Increasing Residents Tax Burden in Huntley District 158

Increasing borrowing costs with higher fees and interest expense was proposed Tuesday night in the Huntley District 158 board room.

Mark Altmayer, the new Huntley School District’s Controller, presented his plan to do this.

Instead of paying what’s owed in bond and interest, I’m told Altmayer and Superintendent John Burkey want to rack up higher interest expenses by stretching out a loan and paying a $45,000 fee for the “privilege” of being allowed to repay the bonds many years in the future.

In other words, pay more interest expense by stretching out the debt repayment and let some other superintendent and controller deal with controlling expenses.

Unfortunately residents or the media could never known this hour-long discussion was going to take place.

You see it wasn’t on the agenda, even though Altmayer had handouts and apparently planned to discuss it with the Financial Advisory Committee.

The Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) meetings are not videotaped so there is no video or audio recorded evidence of any potential violations of the Open Meetings Act.

From the posted agenda below, it’s apparent re-structuring bond repayment schedules was not an agenda item that the public was supposed to know about.

Meeting Notice

Financial Advisory Committee

President Shawn Green, of the Board of Education of School District #158, McHenry and Kane Counties, Illinois, has scheduled a Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) meeting on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. to be held at the Square Barn Road Campus, Administrative Building, 650 Academic Drive, Algonquin, Illinois in the board room.

Shawn Green Eric Zornow

Board of Education Financial Advisory Chair


1) Call to order
2) Additions/Deletions to the agenda
3) Public Comment
4) Review and approval of minutes
5) Budget update
6) Future projects
7) Update on grant opportunities
8) FAC membership Terms
9) Open Discussion
10) Adjourn


There’s a question if the FAC members were informed ahead of time that Altmayer was going to bring this to their committee.

The FAC members were not given hard copies of the latest proposed budget to discuss either before or during the meeting.

I haven’t seen any evidence that electronic copies of the latest proposed budget were emailed to them.

FAC members suggested three alternatives to Altmayer’s “pay more money later” options to cutting expenses this year.

Altmayer was apparently unreceptive to FAC members’ suggestions about how best to go about refinancing the debt.

Somehow it must make sense to Altmayer and Burkey to pay about $45,000 in taxpayer money to make it easy to balance the budget this year and next, if that’s what they are proposing. It would free up money for raises for both administrators and teachers.

The FAC members did discuss all resigning and, in effect, dissolving the committee as it currently stands. There was sentiment the administration ignores its recommendations.

Why stick around if no one is going to listen to your suggestions?

For the previous FAC meeting, the administration forgot to email all members there was a meeting scheduled.

This time it looks like a pretty important agenda item was missing.

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