No Surprise to Tax Hiking Goal of McHenry County College

When I saw that “Election Workshop” item on the agenda of the special meeting of the McHenry County Board for Tuesday, I called and asked the President’s Office what was up.

The woman I talked to did not know.

I figured it couldn’t be about board elections, since they were this past spring.

That left referendums.

That means tax hikes.

Thursday, a Northwest Herald article by Brett Rowland verified my premonition.

It is too bad that the MCC Board was unwilling to be more forthright.

The reaction shown in the comments below the article show that the College has a real image problem.

Certainly, the history of opaqueness will be an issue in any tax hike effort.

This is a board that won’t even tape record its meetings so someone could hear what went on, if he or she could or did not attend a meeting.

Let alone live stream the meetings.

The content of comments made by members of the public is not reported in the minutes.

“Transparency” is not part of this government’s philosophy.

This is a board that hid the baseball stadium details that would have put taxpayers on the hook for over $20 million in bonds…plus interest.

This is a board that kept us in the dark while conspiring to allow the tallest broadcast aerial in the State of Illinois.

One of St. Louis tax hike consultant Unicom-ARC's successful efforts to convince Woodstock School District voters to vote yes.

And new President Vicky Smith made it quite clear that her selection had more than a little to do with raising taxes.

Two summers ago there was a series of “community” meetings put together by the same tax hike consultant that ran the success tax hike campaigns in Woodstock Unit District 200 and Carpentersville District 300.

Read about those meetings and other aspects of MCC’s tax hike preparation efforts in the links below:

My timing was off on the date of the referendum. The rest should prove instructive to those interested in how a tax district goes about raising taxes.


Comments

No Surprise to Tax Hiking Goal of McHenry County College — 10 Comments

  1. Vicky Smith, age 65, has a long history of spending about 4 years at institutions and driving costs up to taxpayers without any significant increase in graduation rates. Anyone who sees her well coiffed and blinged appearance realize she is putting the frosting on her pension cake so she can languish in warm weather on a pension that will be quadruple of what most people earn each year. She is great for improving the look, remodels, but very low on much besides spending money. Start with her “$35,000 a year police force” and it just keeps getting better.

  2. Does this insanity ever stop…? How much more can the taxpayer take?

  3. McHenry County College (MCC) Board demonstrates to its students how to be secretive, sneaky, and non-transparent.

    1. From the MCC website. “We request visitors do not take flash photography during meetings”.

    So MCC takes taxpayer money but does not allow taxpayers to photograph MCC Board meetings. Many taxpayer board meetings allow flash photography.

    2. No indication of audio or video recordings, or live streaming, on the MCC Board website.

    Many high schools live stream their Board meetings for goodness sakes.

    Once again, the message is, give me your money taxpayers, but if you want to find out what we are doing with your taxpayer money, you’ll have to come to the meeting or read the Board minutes. And of course not every word that is said in the open meeting is in the Board minutes. Too bad. Taxpayers just take the abuse. First of all most taxpayers don’t know the MCC board does not allow flash photography during open meetings, and does not audio or video record or live stream board meeting. Second of all, those that do know, have not been able to rally enough public support to affect change.

    I wonder how much money MCC has paid Unicorm-ARC the last few years.

    I wonder if MCC has a contract with Unicom-ARC/MCC and if so what that contract states.

    MCC Board demonstrates by example to its students how not to be open and transparent, as indicated above.

    What a pillar of society.

  4. Here are the credentials of MCC President Vicky Smith.

    Smith received an Educational Specialist (Ed. Spec.) and B.S. degree from Eastern Illinois University, an M.S. from the University of Illinois, and an Ed.D. from Northern Illinois University.

    But all those classes and degrees did not result in an open and transparent MCC Board.

    Does she not want the open Board meeting to be photographed and audio and video recorded and live streamed. Or is the Board telling her they won’t do that?

  5. – Thursday, a Northwest Herald article by Brett Rowland verified my premonition. –

    I clicked on the link.

    http://www.nwherald.com/2011/06/08/mcc-considers-property-tax-referendum-to-pay-for-expansion/a21wgag/

    The article noted that on Tuesday June 7th, 2011, MCC Board members heard a one hour presentation given by Ann Nock, a senior vice president at George K. Baum and Co., a Kansas City, Mo.-based investment banking firm.

