Interesting Position: Teachers union seeks 5 percent raises, says ‘rich people’ will pay for them

Teachers union seeks 5 percent raises, says ‘rich people’ will pay for them.

Chicago Teachers Union leaders on Tuesday submitted their first contract proposals — including 5-percent pay raises — to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, though most negotiations are expected to fall to the next tenant of City Hall’s fifth floor.

The teachers’ current contract expires June 30, more than a month after Emanuel’s successor is sworn into office following the Feb. 26 mayoral election and possible April 2 runoff election.

“Rahm Emanuel still is the mayor of the city of Chicago and will be until early May,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey said, holding up a packet of the union’s demands outside Emanuel’s City Hall office.

“He’s got to do his job in advance bargaining so when it becomes a new mayor’s turn to take over, we can actually land a contract before school starts next fall.”

Sharkey laid out four provisions of the teachers’ proposals: increased pay and benefits, increased staffing, reduced class sizes and “social demands” guaranteeing sanctuary status for undocumented students in CPS classrooms and increased availability of affordable housing citywide.

In addition to 5-percent raises for CTU members, the union is seeking librarians and nurses at every school, heightened special education and bilingual student support services, class sizes capped at 24 for early childhood education and a counselor for every 250 students

City officials did not release details on a potential counter-proposal.

“CPS is led by two lifelong Chicago educators who understand the supports our teachers need to be successful, and we look forward to beginning productive conversations to work toward a contract that honors the contributions of our educators and supports the best interests of Chicago students and families,” district spokesman Michael Passman said in an email.

Emanuel spokeswoman Lauren Markowitz touted the district’s academic gains and said, “As discussions around the next contract begin, we must ensure this forward momentum continues so that every child in every community has an education that matches their potential.”

Union leaders did not say how much their plan would cost, but Gates acknowledged the price will go up from the current contract, estimated at $8.9 billion when it was ratified in 2016.

Posted in #taxation, Economy, Education, Elections, Entertainment, Finance, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, political satire, politics, referendum, Referendums, Roy F. McCampbell, salary cap, Social Media, Special Education, Taxation, Union, vote | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Power to Tax Is Also The Power To Destroy

It’s no mystery why the people of Illinois find themselves in this mess. Lawmakers are making extravagant promises to give people things with other people’s money. Amusement taxes are just the latest and most convenient device to help them achieve this, though hardly sufficient.

Illinois gives proof to Chief Justice John Marshall’s famous axiom: The power to tax is the power to destroy. Fortunately, the Founders created a system that allows Americans to vote with their feet, which evidence suggests many are doing. New census data show an exodus from tax-punishing states is underway.

Posted in #taxation, Economic Development, Economy, Education, election fraud, Elections, Entertainment, Finance, Franklin Park, Illinois, illinois politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Property Tax Appeal Game in Cook County

The property-tax-assessment process in Cook County is convoluted by design. But here’s how it works in simple terms:

First, the Cook County Assessor’s Office assesses the value of every property in the county. The value of any given property is reassessed once every three years. This “assessed value” is then used to calculate the property taxes owed by each property owner.

Property owners can then appeal that assessed value in a number of ways. They can file a request with the assessor asking for a reduction, appeal the valuation to the Cook County Board of Review, file a lawsuit in which a judge will decide the value, or the property owner and the Cook County State’s Attorney will enter into a settlement agreement over the value.

Flawed property valuations and the process required to fix them are a cash cow for law firms, including those of Madigan, Burke and Cullerton, which know what strings to pull. These law firms handle the ways in which the assessed value of a property is appealed: the request with the assessor, the appeal to the Cook County Board of Review, and lawsuits.

The Cook County Board of Review – which exists solely to field appeals for assessments by the Cook County Assessor’s Office – processed appeals for more than 400,000properties in 2013.

What doesn’t add up is nearly two-thirds of those appeals were successful: an astonishing number that reveals a faulty assessment process ripe for savvy attorneys.

