s not the case,” Dunnill said. “We have nothing to hide. We needed to move it to a different day. I have an obligation not to talk about what was discussed in closed session.”
She said she didn’t know of anything that will happen during Friday’s meeting that will be “out of the ordinary.”
“I anticipate a typical agenda, with bills being paid and a budget that has to be approved,” Dunnill said. “We’ll have to vote on whatever is on the agenda.”
Rodewald said the board wasn’t ready to have the meeting Tuesday. It could have waited until the following Tuesday, he said, but members needed to act on one item by the end of the budget year.
He said the board still was not ready for the meeting last Friday. It has until Wednesday to release its meeting agenda to the public.
Rodewald has referred questions about the personnel issue to attorney Shelli Anderson. She said she couldn’t comment on an ongoing personnel matter.
Anderson works for the Franczek law firm in downtown Chicago. According to the firm’s website, school districts often call Anderson to investigate and provide training in regard to sexual harassment and abuse.