Endorsements: Redmer, Meyer for Elgin Community College board
There's a lot to like about Elgin Community College.
It enjoys a sterling reputation in the community of 446,224 residents it serves and among its four feeder school districts. It features a 20-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio with an average class size of 15 students (which would be the envy of those feeder districts). The number of degrees and certificates awarded has increased nearly 38 percent the last seven years. In all, it cuts a pretty impressive path in its 360-square mile footprint.
Helping steer the ship and deserving of another seat at the District 509 board of education table is incumbent Chairman Donna Redmer. A retired educator finishing her first term, Redmer is all for free two-year community college education as proposed by President Obama -- as long as it's satisfactorily funded. While that might be a pipe dream to some, the good news for current and future ECC students is Redmer doesn't see "any need" for a tax increase. The district's budgets have been balanced, it employs zero-based budgeting, and all audits are "robust and clean," Redmer says.
Incumbent Bob Getz, a retired administrator from Harper College in Palatine, said he needs fellow trustees to work with him on accelerating debt payments to reduce the real estate tax rate for taxpayers.
But Jeffrey Meyer, an Elgin attorney, strikes us as having the intelligence and fresh ideas that could assist in making the board stronger and continually progressive.
With keeping property taxes and tuition rates low as worthy goals, Meyer also wants to address the nontraditional would-be students who don't always find it convenient to attend classes in a brick-and-mortar building or at specific times.
Meyer favors expanding e-learning opportunities to better serve that segment of the population. He remains leery of the president's proposal since it would likely rely on some state money, which is never a given in the current climate.
Being cautious while remaining realistic is a good thing when dealing with other people's money. Redmer and Meyer are endorsed.