Rosemary Kurtz Calls for More Openness at McHenry County College Board Meetings

At last Thursday’s meeting of the McHenry County College Board, former State Representative Rosemary Kurtz addressed the board during the brief time allowed for public comments.

I included some of what she said, but asked her if she would send me the entire text. She has and it can be read below.

You can see why newly elected student trustee Tom Kendzie was so impressed with what she said.

Good Evening.

There’s a wise saying that makes me think of Erv LeCoque, your former Board Trustee and Foundation member.

“A bird in the hand is
worth more than 2 in the bush.”

At your December meeting he reminded you of his initiative to set up a fund, called the “Promise” which would provide tuition to any needy high school graduate who wanted to go to MCC. There are some Big Donors who have set a goal of $4 million as the first step.

Mr.LeCoque then announced that these donors have $2 million in hand right now to contribute to the “Promise” for student tuition.

How noble!

How generous!

These extremely successful business men and women, these donors, from their vast experience say that the College Board and President should drop the Minor League Stadium enterprise because this is a business that they know nothing about.

If the Board goes back to the business it was created for by the voters, which is EDUCATION, then these new donations of millions of dollars from these generous industrialists will be a “win-win” situation for the students and for all of us in McHenry County.

How did we end up with this business of a Stadium?

It is just a year ago when you were about to plunge into this unknown venture of risky investment with a Limited Liability Company.

To me it seems like “hedging your bets,” like buying into a hedge fund for us the taxpayers.

Investors don’t know what their hedge fund manager is doing.

His decisions are secret and it’s like a CLOSED meeting at the College. The investor is in the dark.

He may know the manager takes a big percentage, but it’s worth it to take the risk.

Every good economic advisor will tell you,

“if it’s too good to be true,
then it probably is.”

The message:

BEWARE.

Referring to the shady world of hedge fund management, I believe that the Public, the people who pay the bills for MCC have been forced into the same kind of secrecy by your Closed Meetings.

According to the Open Meetings Act and conversations I have had with the Attorney General’s assistant,

a unit of government does not always
HAVE to go into Closed Meeting.

The Act says that the officials “May” close the people out of certain discussions; but they are not mandated to do so.

I don’t believe that you had to go into secret session when you were entering into a relationship with the Stadium developers.

We were kept in the dark for 5 months until it surfaced with the petition before the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Commission.

In the future, I hope you restore the trust we the Public had in MCC from the time we voted the College into existence.

I hope you will open up those meetings to the Public because YOU TRUST THEM and YOU RESPECT THEM.

They only want what is best for this Place of Learning.

INDIVIDUALS, among Your Public, are EXPERTS in areas that elected officials and your loyal staff are not aware of. This County College deserves to hear that expertise in finance, construction, and land use in OPEN Meetings.

In conclusion, please reflect on Erv LeCoque’s business advice and his offer of millions for your students.

Please remember you Don’t Have to go into secret session (closed meetings) as often as you have done in the past. Put some Trust in Your Public who is very well-intentioned.

WE Care.

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Newly elected McHenry County College student trustee Tom Kendzie is in the head shot at the top. Former State Rep. Rosemary Kurtz is see addressing the MCC Board. The other photographs of Kurtz were taken earlier. Crystal Lake retired investment banker Barry Glasgow is at the bottom.


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