An email from newly-elected State Rep. Peter Breen of DuPage County:
We’ve watched over the past year as the College of DuPage Board of Trustees has taken a beating in the press for scandal after scandal, and the public outcry has now reached a fever pitch, in response to the massive golden parachute just awarded to its president, Robert Breuder.
You see, at his retirement next year, Breuder will be paid three-quarters of a million dollars – taxpayer dollars – to not work.
This is the same community college president who spent taxpayer funds for his private hunt club membership, a wine cellar, and satellite phones for himself and his companions on an African safari.
You can’t make this stuff up.
But we can fight to stop it.
Last week, over five hundred people attended a meeting of the COD Board, telling those board members to reject this sweetheart deal.
I was proud to represent you and the residents of the 48th District in addressing the Board.
Lots of news outlets covered the event on TV and in print, including this great article in the Chicago Tribune.
Just yesterday, I stood alongside other state reps and each of us presented our legislative ideas to put a stop to the shenanigans plaguing our community colleges.
One of the terms of the severance package was to put Robert Breuder’s name on a building.
Well, the way I look at it, we shouldn’t be naming a building after this guy: we should name a reform law after him.
So, I named my proposal the “Breuder Rule.”
It would ban altogether any future excessive severance agreements, defined as more than one year’s salary and benefits.
As for current severance agreements, which are protected by the U.S. Constitution’s Contracts Clause, we can’t ban them, but we can make sure that homeowners and students don’t have to pay for these abuses.
So, the “Breuder Rule” would forbid a community college board from raising property taxes or tuition for the same number of years as the number of years of salary paid out under a severance agreement.
In the case of COD, the “Breuder Rule” would mean no property tax increases or tuition increases for the next three years.
Those board members can find another source of cash for their abusive payout, instead of hammering tapped-out residents and hard-working students.
To save Illinois, we’re going to need reform measures like these at every level, to try to restore the proper balance between the government and the people.
At heart, this means putting the people back in charge of their government.
P.S. – COD Trustee Kathy Hamilton has been the one bright spot on that college’s board, demanding answers and revealing the extravagant waste of tax dollars by Breuder and the rest of the COD Board. The other members of the board were so angry with her watchdog work that they voted to “censure” her, but Kathy doesn’t deserve a “censure,” she deserves an award for uncovering the truth!
P.P.S. – If you’re the type who likes “red meat,” here’s one more article for you: a scathing editorial in today’s Trib about the COD Board.