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QuickStory: FACTS Member Questions Pre-Referendum Enrollment Projections

TaxFACTS leader Bob McQuillan suggests the School District 304 enrollment numbers used to promote the 2007 referendum were inflated.

A member of a taxpayer watchdog group suggested publicly Monday night that Geneva voters were given inflated enrollment projection numbers prior to an April 17, 2007, referendum seeking funds to build two new elementary schools.

TaxFACTS citizens group leader Bob McQuillan challenged the Geneva School District 304 Board at its Monday night meeting to explain why enrollment projection numbers offered to the general public prior to the 2007 referendum were higher than the highest projections made by a School District 304 consultant in 2006.

McQuillan said he found the consultant's enrollment projection numbers for the years 2007 to 2012 on the School District's website while he was reviewing the minutes of the School Board's March 17, 2012, "retreat" session held at the district's Central Office, 227 N. Fourth St., Geneva.

The projections were made in 2006 by John D. Kasarda, Ph.D.

McQuillan said after Monday night's meeting that Kasarda offered "low," "expected" and "absolute maximum" ranges of projected enrollment for the years from 2007 to 2012. McQuillan said numbers provided to the public prior to the referendum were significantly higher than the "absolute maximum" numbers.

School Board President Mark Grosso thanked McQuillan but said he could not answer McQuillan's question without some time to review the documents. When McQuillan asked when the district would provide an answer, Grosso answered, "Soon."

In a later public comment portion of the meeting, McQuillan said his question about the apparent discrepancy was not a Freedom of Information Act request. He asked that the board publish a response on its website under "Frequently Asked Questions" prior to the next board meeting.

The next regularly scheduled School Board meeting is 7 p.m. April 23, at the , 1113 Peyton St.

 

2007 REFERENDUM QUESTION

Shall the Board of Education of Geneva Community Unit School District Number 304, Kane County, Illinois, build and equip two new elementary school buildings and a maintenance building, alter, repair, equip and make site improvements to existing school buildings and issue the bonds of said School District to the amount of $79,990,000 for the purpose of paying for the costs thereof?

SOURCE: School District 304 website pdf

Dave Erickson April 17, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I once had a boss that said don't continue to bring me complaints and problems, rather bring me solutions or don't bother me. Therefore it seems that there is a simple solution to this issue. Since there appears to be an abundance of people posting here that are obviously convinced that the current and past board members are either lying or corrupt, then step up and provide the solution. Run for the open seats and correct this. Also, why is everyone afraid to use their full name? Just curious.
Hal April 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I'm with Dr. Nelson - if the board won't come forward and explain the issues that Mr. McQuillan brought to light, they've fractured the trust between the community and the school district.
Bob McQuillan April 17, 2012 at 03:07 PM
First, no one has said anyone is corrupt. Second, I asked the question at a public meeting because the statements made by Dr. Mutchler, Donna Oberg and Mary Stith about always following Dr. Kassard's Series B (most expected) projections and what was provided by the administration/board for the 2007 building referendum DO NOT match. Please view the video of March 17th at http://www.genevataxfacts.org/School-Board-Meetings/03-17-2012.html Use the drop down menu to go to section 4.3 Kasarda recaluations- trending toward Series B. Both the original 2006 & revised 2011 reports were passed out to the board members at this meeting. Mary Stith sates that they did not use the "fast & aggressive approach" for the 2007 referendum. Her comment about a 3rd elementary school, I believe, is Settlement of LaFox not Fox Mill (that development is in St. Charles). A possible elementary school in Settlement of LaFox WAS NOT included in the Phase I 2007 referendum question. That possibility was not ever discussed in terms of the 2007 projections. Projections used for the FAQ section on the district's website in 2007 were actually higher than Dr. Kasarda's "absolute maximum" projections. The question remains, where did the projections used for the 2007 referendum approval campaign come from? What is the basis for projections that were higher their their expert's absolute maximum? The community has a right to know the truth about how the 2007 referendum was presented to them. Watch the video
Alberto Principe April 17, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Integrity is hard to find these days it seems. I say possible solutions could be to close one of the schools, board members involved in the doctoring of the numbers to resign, and quite possibly the best solution would be to get the community involved. If Geneva wants to know why we are paying so much, then stop complaining about it and actively engage in the decision making process. I am very interested in the reasons for the exagerated numbers, once we know the reasons we can decide how to resolve that problem.
G.Ryan April 19, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Alberto, we have tried to apply solutions to this Board and they are completely arrogant and rude to us who attend the School Board meetings monthly....they will not answer your questions and will not make the DEBT issue a priority.....I invite every member of this community to attend and get involved. As it is time to start petitioning for closure of either one or two of the school PALACES.......

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