Sunday, January 30, 2011

Study up - 133 million School Dist.113 Referendum

On April 5th and early voting starting March 14th, we will be voting on School District 113 referendum for spending 133 million dollars of our money. The 133 million referendum question will be on the ballot with Mayor, City Councilman, and Board Members for School Districts and the Park District of Highland Park.

My first reaction is to think that the School District 113 staff backed into a 133 million dollar figure since they do not want to lose the bonding authority that this government enjoys. The question I have is simple . . . . .Do We Need the 133 million dollars of improvements? I have been asking my City government staff to decrease spending and taxation for over three years and have only received solid support from Nancy Rotering to vote against our budget that proposed another tax increase this year.

Focusing on our High School 113 issue of 133 million of NEW BORROWING, I am going to spend the next several weeks studying the proposals and then taking a strong position on this subject. However, at first glance it seems excessive and continue to ask government to reduce its costs. I wholeheartedly support infrastructure replacement and maintenance of HVAC, electrical, and other skeletal obligations that are needed. Talking about sustainable practices of geothermal advances (which will pay back as energy costs skyrocket) is also a smart investment we should all embrace. I will not however support wish list items since many homeowners are being stressed by high property taxes that are undermining our property values.

Along with the monetary questions, looking at the plans has also sparked some land use questions like shuffling tennis courts and parking lots in ways that will also continue to undermine property values and neighborhood appeal. I suggest immediate neighborhood meetings with our city land planners and public to understand impacts and realities of consultants recommendations. Too many times consultants create bigger projects that feed bigger profits for themselves.

Please study up and provide me with your input on this matter since this will be the most impacting issue on the ballot.. Call me! Email me! Let me hear your thoughts!