BERWYN – Berwyn resident Ted Korbos made a statement about frivolous spending by District 100 Superintendent Stan Fields at the Aug. 28 Board of Education meeting.
Fields replied by giving everyone attending the meeting his cellphone number and urged everyone to call him for the facts.
Korbos led the audience portion of the meeting armed with documents he claimed were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicating questionable spending.
Korbos said there were six occasions in fiscal 2012 that the Superintendent “charged in” money given to his church – the Willow Creek Church in Barrington – totaling $1,336. The charges were spread out throughout the year with 3 charges for $79 and 1 charge for $179. The other charges were for $204 and $716.
“Why is the superintendent funneling tax money to his church?” Korbos asked. “How is this in any way, shape or form related to his duties as superintendent?”
Fields said while he does attend Willow Creek Church, there is no financial connection to the Willow Creek Association that he is aware of. Fields said the Willow Creek Association’s Leadership Summit is internationally known, drawing some 78,000 people last year. The $1,336 tab covered registration for seven staff members and a set of leadership conference DVDs, he said.
“It’s focused on developing not only an individual leadership, but team leadership,” Fields said. “Some 15 to 20 people in the district’s leadership staff have attended. I think it has great value and tremendous
benefit for our staff, in spite of the fact that the Willow Creek Association is affiliated with the Willow Creek Church is immaterial. Just because I stand in a garage doesn’t make me a car.”
Korbos also questioned a $20 reimbursement for a cleaning bill at the dry cleaners.
“Why should the tax payer be paying for clothes being cleaned at O’Brien’s Cleaners?” he said. “Wouldn’t those clothes have had to be cleaned no matter what? Why is that a reasonable charge that the tax payer should pay for?”
Administrative assistant Carol Walega said after the meeting the dry cleaner’s bill referred to was to have the table skirts used on the tables the Board sits at during meetings cleaned.
“Obviously Mr. Korbos isn’t interested in obtaining factual information,” Fields said. “He stands up in a public forum and accuses me of using public funds to clean my laundry; that tells me he’s not interested in getting factual information.”