15 Doesn't Need the Money
October 15, 2010
What's the bottom line on the
bond referendum? District 15 doesn't need
... District 15 already has
excess reserves of $14.5 million more than its
If the Board decides that some
of the $16 million project list is urgent and
important there is more than enough money
available to approve urgent projects now.
... Continue reading
District 15 doesn't
need the money
Your Share of
the Tax Increase
September 29, 2010
The District 15 spin
is that the $27 million bond referendum will cost
you only $15/year. Your
real cost is far higher.
Housing costs will increase for
both homeowners and renters if voters approve the $27
million bond referendum.
For renters it's impossible to know how much
other than to understand that property
owners will raise your rent to pass on property tax
For homeowners the real cost of
the tax increase is
much higher than District 15 says.
District 15 says your cost will be only $15/year
for a $220,000 home.
... Continue reading
Your Share of the Tax
District 15's Budget Crisis
September 23, 2010
large budget deficit is forecasted over the next
several years. But the District 15 Board has no plan to fix this problem.
Instead they want to
raise taxes now and
balance the budget later.
District 15 published a
Five-Year Projection dated March 15, 2010, that
shows $55 million of deficits. Over six months later
there is no visible action nor plan by the Board to
address this crisis.
15 will be raising taxes if you vote Yes on the
November 2 bond referendum. They're trying to make
you think it isn't a big increase, but this tax
increase is only the tip of the iceberg.
... Continue reading
District 15's Budget
History of the bond controversy
March 10, 2010: Board voted 4-3 to initiate the legal steps required to issue "non-referendum" bonds. Non-referendum bonds are bonds that don't require voter approval.
See video of board
meeting related to bonds. The original $27 million bond proposal
contemplated $10 million for a Working Cash Fund (see article about
District 15 Cash Management)
and $17 million for Capital Projects.
April 1: District 15 administration posted a proposed
list of capital projects totalling $17,280,012.
This list wasn't prioritized and also wasn't discussed by the board until after the 30 day deadline for putting the bond question on the ballot.
See comments on
the project list by District 15 board member Sue Quinn.
An Introduction to the Bond
Controversy was published to give the public
some background on what led to the petition drive.
Also on this date the District 15 bond proposal was
discussed at the Village of Palatine Council Meeting
April 12: Deadline for
public to submit petitions to put the bond question on the November ballot. A
total of 7,508 petition signatures were submitted. Also
see April 12 Daily Herald article
7,508 voters sign petition blocking Palatine Dist. 15's $27 mil loan.
April 14: Formal public hearing on the bond issue.
About 13 people addressed the board about their concerns about the
bond proposal. The Board discussed some near term capital projects,
approved a revised 2009-10 budget and discussed but didn't reach any
conclusions on next steps for capital projects and bond funding. See
Notes from the District 15 School Board Meeting for April 14, 2010
Spotlight on the Board.
April 19: Two people
filed a challenge to the petitions. More information at Daily Herald
to put District 15 bond sale on ballot questioned and
Challenge deadline on District 15 petition looms.
April 20-25: The
petition team reviewed the objections and found that most were not
valid. See the
Hill(s) story and a
blog post by Mary Vanek about the petition challenges.
April 26: Initial
District 15 Electoral Board meeting held to start review of petition
challenge. The review board consists of District 15 board President
Gerald Chapman, Secretary June Becker and member
Timothy Millar. For more see Daily Herald
Dist. 15 petitions now in hands of Cook County
May 3-5: Records were
reviewed at the Cook County Clerk offices in Chicago. Of the 1775
signature objections, the Clerk agreed with 835 objections and
rejected 940 objections. This left a surplus of 324 signatures over
the 6339 required to put the bond question on the ballot in
November. For more see Daily Herald
7,500 signatures on Distrct 15 petition is complete.
May 8-18: The petition
team collected over 100 affidavits from voters whose signatures were
May 19: The petition
objectors announced that they would not continue the petition
signature, circulator and notary challenges. However, there were some
legal issues to resolve at a next hearing. For more see
District 15 petition challengers drop signature objection
and Daily Herald
board likely to rule on District 15 petition next week.
June 1: The petition
objectors announced that they are withdrawing their objection to
the petitions. For more see Daily Herald
dropped to Dist. 15 petitions and Triblocal.com
District 15 petition objectors drop challenge.
June 3: A District 15
Electoral Board hearing was held June 3rd and the objectors' motion
to withdraw their challenge was granted.
August 18: The District
15 board met and decided not to rescind the March
10th bond resolution. Various reasons were mentioned
but most board members didn't clearly state their
reasons why they decided to proceed with the
November 2 bond referendum. Also, a budget was
approved for the 2010-11 school year.
September 15: At the
September 15 board meeting, Interim Superintendent
Scott Thompson presented his recommended course of
action if voters approve the referendum. See
September 15 Board Briefs for more information.
Unfortunately Mr. Thompson did not present a
recommendation for the "if voters don't approve"
scenario so it remains unclear what the District
intends to do in this case. Also, the Board did not
take action on the "if voters approve"
recommendation and made no commitment on what they
would do with the $27 million bonding authority that
would be over and above their non-referendum bonding
authority. Finally, the Board Briefs omitted
concerns expressed by board members about the
projects and spun some key facts about the urgency
of the projects (e.g., omitting the statement "our
buildings are not unsafe at this time" and vaguely
saying capital improvement needs "must be addressed
in the near future" - the
dialogue with Craig Phillips during the meeting
indicated that the appropriate timeframe was a few
years). Some of the board member concerns included
issuing 20-year bonds to fund projects with 7-10 year useful lives and not reducing the bond amount to reflect
other capital project funding sources.
October 13: At the
October 13 board meeting, Assistant Superintendent
for Business and Auxiliary Services Michael Adamczyk presented
a new five-year forecast that showed $25 million in
deficits over five years. There were several
questions about the new forecast model including:
(a) whether the model reflected current board
policies such as for classroom sizes, (b) whether a
conservative assumption about salary increases
should be made rather than the 0% base increase
assumed after the current contract ends, and (c)
what are the main differences between the March
forecast that showed $55 million in deficits and the
new forecast that shows $25 million in deficits.