The following letter to Patch was submitted by Roger Kempa of Darien:
Hinsdale Township High School District 86 board members Claudia Manley, Ed Corcoran, Victor Casini and Richard Skoda have stated they will vote "yes" for a flat tax levy. They are to be applauded for using intelligence, empathy, consideration to multiple relevant factors, and professional demeanor in making this decision.
Having an open finance committee meeting to discuss the
tax levy prior to the preliminary vote at the November board meeting, not
required by law, demonstrated new openness, and an opportunity for anyone to
ask questions or make comments after a presentation by the district's audit
firm, financial consultant, and business office staff. Unlike previous years, a
draft copy of audited financial report and management letter were made
available at the beginning of the meeting. This provided an early opportunity for all to review those documents prior to the annual audit presentation and annual
tax levy approval at the December board meeting.
In previous years, only one factor was considered in determining the property tax levy and that was whether it was the maximum tax increase allowed by law (a "balloon tax levy"). It was not based upon need, financial condition and projections, analysis of costs, elimination of waste, and other factors. It was solely based upon the intent to collect the maximum tax bill from each and every taxpayer in District 86. Nothing beyond a simple calculation was required; there was no thought process.
Departure from this "tax and spend" ideology related to the annual tax levy is needed. Hopefully, board members Kay Gallo, Michael Kuhn and Jennifer Planson understand that and will demonstrate solidarity as one united board, voting "yes" for the flat levy.