Steve Willson Urges Closrer Examination Before MCC Board Commits Taxpayers to Debt

Steve Willson’s comments to the McHenry County College Board on May 26, 2016:

Steve Willson

Steve Willson

First, I want to be clear that my comments are not to the whole board but only to the supporters of the proposed capital project.

Second, my comments are directed not at refurbishing the science labs, but at the rest of the proposed capital project.If you trustees wish to waste your own money without asking basic questions, you have that right.

But when you take money by force – taxes – or by increasing the cost to ALL students, you have a higher obligation to make sure you aren’t wasting the money, a FIDUCIARY obligation, which is why your title is “trustee”.

You’re using property taxes and asking 6,500 students to pay more to go to school so you can build new labs for 380 students in the Health Sciences area.

Ninety-five percent are supposed to pay more for 5% of the students whose labs are only a few years old.

Do you know what the annualized cost of a $24 million project is?

The annualized cost is $1.75 million per year.

So I ask you, which of you can tell me how many more students will get jobs if you spend money on this project?

One?  Five?  Ten?

If it’s ten, is it worth spending $175,000 more each year for each additional student who graduates from these programs?

The sad fact is…  You have no idea what the answer is to that question!

Your motto is “Student success is our goal.”

Yet eighteen months ago it was reported in the Herald that the school has NO statistics on student success but they hoped that they would soon.

And now, eighteen months later, this board has taken no action to develop those statistics.

So you’re planning to spend $24 million on FAITH, because you have no evidence that this expenditure will result in any additional students getting good paying jobs.

But what’s even sadder is not that you don’t know the answer to this most basic question.

What’s even sadder is that you never even asked the question!

Here you are deciding to spend $24 million, and you haven’t asked the most basic question about whether there will actually be any REAL additional benefit in more students getting more jobs.

As for the information you have received in support of this project, it has been one-sided, incomplete and questionable.

Speaking of which, the statement was made at a recent meeting that the reason donors weren’t supporting this project was because the board wasn’t “unified.”

Well, I spoke with every one of the College’s major donors and asked them about that and they all told me explicitly that the reason they weren’t donating to this project was NOT that the board wasn’t “unified.”

The information you received was false.


Steve Willson Urges Closrer Examination Before MCC Board Commits Taxpayers to Debt — 11 Comments

  1. Wouldn’t be the first time an administration came up with falsehoods in order to manipulate its board’s decisions.

    It’s all about allowing them to spend far more than they need.

    They love spending “other people’s money!”

    I just hope the trustees who are insisting on doing only what NEEDS to be done, aren’t strong-armed into going along with the unneeded portions.


  2. Mr Willson has been entrusted with billions as a Municipal Financial Analyst, and therefor this makes him knowledgeable enough to speak on the subject of waste, fraud, accountability, cost analysis and ROI (return on investment).

  3. You know, they did the same thing a few years ago when they spent $5 million to build a new kitchen facility on the MCC campus for the culinary arts program.

    They had a place for their culinary arts program that worked fine.

    So the only reason to spend $5 million was if many more students graduated from the program AND GOT GOOD PAYING JOBS.

    This latter is important.

    The goal is not just for students to complete the program, it is for them to go on to good paying jobs, jobs they couldn’t have gotten without the expenditure of $5 million.

    And how many more students are getting good jobs?

    The answer is… MCC doesn’t try to find out.

    But what about what we DO know:

    how many more students are graduating from this program?

    The answer is: no more.

    So $5 million was spent with zero benefit.

    And now they want to throw away several health career labs they’ve built in just the last few years and build new labs.

    And can we expect a big increase in the number of students who get jobs if they do so?


    And how do we know this?

    How can I make that bold statement?

    Because we have figures from the Illinois Department of Employment Security projecting jobs in each of these career areas showing that a couple of the programs at MCC are right-sized and the rest are too big:

    they have more students each year than the IDES says there will be job openings.

    If that’s the case, then why spend all this money on new health career facilities?

    What the College SHOULD do is simply refurbish the existing science labs.

    Since modern labs are bigger than what was built fifty years ago, they need about 4,000 extra square feet, which they could easily obtain by repurposing some of the underutilized classrooms at MCC.

    The whole project should cost under $5 million (14,000 square feet x $325 per square foot = $4.55 million).

    But NO ONE at the College has ever entertained such a small scale project idea.

    They are all intent on big projects.

  4. Steve, kudos to u for trying to EDUCATE others
    On the board & the public.

    We need to look at things from an OUTCOME BASED

    Does ANY college or university look at what the
    Job trends are, give guidance to students & gear
    programs & infrastructure to areas where there
    Are ACTUAL jobs ?

    This has been a pet peeve of mine for 15 years since
    My son’s were in high school.

    Keep speaking out on this issue, it is much bigger
    Than people realize.

  5. Steve,

    I commend you for sticking up for what you believe in and speaking against the board.

    Too bad that it’s just blind, uniformed indoctrination used to serve your own purpose.

    A damn shame I see people in this message board above blindly accepting what you say and just running with it.

    I have always feared for the day people stop thinking for themselves and start blindly following the herd like sheep.

    It looks like those of you who have sadly just accepted what Steve Wilson says is true.

    Also Steve,

    I’d like a single piece of evidence supporting your claim that you spoke to every major college donor.

    I’m not sure if you’re making all these wild claims to inflate your own ego, or just to further spill into a wild delusion of grandeur you seem to have, but I assure you Steve, I doubt a leopard gecko would sit down with you in a room and share their concerns for anything, much less a college donor.

  6. The college has refused to reveal the potential donors that the new President had on his calendar, so we can’t ask them if they spoke to Steve Willson.

  7. Cal,

    That is a completely fair point.

    However, on the other side of things, if you don’t know who the potential donors are, then how can Steve Willson claimed to have spoken to them in the first place?

  8. Kermit scotch?

    Is that what Mike Smith is drinking these days?

  9. This county if Full of nothing but SHEEP!

    baaaaahhh…. is all anyone ever hears, no one has a out of the box thought! ever, to afraid of losing that pension, or the Power!

    they think they have! which is mainly all in their head of course when they wake up and realize its the People who have it they will be wondering what did they do?

  10. Gee VerminScotch anyone who’s lived in McHenry County for 4 or 5 decades could have easily revealed who the potential donors are. (or should we say ‘were’)

  11. Well ‘kermit’ if u know so much, (and are so obviously a board member) why don’t You ask the donors if Steve contacted them?

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