Nearing the end of the school year, Downers Grove’s elementary school district is essentially lending itself money to pay its bills until summer.
Grade School District 58 school board members recently approved a measure to move $7.1 million of the district’s working cash into four different fund categories. According to financial records, the district has about $8.7 million in cash on hand.
District Controller Jim Popernik told board members that moving the funds is necessary to cover costs until the next fiscal year starts in July.
“Half of our funds will be in the deficit position before we get to June,” Popernik said.
As part of the vote, the board agreed to transfer $6 million to the education fund, $700,000 to transportation, $250,000 to retirement, and $150,000 to debt service.
The Illinois State Board of Education recently released data showing that nearly 62 percent of all Illinois school districts also are dipping into their reserves or borrowing to compensate for shortfalls.
District 58′s budget for the year planned for about $56.7 million in revenues and $57.7 million in expenses for its operating funds. The state requires the district to submit a deficit reduction plan if there is not enough money to cover the difference in an unbalanced budget. District 58, however, has more than $22 million left over from operating funds, according to budget documents.
Still, needing to borrow its own money at some point has become modus operandi for the district.
Read More | Chicago Tribune
Last Thursday, members of 20 chambers of commerce welcomed 575 attendees at the new Sheraton Hotel at 3000 Warrenville Road in Lisle, IL. The luncheon featured a business EXPO and keynote speaker Jeanne Malnati, founder and CEO of The Culture Group and key consultant in her family’s business, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria.
The event opened with a business EXPO featuring 40 businesses. Gene Salle of Yonan Carpets & Flooring said, “I wouldn’t miss this EXPO; it’s the best exposure for business leaders in northern Illinois.”
Jeanne Malnati’s high energy presentation focused on building a healthy workplace for employees who will love arriving to work each day. Jeanne Malnati challenged the audience to “…take the time to talk and listen to colleagues to create clear communication and trust in the workplace. This is a key component in making a business a good place to work.” It’s NOT all about the pizza!
“This Multi-Chamber luncheon had every component of successful business acumen: networking, tremendous business insight and an opportunity to showcase a company or find a credible vendor,” said Laura Crawford, President & CEO of the Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The 20 participating Chambers are: Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, GOA, Hinsdale, Lemont, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Villa Park, Western DuPage, West Suburban, Westmont, Wheaton, and Woodridge.
This has been a particularly tough and public race. Both sides were passionate about supporting their candidate and that’s a good thing, because we need people to become reengaged with their government and the democratic process. But this current race has come to an end and I want to congratulate Representative Sandack and his supporters for their dedication. Further, I encourage all of us to come together to ensure that Mr. Sandack holds onto this seat for the Republican Party in November.
Matune Endorsed by Downers Grove Village Council Commissioner David Olsen
Cites Ability to Fight for Conservative Reforms in Springfield
March 14, 2014 – Downers Grove, Illinois – This morning Downers Grove Village Council Commissioner David S. Olsen announced his endorsement of Keith Matune in the District 81 race for State Representative.
“As a representative of our community, I look for candidates that not only share our local values, but also will be tireless advocates for taxpayers and families right here in Downers Grove,” Olsen said. “I believe Keith Matune will take on the Springfield establishment, making the case for conservative reforms to protect taxpayers and families,” stated Olsen. “Keith has been a leader on the District 99 High School Board in the fight to save taxpayers money and preserve high-quality education, and I look forward to what he will be able to accomplish as an advocate for the entire district.”
Of the endorsement, Matune stated that he was “truly thankful to have the support [of] such an effective community leader. I am resolved to bring the values of Commissioner Olsen and the families of District 81 to the Illinois General Assembly.”
12/21/2004- Sandack’s YES vote to raise aggregate tax levy 9% in one year
Sandack quoted in meeting minutes: “They have Home Rules Sale Tax that will sunset by its own terms relatively soon. He has no intent to resurrect that tax.”
