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UPDATED: D39 Referendum Passes

Voters approved a $6.375M tax hike to fill Dist. 39's projected spending gap.

Wilmette voters approved District 39's referendum Tuesday. After months of debate and presentations, the $6.375 million tax hike passed 5,632 'yes' votes to 3,293 'no' votes.

"I am thrilled and amazed by the level of support our community has shown for our schools. I am proud to be part of a community that values education in a big way," Superintendent Ray Lechner told Patch.

In a letter on District 39's site, Lechner also said that with, "the new voter-approved tax base, and the cuts we have already made, we are well positioned to manage our budgets for at least the next five years."

Pro-referendum campaigners were positioned at polling places throughout Wilmette Tuesday, including Paul Gorney and his familly.

"We are very happy that the referendum passed and will keep Wilmette Schools great and the property values strong as they have always been," Gorney said. 

School District #39 - Increase Limiting Rate 27 of 27 Precincts Reported



Vote For 1 % Votes YES 63.1% 5,632 NO 36.9% 3,293

The tax base increase, the district's first since 1998, translates to $58 per $1,000 of taxes paid. Without the measure, reserves would've been depleted by 2013 to 2014, . The district had already implemented budget cuts of $4.3 million to leave a deficit of $3.7 million for 2011-2012, according .

Meanwhile proposed tax hikes for neighboring districs, including West Northfield School District 31 and Township High School District 113 in Highland Park were denied.

James Stoker April 06, 2011 at 03:40 AM
huh, was that today? Wish someone had put out a sign or something.
Jim April 06, 2011 at 06:09 AM
All: Thanks to everyone for your contributions to this discussions group. While I may not have agreed with everyone on this blog, I have come to understand and appreciate all your perspectives. While the "YES" vote appears to have won the day, we need to understand and respect all points of view. There are many valid arguments from both sides of the debate that need to be integrated into the public policy of this community, including the concept of fiscal conservatism. Thank you to everyone who participated in this process. I appreciate your input and hope that you will continue to contribute to the process going forward.
Wilmette Resident April 06, 2011 at 12:17 PM
Well said Jim. This has been a great forum for discussion and I look forward to future debates on issues that affect our community.
Cathy April 06, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Here's hoping that the District learns to live within it's means with the new cash flow. Continuing to raise taxes is not the long term answer as higher taxes will drive people away from our community, not towards it. Pay increases, pensions in corporate america are not on par with Education/Admin salary increases (5%?) and pensions here in District 39 - so lets all look to how best to use these dollars and solve the problem, not band-aid it.
GrossPoint April 06, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Quote Supt Lechner..."I am most grateful for the community support we have received during the months leading up to the referendum. For all of this I am proud to be part of this community and THANK YOU!"..good to hear Lechner was not taking a partisan role in the campaign. Could have really pushed it one way or another.

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