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?

URGENT: Bakken Oil Train Action – Public Comment

Please Make Public Comment

Advance notice of proposed rulemaking: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Proposed Rule: Hazardous Materials: Volatility of Unrefined Petroleum Products and Class 3 Materials

As many know, raising public awareness regarding the hazards of transporting crude oil by rail was one of my top priorities as 2016 Candidate for Lake County Board, District 18.  Although this issue is not related to my current campaign, it is still an issue for which I’m greatly concerned.  Trains carrying highly explosive and toxic Bakken crude oil travel through densely populated areas, including our schools, and threaten the lives of well over 25 million Americans.  Lake County Board Chair Aaron Lawlor, to date, has still not publicly addressed emergency preparedness in Lake County specific to this transport.

PHMSA, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, announced that it will be seeking comment on vapor pressure thresholds of crude oil, and will evaluate the potential safety benefits of utilizing a threshold in regulating the transport of crude oil and other dangerous materials.

The petition directly addresses the fact that despite recent derailments of trains carrying crude that have resulted in extraordinary explosions and uncontrollable fires, there is no federal limit on the vapor pressure of crude oil transported by rail. This means that we have an opportunity to push for DEGASIFICATION (Stabilization) of the Bakken Oil, which would lower the vapor pressure of the oil, and make it less flammable.

The comment period ends at 11:59p, (ET), May 19th, 2017.  Comments can be simple or detailed – all are beneficial.  You simply need to fill in your contact information, and then you may copy some of the talking points below and paste them into this link and send.

Talking Points:

At the present, explosive Bakken Oil trains jeopardize 25 million people across the country living within the Oil Train Blast Zone.  There are densely populated areas, including our schools, throughout Chicagoland and its collar counties that are within feet from highly flammable train routes.

Degasifying or stabilizing crude oil is a process where the explosive hydrocarbon gases, (Butane, Propane, Ethane and Methane), are removed from the oil and stored on site, then these gases can be sold to local markets, and the oil can be transported by rail or pipeline more safely. Degasification lowers the Vapor Pressure (PSI) of the crude oil.

North Dakota has mandated a Vapor PSI for Bakken oil of less than 13.7 lbs.  It is generally reported as measuring between 11 and 12 lbs.

•  Texas Eagle Ford frack oil has a Vapor PSI of 8 lbs.
•  West Texas oil comes in at 3-4 lbs. PSI
•  Gulf of Mexico oil is 3.33 lbs. PSI
•  Bakken crude oil transported on the train that destroyed Lac Megantic, Quebec was measured at 10 PSI.

Our National Vapor Standard should fall between 4-8 lbs., following the lead of Texas since they have the longest history of degasifying oil, and their oil trains have not been exploding into uncontrolled fires upon derailment.

“Stabilization / Degasification” could make Bakken crude safer to transport, (vapor pressure is lowered from 13.7 psi to 6-8 psi with a 74 F flashpoint).  Although there are no studies to support its effectiveness in rail transport safety, Texas has a long history of the use of mandated degasification/stabilization of crude oil for both rail transport and pipeline transport.  Therefore, we can defer to their experience in this field.

Texas is the second largest area in the US with shale formations that are being fractured using horizontal drilling technology. There have been (zero) explosive fires after train derailments of Texas frack oil (8 PSI), whereas there have been dozens of explosive fires after derailments of trains carrying ND frack oil (13 PSI). Saudi Arabia has also been routinely stabilizing their oil before transport, for decades. The technology necessary for degasification/stabilization is well known and available in ND.

The PHMSA notice of rule-making follows a petition last year from New York’s Attorney General to implement nationwide a Reid Vapor Pressure of less than 9 PSI for crude oil transport by rail.

Politics are in play in the US, steering the Federal Government towards allowing more pipelines and away from oil by rail (VIEW: Desmog Blog article, Why Is the Exxon-Funded Heartland Institute Now Calling Oil Trains “Dangerously Flammable”?) – but pipelines should not be carrying explosive crude either. Texas mandated the degasification of its oil primarily for pipeline safety.

Please implement nationwide a Reid Vapor Pressure of 4-8 PSI for crude oil transport by rail and pipeline, which complies with the NY AG request of less than 9 PSI. Chicagoland and its collar counties have a vested interest in trying to decrease the dangers of these Bakken Oil trains to our densely populated communities!

Articles and Resources:

FB Group: The Coalition for Bakken Crude Oil Stabilization

Federal agency looking at pressure limits on Bakken oil trains:

North Dakota man relentless in push for safer oil by rail shipping

Why can’t Bakken oil be made safer?

RON SCHALOW: Exploding Trains Aren’t Funny

Why Is the Exxon-Funded Heartland Institute Now Calling Oil Trains “Dangerously Flammable”?