Any way you slice it, taxpayers lose.

Choose not to appeal your assessment and the government pockets the extra money. Choose to hire a politically connected law firm and that law firm typically pockets anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of the “winnings.” And each reduction for a politically connected business means an increase in property taxes for those lacking the right political connections.

Ideally, assessments should be calculated solely through a computer, confirmed solely by a computer and continuously updated with complete accuracy through the use of websites such as RedFin, Zillow and Trulia, along with the county’s own records.

These websites track every change and every sale every minute of every day, and if used properly could practically eliminate the entire appeals racket.

Furthermore, elected officials should not be permitted to sell their services in property-tax law. To anyone outside Illinois’ political machine, this is a clear conflict of interest that has gone untouched for too long.

Posted in #taxation, Chicago, Economic Development, Economy, Education, election fraud, Elections, Finance, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, legal services, mike madigan, political satire, politics, referendum, Roy F. McCampbell, Taxation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Year Sees No Relief For Illinoisans’ From Ever Growing Property Tax Bills

A major reason for Illinoisans’ daunting property tax bills is the record number of local government bodies they’re supporting. Illinois, for example, is home to nearly 860 school districts, fifth-highest in the nation.

Meanwhile, those districts serve the fifth-lowest number of students per district at 2,400, which suggests Illinois taxpayers are paying for an overabundance of school districts.

That comes at no small cost. School districts in Illinois consume nearly two-thirds of all property taxes collected by local governments.

Unfortunately, Illinois ranks 8th in the nation in administrative spending as a percentage of education spending – meaning a substantial chunk of those property tax dollars never reach the classroom. Instead, a large portion goes to pay for administration and support functions.

By consolidating school districts, overhead would drop and allow local leaders to take immediate steps toward property tax relief.

In addition to too many school districts, Illinois is overrun with local government. At nearly 7,000 of them, Illinois is draped in more layers of government than any other state in the nation. These layers include townships, park districts, mosquito abatement districts and more.

Many of these government units overlap, in many cases performing the same services.

In addition to excess taxpayer costs, too much government provides refuge for waste and abuse: The McHenry County state’s attorney opened criminal investigations into three separate townships in the county this year.

Following one of the investigations, the state’s attorney described the “flawed” township form of government in a report as hotbeds of “incompetence, guile and impropriety.”

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker should allow McHenry County taxpayers to rid their communities of such abuse by signing into law House Bill 4637. That bill would empower county residents to more easily dissolve their townships at the ballot box.

Additionally, state lawmakers should extend those consolidation powers to all Illinois taxpayers. 

Posted in #taxation, Chicago, Crime, Economic Development, Economy, Education, Elections, Elmwood Park School District 401, Finance, Franklin Park, Mannheim School District 83, Norridge, Norridge School D80, Northlake, Pennoyer School District 79, political satire, politics, referendum, Rosemont School District 78, Roy F. McCampbell, Schiller Park, Schiller Park Commentaries, Social Media, Special Education, Sports, Taxation, Union Ridge SD86 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Extract on the Origins of McCampbell

An Extract on the Origins of McCampbell
— Read on

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Leyden High Schools To Have An E Learning Day on Monday, November 26, 2018

Tomorrow – Monday, November 26, 2018 will be an E-Learning Day at East and West Leyden schools at Leyden SD 212. Assignments will be available in @Schoology by 9:00 am. Students make sure to sign in for attendance purposes and have a great day! #leydenpride

Posted in #leydenpride, East Leyden, Education, Franklin Park, Leyden Area Special Education CoOp, Leyden High School Dostrict 212 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Stop Believin’: Jonathan Cane of Journey joined longtime baseball exec, Nick Colletti, both Leyden grads, as they returned for book signing

It was a very happy homecoming for Jonathan Cain when he visited Leyden High Schools on Nov. 12 to sign copies of his new book “Don’t Stop Believin’: The Man, The Band, and the Song That Inspired Generations.”

