Meeting Tonight to Ratify CL Grade School Contract

A summary of the Crystal Lake Grade School District 47 contract that will be considered by the school board tonight at 7 at Canterbury School popped into my inbox this morning.

AGREEMENT BETWEEN

SCHOOL DISTRICT 47 BOARD OF EDUCATION

AND THE

CRYSTAL LAKE ELEMENTARY TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION

RATIFICATION DOCUMENT

April 14, 2014

  1. Duration

(ARTICLE V)

Three (3) years 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016
  1. Wages

(ARTICLE XXI)

2013-2014: 1.7% (retro to July 1, 2013)2014-2015: 2.3 %

2015-2016: 2.4 %

  1. Retro Pay
  • Pay date: Friday, May 23rd (normal payroll will include new rates for both salary and extra duty)
  • Separate check/voucher (net of applicable taxes) on May 23rd that includes:

* Salary retro pay codes (7/1/13 – 5/9/14)

* Extra duty retro pay codes (7/1/13 – 5/9/14)

  • Calculation support will be included to help explain
  1. Sick Days

(ARTICLE IX)

  • Language allowing for the care of individuals who stand “in a significant relationship with the teacher” was removed to conform with the definition of ‘immediate family’ contained in the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/24-6): parents, spouse, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and legal guardians.
  • Language was inserted clarifying that teachers are guaranteed twelve (12) days of sick leave each year at the beginning of their 15th year of continual service to the District.
  • Clarifies that for those teachers hired after June 1, 2014, sick days are not considered earnings for retirement service credit per the Illinois Pension Code (40 ILCS 5/7-114).
  1. Sick Leave Bank

(ARTICLE IX)

  • Language requiring 120 consecutive days was removed.
  • 120 sick leave bank days per school year are still allowed, to be taken in 5-day increments, with exceptions allowed in the discretion of the Sick Leave Bank Committee on a case by case basis. The 5-day requirement is meant to provide consistency for students and for the well-being of the teacher.
  1. Personal Leave

(ARTICLE IX)

  • Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, each full-time teacher will be credited with three (3) days of personal leave (an increase from 2 days) each school year.
  • Two weeks (instead of 3 days) advanced noticed is preferred.
  1. Bereavement Leave

(ARTICLE IX)

  • For purposes of bereavement leave only, the definition of ‘immediate family’ includes individuals who stand in a significant relationship with the employee, in addition to immediate family (defined at 105 ILCS 5/24-6 of the Illinois School Code): parents, spouse, brothers, sisters, children, grandparents, grandchildren, parents-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and legal guardians.
  1. Retirement

(ARTICLE X)

  • Insurance benefits terminate when the teacher becomes Medicare eligible (instead of age 65).
  1. Insurance

(ARTICLE XI)

  • Insurance benefits are optional, no longer required.
  • New Insurance Committee responsibilities have been included.
  • For 2014, the Board will continue to provide each participating full-time teacher up to $624.00 benefit dollars per month for District-sponsored employee group health coverage. The Board will pay the first three percent (3%) of any increase from the previous year for the duration of the Agreement.
  • If the annual premium increase is greater than 3% but less than 6%, teachers are responsible for any increase greater than 3%. For example, if the annual premium increase is 5%, the Board’s increase will be 3% and the teacher’s increase will be 2%. However, cost savings secured through insurance plan modifications will be shared equally by the Board and the teachers.
  • If the annual premium increase exceeds 6%, the Board’s increase will be 3% and the teacher’s increase will be the annual premium increase minus the 3% Board increase. However, cost saving secured through insurance plan modifications will be first applied to the portion of the annual premium increase that exceeds 6%. Any additional cost savings secured through modifications to the plan will be shared equally by the Board and the teachers. For example, if the annual premium increase is 8%, the Board’s increase will be 3% and the teacher’s increase will be 5%. However, if cost savings secured through insurance plan modifications results in a 4% reduction in the annual premium, the Board’s increase will be 2% and the teacher’s increase will be 2%. The first 2% of the reduction will be applied to the overall increase and the remaining 2% reduction will be shared between the Board and the teachers.
  1. Professional Development — Incentives and Procedures

(ARTICLE XII)

  • Teacher must obtain a grade of ‘B’ or better (instead of a ‘C’ or better) to receive horizontal movement on the salary schedule.
  • District 47 ERO course work can be applied for horizontal movement on the salary schedule. For ERO course work, teachers must choose to receive either horizontal movement or partial reimbursement (not both).
  1. Supervisory Extra Duty

(ARTICLE XIII)

  • Previously $17.00/hour
  • 2013-2014: $17.34 (2%)
  • 2014-2015: $17.69 (2%)
  • 2015-2016: $18.04 (2%)
  1. Instructional Extra Duty

(ARTICLE XIV)

  • Previously $27.48/hour
  • 2013-2014: $28.03 (2%)
  • 2014-2015: $28.59 (2%)
  • 2015-2016: $29.16 (2%)
  • Elementary (K-5): 270 (instead of 250) total hours will be allocated per building.
  • Middle School (6-8): intramural sports 50 (instead of 60) hours per coach/activity.
  1. Just Cause Discipline

(ARTICLE XVI – new)

  • New Article XVI

No TEACHER shall be disciplined without just cause. Discipline includes, but is not limited to, documented warnings, reprimands, suspensions, and discharge. Written reprimands or warnings shall be defined as a separate document apart from the TEACHERS’ evaluation form. It is specifically agreed that this section shall not apply to a decision by the Board to terminate a teacher or to not renew the contract of a TEACHER. Criteria for determining just cause is located at @d47.org and the District #47 Employee Handbook.”

  1. Reduction in Force and Recall

(ARTICLE XIV)

  • All language removed; now provides that RIFs and recalls will be governed by the Illinois School Code provisions in effect at the time of the RIFs and recalls (105 ILCS 5/24-12).

A map showing where the school is located appears below, just in case you want to attend the meeting.

Canterbury Elementary School map.

Canterbury Elementary School map.

Metro East Lawyers Help Bill Harrison’s Sheriff’s Bid

Jim Harrison, seeking enough signatures to get on the ballot as an Independent, held a fundraiser recently.

Although no press release nor photos were shared about its results, the following large recent contributions were reported:

These large contributions to Jim Harrison were reported to the Illinois State Board of Elections on April 16, 2014.

These large contributions to Jim Harrison were reported to the Illinois State Board of Elections on April 16, 2014.

In the previous quarter, Harrison reported having total receipts of $11,971.

He started out with $10,199.48 and spent $4,859.54, so his beginning balance on April 1st was $17,310.94.

The $5,500 from the two Downstate law firms is on top of that.

Jim Harrison and supporters were collecting signatures at the Crystal Lake Expo.

Jim Harrison and supporters were collecting signatures at the Crystal Lake Expo.

Contributions made during the first quarter of the year follow:

  • $5,000 – David Luck, Entrepreneur, Retired, Woodstock
  • $1,000 – Adams Auto Body, McHenry
  • $1,000 – John Klasen, Deputy Sheriff, Retired
  • $1,000 – Timber Works, Inc., Woodstock
  • $500 – Brown and Company LLP, Woodstock
  • $500 – Kathleen Phillips, Woodstock
  • $300 – Robert Kohn, McHenry
  • $200 – Gary Blair, McHenry
  • $151 – Aero Lock Service, Woodstock

Those who names are identified (having given over $150) contributed $10,451. In addition there were $1,520 contributed in amounts less than that.

Harrison seeks to face off against Republican nominee Bill Prim.

Paul Schrimpf, GOP Candidate for Attorney General Coming to Crystal Lake

Three new precinct committeemen will be hosting Paul Schrimpf who is running for Illinois Attorney General.  Eric Dowd (Nunda 24), Craig Asbach (Nunda 22), and Matt Meyer (Richmond 2) are giving McHenry County an opportunity to meet the Republican nominee.  An email from newly-elected Republican Precinct Committeeman Christina M. Myers urges folks to come meet the Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General:

Come out and join PAUL SCHIMPF at the Cottage on April 23rd! THIS IS A FREE EVENT and a chance to meet the man who wants to be your Illinois Attorney General.

GOP Attorney General candidate will be in Crystal Lake Monday, April 28th.

GOP Attorney General candidate will be in Crystal Lake Monday, April 23rd.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME so please invite your friends and neighbors too! Pizza is being provided by Paul and there is an cash bar. This will be a great opportunity to meet Paul and fellow committeemen from around McHenry County. Details as follows:

WHO: EVERYONE – friends, neighbors, committeemen, and other elected officials

WHAT: Meet and Greet with PAUL SCHIMPF, Republican for Illinois Attorney General

Where: The Cottage
6 East Crystal Lake Ave
Crystal Lake, IL

When: April 23, 2014 – 7PM until?

