Public Watchdog.org

D-64 Bd. Member Sotos: Trizna Failed To Do My Job On WCBs

04.28.17

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.

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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.

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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”; and 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?

No.

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?

No.

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?

No.

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?

No.

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?

No.

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?

No.

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

To read or post comments, click on title.

10 comments so far

Such a long post, yet not one question of mine answered.

Just like you to deflect. You claim to be this person who cares, but all you care about is being heard.

Your insults fall on deaf ears.

How can a man who looks at him self in the mirror daily think he is capable of identifying who is and who isn’t a real lawyer.

If being a real lawyer means I should be and think like Robert Trizna, well then I’m just happy letting the new guys be the “real lawyers”.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Poor Tilted Kilt Tommy, still so confused and lacking in understanding.

Let’s try it one more time: You’re the one who took the D-64 oath so you’re the one who is duty-bound to answer questions about D-64.

I’m the one who took the Library oath so I’m the one who is duty-bound to answer questions about the Library.

Don’t expect me to do your job and I won’t expect you to do mine.

And please, plese just continue to be yourself and keep telling us exactly what you think about local issues. Because by doing so, you perform the same valuable service to the taxpayers that former mayor Howard Frimark does: You provide us with a consistent benchmark of wrong.

And the outgoing board just “bumped” Heinz’s salary and extended her contract. Closed session again. Good riddance and hopefully Biagi, Sanchez, Ryles and Tiu will stop the madness.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s because only the outgoing Board – and only in closed session – is brilliant enough to know just what an outstanding job Heinz is doing.

You do realize that one of us cares about the tax payers and the other cares about being heard.

I am the one who chose to run for school board. I am the one who gives my time to the district and the tax payers. I am the one who tirelessly sits through meeting after meeting and reviews hundreds of pages of documents on my own time to prepare myself for those meetings.
I am the one who has to balance the needs of our schools with the needs of our taxpayers.
I have proven that I am exactly what I campaigned to be. I am an individual who will make decisions based on the topic at hand. I will weigh the needs of the district and taxpayers and make my decisions.
Some of those decisions save the taxpayer money and some cost the taxpayer money.
Unfortuantley, this is necessary as it is the taxpayer who funds our schools.
I have worked for transparency where it is possible and where I was able to garner enough support.
I, sir, care for the children, the condition of our schools, the teachers and of course our funding body the taxpayers (of which I am one).
You sit at home or at work or wherever and blog your complaints.
I feel I did my job and did it well. You have detailed above how you feel I have not.
Why didn’t you then jump in and save the day for the people you claim you care for.
Maybe because you understand that the bonds are necessary. Maybe because you too agree with the decision.
Maybe because you just didn’t want to.
Regardless of what you feel, I know that I am working tirelessly to solve some of the issues of our district.

I will not let you influence how I do things and I certainly hope the new members are their own voice and not the voice of Trizna, as you may eventually want people to believe.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Poor Tilted Tommy…so desperate for admiration that you need to post a litany of self-aggrandizing claims, even if most of them are fiction and/or fantasy. Hopefully seeing them in print helps your fragile self-esteem.

Meanwhile, at the risk of undoing this self-esteem boost, I can’t let you get away with the outrageous, brazen, pants-on-fire dishonesty of your claimed concern and respect for the taxpayers – especially in light of this latest debt certificates/WCBs authorization charade.

You smarmily ask why I (or some other citizens) didn’t muck through all those “hundreds of pages of documents on [our] own time” to figure out what you and your fellow deceptive pawns were doing, and then undertake the daunting task of collecting 3,000 petition signatures in 30 days to force a referendum on those WCBs.

But the far better question – which you, the guy who took the D-64 oath, should be duty-bound to answer – is: Why didn’t you and your fellow pawns voluntarily go to referendum on that debt?

Had you actually been even minimally concerned about those “taxpayers’ interests” that you swore an oath to protect, you could have proved it by arguing – at that March 13 meeting – for the Board to pass up the non-referendum, non-BINA debt certificates and the backdoor-referendum WCBs and, instead, to pass a resolution to go to referendum on that entire $30 million of debt-funding.

Back in 1997 the District went to referendum on the new $20 million Emerson, which is roughly $30 million in today’s dollars. Why couldn’t you and your fellow pawns have shown your purported respect for the taxpayers by giving them a vote? If the results of that referendum weren’t to your liking, you still could have gone ahead and pulled the same dishonest, under-the-radar stunt you just did with the debt certificates and WCBs.

But then, at least, the taxpayers could see clearly and without doubt that your professed concern and respect for them is total b.s.

Sotos thinks a lot of himself for no good reason. He’s a puppet for Heinz, a tool of Borrelli, and not accountable to anybody.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s pretty much the shorthand version.

What bothers me most about somebody like Sotos (or Borrelli) is their complacency: They not only refuse to tell the truth, but I wonder whether they know the truth or even care to know it.

I share your optimism about Biagi and Sanchez, but I fear we will need to elect reinforcements for them in two years, because Tiu will be a Heinz/Borrelli pawn, Ryles still thinks he is in Korea, Sotos is a lost cause, and Eggemann is soft, although he seems to have some good intentions.

