Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Another property tax increase coming soon...

Chicago Board of Education
Remember during the 2015 municipal elections where I expressed support for an elected school board - though my idea was a hybrid with both appointed and elected members? Well we need to get to work on this idea especially if Gov. Bruce Rauner signs legislation that sets up another property tax increase here in Chicago that would be approved not by Chicago Aldermen, but by the appointed Chicago board of education.

Tapped-out Chicago property owners would face yet another tax hit for teacher pensions — but their aldermen would escape another difficult vote — under a historic new statewide school funding deal now headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.

That “compromise” bill — approved by Illinois lawmakers this week — authorizes the Chicago Board of Education, comprised of mayoral appointees, to impose a property-tax hike worth $125 million without any involvement whatsoever from the Chicago City Council, whose members are elected.

The Board of Education does indeed plan to approve the increase, enabling the Chicago Public Schools to walk away with a total of $450 million in new state and local money for the 2017-18 school year once Rauner puts his signature on the bill, school officials said.

Rauner plans a bill-signing ceremony on Thursday, his office said.

It’s unclear when the city’s school board will take up the property-tax increase.

This hike would amount to a 2.5 percent increase in the tax bill for an average Chicago homeowner. The owner of a home worth $200,000 would pay an additional $83 in property taxes, records show.
It brings to mind a recent column written by John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit
In Chicago it’s great to be part of the ruling class. But Chicago’s roads are crumbling, barely one out of four of its students in its government schools read at grade level, its bond rating is the lowest among major cities, and businesses lack confidence in Chicago and Illinois as a whole. If you are part of Chicago’s ruling class you might view high taxes as a downpayment on your next paycheck or your retirement, but Chicagoans endure the nation’s highest sales tax rate and they were slugged with the highest property tax increase in the city’s history to fund public-worker pensions.

Yet Chicago’s public pensions are the worst-funded among America’s biggest cities--at a rate of just 25 percent of its obligations. But the cruel joke may be on these well-compensated public-servants. Despite the strong pension protection clause in the Illinois constitution, a pension “haircut” seems unavoidable for retirees. Michigan has similar wording it its constitution, yet Detroit municipal retirees saw their pension checks cut after the Motor City declared bankruptcy.
h/t Newsalert

BTW, what you see in that Newsalert post is a screencap of the Sun-Times front page which is what I share now.
 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Update on the restore the #63rdL petition...

[VIDEO] I wanted to replay this video in light of this online petition launched this summer to restore the East 63rd Green Line east from Cottage Grove. In January 2013 artistmac posted a video driving from Morgan/63rd east to Stony Island. To keep this vid germane this video should start at about 4:25. The total duration is over 9 minutes.

When the L was destroyed beyond Cottage Grove the neighborhood was likely much different than it is now. The East 63rd corridor was very blighted and largely vacant though in the past decade there has been construction with single family houses. Then fairly recently driving through I see a building under construction at 63rd & University - once the site of an L stop.

As of now it appears the CTA while a spokesperson at first said they're always looking to explore expanding service also indicated extending East 63rd green line service to Stony Island isn't currently in the cards. Just click on this tweet by Curbed Chicago for more information.
The petition started by Reuben Lillie earlier this summer as of Tuesday has 743 signatures per the statistics shown on the petition page. My personal appeal if you support extending the red line past 95th then also consider supporting the restoration of East 63rd green line service to Stony Island. Tourists and Chicago resident should have much easier access to the future Barack Obama Presidential Library.

And while the petition is linked above I'll post this tweet below to make it easier for you to add your name to this also.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

West Chesterfield moves up on leader board State Farm neighborhood assist

From The Chicago Neighborhoods
We got an e-mail recently from West Chesterfield's Michael LaFargue
  • THANK those who have voted! and ask PLEASE VOTE TODAY, TOMORROW, THURSDAY and FRIDAY!

    UPDATE!
    We have moved up on the Leader Board to #145. We need to be at #40.

    VOTE:
    GO TO: www.neighborhoodassist.com
    SIGN UP: name, personal email…
    SEARCH: type in West Chesterfield
    VOTE: Today *
    VOTE: Daily **

    Please help the West Chesterfield Community Association Inc. win a $25,000 State Farm "Safety" Surveillance Camera Grant!

    Only the "The forty (40) Causes earning the highest number of votes by 11:59:59 P.M. ET, Friday, August 25, 2017 will be designated the winners"
Also there was a press release attached to this e-mail which includes reference to Cook County Judge Raymond Myles who had been murdered this past spring. The private surveillance camera network of West Chesterfield was instrumental in capturing his killers.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stossel: Government-Run Schools Crush Innovation

[VIDEO] It's been a while since I took on regularly the issues of education. It's not a very huge passion of mine anymore and since I've really have little interest in becoming a part of this establishment. Whenever I write about this subject my conclusion is that there needs to be some changes that hopefully will benefit the students and their families.

With this said I've been a public school student, obviously, I've attended Bennett/Shedd and moved on to Harlan Community Academy - GO FALCONS. Also I've attended one of the City Colleges of Chicago another public education system. I have few regrets about them other than having never taken advantage of the many opportunities that exists within those systems. It's a bad habit of mine admittedly.

So today I share with you this John Stossel video, Stossel a longtime journalist who's worked for ABC News and FOX News evolved from a consumer advocate reporter to one with a libertarian bent. This is one of the issues he's tackled and in the video you see above shows how the public education system in America needs some serious changes.

When I graduated from 8th grade my teacher at the time lamented that we'd better hope Republicans don't get elected because they'll cut public education. My naive mind may have believed that, however, also in naive mind the question arose - why do Republicans want to cut public education?

A few years ago a debate raged in Chicago, why are we closing under-performing and underutilized schools in primarily minority (Black and Latino) communities? While arguments raged from now young students will have to traverse more gang territory to get to school it was also understood that the Chicago Public Schools couldn't afford to keep these schools open any longer. We've just reached another thing that has been said with regards to public education - they always need more money.

Recently it was in the news that from the city of Chicago, CPS needs another $269 million for its $5.7 billion budget. So public education in Chicago remains for whatever reason cash strapped.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Seaway Bank Farmer's Market Aug. 2nd to Sept. 20th, 2017

Seaway Bank as a division of Self-Help FCU is hosting a farmer's market every Wednesday from Aug. 2 to Sept. 20, 2017 from 9 AM to 2 PM. at the main branch located at 645 E. 87th Street. Refer to flyer below for more details or click this link for a printable flyer.