We hope to see you there!

Population Dropping, But CFI Based on Increase

Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting the Census Bureau says that each of the six Chicagoland counties lost population between 2010 and 2013.

The McHenry County Board’s Continuous Flow Intersection at the corner of Algonquin and Randall Roads is based on the assumption that population is growing.

Population figures being used are outdated ones from CMAP, short for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.  The McHenry County Board was told new figures were not due to be adopted until October.

Yet, an April 7th publication by CMAP shows “the six Illinois suburban counties increased in population by just 20,000 collectively.”

From the graph below, McHenry County does not seem to be one of those growing.

The resolution of the graph is not good, but it appears that McHenry County lost population over the last three years.

The resolution of the graph is not good, but it appears that McHenry County lost population over the last three years.

20,000 is not much, compared to the 500,000 population increase over the first decade of this century.

Seemingly contradicting Crain’s data is that published by CMAP on April 7th.

Part reads,

The lackluster growth of the Chicago region is of great concern to MPC and to the metropolitan area’s economic vitality.

The population growth trends of the past three years suggest that each of the seven counties on the Illinois side of the Chicago metropolitan area are growing far more slowly than predicted by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) in 2010.

Population projections have been drastically reduced by the planning agency that has significant influence on the distribution of Federal highway dollars.

Population projections have been drastically reduced by the planning agency that has significant influence on the distribution of Federal highway dollars.

If the region’s counties continue to grow at levels similar to those of the most recent data, the seven-county population in 2040 will be just 9.2 million, up from 8.5 million.

CMAP projected a population of 11 million, a 1.8-million-person difference.

It should be noted that CMAP is in the process of updating its forecast and will have new estimates later in 2014. [Emphasis added.]

Meanwhile the McHenry County Department of Transportation and the McHenry County Board continues to use the faulty 2040 CMAP projections to justify the Continuous Flow Intersection at the busiest intersection in McHenry County–Algonquin and Randall Roads.

= = = = =
I guess Yogi Berra was right when he said, “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future!”

A request was made by a commenter for contact information for the County Board members.  That has been added in the comment section.

Words of Wisdom from Operation Click Luncheon

Mission statement of Operation Click.

The mission statement of Operation Click emphasizes “education and positive reinforcement.”

I attended the Operation Click annual luncheon in Crystal Lake on Thursday.

Two automobile dealers donated cars for the teens whose names were selected from various high schools.

One was from Kunes Country Ford in Antioch.  The other was from Rick Fergia’s Courtesy Buick GMC in Crystal Lake.

Jon A Castleman represented Kunes.

He read a text he had gotten from his daughter.  She forwarded it from Parables from Christian Teens. It is below:

Me: God, can I ask You a question?

God: Sure

Me: Promise You won’t get mad

God: I promise

Me: Why did You let so much stuff happen to me today?

God: What do u mean?

Jon Castleman from Kunes Country Auto Group in Antioch reads a text from his daugher.

Jon Castleman from Kunes Country Auto Group in Antioch reads a text from his daugher.

Me: Well, I woke up late

God: Yes

Me: My car took forever to start

God: Okay

Me: at lunch they made my sandwich wrong & I had to wait

God: Huummm

Me: On the way home, my phone went DEAD, just as I picked up a call

God: All right

Me: And on top of it all off, when I got home ~I just want to soak my feet in my new foot massager & relax. BUT it wouldn’t work!!! Nothing went right today! Why did You do that?

God: Let me see, the death angel was at your bed this morning & I had to send one of My Angels to battle him for your life. I let you sleep through that

Me (humbled): OH

GOD: I didn’t let your car start because there was a drunk driver on your route that would have hit you if you were on the road.

Me: (ashamed)

God: The first person who made your sandwich today was sick & I didn’t want you to catch what they have, I knew you couldn’t afford to miss work.

Me (embarrassed) kay

God: Your phone went dead because the person that was calling was going to give false witness about what you said on that call, I didn’t even let you talk to them so you would be covered.

Me (softly): I see God

God: Oh and that foot massager, it had a shortage that was going to throw out all of the power in your house tonight. I didn’t think you wanted to be in the dark.

Me: I’m Sorry God

God: Don’t be sorry, just learn to Trust Me…. in All things , the Good & the bad.

Me: I will trust You.

God: And don’t doubt that My plan for your day is Always Better than your plan.

Me: I won’t God. And let me just tell you God, Thank You for Everything today.

