Clarification of sidebar “The 2009 campaign has begun” (News, March 12):

In response to Trustee Conti’s question “By raising property taxes?” (March 5 Finance Committee meeting), I suggested several alternatives for remedying the $3 million deficit relative to the pension liabilities of retired police officers (and survivors), none of which included increasing the property tax levy.

Specifically:

1) Long-term bond issue(s), thereby lessening the near-term impact.

2) Reviewing the draft budget for proposed expenditures that could be delayed, thereby freeing up funds for the pensions.

3) The creation of an economic development capability for River Forest, thereby raising the tax base rather than taxes. In this regard I specifically cited Crain’s listing of the overwhelming majority of municipalities with this resource. Parenthetically, the River Forest Plan Commission has repeatedly urged the creation of this governmental function.

4) The defeasement of all, or part, of the TIF districts.

Contrary to trustees’ uniformed statements, at no time during my more than 30 years of voluntary services to our village have I recommended an increase in property taxes, or have served as treasurer of the police pension fund, as twice stated by [Trustee Patrick] O’Brien.

George A. Parry
River Forest

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