In a 5-2 vote, the Board of Education approved the hiring of former Board President John Troy as its new director of business operations, effective immediately. July 23 in order to seek the business manager position after the previous director,
"I am excited and grateful for the votes of confidence for me, and I will work every day to earn their confidence," Troy said.
Troy is currently enrolled at Northern Illinois University in an expedited program to earn his Chief School Business Official Type 75 certificate, which he is expected to receive in the spring of 2013. He is a licensed attorney, and he has served as the chief executive and general counsel for Ashford Glen Realty in Tinley Park since he co-founded the real estate management company in 2005. He was elected to a four-year term on the D159 board in 2009, and was voted president in 2011 and re-elected in 2012 before his resignation.
He said he considers his three years on the board to be a positive experience that will benefit his work as the district's business manager.
"We should want people to come onto the board and to show their passion, and I think my passion and dedication has shown, not only to the board, but the community," Troy said. "I've demonstrated that, and I'll take that same passion and dedication to my service with this district."
Troy will earn a prorated salary of $68,000 through the length of his contract.
Board members Scott Peters and Katherine Moore were the only two to vote against the motion to hire Troy, citing concerns about his lack of experience in educational finance and the fact that he has not yet earned his Chief School Business Official certificate.
"I'm not taking anything away from Mr. Troy," Peters said. "He's a very intelligent person with a lot of business background, but I feel that our district, having a superintendent that has only been in this position for a year, I think we deserve somebody that has all their certifications and experience."
Peters also suggested that an interim business manager might better suit the district's needs.
"I understand that it's probably not the board's wish, so I will not try to amend the motion on that, but I do believe that our district deserves some experience in this position, so that we can help out Mr. Stein in his endeavors," Peters said.
Moore echoed Peters' concerns.
"It's a big deal for us to hire somebody who has no finance experience, and no accounting, and isn't certified, when we have a superintendent that we know is not very strong in the finance side," she said. "I think it's important for our district to have somebody strong in this role."
Board member Michael Ford addressed Peters' suggestion about an interim business manager by pointing out that the motion to hire Troy would be a one-year contract, at which point the board could re-evaluate Troy's performance and decide if it will commit to further employment.
Board President Patrick Markham appended an enthusiastic endorsement to his vote in favor of hiring Troy, praising his business experience and dedication to the district through previous board service.
"[Troy] has experience other applicants never had," Markham said. "This candidate actually has experience negotiating teacher contracts. This candidate has an in-depth knowledge of the district needs, the challenges, and the operation, hands-on, through his voluntary efforts… The candidate is actually a fully certified attorney. I find it incredible that he would be willing to devote his efforts to this job, and I can only define that as probably a passion."
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