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

CLC Open Board Meeting 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 is 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.

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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 voting 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?

We Need to Be Good Stewards

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Lakeshore Campus Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (March 14th, 2017).

Pushing Past ‘Me’ to Get to ‘We’

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Lakeshore Campus Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (March 14th, 2017).

I’m Very Concerned Where We’re Going With Education In This Country…NOT JOKING!

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

What Challenges Will CLC Face in the Future?

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

What Does Gerri Have to Offer the CLC Community?

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

Community Colleges Provide a Unique Opportunity for Alignment

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

Charter Schools – Just Another Form of Private Public Partnerships

VIEW:  The UK’s PPPs Disaster:  Lessons on Private Finance for the Rest of the World
VIEW:  The Jubilee Debt Campaign
VIEW:  Why Private Public Partnerships Don’t Work:  The Many Advantages of the Public Alternative

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Interactive View of Debt Across the Planet

In essence, the practice of implementing charter schools, or other forms of privatized education, is just another form of private-public partnership.  Public tax dollars are used to fund private ‘for-profit’ business.  My question is, “Where are our public dividends?”

The Jubilee Debt Campaign (Inspired by the ancient concept of ‘jubilee’)  is a “campaign for a world where debt is no longer used as a form of power by which the rich exploit the poor. Freedom from debt slavery is a necessary step towards a world in which our common resources are used to realize equality, justice, and human dignity.”

The Jubilee Debt Campaign recently published a new report identifying the major problems and risks the United Kingdom has encountered through its expensive experiment with Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). The briefing warns that risks and costs involved in PPPs include: increased costs for the public budget, large profits for private companies at the public’s expense, declines in service standards, an eroded democratic accountability amongst many others – all of which we are currently experiencing in the United States.

Extracting large profits at public expense has led to increased debt in the United States at all levels of government. 

Accumulating debt as a means of balancing the budget is unacceptable.  In 2015,  Lake County paid approximately $405M in expenses, collected $444M in revenue, and carried $247M in debt.  The state of Illinois spent $75B on what should have been a $71B budget addressing $141B of debt. Our Federal government spent $4.3T while producing only $3.7T in revenue and making payments on $18.3T of debt. Education received 27% of State funding and merely 2% of Federal funding.

The College of Lake County‘s total outstanding debt increased from $17M in 2007 to $71M in 2016, an increase of $54M.   In March of 2015, CLC began construction on a new $28.3M Science & Engineering Building.  It was the first in a series of major upgrades taking place throughout CLC’s various campuses, totaling $163M

Even more infuriating is the disparity of wealth in America. An article in Reuters asserts the “Richest 1 percent will own more than the rest by 2016.”  Education is one of the most powerful tools we have to improve our quality of life, yet it is currently in jeopardy due to mismanagement of public finances.  This is a moral imperative that must be addressed, now.

Banks, corporations, and millionaires/billionaires seem to be making out quite nicely at public expense, primarily that of the bottom 95%.  Therefore, 95% of our population shouldn’t find too much to disagree on when it comes to politics.  We should have no problem voting ourselves into the top 95%!

VIEW:  The Increasingly Unequal States of America:  Income Inequality by State, 1917 to 2012

Latest Share of World Wealth Owned by Top 10%:  U.S. 74%
Latest wealth data: U.S. 2010
Source:  Paris School of Economics – The World Top Incomes Database, Credit Suisse – Global Wealth Databook 2013, J.P. Morgan Asset Management
Data are as of 11/25/13

Latest income data: U.S. 2012. Income excludes capital gains.
Average family income, excluding capital gains, adjusted for inflation (2012):

Bottom 90%: $30,439 (down -10.7% from 2002)
Top 5-10%: $130,990 (up 2.6% from 2002)
Top 1-5%: $216,947 (up 6.1% from 2002)
Top 0.5-1%: $441,423 (up 11.3% from 2002)
Top 0.1-0.5%: $837,377 (up 18.2% from 2002)
Top 0.01-0.1%: $2,782,303 (up 29.5% from 2002)
Top 0.01%: $21,569,156 (up 76.2% from 2002)

Source: The Wall Street Journal

A Remedial Need Is Not the Result of Bad Teaching

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).

We Need to Do a Better Job of Targeting Populations for Higher Education

Please Vote – April 4th Consolidated Election

 

Gerri Songer, Candidate for College of Lake County Trustee
http://www.GerriSonger.com

College of Lake County Candidate Forum
This forum was sponsored by the CLC Student Government Association (SGA) and the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers Political Action Committee (February 27th, 2017).