College of Lake County Open Board Meeting – September 19, 2017

Public Comment

 

VIEW:  Public Comment Handout
CLC Board Meeting Agenda – September 19, 2017
CLC Board Book – September 19, 2017

REQUEST #1: To better facilitate the democratic process, I’m requesting that the placement and duration of “Public Comment” is specifically stated on the agenda.

REQUEST #2: I’m requesting that expense reports for Board reimbursements, including receipts, are posted and made publically available in a timely manner prior to Trustee Board meetings at which they’re to be approved.

REQUEST #3: I’m requesting that monthly reports are posted and made available to the public identifying lobbying activities with expense reports, including receipts. Lobbyist reports are required by Springfield, so they should already be prepared.

REQUEST #4: I’m requesting the issue of naming rights as they pertain to Baxter International be brought back to the Board of Trustees for a vote, and that this agreement be terminated due to “adverse circumstances”. The Board should exercise due diligence by thoroughly investing the background of this company and by presenting this information and allowing for public comment prior to a vote.

QUESTION: “… address the issue of ownership once and for all of the building … we understand that the building and the equipment that’s amassed over the last 15 years will revert to the college, and we don’t want that to slip away to somebody else …”

•  Who is this “somebody else”? Who “else” could ownership of the University Center go to and why?

CLC FINANCIALS

NOTE: Over the duration of the past 13 years, revenue has nearly doubled, as have expenses.

Total Outstanding Debt has increased from $17M in 2007 to $71M in 2016 (+ $54M).

QUESTION:
• Is it fiscally responsible to carry $71M Total Outstanding Debt, nearly 4 times that which has been carried historically (based on information available online)?

CLC can’t rely on property taxes, nor can it rely on the State for funding. The State of Illinois provides the largest source of pension contributions (approx. 95%) through State appropriations from the Common School Fund. Unless the State’s debt (see below) is refinanced and/or additional revenue collected, it’s likely the State will find ways to access local revenue sources. For example, moving all future funding of education to the local level, which has already happened in River Forest (District 90).

Also, tuition at CLC has declined. Enrollment at the Lakeshore campus, for instance, has decreased 37% over the last five years to just over 1,000 students.

NOTE: $23.653M in interest is scheduled for payment. These are funds that should go toward students, programs, and educators – not banks.

STATE LEVEL
The State continues to spend more than it generates in revenue, while increasing debt. As of FY2016, the State collected $68B, spent $73B, and increased its debt to $147B.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 2.43.03 AM

This isn’t sustainable! There was a $7B increase from 2015 to 2016. At this rate, we’d be looking at an additional $203B over the current $116B by FY2045 (probably more based on the incline of the slope)!

LOCAL LEVEL
To give you an idea of what this looks like at the local level, my District’s (D214) pension contributions have increased from $9M in 2002 to $57M as of FY2016. District 211 is in the same boat ($10M in FY2002, $57M in FY2016).

REQUEST #5: I’m requesting the Board only approve construction consisting exclusively of essential maintenance projects, and that the Board prioritizes repayment of debt and the hiring of FTEs over adjunct staff until a point in time that investing in facility expansion is financially responsible and feasible.

REQUEST #6: I’m requesting bid comparisons (minimum 3) with summaries and explanations including information pertaining to number of employees, employee pay, cost of product(s)/service(s), retained profit by company, and etc. are posted and made publically available three (3) weeks prior to vote for approval at Board of Trustee meetings.

REQUEST #7: I’m requesting a Trustee voting policy that states voting will NOT take place the same day new items are discussed. Voting should be scheduled a minimum of one (1) Board meeting AFTER Board discussion takes place regarding agenda items to allow for follow-up review, public comment, and diligent and due consideration.

REQUEST #8: I’m requesting that the Board cite the statute(s) authorizing the Treasurer to make Budget Transfers as recommended on the June 27, 2017 Monthly Financial Report.

QUESTION:  Regarding September 19, 2017 agenda item, “Transfers to cover costs related to 2017 flood” (p 13).

$48,495.19
$49,267.50
$13,388.12
$4,215.37 (safe clothing, wet/dry vacuum, repair of folding machine)
$38,587.21 (textbooks, clothing, materials)

$153,953.39 Total

 

•  Will expenses resulting from flood damage be covered by insurance?

Dreyfuss Testimonial

Richard Dreyfus talks about what the loss of schools and teachers who bring knowledge of our history to our future voting citizens means for our nation.

 

LETTER: ‘Illinois math’ has led to chronic underfunding of teacher pensions

POST BY:  Chicago Tribune
imsalogonamebluefulloutlined

MUST BE A CHARTER!

“As required, Teachers’ Retirement System used Illinois math to calculate the state’s contribution for fiscal year 2018 and came up with $4.56B. Using actuarial math, TRS also calculated that the state’s “full funding” contribution should be $6.88B.

This legal sleight-of-hand has been going on for 78 years — and counting. The deliberate and chronic underfunding of TRS since 1939 is the major reason the system carries an unfunded liability of $71B — one of the largest debts of its kind in the country.

Consistent underfunding is the reason that 80% of this year’s $4.5B contribution to TRS, or $3.7B, constitutes a payment on the unfunded liability. That eclipses the actual cost of teacher pensions for the year: $923M.”

