DARIEN, IL – Two Democratic DuPage County Board members differed over whether to hold a night board meeting this year. One accused the other of being “condescending.”

In October, member Dawn DeSart, who represents Naperville-based District 5, proposed two night meetings, as opposed to the usual daytime sessions.

Backers say night meetings are convenient for residents to attend. However, opponents cite the extra expense of having county staffers stay on duty after hours.

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DeSart ended up getting one night meeting for this year – on May 28.

One of the dissenters was board member Lucy Chang Evans, whose District 3 includes Darien and part of Hinsdale, among other towns.

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DeSart texted Evans afterward.

“As a dear friend to both of us wrote to me after the vote today, ‘I don’t see the argument here. It is about equity. Everyone who champions (diversity, equity and inclusion) should be on board,'” DeSart wrote.

Then DeSart speculated that Evans needed someone to take care of a child. DeSart offered her daughter to babysit the child on May 28 “if his father figure is not in his life” and “if you’re embarrassed by this vote.”

Evans responded that DeSart’s text was “presumptuous, condescending and offensive.”

“Attending a night meeting is not a problem for me, but it could be a personal hardship for administrative staff, custodial staff, security staff and IT staff – especially if you want more night meetings in the future,” Evans said.

Evans was reported as making the same point at the October board meeting.

DeSart replied that she did not mean to offend Evans.

“You’re right. I did believe the hardship was personal and then secondarily for staff,” DeSart wrote.

“No worries, Dawn,” Evans said. “I know you are looking out for our constituents and increasing public engagement.”

In an email to Patch, Evans said she was concerned about employees’ childcare needs.

She said she was assured after the vote that most staff would not be required to attend the May evening meeting in person. She said she would be willing to consider further night meetings on a case-by-case basis.

DeSart said in an email that she views night meetings as better for constituents because most people are not working at that time.

The text messages were obtained as part of watchdog Edgar Pal’s public records request to DuPage County.

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