Park Board Passes Levy with 5 Percent Reduction From Previous Year

Commissioners hear from Kendall County Tax Revolt members before vote.

After intense public commentary and discussion between commissioners, the Oswegoland Park District Board voted to approve this year’s tax levy with a reduction of 5 percent from last year.

Prior to the tax levy discussion, several community members spoke in support of a Kendall County non-binding 20 percent levy reduction that 71 percent of voters approved Election Day.

Jan Alexander, a member of the  Kendall County Property Tax Revolt, said she wanted the park board to take the cuts seriously.

“Your services don’t save lives,” she said. “We want some cuts.”

Oswego resident Richard Ayers added that the “board doesn’t have proper respect for citizens.”

Another resident,, Dave Peterson, said he felt the park district wasn’t a luxury and that in  “these challenging times, the park district is where families can go for a high-quality program and provides a place for our kids to do things and have role models.” He said the levy should remain the same.

Board President Bob Mattingly agreed.

“If we cut our levy by 20 percent, or $1.1 million, that’s $1.1 million we will never see again,” he said, as the board could never tax current residents at the same amount. “I cannot give up $1.1 milion forever. I can’t do that to the kids and parents and the people who use our facilities.”

He said by keeping the levy the same it would cost about an extra $1 a month to the taxpayer.

Commisioner Leonard Wass wanted the board to make the 20 percent cut and proposed ways cuts could be made, including the selling of a house owned by the park district.

“If we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem,” he said.

Commisioner Roy White eventually suggested a compromise of a 5 percent levy reduction for a “show of good faith.” The reduced levy would save taxpayers about $275,000. Mattingly said he had no problem with that reduction, a thought echoed by commissioner Debra Krause, who seconded the motion put forth by White.

The board vote 4-1 in favor of the 5 percent reduction, with Mattingly, Krause, White and Ebersole voting in approval and Wass voting against.

russ harrison November 22, 2012 at 03:02 PM
You shoot for 20-% and hope for 5%...duh! No one actually expects an instant 20% cut, but they do demand that the "spend now and we'll get the money later" way of doing business stops...as in right now. An immediate 5% or possibly 10% reduction in costs is achievable without cutting programs in any drastic manner. So, for folks who believe that this is simply a manner of people not wanting to pay an extra dollar a month in their taxes, you are mistaken. This is about not WASTING as much money as has been happening on the past. Eliminate waste and institute a program of frugality and the reduction is there. BTW> Frugal does not mean cheap or sub-par..it means getting the most for your dollar, a goal that has NOT been achieved by most of our local government entities.
Dave Ruggles November 22, 2012 at 03:28 PM
That is what they got, and considered acceptable by many. It did not satisfy Commissioner Wass and some of the audience members. They wanted twenty percent and expressed no concern over programming. If you really studied the proposal it would translate into a long term reduction of closer to 28%. Again, no concern about programming. The focus on efficiency and frugality is fine, but this drive to cut without concern about impact is not in the best interest of anyone.
Karen Gerrity November 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM
The voters spoke loud and clear, we want our tax reduction at 20%. If more homes are foreclosed upon there will be no one left to afford the park dist. There is always waste and ways to cut expenses. If the taxpayers have to do it, so does the gov't and taxing bodies. I, for one am thankful for Commisioner Len Wass and his possibly lone voice on the board speaking for the tax payers that voted for this referendum. Everyone can't make it to the meetings, but if you voted in favor of this referendum, you have a voice in Commisioner Len Wass. The 5% is a start and I think the remaining commisioners should listen to the will of the taxpayers. We cannot continue to Spend, spend, spend. We voted the current commisioners in and we can vote them out.
Greg O'Neil December 01, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Tim, thank God you aren't in charge of anything. You are absolutely clueless. Why don't you run for something? I'm glad you live somewhere else, maybe you should try annoying your own community with your cheap shot, two bit analysis because no one around here really cares what you think.
Dave Ruggles December 01, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Russ voted for 20%, hoping for 5% and got it. I don't believe there is 20% of waste at the park district, and I have not seen it identified.


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