O'Fallon Weekly March 13, 2019

Wednesday March 13, 2019 Carriel Garden to join list of vendors at Vine Street Market opening day Page 10 CSX to bring trains through O’Fallon Friday Vol. 4, No. 47 $1.00 School board candidates square off By Nick Miller Weekly Editor O’FALLON – Be prepared to stop for trains rolling through O’Fallon later this week as CSX Railroad will be moving locomotives through gathering rail cars from out east and bringing them back through town. The cars were brought out east near the end of the cut section of track near Flora a while back. Back in Decem- ber the O’Fallon Weekly reported that CSX had plans to retrieve those cars that had been sitting unused. The Federal Railroad Administration had granted a petition to retrieve the cars stored in Aviston and Shattuc as long as the trains did not exceed ten miles per hour and that CSX had flaggers and company police at every grade crossing. The single locomotive ran east through East St. Louis, Caseyville, Fairview Heights, O’Fallon, and Lebanon on Wednesday, March 13.  On Friday, March 15, between 10 a.m. and dusk, CSX will be “moving a significant amount of cars at a slow pace which could cause long delays at previously abando- ned crossings.” The O’Fallon Police Department was contacted by CSX and told that the locomotive will be transporting about 210 rail cars westbound through town at ten miles per hour. Every crossing will be staffed with CSX Flaggers and CSX Police. This second trip will likely cause delays of 10-15 minutes per crossing. Drivers are asked to take this announcement into ac- count when traveling in the area on Friday. In This Edition Calendar..................................................2 News................................................... 3-5 Law & Order............................................6 Business................................................ 7-8 Education............................................ 9-10 Health & Wellness ���������������������������������� 11 Sports.................................................... 12 Community.........................................13-14 Milestones.............................................. 15 Vantage Point......................................... 16 Lifestyle.................................................. 17 Fun & Games.......................................... 18 Marketplace........................................... 19 Bon Appétit............................................20 The five candidates running for OTHS District 203 Board of Education took part in a candidate forum on Thursday, March 7. The event, sponsored by the O'Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce and O'Fallon Weekly was broadcast on Charter Cable Channel 993 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. The event will be rebroadcast through April 3rd to ensure those who missed it live have an opportunity to view it. Pictured from left: Donna Johnson, Mark Christ, Brandt House, Martha Fraier-Stoffel, PK Johnson. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller) By Nick Miller Weekly Editor O'FALLON - The five candidates running for three open positions on the OTHS District 203 Board of Educa- tion took part in a candidate forum sponsored by the O'Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce and O'Fallon Weekly on Thursday, March 7. The event was broadcast live on Charter Cable Channel 993 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, and will be rebroadcast through April 3. Incumbents Mark Christ, Brandt House, and Donna Johnson were joined by challengers Martha Fraier- Stoffel and PK Johnson. The candi- dates were each given two minutes to introduce themselves. From there, all of the candidates were asked a random question and one fixed question. The fixed question related to the district’s finances and how the candidate would suggest OTHS adjust its budget to get out of deficit spending. The candidates were then given three to five minutes to make their closing statements. Donna Johnson Through a random draw prior to the start of the event, Donna Johnson was given the opportunity to speak first. Johnson, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, has served one term on the District 203 Board. Aside from acting as the board’s secretary, she is a member of the Building Educational Success Together (BEST), Outreach, and Achievement Gap Committees. “My platform is the same as it was four years ago: students today, world leaders tomorrow. Since I’ve been on the board, I’ve brought a different perspective that challenges our board and administration to look at things differently, understand all points of view, and encourage out of the box strategic planning for the future,” Donna Johnson said. During the random question por- tion, Donna Johnson was asked how important she felt it was, as a board member, to be involved in day to day operations at the school. “As a board member, our job is not to be involved in day to day opera- tions. We are supposed to be at the fifteenth level looking down and the day to day operations is why we hire our superintendent and administrative staff. They run the corporation and we as the board run the governance and make sure its done correctly,” Johnson said. When asked about the district’s finances, Donna Johnson said, “When I came on the board four years ago, the top issue was fiscal constraints and uncertainty. In the past four years we have budgeted conservatively and be- cause of this our five year projections are stable. We’re doing pretty good as a board.” During her closing remarks, Donna Johnson touched on what she views as her accomplishments during her time on the board. “I’m very active and involved as a school board member. I’ve been the school board secretary for the past four years. I’m a member of the BEST committee which asked the Chamber of Commerce to do an independent feasibility study on school consolida- tion. We’ve collaborated with feeder districts for a seven percent reduction to our transportation rate. We’ve con- solidated waste management in a joint agreement with the city. I’m on the outreach committee which establishes parent advisory group, coffee over conversations, and restructured our student discipline. I’m also on the Achievement Gap committee where we renamed math courses so students and parents clearly understood their math level, provided repurposed laptops, and excelled minority student enrollment into AP and honors cour- ses,” Johnson said. Mark Christ Mark Christ first joined the OTHS board in 2007. Since that time, he has not only been involved in the District 203 Board of Education, but also gotten very involved int he Illinois Association of School Boards, helping to steer policy at a state level. “I would ask that you re-elect me to continue to serve. Your O’Fallon high school is fantastic and is doing well. See “Forum” on page 5