University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
SRP-IMAGE-Logo

District 118 hearing details $6.5 borrowing plan

The clock is ticking for voters to file a petition to force Palos School District 118’s planned borrowing of $6.5 million onto the ballot as a referendum question in the November presidential election.

Only one resident spoke against the bond issue at a public hearing required by state law on the school board’s intent to sell the working cash fund bonds held by the school board Tuesday at the Central Administration Building, 8800 W. 119th St., Palos Park.

John T. Donovan, of Palos Park, accepted “we have excellent schools,” but said the district has failed to provide “any specifics on a plan” with few details provided for spending the money. He is urging voters to sign the petition to force the bond issue onto the ballot to let voters decide.

Any petition gathering effort, however, is hampered by the timing of the bond issue approved by the school board on Nov. 19: on the verge of Thanksgiving and the busy Christmas holiday season.

Voters have 30 days from the Nov. 26 date of publication of the legal notice of the district’s intent to issue the bonds to file the petition for the referendum. The petition must be signed by a minimum of 10 percent of the registered voters who reside in the school district.

The Dec. 14 deadline to place a referendum on the March 15 primary election ballot is past. If sufficient valid petition signatures are filed before the Dec. 26 deadline, the referendum question would appear on the November election ballot.

Donovan has estimated that number to be about 1,600 signatures, given what he cited to be the district’s population of 16,000 registered voters. His views on the bond appear in this week’s Readers Write letters to the editor (see Page 4). An attorney, Donovan now works on the staff of Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart and formerly on the staff of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. He ran unsuccessfully for the High School District 230 board of education last April.

Proceeds for principal and interest payments for the working cash bonds issued by the school district would be automatically levied on the property tax rolls as an obligation assumed by district property-tax payers.

The bonding authority is needed because of anticipated state cuts in education, district Business Manager/Chief School Business Official Justin Veihmman had told the school board at its meeting on Nov. 17.

Since then, the administration has identified more specific uses for the bond proceeds that school board President John Faustino outlined during Tuesday’s public hearing in remarks almost identical to the case he makes in a letter to the editor in this week’s Readers Write. The district has historically used a combination of property tax levies and working cash fund bonds to operate its schools, he said. “It’s standard operating procedure for us.”

Superintendent Anthony Scarsella gave his view of the need for the borrowing in an opinion piece he wrote, published in last week’s Regional. The first capital improvement priority he listed is a proposed four-classroom addition to Palos West to house a district-wide pre-kindergarten and early childhood program. The current classrooms used for that purpose were not designed for them and lack adequate space, he wrote.

To a roomful of teachers, other district staff and some parents at Tuesday’s public hearing, school board member Catherine Maier said the district “is asking for a minimal amount compared to what we could ask for, which is up to $47 million” in its proposed $6.5 million borrowing.

A number of teachers and some parents addressed the hearing to praise the district’s early childhood and pre-kindergarten services now provided, and urge their expansion to better prepare all pupils with any special needs for kindergarten and beyond through 8th grade. Many used the word “miracle” and “miracle worker” to describe the services provided and the work of the pre-kindergarten teachers like Lee Harwig who perform them.

Maier and Faustino both emphasized that the planned bond issue would keep the bond portion of the property tax bill at current levels because the current debt will be paid off by the time the new proceeds show up on tax bills.

The district’s highest credit rating from Standard & Poor’s gives the district the ability to borrow the funds at a low interest rate, Faustino said. “Now is the prudent time to issue bonds.”

If voters fail to circulate a petition to gather the legally required minimum valid petition signatures and file it by the deadline, the district will have the legal authority to issue the bonds.

Doing so “will not in itself increase our taxes,” Maier reiterated. “It will replace our payments because our current bonds are being retired.”

