As we wait for Board Docs for the next BOE meeting to post early Saturday morning, in lieu of a "Daily Series" post on Marty Turek, we are posting this instead:
Readers, if there were ever a time to pay attention to the actions of our elected school board members, this is it. Next Monday, December 8, 7pm at Elm School, a vote on the tax levy will take place. Our BOE will decide if they want to vote to the max or not, which has significant consequences given the cloud of uncertainty with employee pensions possibly being shifted to school districts. There has been limited discussion from the BOE and Dr. White, but as of this writing, we don't know the direction the BOE appears to be headed.
Next Monday, we do know, however, that Marty Turek will probably be back after a long hiatus from his role as a strict meeting facilitator. Yes, there is a stark difference in his ability to squelch any form of discussion compared to the candid debate that was evident at the last meeting with Secretary Garg at the helm (Click to open 11/24/14 BOE meeting podcast). If we were placing bets, we would double down on the following:
1. Expect to hear Turek grovel toward the Clarendon HIlls Anti-Tax Group, now that he has been endorsed by the Caucus. Turek will sputter, spin, and stammer while he tries supporting what they want to hear, which is a lower tax levy % than the maximum allowed under the tax cap law, leaving over $500,000 in taxes uncollected in order to keep property taxes lower by not capturing new construction taxes.
2. Sir Corcoran or one of the D86 Anti Tax Majority BOE may show up with a statement in hand about keeping the levy lower. Corcoran graced the audience with his presence (in his own mind) one year ago, and the pressure was clearly on Turek to fall in line. But, gasp! After one or more of the D181 BOE members suggested going for the maximum levy, Marty was flustered, flabbergasted and subsequently flip flopped (click to open 12/9/13 BOE meeting podcast).
3. Superintendent White may once again display his eagerness and willingness to go along with whichever way the levy (among other topics) winds are blowing, despite the fact that there isn't a superintendent within a tri-county radius who would ever consider not maxing the levy out to squeeze every last wheat penny known in existence from tax bills to supplement the district budget. Memo to White: You should step up and state that the monies that would be captured from new construction will be placed in a rainy day pension fund. This means travel requests from Kurt Schneider or his cadre of consultants should not be compensated using funds from a higher tax levy, among other things.
Ah, yes. The tax levy vote is upon our elected board. Will we hear rational, measured discussion? The next election is April 7, 2015.
Let the fodder begin.