    Apparently the MCC Administration invited George K. Baum and CO. to give the presentation to the MCC Board.

    A Google search for Ann Nock of George K. Baum reveals she is at the Sacramento office and a Manager – Bond Election Group.

    http://www.gkbaum.com/pf/ourTeam.cfm

    If the Manager of the Bond Election Group from Sacramento, CA speaks at MCC in Crystal Lake, IL, it’s good odds that a Bond Referendum is a top choice in MCC’s expansion financing plan.

    Also in the article.

    – Administrators recently said the college would use eminent domain to acquire 20 acres along Route 14 needed for expansion after unsuccessful negotiations with the trust that owns the land. –

    That’s unbelievable. MCC is considering forceful acquisition of taxpayer property, before they have taxpayer approval to finance the complete project?

    That action allows them to be discrete about the overall cost of the project to MCC taxpayers. Since land acquisition financing will be separate from building financing.

    All while the MCC Board does not record their open Board meetings.

    And the MCC Board is supposed to be an oversight over the MCC Administration?

    Some oversight.

    Hopefully more taxpayers will begin attending MCC Board meetings and try to change the way the MCC Board operates.

  6. The board and the public will be groomed to accept a tax increase.

    Every tool in the book will be used.

  7. When you hire a person who is near retirement, what would you expect? She will be at MCC til she gets a building named after her, then head to a warmer clime. This is precisely why she refused to reveal her age and the transparent MCC board won’t release any information that would offer a clue to it. No doubt she will be given a healthy package when she leaves and she will get her healthcare paid for well into her long term care age.

    Born 1946 age 65

    Education
    1964 – High school graduation
    1968 – Bachelor of Science in education, history and social science from Eastern Illinois University
    1972 – Master of science in Library Science from the University of Illinois
    1982 – Specialist in education of instructional technology from Eastern Illinois University
    1991 – Doctorate of education – Northern Illinois University

    Employment Verified
    1992 – 1996 Austin Community College – Austin, Minnesota
    1997 – 2001 Monroe Community College – Rochester, New York
    2001 – Cornell University – Ithaca, New York

  8. Next MCC Board Meeting Tuesday June 14, 2011, 8AM
    Facilities and Planning Committee Meeting
    Board Room, 8900 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012
    – Call to Order
    – Roll Call
    – Acceptance of Agenda
    – Acceptance of Minutes: Facilities Planning Committee Meeting, 5/24/11
    – Open for Recognition of Visitors and Presentations
    – Three (3) minutes per person or less
    – Update on Contract for Architectural Firm for Small Projects
    – Report on the Process for Selecting the Facility Master Plan Architect
    – Request to Illinois Community College Board for Authorization to Proceed
    on Purchase of Land
    – Summary Comments by Board Members
    – Closed Session
    – Acceptance of Closed Session Minutes: Facilities and Planning Committee,
    May 24, 2011
    – Future Agenda Items
    – Adjournment

    I wonder if any citizens will show up and make public comments at the meeting.

    The Board is selecting a facility master plan architect for the land they plan to acquire on which MCC plans to construct buildings funded by taxpayer money via a bond referendum?

    All while not allowing flash photography at Board meetings, no audio or video recording at Board meetings, no live streaming of Board meetings.

    8AM Tuesday is such a convenient time for taxpayers to attend Board meetings.

  9. There’s a second MCC Board Meeting this coming week.

    Thursday, June 16th, 2011, at 8AM.

    Why is yet another board meeting being held at a taxpayer unfriendly time?

    This is a Finance and Negotiations Committee meeting.

    Looking at the agenda of the last Finance and Negotiations Committee meeting held May 19th, 2011 at 4PM, line item #7 jumps out.

    “Presentation on Bond Election.”

    As of today, June 11th, twenty-three days after that May 19th meeting, the minutes from the meeting are not yet posted.

    So not only was the meeting held at a taxpayer unfriendly time (weekday afternoon), not only was the meeting not audio or video recorded, not only was the meeting not live streamed, but the Board minutes from 23 days ago are not posted with the next Finance and Negotiations Committee meeting yet days away.

    It seems the MCC Board has a lot of room for improvement in being transparent to the taxpayers that vote the Board into office.

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