Monday, December 3, 2012

Next Minooka 201 Finance Committee Meeting

The next meeting of the Minooka CCSD 201 Finance Committee will be Wednesday, December 5, 2012. The Finance Committee meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. in the board room (the old library) at the Minooka Primary Center located at 305 Church Street in Minooka. Finance Committee meetings are open to the public, so everyone is welcome to attend. The Finance Committee will be discussing a new deficit reduction plan to further address our operating deficit.  So, if you want your voice heard during the process, you may want to attend the Finance Committee meeting.  The agenda for the meeting is available here.

As an informational reminder, here is a link to the Minooka CCSD 201 budget for fiscal year 2012-2013, as well as a link to a previous post regarding the financial projections which were presented to the Finance Committee this past January.  We now know that the EAV (the property value upon which property taxes are based) in the district fell by roughly 8% in 2011, whereas the projections had assumed that the EAV would be stable.  Therefore, updated projections would reflect a bleaker local revenue picture than previously projected.

There are really only two courses of action open to the school district.  The first course of action is to make the needed cuts in order to bring our spending into line with our realistic revenues under the current property tax rates.  The sooner these cuts are made, the smaller the cuts will need to be since their effects would be compounded over time.  If the district were going to opt for this course of action, what would be needed would be a complete top to bottom review of the district budget.  Every dollar that is being spent would be questioned.  Every opportunity to save money would be explored.  The current deficit is approximately 5% of the total budget.  Which means that for every dollar that the school district spends, it would have to find a way to save 5 cents.  The second course of action is to refuse to make the needed cuts (or make largely symbolic cuts) and hope that the voters in the district will vote in favor of a referendum to raise their tax rates.  Of course, if the voters vote down the referendum, then the school board and the school district will be faced with making drastic cuts quickly.  If this is the situation that we find ourselves in a few years from now, it will not be the fault of the voters but rather the fault of the school board.


  1. Mr. Martin,

    I'm a little confused. Is there reluctance on the part of the board to make decisions now, or is a referendum a forgone conclusion? I find it very interesting that 7% of the employees make up 15% of the district's salary budget. Also, was there an open discussion on sourcing the bus service outside of the district while we were pouring a million dollars into land for a new facility? I appreciate your critical, evaluative, and discerning approach

  2. I can understand that we are in a deficit-I am sure most school districts are, BUT why should 201 board ask for a referendum when they just approved a 6% pay raise(per year I believe) for the superintendent and possibly 6% for the assistant superintendent? Maybe the "little" things like cell phones being paid (the higher ups would have a cell phone either way so why should the taxpayers pay for it?)or dinners before board meetings being paid, mileage/gas for personal vehicles to and from work for the higher ups(rumors) should be discontinued before staff cuts and referendums?!?
    Maybe the district should cut back on all the presenters (example: Smekens, Good Habits they bring in for the teacher curriculum-then change the curriculum a year or two later)
    I think the cuts need to start up on the top of the ladder with the people that have some "perks"

    Yes, I am posting as anonymous because I have children in the district, I have worked in the district, and I have a family member working for the district that I do not want to be singled out or retaliated against.