Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Full Text from C4CH Newsletter Coverage of D181's $65 Million Referendum

We have now obtained a copy of the actual newsletter that the Citizens for Clarendon Hills mailed to CH residents earlier this week.  Below are images of the pages from the newsletter that contain information and commentary relative to the March 15, 2016 Referendum.

As always, SOUND OFF!


Anonymous said...

Thank you to Clarendon Hills for saving all of us in the area a ton of future tax dollars. Yesterday I spoke to a well known realtor in the area. I asked if the property on the corner of S. County Line and 55th was for sale and how much it was. This person told me that it was not currently on the market, but that it sold a few years ago for $15 million. If the district ever contacted the owner of this huge property, why on earth would they take his first offer at $20 million when his only expense thus far has been for property taxes? No reason why we would ever pay more than $15,800,000. More importantly, we don't NEED the whole property. All we need is a few acres, not the entire property.

I also asked this broker yesterday if they had any knowledge of Hinsdale Middle School have been appraised in the last year. They had no idea. So, if none of the realtors in town know:

1) What the value of HMS currently is?
2) If subdividing "Sedgewick" (55th & County Line property) is an option?
3) If an option, how much would 3 acres of Sedgwick cost?
4) How much infrastructure would cost for HMS in that location? Compare this to the cost of upgrading and updating infrastructure in the current location.
5) Who was the commercial realtor that Dr. White consulted about this property?
6) Where is documentation backing up the Dr. White's "conversation" about this property? Any offer sheets?
7) How many acres do we actually need for a new middle school?

When I asked the realtor if they had heard about how much the new HMS was projected to cost, they laughed. This person said, "Interesting how the schools think they can whatever they want with other people's money."

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how much the site HMS currently sits on is worth. If the administration was smart & determined enough to really check all options and other sites, getting the current HMS site appraised by an independent company should be one of the first things they do.

Yvonne Mayer said...

3:18: That's a really good question and one no one seems to know the answer to. Below is a letter I sent this afternoon to Dr. White and 2 board members on the facilities committee asking for this information AND email responses I received from Gary Clarin and Don White along with my replies. It looks like NO appraisals were ever done in connection with the exploration that was made to go to referendum for a new HMS. I think this was a mistake and a "dropped ball", so to speak, in the process......

Letter to White, Garg and Clarin:

Dr. White, Ms. Garg and Mr. Clarin:

Since all 3 of you sit on the facilities committee, I am emailing you to see if you can answer the following question, which I and my friends have been asked repeatedly during conversations we have had with fellow community members, and which no one seems to have an answer to.

Can you tell me if the property that HMS currently sits on and the adjoining field at 3rd and Washington Street that is used by HMS for gym classes was appraised during the process to explore all options regarding building a new HMS? If so, can you tell me when that appraisal took place, what the appraised value of the land is and who conducted the appraisal?

If you prefer that I submit a formal FOIA request for answers to these questions, please let me know. Do NOT treat this letter as a FOIA request. If you direct me to, I will file subsequent correspondence asking for this and possibly other information related to the HMS site.

Thank you very much for the information.

Respectfully submitted,
Yvonne Mayer
D181 Taxpayer

Response from Gary Clarin: Yvonne - in my 2 1/2+ years on the board I have not been advised, requested, or have any knowledge of the 3rd and Washington property ever being appraised for a valuation in connection the HMS project or for any other purpose. I do know that the 3rd and Washington property was discussed as a location for a new HMS but was quickly dismissed due to the limited acreage.
Gary Clarin

Reply to Mr. Clarin: OK and thank you for this information, but what about the CURRENT SITE that HMS sits on? Was there an appraisal for property that HMS and the "bowl" sit on? Thank you.

Yvonne Mayer

Response from Dr. White:
Yvonne, I know that an appraisal has not been done since I have been in the district. I did some checking with staff who have been here longer than me and they are not aware of an appraisal being done either. Thus, it has not been done as part of the current HMS discussion.


Reply to Dr. White:
Thank you for this information, which is quite troubling to me as a taxpayer. Why wasn't an appraisal ordered? It seems to me if you were originally told the 55th and County Line property would cost upwards of $20 million (which is the amount I believe you have been quoted as giving), why wouldn't the district want to know if selling the HMS property would yield at least that amount, and if not that amount, what the value is. In my opinion this is information I would think the Facilities Committee should have been provided in order to be able to properly vet all options.

Thank you.

Yvonne Mayer

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mrs. Mayer. This is 3:18. You are totally right in that they dropped the ball. For as smart as they claim to be, not getting the HMS site appraised was stupid. If they were really dedicated to vetting all options (like alternate sites), they should've gotten the current site appraised by an independent appraiser. I'd totally be in favor of a new (or at least renovated) school, if the powers that be do it correctly. I don't believe they have done it properly. Plus, as has been stated multiple times, we need to fix the curriculum first.

Anonymous said...

I too thank you Mrs. Mayer for getting us FACTS. Ironic really, considering the attacks you have been subject to on the Vote Yes for HMS Facebook page. Funny how today's latest post on their Facebook page states: "The funny thing is.....once you take the time to learn the facts, the Yes Vote becomes apparently clear. Take the time. It's really important. ‪#‎VoteYesToFixTheMess‬"

They are right about one thing, facts should rule how we decide to vote. The more facts you keep uncovering for us to learn Mrs. Mayer, the more obvious it becomes to everyone that a NO vote is in order this time around.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a big thank you to Ms. Mayer for presenting the facts. We all appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the blog has decided to use the C4CH newsletter which is clearly providing a biased and incomplete perspective. I have a hard time believing their analysis and do not consider them a good source of information. I personally like the school where it is located since it's pretty central for all four feeders and in close proximity to CHMS. What is telling about their (C4CH) lack of knowledge of the building and the fact that they have never stepped in it is the question about whether the existing cafeteria and every other space is being fully utilized currently. They have got to be kidding.

Anonymous said...

At least the blog is presenting multiple sides of the issue. And how do you personally know if anyone in that group has "stepped in" the building. 2 of my children are currently in HMS, and they use the cafeteria every day. It's fine. It functions. It's clean. What really bothers me though, is when my children have to miss lunch so they can get educational support from their teachers during lunch time. Parents are far more concerned with why school cannot meet their children's needs during the school day. Why do we also have tutors? As parents have stated over and over again, we are far more concerned with the curricular and teaching problems that are not being addressed by this administration. Once D181 can demonstrate to parents that they have a handle on their trained area of expertise, education, then we will begin to start trusting them in their school building skills.