Dist. 15 bond issue never thought out properly

Posted10/4/2010 12:01 AM

Palatine Township residents who demand accountability from their elected officials should vote No to the District 15 $27 million working cash bond referendum on Nov. 2.

Borrowing millions of dollars and raising taxes is not going to balance the District 15 budget, which after being essentially balanced for four years, has returned to the deficit spending of the past. District 15 has $47.9 million in reserves today, but the district's own budget projections show that reserve being spent down to zero in the year 2014.

After approving generous salary and benefit increases for employees, increases which far outstripped the meager 0.1 percent CPI revenue increase of 2009, the district asked, "How much money can we borrow?"

Only after deciding upon a figure of $27 million did they concoct a list of capital projects that according to the district were matters of urgency. The list of capital improvements posted on the website three weeks after the bond resolution was passed exceeded previously published capital projects lists by $11 million.

Today there is no list of projects posted on the district website it is anybody's guess exactly how the district will spend this money if the referendum passes.

Read the wording of the referendum question. It asks whether the district shall issue "$27 million in working cash bonds." It says nothing about capital projects bonds. Working cash bonds can be spent on anything, or nothing. There is no guarantee the money will be spent of any capital projects at all. If the District was serious about capital projects it should have resolved to issue capital bonds.

Pay no attention to Interim Superintendent Scott Thompson, who has gone on record saying that he would advise the district to issue only $16 million in bonds, and not the entire $27 million. With 2½ years remaining to issue these bonds (up until April 2013) do you really think the district will leave a penny on the table?

Just because district CAN issue these bonds doesn't mean they SHOULD. Vote no to the bond issue on Nov. 2.

Mary E. Vanek