Direct link to VoDG meeting minutes:http://www.downers.us/minutes/2004/2004/12/21/december-21-2004
3/7/2006- Sandack’s first vote to keep Home Rule Sales Tax instead of letting it sunset.
Direct link to VoDG meeting Minutes:http://www.downers.us/minutes/2006/2006/03/07/march-07-2006
12/18/2007- Sandack’s second vote to raise Home Rule Sales Tax rate from 1/2% to 3/4%, a 50% hike.
Direct link to VoDG meeting Minutes:http://www.downers.us/minutes/2007/2007/12/18/december-18-2007
12/15/2009- Sandack’s third vote to raise Home Rule Sales Tax rate from 3/4% to 1%, a 33% hike.
Direct links to VoDG meeting: Minutes:http://www.downers.us/public/docs/agendas/2009/12-15-2009/ORD_00-03986.pdfhttp://www.downers.us/minutes/2009/2009/12/15/december-15-2009
12/18/2007- Sandack voted YES to raise local portion of telecommunications tax from 5% to 6%, hoping to add $410,000 in 2008 and $820,000 in 2009 to resident’s tax burden.
Sandack quoted in minutes: “This is the highest amount that can be taxed.”
Direct link to VoDG minutes:
8/3/2010- Sandack voted YES to a labor contract with the 911 operators. That VOC contract hikes pay as high as 8% in one year. Higher paid employees get bigger percentage pay raises, and one employee receives 15.76% pay increases over a three year period starting in 2010, a year tax payers saw their incomes shrink and their village property taxes go up over 5%
Sandack quoted in minutes: “he thought the agreement to be fair and a good deal for all.”
See pages 28 and 29 for the exact salary spiking.
4/13/2011- Sandack voted YES to approve a Consent Agenda that contained a $5,000 annual salary increase for Village Manager effective immediately and a $10,000 bonus in 2010 payable in two equal installments on October 1, 2011 and May 1, 2012. Several residents in attendance objected to the rushed payout on the consent agenda, and because they were told money did not exist for other budget items (data source Triblocal.com).
2010 Salary as per Open The Books: $140,000.12
Sandack quote at meeting: “It is probably unhealthy to have a large debate about what we’re paying the village manager and invite a week or two of hearings on what we’re paying him.”
2007-2010 (property taxes lag by one year).
Village property taxes increased 16.9%, and represent approx 25% of village General Fund Revenues, and 8% of Total Appropriation.
Fairy tales aside, here is the complete Sandack General Assembly record, complete without interruption or spin.
As an appointed Senator Sandack was one of the lowest rated Republicans by For The Good Of Illinois.
96th General Assembly (appointed)
SB3539 Sandack said he supports the death penalty especially for the most heinous crimes, but voted Yes to abolish the death penalty without exception, even for the most heinous crimes.
HB3659 Sandack said he’s for business and jobs, but voted Yes for the Amazon Tax that made Illinois toxic to internet businesses. The Illinois Supreme Court later ruled this bill unconstitutional.
HB5154 Sandack said he’s for transparency but voted Yes to restrict FOIA access to specific content of many records previously open to FOIA.
97th General Assembly (elected)
HB1716 Sandack again said he supports government transparency, but voted Yes again to restrict the number of records accessible by watchdog groups and citizens.
SB1698 Sandack said he’s for business and jobs, but voted Yes for a Workman’s Comp bill that forces businesses to pay for injuries sustained outside of work. Insurance premiums are up to three times higher than neighboring states, crushing manufacturing and other private sector jobs. The bill has been called “a boon to lawyers by increasing cost and frequency of litigation.” Sandack is a lawyer.
NOTE: Sandack this year, in response to Quinn’s SOTS address, cited the hostile Workman’s Comp laws as a major issue, but did not note he voted for this bill.
SB1652 Sandack said he opposes higher consumer costs and taxes for energy, but voted Yes to the Smart Grid Bill which increases cost for all forms of energy, increases taxes charged due to larger bills, guarantees increased profits for existing power companies, and prevents free market, lower cost, competition.
