Golf D-67 Passes 1 of 2 Referendum Questions

Voters said yes to the ballot question asking for repairs and improvements to the two school buildings, but turned thumbs down on a tax rate increase that would have funded operations and programming.


UPDATE 1:00am

The bond referendum, to repair and improve facilities in the district has passed 53.1 percent to 46.9 percent.

UPDATE 11:46 p.m. -

With four of five precincts reporting, it appears the bond referendum, which would make improvements and repairs to the school buildings, may have passed; however, one precinct experienced a technical problem. A machine that tabulates paper ballots broke down, and results have been delayed because those ballots will have to be tallied at another location. However, District 67's other ballot question, the tax rate increase, has been defeated.

Jeff Gwozdz, a parent on the referendum committee, said, "I think it (the facilities referendum) was an easier one for people to vote for. It was physical repairs on buildings, which is easier to see. The other one (a tax rate increase) --there may have been more concerns about teachers' salaries and other expenses in general."

There are a total of five precincts that must report, and, as of 11:48 p.m. Nov. 6, one precinct has yet to report.

Earlier -

Golf School District 67 in Morton Grove and Niles is asking voters to approve two ballot questions that would provide it revenue for facilities and operations, respectively.

See approximately how much it would cost you in property taxes if the referendum passes, and what the money would go toward. 

Patch.com will be updating this page with election results for the referendum questions all evening.

School District 67, Tax Extension Increase Precincts Reported

% Votes YES 4 of 5 precincts reporting  40.96 589 NO 4 of 5 precincts reporting 59.04 849 School District 67, Issue Bonds Precincts Reported
Choices % Votes YES 4 of 5 reporting 52.4 765 NO 4 of reporting 47.6 695

Update 10:09 p.m. - For issuing bonds, four of the five precincts have reported. 765, or about 52 percent, have voted for the bonds, while 695, of about 48 percent, have voted against them. 

Meanwhile, for School District 67's tax extension increase, four of the five precincts have reported. About 590 have voted for the increase while 849, of 59.04 percent, have voted against the increase. 

Update - 8:28 p.m. - Things have quickly turned around for District 67, as voters for issuing more bonds are leading with 520 votes, or about 51 percent. While 500 have voted, "no," of 500 votes, 49.02 percent. Three of five precincts have reported. 

Update - 8:22 p.m. - Parents and members of the referendum committee were trickling into Giordano's pizza in Morton grove. One said they had committee members in every precinct watching for any irregularities. They hoped to get results in the precincts.

Update - 8:09 p.m. - While there haven't been many votes, this seems like it might go down to the wire. For issuing more bonds, two of five precincts have reported, with 114 voting yes, or about 34 percent, and 216 voting no, or about 65 percent.

Meanwhile, 158 people have voted for District 67 to get a tax extension increase while 177 have voted no. Only two of the five precincts have reported.