The keyboardist and backup vocalist for Journey, who helped write the band’s best-known song, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” is a 1968 Leyden graduate.

Enjoyed going back to visit the old neighborhood where I spent my teen years in Schiller Park with @Paula_White! Lots of memories 👍🏻Blessed to speak at West Leyden last night where they featured my memoir, Don’t Stop Believin’ 🎶📚

RJ McCampbell and Jonathan Cain of Journey and an alumni of East Leyden High School and former resident of Schiller Park

Jonathan Cane provides a lyrical tour of his music:

Cain was joined by Leyden 1972 graduate Ned Colletti, author of “The Big Chair: The Smooth Hops and Bad Bounces from the Inside World of the Acclaimed Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager.”

Both authors spoke to students at four sessions.

Cain reminisced about his years at Leyden.

“I loved homecoming. The prom was great. We had it at the Drake Hotel. I remember singing with the band my senior year,” he said. “I had great teachers, and the coaches were all strong.”

In terms of activities, Cain said that he wanted to play basketball, “but I was too small. I did cross country and gymnastics, and I played baseball through my sophomore year.”

He also played music in high school with his band the Futurists.

Cain initially began writing the book to chronicle his experience as a survivor of the 1958 fire at Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, which led to the deaths of 92 students and three nuns.

“It struck me that none of the survivors from the Our Lady of the Angels School fire had been published,” he explained. “I wanted to set the record straight and remind the world of the 

tragedy. And also retrace the story of my journey to Journey.”

“A lot of times tragedy brings revelation,” Cain noted. “Tragedy can bring redemption. My father lit a fire in my heart after that. He gave me the gift of music, and his blessings and his confidence. ‘My dad matters’ is going to be my theme this year. Maybe my book inspires young men to look after their children the way my dad did.”

The most difficult aspect of writing that book for Cain was his desire to be transparent.

“There were times I stumbled and didn’t always do the right thing,” he explained. “You have regrets about the way you handle certain situations. I had to come clean with it and tell the truth. Nobody likes to blow up a family and a marriage but when it happens, it happens. Even at the pinnacle of somebody’s career, you can do stuff that you wish you didn’t. ”

Jonathan Cane is a bit anecdotal:

Of course, writing about the fire was also painful.

Cain has been married to his third wife, Pastor Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Orlando, Fla., since April of 2015.

What people will learn from the book that might most surprise them is “my heart for God,” Cain said. “I wanted to be a priest, and I ended up marrying a pastor. I repented and I feel like I’m on or. I repented and I feel like I’m on my track where I’m supposed to be.”

That includes writing Christian worship music. He is currently working on his third album that expresses his faith.

“I’m creating a music ministry,” Cain explained. “I’m going to speak to younger people and help them with their music.”

Cain is also involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “Journey helped raised over $100,000 this year on the road,” he reported.

Cain talked to the students about the process of writing a book and, hopefully, inspire them. “And teach them that blessings take hard work,” Cain said.

Jonathan Cane ends the evening on a musical note:

Cain and Colletti concluded the day at an evening event in the newly finished West Leyden library where many members of the community as well as students were hosted

Ned Colletti, East Leyden Class of 1972

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Election Day

What are you seeing out there ?

How’s the weather ?

How is the turnout ?

How was lunch ?

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Local Governments’ Alarming Capital Spending Ratios — Strong Towns

There are many ways for state and local governments to run hidden deficits,
one of which is deferred maintenance. But it turns out there is a way to
measure the extent to which local governments kick the maintenance can down
the road.
— Read on

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Eradicate Hate In Our Society

What happened in Pittsburgh was horrific and senseless. My prayers go out to all the victims and their families. We must work to eradicate hate in our society.

Posted in Chicago, Illinois, illinois politics, Leyden, mental health, News, politics, Social Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment