Using Fear and Children
The November 6, 2018 defeat of the D86 $166,000,000.00 referendum came as a complete shock to the Board and its referendum supporters. How could the voters do this? Who do they think they are? What was the Board going to do? The Board and its supporters had to regroup and figure out a new approach. This second referendum defeat in 18 months required a new and clever strategy to force a third bloated referendum on the voters.
The Board’s fear tactic manifested in a very simple and calculated form, target the district’s most vulnerable stakeholders, children, and thereby force their parents and others to the voting booth to support the new referendum. To drive their agenda home the Board applied maximum pain and pressure by cutting popular activities like football, swimming, cheer, pom-pom, and others; however interestingly no baseball or softball. These ‘cuts’ made on the backs of children would be necessary to fund the alleged Life and Safety issues the Board believes it should fund. By doing so, these cuts are intended to drive district-wide Yes votes for the referendum in a traditionally low voter turnout election.
Specifically the new strategy had to include a large referendum amount, preservation of the status quo, and ignoring the Hinsdale South issues of student population imbalance/shrinkage, curriculum inequity, and segregation of historically aggrieved minority populations. Cynically, the Board figured it out by developing a plan that would deliver a bloated referendum, maintain the status quo and avoid Hinsdale South’s issues by embracing FEAR as the means to drive the new $130,000,000.00 Referendum 3.0.
To illustrate the level of deception this Board and its Administration are willing to go to advance this referendum, it has been reported by Fill South First that the Administration identified to the DuPage Regional Superintendent a $2,301,600.00 cost to replace Astroturf as part of the referendum’s Life and Safety requirements. The problem with this is that Astroturf is not a Life and Safety requirement and should not be a referendum item at all. This begs the question, why is Astroturf replacement not a normal maintenance item associated with the annual budget? The answer is simple. Pad the referendum by adding it to life and safety; more items more money. So thanks to Fill South First for bringing this to the public’s attention. I wonder whether this $2.3 Million could now be redirected to restore football and other cut activities. For the full story on this issue go to www.fillsouthfirst.com.
So there you have it. Children are being used by the Board as a wedge to force voters to support the $130,000,000.00 Referendum 3.0. Unhappily, this cynical political ploy does not serve students, parents or taxpayers, but instead only serves to maintain the status quo of uncontrolled spending, student imbalance issues, curriculum inequity and segregation within the District.
Thinking Outside the Box
Businessman and entrepreneur Zach Mottl has put his money where his mouth is and has organized a fund raising effort to save the football programs at Central and South. Mr. Mottl has pledged $35,000.00 of his own money along with an additional $100,000.00 in pledges to save these programs with the goal of raising $275,000.00. This is the way to serve and support children and not use them as political pawns.
Let’s think outside the box even further and see where Mr. Mottl’s example could go. Why not start a district-wide foundation designed to support specific district projects and/or assist student-based programs and activities. This foundation could be supported by private and corporate funding and serve as a pillar of the District.
Unhappily, this Board and its Administration cannot think outside the box. Rather it is stuck in the Illinois mindset of spend, spend, spend at the taxpayers’ expense. When the money runs out, raise taxes and force referendums. Rinse and repeat.
Thank you again for staying engaged. Remember, it is your tax money, not the Board’s. You can tell the Board how to use it.
Received on 1/7/2019