SB1849 Sandack said he opposes expanding gambling, but voted Yes to the largest expansion of gambling in Illinois history.
SB2185 Sandack voted yes for the Illinois DREAM Act allowing illegal aliens to displace and prevent legal residents from attending tax dollar supported state universities.
SB957 Sandack also voted Yes to give illegal aliens valid Illinois Driver’s Licenses.
SB0010 Sandack said he’d support a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman, and promised to fight to overturn the Civil Union Bill he voted against, but then voted Yes for gay marriage.
98th General Assembly (second year of term)
SB001 Sandack said he supports real pension reform, but then voted Yes for a bad pension bill that public policy experts say locks in the recent tax increase, as well as potential future tax increases, by continuing deficit funding of pension funds.
HB1522 Sandack said he opposed taxes and burdening taxpayers, but then was lead co-sponsor of the DuPage County Rain Tax, if adopted the single largest tax increase in DuPage County’s history. Language in the bill circumvents DuPage County voter approval via binding referendum.
DGTRO officially endorses Truax, Miller, Reboletti, Matune, Cantore, and Kleeman for Primary
Downers Grove, Ill. – The Downers Grove Township Republican Organization (DGTRO) released the following statement after issuing its final endorsements for the 2014 Illinois Republican Primary.
“We are proud to announce that over 75% of Downers Grove Township precinct committeemen voted to endorse Doug Truax for U.S. Senate, Bert Miller for Congress (IL-11), Dennis Reboletti for State Senate (S47), Keith Matune for State Representative (H81), Joe Cantore for DuPage Forest Preserve President, and Bob Kleeman Circuit Court Judge,” said DGTRO Chairman Brian Krajewski. “The extremely high threshold to secure our endorsement proves that our committeemen stand united to back these great campaigns.”
“Over the past few months, our endorsed candidates worked hard to earn our support by meeting with committeemen and voters, discussing the major issues facing Illinois, and building effective campaigns that are able to win in November,” said Krajewski, who also serves as the DuPage County Republican Party Vice Chairman. “With the primary election approaching next week, we strongly believe that these are the best candidates to deliver a refreshing, conservative, and compelling message to general election voters.”
The following are the DGTRO precinct committeemen endorsement vote percentages for the upcoming March 18th primary:
Doug Truax 89%
Bert Miller 75%
Dennis Reboletti 76%
Keith Matune 83%
Joe Cantore 88%
Bob Kleeman 96%
“Get out and vote!” added Krajewski. “Your committeemen are working hard to help our candidates, now we need your support in voting.”
In January, the DGTRO also endorsed Kirk Dillard for Governor and Bob Grogan for Treasurer.
Downers Grove Township is the largest township in DuPage County and the largest Republican township in Illinois. It is comprised of 136 precincts and over 146,000 residents.
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has selected Jeff Grant, a science teacher at North High, to receive the 2014 PASCO STEM Educator Award for his exemplary science teaching skills. The PASCO STEM Educator award recognizes excellence and innovation in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
Grant is one of five winners nationwide, and one of two high school teacher recipients. He was selected in part based on his implementation of an innovative “inquiry-based, technology-infused” STEM program for students. Specifically, one of the projects Grant has been working on has been in partnership with the Morton Arboretum to record the DNA sequence of oak trees in their laboratory and preparing samples of sedges for students to analyze. Students worked with morphological data from the sedges to make connections to the geographical distribution and DNA sequences of various species. These connections allowed them to develop novel scientific questions and intriguing research pathways.
Grant is one of five winners nationwide, and one of two high school teacher recipients. He was selected in part based on his implementation of an innovative “inquiry-based, technology-infused” STEM program for students. Specifically, one of the projects Grant has been working on has been in partnership with the Morton Arboretum to record the DNA sequence of oak trees and preparing samples for students to analyze.