Julie ewart November 07, 2012 at 03:05 AM
I believe that your tables are mislabeled
Donald India November 07, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I guess voters do not fully understand that having an updated building and facilities will not help educate our children without funds to buy books, technology and YES pay staff. Be prepared to vote YES in April for the 3rd attempt for a tax rate referendum.
Pam DeFiglio (Editor) November 07, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Thanks, Julie, I'll make that fix. We had a volunteer editor set them up.
Donald India November 07, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Do not let the action of one volunteer sway you against everyone who put in time and energy to inform the community. The district held several open houses, mail the information to every resident and continuously updated information on their website. Community volunteers put door-hangers on everyone's door several times, bought signs for front lawns and spent all day at the polling places with a last minute quick pitch to voters. Seniors and residents without children in the district still need to be 'sold' on the benefit that having an above average school district has on real estate values. Apparently most voters could see the value of having a good facility but need to know more before voting YES for a tax rate increase next April.
Concerned November 07, 2012 at 03:55 PM
We need to instill voter confidence that the school board can make rational decisions on spending before any tax rate based referendum can pass. The statement "its for the children" does not hold water with the broad demographic of voters in the district when you see the salaries and benefits being provided . Perhaps we need to elect a couple of board members that do NOT have students in or scheduled to be enrolled in the district in order to bring some sanity to the spending. Then the board needs to demonstrate its ability to to bend the salary/expense curve going at the negotiating table with the unions which I believe starts in June of next year. Only after the board demonstrates fiscal restraint and true management skills can this district even begin to contemplate a new referendum.
Concerned November 07, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I attended the open houses, I also looked at the data of past school board performance in terms teacher salaries and benefits and the fact that there was no effort to put money aside for building maintenance and came to the conclusion that we are just shoveling money into a furnace. Restructure the board, take a hard line with salary negotiations in June, demonstrate fiscal responsibility going forward, come up with a real long-term solution (be bold!) and maybe then people who don't have children attending in the district or the citizens in general may come around. Until then be prepared for more referendum defeats.
Katie November 07, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Don, Honestly, I will keep hitting that NO button. I attended Golf 67 from K-12, there are many schools WORSE off than Golf. Also, you know taxing the town because GOLF cannot live within their means is not everyones problem. There are many vacant houses in Morton Grove/Niles and in this economy is not the best time to be raising taxes. Especially when contracts are up and of course the teachers are looking for raises too. Why not have a fund raiser or a carnival in the summer? Better yet, some of these teachers are so 'wonderful' how come none are stepping up for a pay cut? That would help to a degree. I understand theres contracting involved but there are MANY people who are not working and maybe working 2 part-time jobs to make ends meet. SO VOTE NO ANYTIME GOLF WANTS A RAISE! LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO NILES TOWNSHIP...aren't they out of money? That school district is another joke.
Terri Johns November 07, 2012 at 07:49 PM
You have the right idea The board must learn that high paid teachers do not make the best teachers. Look at your test scores
Casey Faust November 07, 2012 at 07:56 PM
No Mr. India, the referendum has been brought before the voters twice now and twice it has been denied. I don't think anything is going to change by April. The statement that has been used repeatedly of "It's For The Children" is not a good enough mantra to sway the majority of voters. The salary packages need to be reigned in. The teachers make more than a majority of the high school teachers do!
Alexander Hamilton November 07, 2012 at 11:13 PM
I am NOT for an increase in taxes period. Twice in one year rejected. When do we get to put an item on the ballot asking that no more requests to raise taxes be made!
Shawn November 08, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Katie, you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts. "Also, you know taxing the town because GOLF cannot live within their means is not everyones(sic) problem." In 2011, the Illinois State Board of Education awarded Golf School District 67 a Certificate of Financial Recognition for the 2010 School Year. In 2011, Golf School District 67 received an “A1” rating from Moody’s Investor Service. In the Fall of 2010, Standard and Poor’s awarded Golf School District 67 an “A” rating. Standard and Poor’s is one of the leading independent rating agencies for assessment of both public and private securities. There has been no referendum for district taxpayers for over 43 years, since 1969 The district has reduced both certified and non-certified staff, has restructured district/business office to save money, and has put salary freezes on non-certified staff and/or reductions with new hires. The Golf Teachers’ Association has made concessions over the past two years in the form of salary reductions, freeze on tuition reimbursement, and reductions and eliminations in extra duty activities and athletics. I'm just so tired of the lying and/or willful ignorance on the part of people like you. Also, to all of you that are bitter about what happened with previous boards and board members, how about you get over it.
GOB November 08, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Your first statement is absolutely true. High paid teachers don't make the best teachers (although years of experience and graduate degrees can help, which is what often leads to the higher salaries in the first place). Unfortunately, your second statement has no real basis in reality. What "test scores" are you speaking of? The ones where the district continues to make adequate yearly progress when many other schools in the area are failing to achieve it? Or perhaps the continuing performance awards that district has received over the last few years. Just curious what "scores" they are are to look at to prove your point.
Peter November 08, 2012 at 02:49 PM
No more increase in taxes. Period.Wehave taxed over the roof. Peter L
long time MG resident November 08, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I was a student in the 60's and 70's at both the old Golf Elementary and Golf Jr. High. This was when the enrollment was much higher than it is now and we walked to school. We did not have a bus drop us off at our door step that I see they have now. (even the kids that live a block from school!) Perhaps the families with children enrolled in the District 67 schools should pay for the new gym they want and the other facility items needed. They should pay more for the books and extra curricular activities. The teachers' pay in the district is in the top third of all Illinois. Enough. They need a faculty that will manage and live within a budget. I can't possibly pay more taxes. I was laid off in January and have not been able to find a decent job to pay my mortgage let alone more taxes for a house that dropped in value. Someone please tell me, are the real estate taxes being paid on all the vacant McMansions in Morton Grove? Maybe Morton Grove should be more receptive to businesses that want to move here instead of turning them away because "it's not the right image for our town". It's the big businesses that relieve the burden of taxing the homeowners. Please, review all the facts and vote NO at the next referendum election. Thanks for listening, I feel better now.
