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posted: 10/25/2010 1:00 AM

No on District 15 bond issue

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Voters should reject Palatine Township Elementary District 15's request for approval of a $27 million bond issue for capital projects and creation of a working cash fund. The school board initially intended to issue bonds quickly without voter approval, but the logic behind parts of the plan drew withering criticism. Altogether, 7,508 voters signed a petition and stopped that effort, wisely forcing a public vote. District officials now say they won't create a $10 million working cash fund, the most controversial part of the plan, and this is a chance to borrow $16 million needed for key building improvements with the federal government picking up a third of the interest cost as part of its economic incentive program. But the district is still developing its work plan, a new projection on finances for the next few years is less dire, and the whole project seems like a rush job to cash in on federal dollars. In this economic climate, voters shouldn't be asked to give the district a blank check on a vague plan, even to reap some federal dollars. Those federal dollars come from us taxpayers, too.