Which board candidates are accountable?

Which board candidates are accountable?

By Barb Dent

School Board Elections—

Which board candidates are accountable?

District 205 finances have been a hot topic during this school board campaign. While Ted Biondo (D), Scott Carter (E) and Patti Delugas (F) answered our R.E.A.CH. survey, their opponents, “the slate,” refused. Here is how they answered the R.E.A.CH. survey or their answers on radio or TV.

R.E.A.CH. asked all of the candidates if they supported the referendum. Ted Biondo (D), Scott Carter (E) and Patti Delugas (F) replied yes. On their TV and radio interviews, “the slate” have said they are for the referendum; however, they would like to see our taxes be increased even higher.

R.E.A.CH. asked all of the candidates if the board should have asked Magistrate Mahoney to raise our taxes through a “Jenkins” tax last November, or should they ask him to do it if the referendum fails. Ted Biondo (D), Scott Carter (E), and Patti Delugas (F) replied no. Their opponents refused to answer our question. On WNTA radio, Carter’s opponent, Mark Burns, said it was premature to answer that.

R.E.A.CH. asked all of the candidates if they support giving tax objectors/protesters their refunds back. Biondo (D), Carter (E), and Delugas (F) stated yes. Once again, their opponents refused to answer our question. On WNTA, Carter’s opponent, Mark Burns, said he wouldn’t give them their refunds, which is a violation of state law and would start more litigation.

Ted Biondo (D) and Patti Delugas (F) stated they have developed a six-year plan to balance the budget. They also have decreased the deficit because of their budget surplus, and the district has received $104 million in grant funding during the last three years. “The slate” has criticized the board’s cutting of the class day in middle school and high school. Biondo’s opponent, Nancy Kalchbrenner, wants to close schools. She would need to close 8 to 10 schools. However, she won’t say which of these schools she would close: Marsh; Spring Creek;White Swan; Froberg; Rock River; Kishwaukee; Brookview; Carlson; Bloom; Jackson; Nelson; Gregory; Johnson; Cherry Valley; New Milford; Swan Hillman; Nashold; Rolling Green; Thompson; or Whitehead. Patti Delugas’s opponent, Jay Nellis, refused to say what his plan or cuts would be. However, Nellis would increase administration. While Biondo (D) and Delugas (F) have attended finance meetings to formulate a plan with the administration and the community, Kalchbrenner (D) and Nellis (F) haven’t.

Scott Carter (E) stated that the six-year plan is a good start and would like to see that the 7th period is reinstated for the secondary schools if the referendum is successful. His opponent, Mark Burns, offered no plan or cuts of his own.

As I warned a couple of weeks ago, “the slate,” led by Jack Packard, would try to misinform the public about attorneys’ fees. Biondo(D) and Delugas (F) have lowered the attorneys’ fees by 50 percent over the last three years and incurred under $4 million dollars in attorneys’ fees as of June, 2000. They’ve passed that savings on to the taxpayer by lowering the tax rate for three consecutive years. An owner of a $100,000 home realized a saving of $100, because the board lowered the attorneys’ fees. Biondo (D) and Delugas’s (F) opponents have suggested that the attorneys’ fees could have been used for education. That would have been illegal and caused another lawsuit. Most of the attorneys’ fees are spent on implementing the court order, which was approved by the board led by Judy Picus who supports “the slate.”

Voters need to chose wisely this school board election and see who really is accountable.

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