Local News

Mallory Pugh, who has six goals in seven games, will miss three games for the Red Stars in July because she will be playing with the United States in a World Cup qualifier. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars will miss three big guns during World Cup qualifying

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Having world-class players on your team is a blessing. But during times like these, it can also be a curse. World-class players help NWSL teams win games. They also miss chunks of time during the season because of their commitments to playing in international competitions. For much of July, the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Stagg grad Laila Barakat leaves her mark on program

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Laila Barakat entered her freshman year of high school basketball with a plan. She left as one of the most accomplished and successful players in Stagg girls basketball history. “Coming in my freshman year, I knew what goals I wanted to achieve,” said Barakat, who was a four-year varsity player for…

Harper Noren of the Illinois Lightning Track Club shows her form in the long jump on June 25 at Shepard. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Lightning strikes at Shepard

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer There was a lot of rain and a little bit of thunder at the Illinois Lightning Track and Field Club’s open track meet, which was held at Shepard on June 25. The meet was open to everyone, from children as young as 4 (one 3-year-old also participated) to adults. More…

CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
Mallory Pugh, who has six goals in seven games, will miss three games for the Red Stars in July because she will be playing with the United States in a World Cup qualifier. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Pro Soccer Report: Red Stars will miss three big guns during World Cup qualifying

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer Having world-class players on your team is a blessing. But during times like these, it can also be a curse. World-class players help NWSL teams win games. They also miss chunks of time during the season because of their commitments to playing in international competitions. For much of July, the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Stagg grad Laila Barakat leaves her mark on program

By Randy Whalen Correspondent Laila Barakat entered her freshman year of high school basketball with a plan. She left as one of the most accomplished and successful players in Stagg girls basketball history. “Coming in my freshman year, I knew what goals I wanted to achieve,” said Barakat, who was a four-year varsity player for…

Harper Noren of the Illinois Lightning Track Club shows her form in the long jump on June 25 at Shepard. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup: Lightning strikes at Shepard

By Jeff Vorva Staff Writer There was a lot of rain and a little bit of thunder at the Illinois Lightning Track and Field Club’s open track meet, which was held at Shepard on June 25. The meet was open to everyone, from children as young as 4 (one 3-year-old also participated) to adults. More…

CRRNH_TabaresLopez_062922

Mayoral race comes to Archer

Neighbors cheer as Lopez slams Lightfoot on crime By Tim Hadac Southwest Side civic and business leaders last Saturday got an early glimpse of the 2023 mayoral race, as 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez made a campaign stop on Archer Avenue. Lopez was the guest of honor at a “meet and greet” held at the…

election 2022

Two incumbents square off in new 6th District

Newman, Casten battle for Dem nod By Steve Metsch It doesn’t happen often, but voters in the new 6th Congressional District have an unusual choice in the June 28 Democratic primary. Because of redistricting, two sitting members of Congress–Marie Newman and Sean Casten– are going toe-to-toe for the nomination in the June 28 primary. The…

pathlights Ice Cream Fundraising Flyer 6.17.22

Fundraiser is Sunday for Pathlights

Tinley Park nonprofit One Less to Help One More is hosting a special community fundraiser for Pathlights in honor of June’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Month from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, at Oberweis at 7202 W. 159th Street in Orland Park. For shoppers, 20% of your purchases will be donated…

USPS logo new

Mail truck loses load on Harlem Avenue

By Bob Bong A U.S. Postal Service truck leaving a local post office spilled its load at Harlem Avenue and 103rd Street Tuesday morning. Palos Hills Police Deputy Chief Tony Carroccio said the truck was driving with its rear door open at 3 a.m. when it dropped packages all over Harlem Avenue near 103rd Street.…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth considering limits on tobacco stores

By Joe Boyle The Worth Village Board is considering establishing an ordinance that would put limits on where tobacco stores can operate in the village. Worth is not a home rule municipality and therefore cannot vote to put a limit on the amount of tobacco stores in the village. Greg Jones, the village attorney, is…

Election-Vote-Logo-1024x631

Incumbent Zalewski faces challenger for Dem nod in 21st District

By Steve Metsch Taking a break from the campaign trail – talking on a cell phone as he walked door to door – state Rep. Michael Zalewski (21st) said the choice facing Democratic voters on June 28 is simple. “I’ve said consistently that it’s the choice for voters between a record and a promise,” Zalewski…

Totally Blown had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days and its lawyers are seeking a lighter punishment. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Orland Park smoke and vape shop looking for a lesser punishment

By Jeff Vorva Truly Blown Smoke and Vape appealed to the Village of Orland Park Board of Trustees to lighten up a 30-day suspension for selling products to underage customers. The business was also fined and had its tobacco license suspended for 30 days during a June 1 hearing. The appeal was held on Monday,…

CRR NH Foran Funeral Home House Ad
DVN Very Gentle Dental Care House Ad