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Referenda Referenda Referenda....Back Again

An Important Vote Besides The One For President

Typically my blog involves medical issues, insurance issues, social security and medicare. Back in March I was asked to say a few words about the importance of a "yes" vote for facilities and a "yes" vote for programs. Both votes failed by a handful of votes. I have since come to know that due to "ballot irregularity" in the March vote, some of the ballots didn't even have the referendum listed on them. As a property owner, here in Niles, with concerns going forward, I attended the October 17th Golf Middle School "Open House" to learn about the Referenda. I spent nearly 3 hours there. During that time, I could count the attendees on one hand. The organizers indicated it had been the same low turn out at the other two "open houses." (They have one more to go on the 29th at Hynes Elementary School from 5PM to 8:30PM) Just as our presidential election has folks strongly going one way and strongly going the other, this blog entry focuses on those "on the fence" who can and will make the difference. An inspirational, young 14 yr old Pakistani girl was recently shot in the head, defying the Taliban, and encouraging other children to attend school. It shouldn't have to come to that here. As a chess player for over 50 years, I will always consider two or three moves ahead. I spoke with the officials at the open house about what would happen if we continue to vote "no." (In other words, they can't force a "yes" vote). When it got bad enough, the government would ultimately step in with their own people, dictating curriculum, hours etc. Is that what we want? According to a recent Patch article, Morton Grove and Niles spend over $97,000 on Halloween costumes. That averages to well over $1,000 per family which dwarfs what the tax increase would call for. A "yes" vote would benefit village residents in countless ways, with lasting effects, for far less money than they now pay for costumes to trick or treat and party ONCE a year. Our kids dont have a fire suppression sprinkler system. What if there is a fire?  Money?  The Golf District 67 Superintendent is the third lowest paid in the entire county. Wake up. I'm not talking to those of you already voting "yes."  I'm not talking to those of you who will continue to vote "no" until the govt steps in (I realize your elevator stops at "5"). I'm talking to those of you still "on the fence." Personally, I'd rather cut back on Halloween costumes than cut back on the education for our young people. Are our schools worth saving? We all have skin in the game, whether parents, grandparents or homeowners. There is no other "new world" to which we can sail. In an environment of name calling, finger pointing and denial, this is a terribly important vote, not to be skipped or taken lightly. Instead of you paying $200 just so YOUR child can play in a sport, why not have a tax so EVERYONE'S child can participate? Instead of half day kindergarten which messes up the child's day and the working parent's day, why not go back to full day kindergarten?  **Please visit www.golf67.net for further breakdowns, descriptions and explanations of what's at stake. Remember T.E.A.M. (TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE). Am I angry? No. At 65 years of age I find anger to be a wasted emotion. Disappointed? Embarassed for the villages of MG & Niles?  You betcha. You have another shot folks. Don't blow it this time.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Glenn Posner October 24, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Hi Gina. You have valid questions and concerns. Please make every effort to attend the final Open House scheduled for October 29 from 5PM to 8:30PM at Hynes Elementary School. Address those issues to the people with answers. Hopefully the Superintendent will be there when you visit to get real time responses to the points you raise. Again, there are two issues to be voted on. I can't believe residents from both villages would vote against installing a fire suppression sprinkler system to protect our children. The board has already made and documented over $910,000 in cuts since the last referenda failed. As for salaries, our Superintendent is the third from the bottom in salaries for our Cook County districts. The $97,000 Halloween expenditure for both villages combined was advanced by Patch in a recent article, after their research. I merely quoted it since both villages combined have less than that number of families. The $1,000 is an average...a high one I agree, but an average. Some will "over participate" in Halloween and some, in your example, will "under participate." Again, the figure given by Patch was an AVERAGE. Personally, I think we could still enjoy Halloween but budget some of that money towards more productive areas...like our schools. If you do attend, seek out Dr Jaime Reilly to respond to your concerns. We are all in this TOGETHER.
Glenn Posner October 24, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Thank you for being civil, Grandpa. Angry...but civil. Please try to attend the final Open House, prior to voting, on October 29 at Hynes Elementary School From 5PM to 8:30PM. Try to seek out Dr. Jaime Reilly and in a civil manner, express your concerns to her. I was more than impressed and began to grasp the severity of the situation. Schools are threatening strikes throughout our state with funding being pulled as it has. Challenges are not just with Golf 67. She will address your concerns I assure you. She is incredibly generous with her time. Shill? I don't make a penny on reminding people what's at stake. Someone has to. If you have a problem with teacher pay that's one vote. But you seriously can't vote against the kids having a fire suppression sprinkler system, can you? As for me, being a successful insurance broker has been my second successful career. I had my own diagnostic imaging service (President of Chicago Ultrasound Society) for over 20 years in my first successful venture. I'm slowing down Grandpa...I'm not young like you anymore.
grandpa October 24, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I am not angry, just adamant, and while I am probably 4 years older than dirt, I would rather wear out than rust out. Threats of strikes are not about children, they are about money. While we have great teachers they are recompensed well for what they do, (in many cases considerably more than the taxpayers who are paying their salaries). Back in the day, we had a fire suppression system when I was in school. It was called a fire hose and the backup to it was called the fire department. Perhaps if the school board would have set their priorities straght in the past we wouldn't be treated to the current "Henny-Penny the sky is falling" routine. If, indeed, a fire suppression system is the number one priority, it is up to the board to figure out what can be eliminated to make that happen. In my case, my tax bite is larger than my principle and interest payment on my house. I am in no position to absorb another increase by the schools or any other governmental entity. For those who believe their taxes are too low, I suggest that there is nothing preventing you from sending in an additional amount to the schools as a donation, (and God bless you if you are in the position to do so). Us old fogeys are basically taxed to death.
Tony P October 27, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Any thinking person who has been near or in a school recently knows the heavy work load, difficult responsibilities, and burdensome mandates that educators must fulfill. No one advocates for teachers, and they can't advocate for themselves, because they are too busy working 10-14 hours days educating our children. And why does a teacher earn a decent wage? Well, years of paying for extremely expensive education in order to be qualified to teach our children must be repaid somehow. If teachers don't earn enough money to pay back their education, then they can't get an education to teach. Or should we have low-budget under-qualified people teaching our kids? Is that the direction we want our society to head? People with vision want high-qualified educators in our schools. And by the way, the high salaries are reserved for those teachers who have been there 25-plus years and have worked their way up the pay scale. It's called "seniority" - ever hear of it? It happens in every field of employment, including education. Or should we just kick out teachers who have been there too long? Is that what we want? We don't like when it happens to us in other fields, why should we accept it in education? I prefer to have teachers with experience. I advise you to see what's going on in schools and observe all that teachers have to do and put up with. You will then see that they earn every penny they make and are in fact underpaid.
Glenn Posner October 27, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Well stated Tony...Good teachers are unsung heroes...All it takes is that one special teacher to "reach" a young person to to extent that "a light goes on" and the child "gets it." The child then wants and craves to learn more as he or she sets out on a path, lit up by the teacher. Those of us fortunate enough to have had such teachers, never forget them and how they helped to shape and impact our lives.

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