Don't reward D97 for not doing its job

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I am voting no on the District 97 referendum and encourage all other Oak Park citizens to do the same thing for three reasons:

1. The district is already getting more tax dollars from us every year. So, we are already giving them more funds to work with.

2. The District 97 administration knew exactly how much money they had in their budget, and they still went ahead and spent more. That is mismanagement. What they are spending it on is what statistically looks like lavish pay raises, more staff than is required to get the job done and questionable options that we are being told are necessities. They don't see it that way and that is the problem.

3. It is our duty to vote no on the referendum because it is the only way we have to express our unhappiness with the way things are being mismanaged. A yes vote rewards the administration for not doing their job properly. Property taxes are completely out of control and this vote is the only control we get.

Tom MacMillan
Oak Park

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Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 9:24 PM

No...I can't afford to go to Hinsdale. Since I'm feeling pretty disillusioned with our civic processes and mgmt I'm pretty bummed about it. I can tell you this though. Unless the schools perform better, I will find the money for private school.


Posted: April 4th, 2011 5:49 PM

Kicking the can down the road so the very children attending district 97 will have to pay our debts is not the lesson i want to teach my children. Vote no equals reform. Vote yes means more debt for our children.

was Undecided now No  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 4:08 PM

I suggest all who are in favor of No to VOTE. The Yes supporters are highly motivated. I even saw a car with the yes referendum sign on it. We can beat this we just need to get out and vote.


Posted: April 4th, 2011 3:49 PM

@Curious: Only 6% of OP's property taxes go to Cook County. The rest goes to local entities, primarily schools. Hinsdale is a much wealthier community, perhaps one that wealthy 'Yes' voters can afford to flee to when OP taxes get too high or their own kids finish grade school. Hinsdale has $690K in property tax base behind each student compared to OP's $320K. However, D97 spends irrespective of our means to pay, so yes, OP's tax rate is 50% higher than Hinsdale's.

JennyWren from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 3:36 PM

Cook County is not why OP taxes are high -- they account for about $2,000 of a $10,000 OP tax bill. Across North Avenue in western Galewood, a house of the same size I am paying $10K in taxes for has taxes of $3,000 or less.


Posted: April 4th, 2011 2:34 PM

@Patricia - Part of the reason for the lower property taxes could be attributed to the fact that most of Hinsdale is in DuPage County rather than Cook County. Cook County taxes are notoriously high.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 1:45 PM

I'll vote yes, but the tax thing definitely needs to be looked at.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 1:45 PM

I have enjoyed a couple of visits to Hinsdale yesterday and decided to check out real estate there. I was astounded to find out that their taxes are significantly lower than Oak Park. Significantly.

Fed Up Plus Some from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 1:41 PM

Property taxes are indeed out of control and have been for years. My long term question: how long until the conversation turns to closing schools because many people move out of the village (Westchester seems like Oak Park West) once their kids cycle through the schools and an insufficient number of families can afford to buy the homes being vacated. Talk about factors eroding property values. This referendum is the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time.

JennyWren from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 1:30 PM

Many people can't figure out how their taxes get so high and one reason is the apathy of voters who feel that OP's irresponsible spending is inevitable and there's nothing they can do except challenge their assessments. Here's something we can do to force an entity to live within its means or look at alternatives like consolidating the school districts. Get out and vote NO and make sure that anyone you know that cannot cut any more out of their own budgets gets to the polls.

Another NO Vote from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2011 4:39 AM

Nicely put. I couldn't agree more. VOTE NO...and bring 10-12 friends with you tomorrow who will do the same.

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