Note to readers: This letter appears in today's print edition with the incorrect number listed for Somonauk School District 432. The error was inserted by the Daily Chronicle staff, not the letter writer. We regret the error.
To the Editor:
It’s simple math. The recession has reduced home values by nearly 20 percent. As a direct result, Somonauk School District 432’s revenues have gone down by $1.2 million from three years ago. And the state has not been of much help.
It’s time for the citizens of Somonauk to take care of this problem ourselves. To do so, the school board has proposed a tax rate increase of 0.9 percent, which is intended to restore taxes to the same level as three years ago.
Because the proposed solution should not increase our real estate taxes above where they were in 2009, there is simply no good reason to oppose the referendum.
But some people do. Most who are opposed seem angry about something an administrator did at one time or another. To those who did not like past administrators, I say it is time to get over it. It is time to put that in the past and restore Somonauk’s future. Let’s not be the first generation to pass on less to our children than was given to us.
Many also believe the school system’s administrators are overpaid. But the schools are in trouble because of significantly decreased revenues, not because of increased costs or mismanagement. The fact is our administrative costs are among the lowest in the area. Furthermore, two administrative positions have been eliminated, and the current superintendent makes considerably less than the last one.
Administrators and teachers have accepted pay freezes the past few years. The school board has cut costs as much as it can without really negatively affecting the kids.
These measures have put us in position to now solve this problem without overburdening taxpayers by increasing taxes only to where they were before the recession started.
I have also spoken with people who feel they do not know enough about the referendum. To them I say that it is time to get informed. Check out www.citizensforsomonaukschools.com. And please attend our next meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the public library.
Finally, the majority of the people with whom I have spoken support the referendum. To them I say thank you.
Now is our chance to make a difference in our children’s lives and in the community. Now is our time to restore Somonauk’s future.