11/13/14 School Board Finance Committee Meeting


Quick summary:

  • Tax levy will be increased to the maximum allowed by law.
  • Where the individual funds are maxed out by tax caps, they’ll put money in other funds to transfer later.
  • They have no clue why the referendum really lost.
  • Student population has decreased and is projected to continue to decrease. (Yet the levy and budget continue to increase.)
  • They will restructure the capital projects budget to group years together to make it look like they have more money to cover bigger projects (i.e., artificial turf). So instead of $1.5 M/yr to spend on roofs and boilers, they will look at $3 M over 2 years to fund the more expensive projects (like artificial turf).
  • Other than Mr. Gaspar, no one is interested in stopping the yearly tax hikes.

Some highlights in the video:

  1. 14:00 — Monn shows a graph of school district tax rates in Kane County. His graph is highly selective. I’ve created 2 graphs from the data obtained through the Kane County Clerk’s website, first through MY selective choice of data to make our district look bad, and then with ALL the data from all the school districts in Kane County.
  2. 16.37 — Board member Gregg Hodge notes that his taxes went up $300 last year, though the average homeowner was promised a $28 decrease, and wonders what a projected $38 increase from the proposed levy will mean accordingly in real tax bills. What he needed to hear was that as long as he keeps increasing the tax rate, there’s a good bet a lot of people will see their property taxes go up, often significantly.
  3. 20:54 — Monn tells board that they are at the maximum levy for the education fund, so they will be hiding more money in special ed, operations & maintenance, and transportation that they can use when they want it.
  4. 30:00 — Board member Jon Gaspar asks how much money is necessary to just maintain what the district has. He gets no answer, but the subject changes to why they “need” to grab all the money they can.
  5. 33:35 — Gregg Hodge starts to discuss the reasons for the referendum loss, until Board president Cathy Dremel rudely interrupts him and takes control of the conversation. She thinks people voted against it because voters are philosophically against debt. She doesn’t connect the dots to understand that debt itself is not the issue, but the TAXES that pay the debt are what people have trouble with, especially when they find out that debt can raise taxes without limit, beyond the blood-sucking current levels.
  6. 1:00:26 — discussion of capital projects
  7. 1:02:24 — Monn recommends surplus be used for capital projects (rather than reserves and tax abatement)

2 Responses to 11/13/14 School Board Finance Committee Meeting

  1. A. Resident says:

    I thank Mrs. Keppel very for making this finance committee video available for us who
    have to work and can’t make the “INCONVIENIENTLY SCHEDULED” Board meetings.

    • seektruth says:

      You are welcome. But Mrs. Keppel just processes and posts the meetings. Special thanks belong to those who use their time and video cameras to record them. We had asked BATV if they would record the committee meetings, but they would not. If anyone else is available with a decent camera (especially for sound) and a schedule that allows them to make some of the inconveniently scheduled board meetings, we would greatly welcome their aid.

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