The below summary is support in the document "Long and Winding Road" complete with 72 links to verification sources. click here
Click here for the summary document in a .pdf format
DOCUMENT PROVIDED RE: SCHOOL DISTRICT 204 FINANICAL DECISIONS
In April of 2010 I chronicled what I felt to be significant shortcomings on the part the District 204 Board. That document can be found here (WEBMASTER NOTE: contains over 72 links to document):
The most significant shortcoming, in my opinion, was the decision to build a third high school. In doing my research I also had to answer another question: where did the additional funds to complete Metea come from, i.e. the funds above and beyond the referendum approved of $124.66 million.
The answer to that question is in the above document and more completely explained in a recent FOIA request I submitted to District 204. In that FOIA I asked 4 questions.
My FOIA request and the 4 questions can be found here:
The answers to my FOIA questions can be found here:
Recently The Naperville Sun endorse two current District 204 Board members for the April 5th elections. Feeling those endorsements were ill advised, I wrote the Naperville Sun summarizing my disagreement. I pointed out what I felt was a lack of transparency and full disclosure by the Board in filling that “gap” between the referendum amount and the ultimate cost of Metea. It is pretty clear that certain Board members knew well in advance of breaking ground on Metea that the final cost would be substantially higher than advertised. It appears that the Board knew this, at the very latest, in June 2007 per correspondence between the Bond agent, Ehlers, and Dave Holm, Assistant Superintendent of Business (in no way is this a reflection on Dave Holm, he has always been forthcoming on the information I have requested, and in my opinion he is carrying out what his superiors have asked him to do).
The letter to the Naperville Sun, which was in an email, can be found here:
In my opinion, District 204 taxpayers and parents lost in 3 ways when the Board of District 204 decided to move forward with the plan to build the third high school. First, in my opinion, the taxpayer paid for a school that cannot be supported by the facts (current Board member Chris Vickers told us this in the April 2008 Board meeting).
There is and will be excess capacity in District 204. We now have capacity for 10800 students including three 3000 seat high schools, one 1200 seat freshman center and the 600 seat Frontier campus. The current enrollment in our high schools, based on the February 2011 enrollment report, shows 8900 high school students.
Furthermore, when you look at incoming students in the elementary grades, the 4 year blocks are running at the levels we had in 2008, approximately 8500 students. In my opinion, the evidence that existed at the end of 2007 was substantially in support of the argument that moving forward to build the third high school was a mistake. That conclusion is summarized in the master document “The Long and Winding Road.”
The 2/28/11 enrollment report can be seen here:
Second, taxpayers in District 204 are paying for a cost overrun of almost $19 million given the cost of Metea being $143 million. That $19 million was paid for, in part, by issuing bonds well in advance of need and being issued at higher interest rates than those prevailing in the market place at the time in order to produce premiums, or additional interest, which can legally be used to fund the project. In short, District taxpayers started paying interest on bonds well in advance of when it was necessary and paid interest at higher rates than were otherwise necessary. The documentation for that can be found in the answers to FOIA questions 2 and 3 above (pdf).
Finally, the taxpayers in District 204 are paying for the unnecessary cost of administration and operating costs for Metea. That amounts, on an annual basis, to approximately $3.3 million per FY2012 costs and should be higher in FY2013 when all 4 grades will be attending Metea.
The documentation for that can be found in the answer to question 4 in the above pdf. Sincerely,