Bobby @ Public Watch Puppy

I stand behind my decision to not go to referendum.
Every decision I make is well thought out and takes all the residents of PR into consideration.

I explain my decisions on record and am always willing to explain them to anyone who asks.

You however give your readers only the info you want them to read.

Tell your readers that the bonds are not funded and are not costing the tax payer anything right now.

Tell them that the vote was just to have access to those funds.

Tell them the reason I voted yes. Our district is looking at millions in health life safety issues that will need to be completed within the next several years.

Tell them that I knew that any funds approved to be used from these bonds would require a vote of the board moving forward.

I didn’t feel this was a referendum issue. The money may be needed and if it,is we needed to have it available. Simple as that.

I trust that the board moving forward will only approve funding these bonds if the funding is necessary.

If you felts so against these bonds (availability of money not the actual use of it) why didn’t you mobilize the petition.

Stop saying it was my job to do so. I did my job, I voted to approve the bonds. I gave the new board the opportunity to have funds available if the need arises. I did not vote to spend the money. So until the board votes to spend the money it doesn’t cost the taxpayer a dime.

I trust our new board will use this opportunity wisely.

I will guess that you either agree with the bonds and that is why you did not mobilize a petition to stop them.

Or you are a Watch Puppy and not a watch dog.
You bark to be heard, but not willing to bite to make a difference.

You will respond with some cleverly written post, but that doesn’t change the fact that you post partial information. Only what can help support your theories.

You don’t give your readers full knowledge. You fail them. They rely on you for information, they rely on you to do the research and advice them. Yet you only give them what you want them to know.

The one time you could have stood up and turned your bark into a bite, you decided to drop your rear and piss the lawn.

Public Watch Puppy, this will be my last comment on this blog.

Up until the last several posts, I believed this blog to have some value. Your sensoring of information has opened my eyes to see that this blog is irrelevant and so are you.

Have a nice day Mr. Puppy.

Tom

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tilted Kilt Tommy:

So what you seem to be saying is that you “didn’t feel” authorizing almost $21 million of WCBs (that could end up costing taxpayers almost $30 million) “was a referendum issue” – even though by Illinois statute it was one, albeit of the “backdoor” variety. But instead of making sure your 37,000+ constituents were aware of that fact, you helped hide the backdoor referendum and the 30-day petition period from the taxpayers so they would miss their opportunity to force a referendum that you and your fellow pawns of Supt. Heinz didn’t want.

We get it. And at least you’re consistent in your contempt for the taxpayers – as demonstrated by:
(a) your automatic votes for closed session;
(b) your keeping closed-session information secret from the taxpayers even though IOMA doesn’t require such secrecy;
(c) your support for keeping the latest PREA contract terms secret until after you and your fellow pawns approved it; and
(d) your secret deliberations about Heinz’s contract extensions and raises.

How curious, then, that on April 7 you posted a Facebook request for “feedback” on a hot lunch program that allegedly will cost the taxpayer nothing, yet you didn’t feel the $21 million of WCBs were even Facebook worthy.

Way to prioritize what issue you choose to lick your finger and hold it to the wind.

As for who’s telling the taxpayers the truth, Tilted Kilt, we’ll put our record up against yours every day of the week and twice on Sunday – even though, unlike you, we haven’t taken an oath to look after the D-64 taxpayers’ interests.

But if you’re actually telling the truth about not commenting here anymore, we’ll miss you…because every time you write something you provide our readers with another object lesson in the twisted (or should we say “tilted”?) thought process that goes into irresponsible, anti-H.I.T.A. local government.

Ciao, TKT.

“I’m the one who took the Library oath so I’m the one who is duty-bound to answer questions about the Library.”

Good to know, Bob. Do you, personally, believe it is the proper role of local government to maintain, at taxpayer expense, a public library?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Absolutely!

Which is why I have served the past six years as a Library trustee, during which time I have worked to: (a) make Board proceedings more transparent by televising meetings and providing online Board packets; (b) adopt the committee-of-the-whole Board structure to maximize Trustee input on all phases of the Board’s activities; (c) restore hours and services cut due to years of under-funding and over-spending; (d) develop a more data-driven, customer-oriented management style; (e) give the taxpayers a voice in increasing Library funding through the 2014 referendum; and (f) help drive the first significant building renovation in decades, which will make it more attractive for patrons and more cost-effective for taxpayers.

Mr. Soto-if you so concerned about the cost of “health life safety” construction costs why give the superintendent another raise in pay? What has she done in her short time here to deserve another raise? Why vote to incur over $100,000 in costs to put in an unnecessary daily hot lunch program at the grade schools? Why vote to put in “secure” vestibules at a significant cost to taxpayers that don’t add much security? You may say you act in the best interests of all the taxpayers of District 64 but your votes say otherwise.

Soto is obnoxious. His constant need to interject and be throwing his “better than all” garbage all over social media is annoying. It’s such obvious BS and conning.

He’s self-promoting typical spend happy d64 board member who is failing us day in and day out.
What a terrible run on the board, let’s hope the new board drowns his spend happy votes.

Dysfunctional and shameful.



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