Concerned November 08, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I agree no more taxes! - My guess is the high school will soon also get in line to bleed us dry. Also, look out the pension liability issue may be addressed this January in the lame duck session. If the liability hits the districts (and the betting is it will), the board will have to really make some serious decisions i.e. consolidate the districts in the area into 1. When will the people pushing for higher taxes for the schools realize this is rapidly becoming an unsustainable model.
grandpa November 09, 2012 at 12:09 AM
When they tell you it's not about money, ("it's for the children."), it's about money. Case in point, the often repeated misrepresentation about the teachers' union making "concessions". Those "concessions" were to forego full increases for smaller increases. THEY WERE STILL INCREASES! Another case in point, pushing to repair multiple facilities when the district cannot, (with the current economy), support multiple facilities. If you begin with a faulty premise you come to a faulty conclusion. It's about money and how to squeeze more out of the taxpayers which is an art long practiced by politicians of all stripes. “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing” ---Jean Baptiste Colbert, (economic minister onder King Louis XIV of France)
Donald India November 09, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Consolidation of ALL Niles Township elementary districts is NOT feasible. Without a change to the school code. Current State Law REQUIRES the highest teacher contract to prevail over all consolidating districts. So if the SD 67 has the highest teacher salaries of all elementary districts - what other district could afford to consolidate with SD 67 and raise their teacher salaries. But bare in mind that years of service, seniority and longevity of the SD 67 staff directly contributes to the high salaries. Newly hired teachers with a BA degree get paid substantially less than a 20+ year veteran teacher. As teachers retire and new teachers are hired, the SD 67 payroll is decreased. There have been some significant changes in the teacher contract in the past 8 years. But I believe that the SD 67 staff will continue to be part of the overall solution to SD 67 finances instead of what some are painting them: as the problem.
GOB November 09, 2012 at 03:51 AM
It was never said it's not about the money. The point of the referendum is to ask for needed money. The reason why? Things cost money. There is no grand ploy to deceive taxpayers about the reason for the referendum. We've discussed the union's concessions before as well. There is no "misrepresentation" as you like to call it. They have been called "concessions" from the start. The teachers conceded a certain amount of money that was contractually owed to them. Whether or not you agree with the amount they conceded is not relevant to this labeling. They are in fact concessions. The only thing they were ever represented as. As far as not being able support multiple facilities, there may be some truth to that, but what do you propose they do? If they close a school, where shall they put those students in the other building? The best, and perhaps only chance they had at consolidating the two facilities was strongly opposed by the community only a few years ago.
grandpa November 09, 2012 at 02:07 PM
What part of "People cannot afford any more taxes" don't you understand? There are only so many golden eggs that the goose can lay. If you cut the goose open to get more you lose the gold and you kill the goose. It's about money on the "No to the referendum" side. We don't have any more to spare. Seniors and the underemployed will be forced out of their homes. Retuers ran a story yesterday about an expected skyrocketing in meat prices in the spring. Perhaps the history classes should revisit what life was like in this country from 1930 - 1939. And now the more taxes crowd has announced they will try to take another bite at the apple in the spring.
Concerned November 10, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I think our problems are consistent with other districts in the state meaning the state will have to address the growing education funding problems. I know that the state has/is considering consolidation of districts to eliminate administrators. That would be a good start at addressing some of the inefficiencies. The looming pension crisis is on the agenda for early January. Maybe some education funding coupled with pension reform may come out of that session. Or perhaps the state is forcing the issue by potentially pushing the pension liability back to the districts impacting their budgets further. Again throwing more money at this problem within our district will not be effective long-term (district 67 you will be back for more) until we get some significant changes coming out of the state. I suspect its going to take some districts to go broke to force the state to review education funding state-wide. If SD 67 is one of those districts then so be it. Bottom line, its going to have to get worse before it gets better. What we need now is a board with some vision and spine to represent the tax payers as well as the students of the district. There needs to be a balance! Teachers welcome to the real world that the tax payers of this district have been living in for the last 10 years. Get ready for concessions, pay freezes and benefit give-backs and maybe lay-offs. The well has gone dry!
Concerned November 10, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Mrs. Concerned feels the teachers should be happy to have a job that pays many of them six figures while having the summers free, holidays off, spring break, great benefits etc etc.! Lets start the union negotiations with a salary and benefit freeze and go from there. Just look at what police and fire workers are paid for a far-more dangerous job. Teachers should not complain if the tax payers are putting the brakes on funding the greed.
Donald India November 12, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Consolidation rarely reduces the number of administrators. Just look throughout the township at the K-8 single facility districts and you will find the same number of admistrators as the 2 building SD67: 1 superintendent and 2 principals. For the record: SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER ELECTIONS ARE THIS APRIL. NOMINATIONS END CHRISTMAS EVE. Those who think they can help please put your name into nomination or live with the results our elected officials decide. Schools going bankrupt and turning the district "keys" over to the State Board of Education has been a reality for more than a decade. So far only a few districts in the Chicagoland, 6 county area have been taken over by the state. It is one of the options to consider. But do not think that the State comes in with a bucket of money to fix the district. They just take over the spending and (unless the law changed) has the right to implement immediate tax rate increases to fix the problem. So I hope we do not get to this point. I would rather take the tax increase request to the voters and live with the decision of the majority.


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