GENEVA – Geneva High School science teacher Tom Anderson was unanimously appointed to the Geneva District 304 Finance Advisory Committee Monday, despite some reservations from a member of the public.
District resident Sandra Ellis, who also belongs to the taxpayer watchdog group TaxFACTS, questioned the board’s choice of a district employee instead of a member from the public with financial expertise.
“It’s hard to perceive that [he] could have unbiased input, such as questioning the tax levy or an expenditure,” Ellis said. “This is not the proper choice.”
Board president Mark Grosso said Anderson was part of the Geneva Education Association’s negotiating team in last year’s contract talks.
“The reason I brought his name forward was Tom was very innovative in some of his thinking in our discussions, some out-of-the-box discussions we had not thought about,” Grosso said. “Mr. Anderson would be a good choice to put on our finance committee.”
Grosso said Anderson is a resident, taxpayer, parent of two children and owns a small business with employees.
“He has some unique insights,” Grosso said. “That is not to say we won’t appoint other individuals.”
The finance committee has three voting board members, Kelly Nowak, Bill Wilson and Mike McCormick who serve for a year.
Nonvoting members are Superintendent Kent Mutchler and Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Donna Oberg. Anderson also would be a non-voting member.
No recommendation from the committee is binding, as all final action must be taken by the board, officials said.
The finance committee meets at 6 p.m. the second Monday of the month at Williamsburg Elementary School, 1812 Williamsburg Ave.
Anderson said he has been a teacher 18 years, 16 of them at the high school. He said he owns a landscape and construction company in the area.
“I’m just happy to help out and serve the community,” Anderson said. “I come into it with an attitude I am willing to do what they ask me to do and I’m wiling to take a fresh perspective. I’m not sure what I’m getting myself into, but I’ll do my best.”