Mokena School District 159 Board of Education candidate Stacy Cesta addressed concerns that fellow candidates distributed literature attacking her campaign platform during the public comment portion of the school board’s Feb. 20 meeting.
“It saddens me that there’s already negative stuff,” Cesta told the board.
Cesta was referring to a campaign brochure for candidate team Mark Franceschini, an incumbent, and Bob Swale, who are running for two of the four school board seats opening up in April.
The literature was distributed as part of Franceschini and Swale's door-to-door canvassing efforts and states that a vote for Cesta or for candidate Anna Briscoe is a vote for “‘Yes’ on increase taxes.” Of candidate Jim Andresen, the brochure says “More spending = deficit.”
Franceschini and Swale told Patch that the brochures were designed to bring a discussion of taxes to the forefront. The candidate team said they are concerned that Cesta and Briscoe will formulate a referendum campaign if they are elected, because they lobbied in favor of the district referendum in 2011.
“We believe that we need to bring the issues up,” said Swale.
Briscoe told Patch that the campaign literature is inaccurate and that she and Cesta were targeted by Franceshini and Swale. Cesta said that she has not yet officially published a candidate platform.
“I don’t need anybody bashing me,” said Briscoe. “This is about the children of our school district and our community.”
The portion of the brochure about which Briscoe and Cesta are concerned is formatted to resemble an election ballot. However, candidates Jeff Regan, an incumbent, and Danielle Didrickson are not included on the brochure ballot and the names of Cesta, Briscoe and Andresen are spelled incorrectly.
Swale told Patch that the decision to include specific candidates and not others was based on space allotment and his and Franceschini’s knowledge of candidate opinions surrounding the referendum issue. He said that there was no specific reason for the misspellings.
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