— Dick Ingram, executive director, Teachers’ Retirement System

River Forest District 90 will pay 100 percent of teacher pension contributions – were teachers duped?

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Although the agreement described below mIght sound like a welcome relief to teachers, Gov. Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda pushed a local property tax freeze (pg. 9) and municipal bankruptcy (pg. 12) that may allow local municipalities to declare bancruptcy.

The State Senate passed a 2-year property tax freeze under Senate bills SB482 and SB484.

OPINION: How Gov. Bruce Rauner’s property-tax freeze will hurt your kids

Currently, teachers’ pensions are protected at the State level:

CONCLUSION
For the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the circuit court declaring Public Act 98-599 to be unconstitutional and permanently enjoining its enforcement is affirmed.

The question is whether or not pensions funded locally will continue to be protected under state law if moved to the local level. Current legislation suggests they may not.

HB0298 will amend the Illinois Municipal Code.  In provisions concerning finance, it provides that a municipality may file a petition and exercise powers pursuant to applicable federal bankruptcy law. Effective immediately.

The last action taken on this bill took place 1/10/2017 in the House: Session Sine Die.

HB2575 was introduced in the House on 2/8/2017.

HB2575 creates the Illinois Local Government Protection Authority Act. Provides findings of the General Assembly and establishes the Authority with the purpose of achieving solutions to financial difficulties faced by units of local government. Defines terms and creates a board of trustees. Sets forth the Authority’s duties and powers, including the ability to obtain the unit of local government’s records and to recommend revenue increases. Provides for a petition process, whereby certain entities may petition the Authority to review a unit of local government. Sets forth participation requirements.

Section 35 – Powers

The Authority shall have the power to:

m) Consider and make recommendations to the General

Assembly legislation regarding an economic safety net whereby

the State shall provide a set of fallback post-employment

benefits for employees in the event that a public employer has

not resolved the underfunding of its pension plan and

thereafter is unable to pay its retirees. The program shall use

the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation* as its model.

Contractual benefits would have to meet affordability tests

prior to being approved for safety net funding. The outcomes of

the affordability tests may result in smaller benefit payments

than were initially promised to the employees by the defaulted

employer.

Section 40 – Petition and criteria

The Authority may exercise its authority over a unit of local government

under this Act if the Authority is petitioned and the Authority

accepts the participation of the unit of local government

identified in the petition. The Authority has absolute

discretion regarding acceptance or denial of any petition and

participation of a unit of local government. The Authority

shall create rules regarding the petition, procedure, format,

and required documentation.

a) The following parties may petition the Authority:

(1)  the Illinois Comptroller;

(2)  a unit of local government;

(3)  a Significant Past Due Creditor; or

(4)  a pension fund.

If the Illinois Comptroller, a Significant Past Due

Creditor, or a pension fund petitions the Authority, their

petition shall include documentation of the unit of local

government’s approval of the petition and participation.

* The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) takes over pension plans.  The termination of a defined-benefit plan is initiated by the employer, either by a standard termination or a distress termination.

Under a standard termination, the employer must demonstrate to the PBGC that there are sufficient assets under the plan to pay all benefits owed under the plan to participants.

A distress termination occurs when the plan is being terminated but there are not sufficient assets under the plan to pay benefits.

Generally, the PBGC steps in to take over the administration of a pension plan when either a distressed termination is initiated by the plan sponsor or the PBGC determines that a plan will be unable to meet its obligations and mandates a takeover.

Distress terminations generally occur in conjunction with bankruptcy, but in most cases, a PBGC mandated takeover is the method by which the entity becomes responsible for a plan.

________________________________________________________

Post By: Illinois Policy Institute

RE: Illinois Policy Institute
•  Meet the Little-Known Network Pushing Ideas for Kochs, ALEC
•  Illinois Policy Institute (IPI)
•  State Policy Network (SPN)
•  Conservative Transparency

In the midst of Illinois’ pension crisis, River Forest District 90 has agreed to pay 100 percent of teacher contributions to the Teachers’ Retirement System – and it did so secretly

In Illinois, negotiations between local governments and government workers are done in secret. That’s a problem for taxpayers.

It means residents can be saddled with expensive contract provisions and can’t react until the contract is a done deal. And by then, it’s too late.

The latest example: River Forest District 90. That school district just renewed an agreement to pay 100 percent of teachers’ pensions contributions – the share the teachers are supposed to pay – as an additional benefit.

By law, teachers are obligated to pay 9 percent of their salary into the retirement system. But half of Illinois’ school districts take on that obligation themselves. Instead of having teachers contribute to their own retirement, the school districts agree to pay it for them.

Of course, forcing taxpayers to pay 100 percent of the contribution – while teachers themselves contribute nothing toward their retirement – isn’t the only issue.

A big problem is the secrecy of District 90’s negotiations. Bargaining between the union and school district happened away from public scrutiny. And that means taxpayers couldn’t find out the details of the deal until it was too late.

What’s more, the contract was negotiated under the leadership of School Board President Ralph Martire – whose own organization, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, or CTBA, is heavily funded by government unions.

That means taxpayers in District 90 were essentially left without true representation in the negotiation process.