District 207 referendum wins big in Park Ridge, but fails bigger in District 79’s area
If District 207’s tax increase referendum were only held in District 79, it would have failed by a large margin.
Unofficial numbers show total results at 27,671 in favor with 17,718 against.
But in the area of unincorporated Norwood Park Township, Harwood Heights, and Norridge served by District 79, the numbers were 992 NO to 576 YES.
Paul Hanley of George K Baum recently “advised” the District 79 board to wait until presidential elections in 2020 in order to take advantage of high Democrat Party turn out. Democrat voters are generally more supportive of tax increases, according to Hanley.
However the recently concluded congressional midterms and governor election of 2018 also had relatively high turnout, yet local voters rejected the D-207 referendum by a nearly two-to-one margin.
Taxes and taxpayer money laundering
At the District 207 board meeting on November 5th, residents expressed concern with large campaign contributions made to the YES 207 political action committee, including George K Baum, calling for an ethics investigation, as llinois law forbids public funds being used in referendum campaigns.
The law in question is the Illinois Election Interference Act (10 ILCS 5/9-25.1), which states that “No public funds shall be used to urge any elector to vote for or against any candidate or proposition, or be appropriated for political or campaign purposes to any candidate or political organization”.
The board did not address the issue, continuing on without missing a beat, confident its taxpayer-funded campaign would achieve the desired result… and they were correct.
Other residents spoke out about continually rising property taxes in the area, and requested a change in leadership at District 207.
District 207 has been consistently ranked as having some of the highest paid school employees in the entire state. Now the homeowners get to pay for it all.
Concerned homeowners in the District 79 area aren’t entirely without options however. A meeting held by regional superintendent Mark Klausner in September brought up an option of changing the high school feeder from D-207 to Ridgewood.
Residents in District 79 concerned about rising property taxes can also support the consolidation movement, which seeks to combine District 79 and 80 into a single school district, eliminating unnecessary duplicate costs, and making the grade schools operate more efficiently by sharing resources.
In life nothing is guaranteed except for death and taxes.
In Illinois we know that taxes are guaranteed to rise until we say NO… NO MORE TAXES.
This article has been edited to reflect changes in the unofficial voting numbers.