Who do you trust?

Who do you trust when seeking information about the High School District #113 Referendum Proposal, and the Long Term Facility Master Plan for Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools?

Who do you trust? 

Ultimately, when trying to sort out “real” information from dis and mis-information, one goes to trusted sources. So who do you trust?  And the first question is:  Does this source, or person, have an interest, an axe to grind, so to speak?  

Do you trust seven elected community members, The Board of
Education of High School District #113, who volunteer considerable time and
effort in the service of the public interest? They clearly have an interest in furthering public education in our District.  We elected them for that very
reason, in part because no matter how many of us have reservations about the
cost, the politics, or the value of certain things, we pretty much all agree that a superior secondary public education system is necessary and desirable in our community.  So have they lost credibility simply because they see the need for significant improvements in the facilities for which they are responsible?  

Alright, who else do you trust?  Do you trust over 100 community members, also volunteers, who spent countless hours evaluating the existing facilities while extensively consulting with leading industry professionals, and for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing that they helped represent their community in making an important decision?  

Who else might you trust? 
Might you trust a steering committee, made up of six highly credentialed
professionals from our community, some of whom were very skeptical at the start, also volunteers, who unanimously agreed that these needs at our two high
schools demanded a solution, and then crafted one, again by collaborating with
recognized experts in school construction and facility management? 

What about people, who now that a plan has been presented,
have stepped up voluntarily and taken an active role to ensure that our high
school facilities continue to support the exceptional educational outcomes that
our community has come to expect?  Would it help to know that the majority of those I have described have few or no children remaining to be educated at the high school level, and they therefore have , “no axe to grind” except to do what they truly feel is best for the future of our community? 

Who do I trust?  I trust the people who have chosen to reside in this place, my neighbors, to seek out trusted sources and make sure the information upon which they base their decisions is accurate.  And if you can’t trust all of these people, then who can you trust? 

I’m voting YES?  What about you?

