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Downers Grove pol moves to oust Library Board member after anti-gay remarks
by Matt Simonette
2017-09-02

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Downers Grove Village Commissioner Greg Hosé announced Aug. 29 that he had submitted a new business item at the village council's next meeting—scheduled for Sept. 5—calling for the removal of Library Board Trustee Arthur Jaros.

Hosé said on a Facebook post he was calling for the Jaros' removal after reports that Jaros had made anti-gay and other discriminatory remarks at the Aug. 23 library trustees meeting. He cited an observer's minutes of the trustees meeting from the League of Women Voters which said that, during a conversation about library staff training for "equity, diversity and inclusion," Jaros opined that such training "would open up the library to problems." Jaros then decried same-sex marriage during the meeting.

"Per the League of Women Voters' Observer Notes and other conversations I have had with residents who were in attendance at the August 23, 2017 Library Board meeting, Trustee Art Jaros made comments that were offensive and discriminatory, and require his removal from the Library Board effective immediately," Hosé wrote. He added that, according to various accounts, Jaros had also said both that children need to be "protected" from gay people and reading lists could expose children to material that is "too diverse."

Hosé added, "… Trustee Jaros' suggestion that Downers Grove or the Library, would not follow proper, non-discriminatory recruiting and hiring practices; that the Library staff should be denied training to ensure inclusion of all Downers Grove residents in the use of the Library; or that one Trustee should, through his or her objections, control the material either recommended or available in the Library, is unacceptable."

Jaros has long been a controversial figure in Downers Grove. In 1999, he was involved in an attempt to ban the book Blue Star Rapture from the Downers Grove South High School curriculum, an episode that led to some pushback when Jaros was appointed in 2015.

Hosé said that he expected Mayor Martin Tully to ask for Jaros' removal. The Village Council will meet Sept. 5 at Downers Grove Village Hall, 801 Burlington Ave., at 7 p.m.


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