The following was submitted as a comment to our 04.24.17 post by Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 Board member Tom Sotos. We are choosing, instead, to print it here as a stand-alone “guest” post because it demonstrates the kind of irresponsible, anti-H.I.T.A., anti-taxpayer, unaccountable mindset that permeates the current rubber-D-64 Board under Tony “Who’s The Boss?” Borrelli, lead sock-puppet for Supt. Laurie “I’m The Boss!” Heinz.
Hopefully this Monday night will herald an end to D-64’s Star Chamber, anti-H.I.T.A. form of government with the exit of four compulsive rubber-stampers and the arrival of four new members who might not all be Heinz’s pawns.
It’s a shame that Mr. Trizna, who obviously is well informed and educated in these matters, didn’t mobilize and follow the procedures to halt this vote.
Mr. Trizna knows full well how he could have been heard. He knows exactly what he could have done to lead a challenge to be the voice of the tax payers.
Yet, it appears that Mr. Trizna only cares to be a voice with no action.
Why, Mr. Trizna, did you wait until it was too late to speak up?
Why did you fail your followers and not inform them that they could have petitioned. Why didn’t you inform them and lead the charge?
You claim the board was secretive. Yet the board held multiple discussions surrounding this matter in open session over the course of several meetings.
I can’t blame the regular tax payer of PR for not sitting through these meetings or viewing them on line.
However, you sir, have proven that you will sit through many meeting videos to gather your information.
How is it possible that you didn’t care enough, when you could have made a “difference”?
Your readers, if upset with the board, should be more upset with you. You are the one they look to for information and guidance.
Either way. Thank [sic] guy for not using many insults in your recent article. It shows growth.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tilted Kilt Tommy:
You seem to be confused.
Back on May 4, 2015, only one of us raised his hand to “solemnly swear that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of member of the Board of Education…to the best of my ability”; or to “respect taxpayers’ interests by serving as a faithful protector of the school district’s assets.”
That was you.
I swore my oath to Park Ridge’s taxpayers and residents as a Library Board trustee, first in 2011 and again in 2014. And I take that oath as seriously as a heart attack.
But my civic duty, either as a LIbrary trustee or as the publisher of this blog, isn’t to do yours for you.
Although recounting how you have dishonored that oath and betrayed not only the taxpayers but, also, the students and parents of D-64 over your past two years on the Board could occupy the rest of this Note, I’ll confine my comments to your disrespect for D-64’s taxpayers’ interests in just the past month or so regarding non-referendum debt.
At the March 13 Board meeting, before casting your vote to issue $9.25 million of debt certificates, did you care enough about those taxpayers to ask, on the record, why the District should be borrowing $9.25 million (and running up an extra $2.5 million in interest charges on those certificates) as part of a $30 million borrowing plan – without going to referendum, even if just an advisory one?
At that same March 13 meeting, before casting your vote to declare the Board’s intention to issue $20 million of working cash bonds (“WCB”s), did you care enough about the taxpayers to ask Finance Minister Luann Kolstad why her cover memorandum (at Appendix 7 of the Board’s meeting packet) didn’t explain the “backdoor referendum” process for those WCBs, the 30-day period within which citizens could circulate petitions to force a referendum on them, and how many signatures they would need?
At that same March 13 meeting, did you care enough about the taxpayers to ask Kolstad to publicly explain the vital details of that WCB backdoor referendum petition process before you voted to start that process running?
At any time prior to that March 13 meeting did you care enough about the taxpayers to propose a public hearing at which “the Board shall explain the reasons for the proposed bond issue and permit persons desiring to be heard an opportunity to present written or oral testimony…” before the March 13 meeting at which the vote to start the process was scheduled to be taken?
Obviously, you didn’t care enough about either the “taxpayers’ interests” or your oath of office to make sure the taxpayers got that vital WCB information early enough so that they might have been able to do something with it.
But you certainly were smarmy enough to finally ask Kolstad at Monday night’s meeting – after the 30-day petition period had conveniently elapsed – the $64,000 Question (at the 13:50 mark of the meeting video):
“Can you explain what right the community had, and what the process is [for forcing a backdoor referendum by citizen petition]?”
How honest and transparent you pretended to be when you asked that, knowing the backdoor referendum process was at an end and that no annoying taxpayers would be challenging your backdoor borrow-and-spend plans.
You claim the Board “held multiple discussions surrounding this matter in open session over the course of several meetings” but I challenge you to produce minutes of any meeting held this year that even mention the terms “backdoor referendum,” “citizens’ petition” and “30-day petition period”?
Even on Monday night, in response to some solid questions by resident Moira Collins during the too-little-too-late “public hearing” (starting at the 9:12 mark of the meeting video and continuing to the 28:28 mark), when Borrelli and Kolstad referred to the WCBs as “non-referendum bonds” instead of “backdoor referendum bonds,” did you correct them?
And when Ms. Collins, clearly perplexed by all the double-talk and arguably irrelevant chatter coming from Borrelli and Kolstad, asked (at the 13:13 mark of the meeting video) where she could find the information with which she was being bombarded – and was told by the District’s D.H. Blair bond lady that “It’s all on the Board video and Board minutes, you can just look over the last year at those” – did you suggest that respecting the “taxpayers’ interests” means something more than dismissively telling them to go look at a year’s worth of videos, minutes and Board packets?
Instead, you asked: “How does using bonds differ from going to referendum?”
Seriously, Tilted Tommy?
Fortunately, starting this Monday, taxpayers will have two real attorneys on the Board who not only will be able to explain the difference between “using bonds” and a “referendum” but, also, are much more likely to take the oath they swear that night far more seriously, and honor it far more diligently, than you have. And, unlike you and your fellow pawns of Supt. Heinz, they will bring with them an uncompromising demand for a level of transparency that you and your cronies loathe.
Then we’ll see if you can demonstrate any “growth.”
Robert J. Trizna
Editor & Publisher
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