Disclosure:  The author has sent one sharp axe off to be dulled by the rigors of real life.  He has three hatchets in various stages of honing, and 3 little axelets unground.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Walter White February 22, 2013 at 01:06 PM
The spin continues from CLEAR or E1. Just because 100 people came up with a plan doesn't mean it's right for 50,000 people. The reality is you don't have to trust anyone. Check that. If you vote yes you WILL have to trust that the board and administration (the same ones that put us in a 120 million dollar hole) will spend the money the way they say they will. Read the information, determine the pros and cons, and make your own decision.
RonnieTheLimoDriver February 22, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Spot on. 3 sides to every story. The sides of the two disagreeing parties and the truth. All of us have to make our own decisions. Everybody has an agenda. Both sides have distorted the facts in their attempt to sway votes. The whole thing is distasteful.
RB February 22, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Agreed. This administration allowed one of the best Schools in the State to decay. As they tell us how bad things are...we have to ask how did it get so bad? We must make sure the oversight is there to prevent mismanagement in the future. Where's the accountability?
D'skidoc February 22, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Hey Walt? Didn't you ever take out a mortgage? Or an equity line? Rates are low. If trust didn't exist, we'd still be in the stone age. Cooperative effort requires trust. And better 100 people than 3 or 4. if you trust no-one, you might as well go to Montana or some-such place and hoard guns.
D'skidoc February 22, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Eventually there just isn't enough bondo and it's time for a full restoration or a replacement. No neglect...just the effects of time. Decay sounds so negative. How about well worn and thoroughly utilized.
D'skidoc February 22, 2013 at 02:42 PM
You're right Ron, it is distateful. Churchill said it's the worst form of government, except for all the others. Messy but necessary. Just like construction.
Walter White February 22, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Here we go again, when someone offers a differing opinion, referendum supporters come out with the insults.
Walter White February 22, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Rates are low? Damn, I'd better go buy that $5 million house I can't afford.
Ken Robertson February 22, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Holding "this administration" responsible for the the condition of 50, 60, 70 year-old facilities? Is "this administration" responsible for decisions made in the '50's that don't meet today's needs? I just don't get that. It's not like HPHS building C was disoconnected from the rest of the school and had bathrooms/locker rooms 5 years ago, or the DHS library was "lowered" to prevent access, or 70-year old boilers were installed in 2010. This isn't a maintenance project - it's an upgrade to meet today's needs and those for the next 20-30+ years.
Richard H Heineman Jr February 22, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Walter White it is easy to make Incendiary and incorrect statements when you are hiding behind a made up name. We use our real names, why are you afraid to?
Walter White February 22, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Stop whining about names. Nobody cares. What incorrect statements have I made?
DeerfieldResident February 22, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Walter, here's an incorrect statement you made: "If you vote yes you WILL have to trust that the board and administration (the same ones that put us in a 120 million dollar hole) will spend the money the way they say they will." 1) We are not in a $120 million dollar hole. There's no hole, just a need to upgrade the facilities. 2) The current board and administration have not been on board for the last 50 years, so stop blaming them for doing the right thing now.
Walter White February 22, 2013 at 07:12 PM
I beg to differ. Funds for the upgrades should have been planned for and made available through proper financial management. It's like me saying my roof's falling in and the basement's flooded, but it's not because of improper management, I just need to do some upgrades.
RB February 22, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Okay, I'll go with well worn. I still impress upon the Administration that there is no longer an unlimited threshold for property taxes. Pensions are still looming. Spend wisely. I agree they need to modernize, particularly in the ADA areas. A little less money to the Park Districts to make up for the tax increase going to the schools would really please me!
D'skidoc February 22, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Darn right Walter. Go open an equity line and get the g d roof and sump pump fixed. Did you pay cash for your house? You save for the down payment and finance the rest. Real world Walter.
D'skidoc February 22, 2013 at 07:28 PM
RB, why are you always barking at the wrong tree. If you've got issues with the Park District, then go there, not here. This is about high schools; nothing more, nothing less.
RB February 22, 2013 at 07:43 PM
The Park District is just one example. Look at your tax bill. It all adds up! That's my point. These improvements are needed, and the supply of taxpayer dollars is limited. Somebody needs to prioritize. Another District will be asking for money soon, and plan to say I voted for Schools and not swing sets. That's all. The vitriol is not needed.
Walter White February 22, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Actually what I did was put aside a little money every paycheck since the LAST roof replacement. Real world, Ski. I know I'm probably in the minority of people who do this, but if homeowners were getting paid 200K+ per year to be the Supt of their homes, they'd probably use better financial planning.
James Dean February 22, 2013 at 07:51 PM
I can imagine the outcry if the administration and board 20 years ago said we are going to increase your property taxes by $6.0 million a year now to build a $120 million reserve for future capital expenditure needs. They would have been laughed at, fired and voted out of office. I would argue that financing these capital costs at a time of low interest rates is proper financial management. Every organization I ever worked for had some level of debt financing for major capital expenditures. Please show me one school district that has paid cash for a major construction project of either a new school or major rehab of structures that are 50-100 years old.
Walter White February 22, 2013 at 07:55 PM
That's the beauty of good budgeting. You won't have to do that. You save and spend as you go. There would be no "major" construction project because repair and replacement would have happened along the way. And if for some reason the money to do it wasn't there, you cut spending. Maybe we don't need such a large district staff. Maybe we don't need to give administrators the perks they are receiving. Over 20 years, it all adds up.
Walter White February 22, 2013 at 07:57 PM
And if you do have to borrow it's not an outrageous number. Go to the voters for 20 million instead of 120 and see how it goes over.
forest barbieri February 22, 2013 at 08:33 PM
The obvious answer is yourself. Each of us needs to decide what we value and how we value it. Do we value inadequate or adequate facilities for our children's education? do we value quality education ? Do we value our homes' value and marketability which is tied to those facities and quality of education? The talk of mismanagement et al is rubish. Things wear out, including humans, Requiring investment , refurbishment and replacement parts . I am voting YES! No key told me to, I figured it out on my own! An easy decision in our family!
Walter (Tripp) Hainsfurther February 22, 2013 at 09:31 PM
I agree with Forest regarding who to trust. The District has all of the facts on their website as to how we arrived at this recommendation. Every set of study group notes is there for those of you who wish to educate yourselves. As far as coordination between taxing bodies, that would be great if this was a perfect world. Illinois has the second highest number of taxing districts in the country (behind Pennsylvania.) WHy aren't you demanding an end to things like township government, the mosquito abatement district and the sanitary district? Finally, I agree with "James Dean." If the district socked away all that money, folks would want lower taxes. "Walter", unfortunately the way we use buildings change. Schools don't operate the way they did when we were kids. Instead of just the three "R's" there are the 4 C's, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Critical Thinking. The classroom needs to look different to accomplish these things. Its like a City that doesn't replace it's facilities for 50 years. They issue binds to rebuild them (see the Highland Park police and fire headquarters, City Hall, water park, etc.) There are no guarantees in life, but your fellow citizens have made a number of the past transgressions issues and the Board seems to be acting on them. Our continued vigalence will hold them accountable, or they will be replaced.
Deerfield Resident February 23, 2013 at 04:30 PM
RB. You seem to post 24/7? Lots of time on your hands? The people paying the taxes are the ones working for it - typical liberal - wants to spend other people's money! You want to limit the park district $. Aren't you the one on another post who defended the library expense - wow that was a great way to keep up with other communities!!!!! And to have a place to go to check out videos, books on cd's and to research your family tree! Oh boy! Sometimes you have to say NO.... NO in a time where money is tight and wait until things get better thus the meaning of conservative! Obviously you don't get that because it's not your money - it's other people's thus the meaning of liberal....
RB February 23, 2013 at 05:34 PM
You really should try to control your obsession with me. Sully, Just Sayin and I are flattered. Apparently, the fact that we are not as deeply grounded in a specific ideology as you are really gets to you. The facts are that the schools need this work to be done. I've expressed my concern that we are taxed by multiple Taxing Districts ( not just school districts) and some of these taxing bodies have an abundance of funds to spend (ie: my comments about the Park District) while others are having to ask for more money. Spending on our schools is a first priority (after basic Village services and infrastructure) as far as I'm concerned. Spending to build things like the underpass at Deerfield road and the nice new swing sets at Woodland Park represent our tax dollars being spent without overall prioritization.
Deerfield Resident February 23, 2013 at 06:38 PM
It's directed at the 3 musketeers because your're probably the same person and your views are consistently intolerable...believe me, I have no obsession about you similar to the theme I'm trying to get away from on our last battle. I see you said nothing about the library expenditure I mentioned.....you just mention schools which , of course , we believe s/b top rate - there's no argument there w/o looking bad - I'm not touching that. But sometimes you have to say no when the money isn't there and my point is you liberals don't get that. If you ran your household like local and fed govt's spend money when they don't have it....you 'd be in the poor house. But then again you'd then ask for more money to bail people like yourselves out. It's a never ending battle with liberals or..... spenders! Anything someone needs....no matter if we have to borrow from china or mortgage our kids futures.... Just like all Illinois liberals... Tax and spend. Learn to say NO once in awhile.
forest barbieri February 26, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Sorry about typo's. Was on a four hour delay in Denver Airport, tired and typing on iPhone:)


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