“What makes this project so beneficial for our students has been the real science aspects of it, and working alongside professional scientists,” Grant. “This project wasn’t designed for them to find a specific answer, and the conclusions they made have been released to the international scientific community.”
“Whether it’s his work with the Morton Arboretum or any of the other science lessons he creates, Jeff always makes a positive impact on student learning and we’re proud of him for being recognized,” says North High Science Department Chair Mike Heinz. “His passion for science is contagious, and our students benefit so much from his leadership.”
As part of his award, Grant will receive funding to attend the NSTA national conference in Boston in the spring, where he will be honored and also be part of a STEM share-a-thon workshop. He will also receive a monetary gift and scientific products for his classroom.
For more information about the NSTA, visit www.nsta.org.
Like a lot of people I did some stupid things when I was in college and I’m truly sorry for the missteps I took. During this campaign those regrettable moments have become public. Like everyone, I have matured and have spent the last 20 years becoming a husband, father of four, Illinois Teacher of the Year, IHSA Coach of the Year, and School Board Member.
Everything that I have said about the missteps I took back then is absolutely true. The only person lying to you in this race is Ron Sandack.
He lied to you when he said he wouldn’t raise your taxes.
He lied to you when he said he would protect Traditional Marriage.
And he is lying to you now when he says I broke into a ‘women’s dormitory’ in January, 1994. The purpose of this last lie is to deliberately mislead the voters and smear me.
It is false. It is false. It is false. And Ron Sandack knows it to be false. But he is so accustomed to lying to you and so desperate to hold onto political office that he is willing to destroy, using verified falsehoods, the core character of an opponent in his own party.
In 1994, a couple of fraternity brothers and I went back into our old fraternity house. It was vacant. It was empty. No one lived there. The police were called and all charges were dropped when they realized we had keys to the building.
Several months later the fraternity house was converted into housing for female students. I have never stepped foot in that building since female students have lived there. The attached documents show Shoemaker Cooperative did not even own or occupy the property at the time of the incident.
• County Parcel Report shows the property was transferred to the Shoemaker Cooperative in February, 1994, after the time of the incident.
• Shoemaker Historical Record demonstrates residents did not occupy the building until the Fall 1994.
I got into this race because I was tired of the direction Chicago Democrats have taken our great state. Ron Sandack has proven time and again that he shares not just their ideology but their political tactics as well. Enough is enough.
The people of the 81st District deserve better.
Together we can send Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan, Ron Sandack and all the bullies back to Chicago where they belong. Vote Keith Matune for State Representative on March 18th.
Keith Matune, Candidate for Illinois State Representative
1. Highlighted in the 2009 Parcel Report: The property at 351 Northwestern Ave. was transferred from the Purdue Research Foundation to the Purdue Shoemaker Cooperative in February, 1994.
2. Highlighted in Shoemaker Historical Record Book, the October 1994 article from the Purdue Exponent: The Shoemaker Cooperative residents moved in to the residence in the fall of 1994. over the summer, the residence underwent significant rehabilitations. Prior to this, the home was vacant.
By Dawn Rhodes, Tribune reporter
Incumbent Ron Sandack and Downers Grove school board member Keith Matune are vying for the Republican nomination for the 81st Illinois House District, using social media to deliver their message to voters in the district that hits several suburbs in southern DuPage County.
Daily chatter about the race has kicked up on social media, particularly on Twitter, where the candidates have taken different approaches. The majority of Matune’s messages have criticized Sandack’s positions and record.
“In a grass roots campaign like mine, social media is a great way to reach people at a low cost,” Matune said. “We try to touch on as many issues affecting the people as possible.”
Sandack maintains two Twitter accounts and rarely tweets about Matune by name or even by reference.
“I used social media when I was Mayor of Downers Grove during floods and power outages,” Sandack said. “I use it as a means of communicating with people. It has nothing to do with the primary.” Nevertheless, the two have managed to lob zingers each other’s way.
