The only question to come from the audience during Thursday's candidate forum at the Tinley Park VFW asked why a slate would raise $15,000 to elect three people to an unpaid board.
Kathy Burke, a former school board member and Tinley Park resident, questioned how much District 230 school board candidate Richard Nogal’s slate, "Top 3 for 230," had risen for its campaign and how he planned to juggle a seat on district 230’s board with the other varying positions he holds.
“I am very leery about when a candidate spends a ton of money to run for an unpaid office,” Burke said after the forum.
The attorney and Northwestern University graduate is the current Palos School District 118 board president, a former chair for the Palos Community Hospital board and has also headed the council at Our Lady of the Woods Church. His slate includes incumbents Patrick O’Sullivan and Kathy Quilty.
Nogal told Burke the slate has collected about $15,000 and said it was a necessary amount of money to run a campaign that stretches from Hickory Hills to Tinley Park. It is in no way a reflection of his slate’s values, he said.
On the issue of time, Nogal said his seats on District 118 and the hospital will expire in April.
“In fairness to the voters, you have to get the word out,” Nogal said. “We’re just doing everything in moderation to make sure the voters have enough information to make intelligent choices.”
Another District 230 candidate, Thomas Martelli, told Patch before the forum that he had no campaign budget. Any money from the community would be better served were it donated directly to the district rather than spent on promotional materials, he said.
Martelli is currently the vice president for Kirby 140.
“The reason none of the incumbents are here ... is because they don’t want to answer any of the tough questions,” he said, noting that he was especially distraught when no board member turned up for the recent honors night at Andrew High School.
Nogal would later tell the audience that O'Sullivan could not attend the forum because he was on vacation and regretted not being there.
O'Sullivan and Quilty are the only incumbents on the D230 ballot. Challengers Kevin Burns, Rena Esposito Sheehan and Patrick S. Sullivan also did not attend the candidate forum.