God: You’re welcome child. It was just another day being your God and I Love looking after My Children…

Another Retailer Spooked by County’s Continuous Flow Intersection Plan

The letter below was sent to McHenry County Engineer Joseph Korpalski by a new retailer in the Chicago market, Art Van Furniture.

Its Real Estate Manager Lee Winter indicates that his firm is not interested in locating her if a Continuous Flow Intersection is constructed.

The reason is the restriction of current access points that would be required by a CFI.

Art Van Furniture tells Lake in the Hills it is no longer interested in the corner of Randall and Algonquin Roads.

Art Van Furniture tells McHenry County it is no longer interested in the corner of Randall and Algonquin Roads.

Will County Board Decides on No Raises for Elected Officials

Will County Seal

Will County Seal

This is the time of the election cycle that pay raises come before county boards for discussion.

In Will County, proposals to raise the county board and the countywide officials were advanced by the at-large elected County Board Chairman’s Chief of Staff.

The County Board has shot down his suggestions.  (From the article in the Suburban Life, I see the head of the legislative branch is called the “Speaker.”)

In McHenry County salary hikes don’t seem to have surfaced in any committee.

TIF Fraud

The purpose of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts was to provide assistance in developing distressed property.

The definition has been so broadened by the legislature that developments like the Huntley Outlet Mall got TIF money  Those shops were built on empty land next to a Tollway interchange.

Not exactly distressed property.

They all divert money from all other tax districts (mainly schools) in the area.

At worst, they can provide slush funds for municipal officials to reward favored developers.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office issued the following press release about misuse of TIF money today:

RIVERDALE MARINA RE-DEVELOPER ARRESTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES FOR ALLEGEDLY DEFRAUDING THE VILLAGE OF $370,000 IN PUBLIC FUNDS

CHICAGO — A Chicago real estate developer was arrested today on federal charges alleging that he defrauded the south suburban Village of Riverdale of public funds provided for the redevelopment of the now closed-Riverdale Marina.

The defendant, JOHN THOMAS, allegedly fraudulently obtained approximately $370,000 for himself from $900,000 in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) payments in 2012 and used the public funds to repay personal loans and debts, legal fees, rent and other personal expenses.

Thomas, 51, of Chicago, was charged with three counts of wire fraud in a federal grand jury indictment that was returned Wednesday and unsealed today after his arrest. He is expected to be arraigned later today in U.S. District Court.

Thomas owned and controlled Nosmo Kings LLC, which had offices at 215 West Ontario St., in Chicago, and at the Riverdale Marina, 13100 South Halsted St., in Riverdale, which consisted of boat docks and a restaurant on 11 acres along the Little Calumet River.

Between February and April 2012, Riverdale paid Thomas’s company $900,000 in TIF funds for three phases of construction and reimbursement based on false supporting documents.

Thomas used a portion of the money for legitimate renovations costs while fraudulently using approximately $370,000 for his personal benefit.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of at least $370,000.

According to the indictment, Nosmo Kings entered into a TIF agreement with Riverdale in February 2012.

Riverdale’s TIF program allowed taxpayer funds to be used to redevelop certain property in the village.

Under the agreement, Riverdale agreed to reimburse Nosmo Kings’ expenses up to $1.2 million as long as the total renovation costs equaled or exceeded approximately $5.25 million.

The TIF funds were to be disbursed in four phases, each capped at $300,000, after Nosmo Kings paid for and completed each phase of construction.

To obtain TIF funds, Thomas was required to submit certain documents identifying completed construction expenses, including invoices from and checks paid to vendors.

In early 2012, Thomas allegedly created and submitted fake invoices for non-existent companies and for companies that never performed work at the marina in order to fraudulently obtain reimbursement from the village.

The indictment alleges he submitted numerous false documents supporting reimbursement for expenses that he had not incurred.

These included

  • $132,000 and $8,815 in payments to contractors for construction work;
  • $22,994 for an insurance policy that was later cancelled for non-payment; and
  • $56,000 and $67,000 for construction supplies using the same supporting invoices and receipts to double-bill the village.

The indictment alleges that Thomas claimed $25,750 for construction supplies from a company that was actually a currency exchange he owed money, and he submitted other fraudulent documents to obtain payment of tens of thousands of dollars to law firms and an individual attorney for personal legal fees for himself and one of his employees.

Thomas used other TIF funds to pay his apartment rent, the charges allege.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and restitution is mandatory. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

The arrest and indictment were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sunil Harjani.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.