In one recent exchange, Matune tweeted his contention that Sandack is more sympathetic to the Democratic party than to Republicans.
“Sandack is against term limits for (House Speaker Michael) Madigan,” the tweet reads. “The contradiction suggests that he seeks higher office and doesn’t want to be limited by term limits!”
After a local attorney tweeted his support for Matune’s position, Sandack fired back the next day.
“You’re wrong,” the tweet reads. “I want term limits 4 all legislators. I’ve had a TL bill for 2 years now. Look it up. #factsmatter.”
State records show Sandack as the sponsor of resolutions to put a 10-year limit on serving in the Illinois General Assembly.
Matune has staked his campaign on trying to discredit Sandack’s commitment to Republican tenets, while Sandack maintains he has a realistic approach that will succeed on behalf of constituents.
But the candidates have similar positions on many key issues. Both candidates extol the need for pension reform throughout the state and decry a multi-layered system of government they say takes too much money from the wallets of taxpayers. Both say that the state must more efficiently draw businesses and jobs to Illinois, and provide high-quality educational opportunities for every child.
Matune is focusing many of his attacks questioning Sandack’s sources for campaign donations and accusing him of flip-flopping on his positions, most notably same-sex marriage legislation.
Sandack said he changed his mind on the issue, so he broke party lines to support same-sex marriage in 2013. He is currently sponsoring bills to freeze tax levies in school and community college districts, to prevent legislators from enrolling in the state’s pension system after Jan. 1 of this year and term limits.
Sandack said that working with Democrats is a critical strategic move to help advance legislation favorable to the district.
“I have the ability to work across the aisle,” he said. “(Matune) is taking a very hard, ideological position which may impress the primary voters but accomplishes nothing downstate.”
Matune disputes that, criticizing Sandack for wasting time with “trivial” issues, such as the representative’s focus on improving the governing of the region’s public transit agencies.
“These are just grandstanding issues,” Matune said. “We can do better than this. There are more important things affecting the people of our district.”
State campaign finance records show Matune has raised $25,000 of donations exceeding $1,000 as of Feb. 24, his most recent report. The biggest contributions were $4,000 from Family-PAC, which opposes same-sex marriage legislation, and $10,000 from Liberty PAC, which is affiliated with the legal branch of the Illinois Policy Institute.
Citizens to Elect Ron Sandack held more than $135,500 in funds as of his most recent quarterly report, plus another $63,020 in donations $1,000 or larger. Sandack received $10,000 from the Stand for Children PAC, which advocates for educational opportunities for children and also formally endorsed Sandack in his re-election bid, according to its website. He also received $10,000 from a Chicago-based PAC called We Mean Business, which supports fiscal responsibility in the state, according to its description in state records.
Matune, 44, has served on the Community High School District 99 school board since 2011. He repeatedly has called for more responsible financing in the district and refused to support tax levy increases in each of the past two years. He chairs the social studies department at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, a position he said he will resign should his election bid succeed.
Sandack, 50, filled a Senate seat vacated when Dan Cronin became DuPage County Board Chairman in 2010. Sandack moved to the House in an uncontested election in 2012. Prior to that, he served as Mayor of Downers Grove.
District 81 comprises parts of Downers Grove, Woodridge, Lisle, Naperville, Bolingbrook, Darien and Westmont. There is no Democratic candidate on the ballot as Lisa Thomas of Woodridge was removed in January following an objection.
The primary will take place March 18.
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The Village of Downers Grove will be an early voting site for the March 18, 2014 General Primary Election.
Early voting will take place Monday, March 3, 2014, through Saturday, March 15, 2014 in the Committee Room at Village Hall, 801 Burlington Avenue. The hours for early voting will be:
- Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Please contact the DuPage County Election Commission at (630) 407-5600 for further information about early voting, including hours.
Absentee voting will be available to registered voters in DuPage County. For more information about absentee voting in person or by mail, contact the DuPageCounty Election Commission at (630) 407-5600.