Endorsements: Sepulveda, Reyes for Triton board

West Cook County voters will be asked to choose 2 of 4 candidates to serve on the Triton College board of trustees. We endorse newcomer Roberto Sepulveda and the incumbent Jay Reyes.

Sepulveda would bring a fresh, independent outlook to the board. Besides ensuring Triton provides a variety of programs to serve a large cross-section of its residents, he thinks the college should help them with job placement. He says he will use his business background to explore partnerships with corporations for job training. He also wants to explore why students are becoming disengaged with Triton. More importantly, he will bring a diversity of thoughts and ideas to the board without any of the baggage or influences that affect longtime board members.

When Reyes was appointed last year to replace veteran Merrill Becker who resigned, he told us Triton was like home for him. He majored in the political science at Triton before moving on to University of Illinois and John Marshall Law School. While at Triton, he was president of the Student Association, among other associations. 

Continuing with his message of home, Reyes said he wants to follow the college's continuing work with Achieving the Dream grants to help address remedial education concerns among students. He's interested in seeing the college pursue health-care-related fields such as nursing and pharmaceutical.

She is the executive director of Veterans Park District, serving Melrose Park, Franklin Park and Northlake. She also owns DAL Consulting, which seeks open space grants for her client, the village of Melrose Park. In 2009, DAL was paid $30,000 from Melrose Park. Over the past 11 years she has contributed $44,500 to campaigns, including Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico and Triton College Chairman Mark Stephens.

Longtime board member Donna Peluso, who was appointed in 1992, could not clearly state her vision for the college's future and said she was "thrown" by the question. Her background, her income and her elected positions are dependent on her political connections.

Another patronage concern is that Peluso's Triton board oversees the college's staff including Executive Director of Marketing Tom Olson, while Olson is commissioner and treasurer of Veterans Park District, essentially directing funds for Peluso's job. We find that symbiotic relationship very troubling.


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