Earlier this evening we received the following comment from former BOE member Yvonne Mayer. It speaks for itself.
As always, SOUND OFF!
COMMENT OF THE DAY:
Yvonne Mayer said...
Please post the following as a free-standing post. Thank you.
Today, Hinsdale's local newspaper, The Hinsdalean, ran a story endorsing the upcoming $65 million referendum for a new Hinsdale Middle School and urging voters to vote yes. The Vote Yes For HMS pro-referendum group promptly applauded this article and proclaimed their love for the editorial's comment that "Decisions must be based on current conditions rather than fears over future scenarios."
Pam Lannom, the Hinsdalean's editor, who does NOT live in D181 and therefore won't be contributing her tax dollars to either a new school or any aspect of D181's offerings, made this ludicrous suggestion as a response to concerns citizens, such as myself, have made that the referendum should have been vetted in the broader context of possible legislative proposals. These proposals include shifting millions in pension liabilities to individual school districts, freezing property taxes (and therefore the District's revenue stream) or cutting Special education funding (funding which the district will then need to assume under Federal and State mandates).
So the following is a comment I posted to the Vote Yes Facebook page's glee over Pam's article: "I completely disagree. Pam Lannom has never served on the D181 BOE and her statement is simply irresponsible. Her failure and YOURS to recognize that the BOE and the Administration need to be planning for the "rainy day" scenario which will come to the State of Illinois and trickle down rapidly to "rich" districts like ours is disappointing. Change is coming and revenues will decline in D181's coffers and the end result will be cutting programs, teachers or asking D181 voters to approve tax increases above the tax cap in order to raise needed funds to maintain existing programs and teacher levels. The needs of one school -- which are real -- should have been discussed in the broader context of the "what if's" that most intelligent Illinois residents realize are going to happen, in one form or another. At the end of the day, voters will decide the future of HMS and most likely, down the road, the future of maintaining what goes on in D181's classrooms. Too bad that the Administration refused to have even ONE SINGLE discussion about the district's future with the BOE (or with the community, for that matter, in the form of a Town Hall Meeting) before rushing to referendum. That's my opinion as a former board member who already had to cut $5 million from the D181 budget less than 8 years ago. We were lucky then, because no teachers had to be fired, but the hopes of better foreign language offerings, smaller class sizes and full day kindergarten were all scrapped. There isn't "fluff" in the budget anymore, so if things need to be cut in the future, our children will lose out -- in ALL buildings."
I will sadly, be voting NO on the upcoming referendum, and if it fails, hope that all parties will return to the drawing board to bring a more fiscally responsible proposal back to the taxpayers that also will protect the existing programs and teacher levels in D181 at ALL schools. No doubt, some D181 taxpayers who support the referendum will attack me (as I've already been attacked on the Vote Yes Page), but as a former elected BOE member in D181, I stand by my concerns over the process, price tag and future financial health of the district.