From a Friend of McHenry County Blog:
I hope some of you can join John Pletz at this meeting tonight. [Board Policy Committee Meeting Agenda, November 14, 2017, 6:30 p.m., Center for Education, One South Virginia Road, Crystal Lake.]
Jeff Thorsen, John Reinert, Michael Walkup, and I have our monthly board meeting at the same time so we can not attend. (NOTE to John Pletz, thank you for all your awesome work!!).
Based on the agenda (as you all probably have figured out) I think the D155 Board wants to appease us, the taxpayer, by giving us an abatement of some, or all of the tax levy that they will vote on later in the month.
An abatement is sort of a phony way to deal with the tax increase, because an abatement permits the taxing body in question to RAISE the levy, but then not actually charge the taxpayer some or all of the increase for that year.
Now the following year the taxing body is positioned to raise the levy at the increased level from the last year.
Thus, the hit is far more substantial, and worse yet, they are positioned to continue their overcharging of the taxpayer at a time when taxpayers are furious and when enrollment has been steadily going down!
So I will be attending the meeting later in the month on Nov 28 at 7pm to convey my concerns to the Board Members.
However, your comments can help them to rethink their strategy and to let them know of your concerns as well.
Rosemary Kurtz and Jason Blake are the two board members who stated they will NOT vote for the levy increase. So we only need 2 more votes to vote down the levy increase.
Here are some facts to quote or may help you illustrate concerns you have:
1) Since the height of enrollment in D155 in 2009 when enrollment was at 6,988, enrollment has DECLINED to 6,516 in 2016 (see p. 109 in CAFR – which is attached). A total of 472 students, or approx. 7% fewer students now attend as of 2016. 2017 was projected to be even fewer numbers of students that are currently attending. (see the data on Historical and Projected enrollment, p. vi).
2) While enrollment has gone down, during the same period, employment has increased.
# of Administrators: 2009 = 28 / 2016 = 56 – 100% increase
Total # of Employees: 2009 = 668 / 2016 = 737 – Approx. 10%
(p. 107 of CAFR)
3) Amount of Days of Cash on Hand (Most School Districts have a policy stating 90 to 120 days of Cash on Hand is sufficient, i.e. District 47 and District 300) versus D155 which has 359 days of cash on hand! (p. 108 in the CAFR).
Editorial comment: Having this much cash on hand amounts to overcharging the taxpayer by taking more money than necessary and keeping it in the bank.
The responsible approach is to spend this reserve down to the 90 -120 days.
The CAFR is the Comprehensive Accounting and Financial Report, 2016.
It is a required report for all Illinois units of government and is extremely interesting.
Lots of good stuff to learn about. I have attached a copy.