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LETTER TO EDITOR: 'Kudos to Dist. 86 Board for Zero-Tax Levy'

Darien resident says Dist. 86 'exceptional' in not raising tax levy.


By ROGER J. KEMPA

Property tax bills were due this Tuesday. My tax bill increased by $277.04, or 2.71% to $10,495.02. About half of the total increase was attributed to Cass Grade School District 63, with most of remaining balance from the City of Darien. Out of thirteen local taxing bodies, only my Hinsdale High School District 86 tax bill had no tax increase. My bill actually decreased, albeit only $0.50. None of the other twelve taxing bodies on my tax bill had a zero tax increase. Why? The best answer is, "Why not?"

Kudos to the four (Skoda, Corcoran, Casini, & Manley) District 86 Board members for holding the line on any property tax increase. It is ironic that they took much grief and abuse for doing so. Their decision was based on many facts and relevant factors, unlike the usual automatic tax increases via a simple math calculation requiring no thought process. Their decision required fortitude to represent the silent majority versus the loud minority of the entire District 86 community.

It was unique to witness a mostly hostile audience of about 300 people attend the District 86 Board meeting for the tax levy approval, with demands for a tax increase! Their anger was based upon high octane emotion, no substantive facts, and false sense of entitlement for additional revenue generated by a tax increase. But no; local property tax money belongs to all the people, not to any special interest group(s). Please do remember that when you vote in any future election.

Roger J. Kempa 
Darien, IL
Darien Post June 06, 2014 at 12:03 PM
I live in Darien and Dist. 86 Hinsdale South their cut of my property tax is $22,000.00 a year. where does it stop. every 10 years they get $220,000.00 its cheaper to send my son to college.
Linda Burke June 07, 2014 at 12:05 AM
Mr. Kempa is right--he is one of a minority in District 86. Last fall and to this day, very few residents have been willing to defend the zero levy for our high schools in a public forum, under their real names. At the December 16 board meeting referred to in his letter, Mr. Kempa was the exception. He proudly distributed signs with messages of support for the board majority and attempted to rally the audience. Four out of seven board members voted his way, meaning that revenue for the high schools will not keep pace with inflation. Program cuts are inevitable and already happening, to the immense concern of people who care about education, school reputation, and property values. Returning to the subject of this posting: what a coincidence that those very same four board members soon voted to hire Mr. Kempa as "interim district treasurer," to work from March 17 to May 16, at $750 a day! Was Mr. Kempa the most qualified person for the job? We'll never know, because no one else was even considered. According to FOIA documents, which appear to be incomplete, Mr. Kempa put in ten days of service and racked up a cool $14,250. Perhaps he worked additional days recorded on a time sheet that was accidentally omitted from the FOIA disclosure; for that matter, he may have earned more than $14,250, since, as I mentioned, the FOIA documents appear to be incomplete, and he could have worked every day for the two-month period. Giving up information about Mr. Kempa's employment is obviously not what the district office, under the present board majority, most likes to do. Assuming the figure of $14,250 is correct, that is pretty darn good for two months of intermittent employment. What expertise did Mr. Kempa provide in return for these taxpayer dollars? That is also unclear, although at the June 5 Facilities Committee meeting, board members Corcoran and Skoda had fulsome praise for Mr. Kempa's insights--pertaining to vending machines for pop and snacks. Mr. Corcoran added, repeating himself, "He is not my political crony. He is not my political crony." Nothing like that. At board meetings during Mr. Kempa's time of employment, his demeanor was cause for sympathy and concern. From my front row seat I (and others) could see him seated at the table with other administrators--sleeping through most of the meetings. These are just the facts--you can draw your own conclusions, especially about this board majority's stewardship of the taxpayer dollar.
Tracey June 07, 2014 at 07:09 PM
How much are your total taxes Danny?

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