Lincoln-Way District 210 gets second credit upgrade of 2019
DAILY SOUTHTOWN | DEC 20, 2019
In 2015 SD210 officials were forced to close Lincoln-Way North in Frankfort, to cut expenses.
In 2018, the district hired a financial adviser, PMA Financial Network of Naperville, to evaluate its current debt and propose potential debt restructuring plans.
The new upgrade from Moody’s could help lower the interest rate on the bonds. Selling the bonds will reduce how much money the district needs for principal and interest payments, which in turn will lower property tax bills in the district.
For the current levy year, on taxes paid in 2020, the debt service portion of a property owner’s tax bill will drop by $101 for the owner of a home with a fair market value of $300,000, according to the district. For next year’s levy, on taxes paid in 2021, the cut is anticipated to be $81, according to the district.
“Why should the community write you a blank check?”
After deciding to close Rich East, in a move that was supposed to cut costs, the board voted 4-3 Tuesday to issue $105 million in bonds to finance construction work at the two schools.
The bond issue will increase property taxes by $137 a year on homes valued at $300,000 or $86 a year on homes valued at $200,000, board members heard during a presentation.
Do you trust their figures ?
The Public has yet to be given any proposed tax rates and factors to calculate what our actual Property Tax increase would be.
has made 464 political contributions
Under the leadership of David Mekarski and Debra Meyers-Martin, Robinson Engineering was awarded numerous village projects without going through a competitive bidding process.
Package stolen 2 minutes after it was delivered
Video surveillance captures thieves stealing package from porch in the vicinity of 203rd & Kedzie on 11/2/2019 at 4:09pm. Anyone with information regarding the suspect or vehicle in video should contact the Olympia Fields Police immediately.
Owners of Matteson counseling center indicted on Medicaid fraud charges
Prosecutors says Summer Matheson, Terrence Ewing and Richard Grundy got about $4 million by billing for more counseling services than the Laynie Foundation actually provided.
Support our local Walgreens
Help keep our neighborhood drugstore off the corporate
shut down list.
SD 227 Enrollment decline prompts staffing review
According to the Illinois State Board of Education, enrollment in District 227 stands at 3,057 this year, down from 4,167 reported in 2009.
The district's three high schools are Rich Central in Olympia Fields, Rich East in Park Forest and Rich South in Richton Park.
Might the district consider reducing its number of employees or closing one of its three schools in response to the downward enrollment trend?
Illinois Report Card 2017-2018
Rich Central High School
2020 BMW Championship to
be played at Olympia Fields
The Olympia Fields Country Club (OFCC) North Course is set to be the site of the 2020 BMW Championships, formerly known as the Western Open (which went to Olympia Fields five times). The tournament has been played in Illinois every other year since 2012, with next year's event coming to Medinah after a visit to Aronimink in Pennsylvania this summer. While play dates are still being finalized, the event is scheduled to take place sometime in August with more details soon to come. 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the first Western Open played at Olympia Fields.
Debra Meyers-Martin Lies about reduced budgets and raising taxes
Source: DEBRA MEYERS-MARTIN 3-26-2017
This despite the fact the Municipal Tax Rate has gone up every year and nearly doubled since she took office, along with the skyrocketing Village Salaries which have also gone up every year and are public record.
David Mekarski Lies about Referendum Newsletter at Town Hall Meeting
A stuttering David Mekarski told residents that the 2007 Referendum Newsletter stated that sewers were only a “minor part“ of the referendum, and that he “can certainly get a copy of it from file and prove the commitment by this board was to only take $200,000 out of the 2008 referendum for sewers”.
Debra Meyers-Martins then states that all the referendum money ($200,000) allocated for sewers was only “spent on smoke testing and televising the sewer system”
This completely contradicts what residents were promised in what was really printed in the 2007 REFERENDUM NEWSLETTER released by the village. A majority of residents overwhelmingly voted “yes” to the referendum believing the village when they proclaimed 50% of the new revenue was for sewers.
In a disgusting revelation, 10 years after the bogus sewer referendum, Cynthia Saenz revealed that the village is in debt $5,900,000 (in principle alone) for sewer projects.
2007 Referendum Newsletter
Village’s tax rate. This tax rate increase will generate
approximately $1.2 million dollars annualy in new revenues.
Approximately 50% will be directed to the General Fund to
prevent a reduction in services or necessary layoffs from our
Police department. The remaining 50% will finance a series of
sewer and drainage improvement projects that will directly
benefit many of our neighborhoods. For the average household
with a home that has a market value of $300,000, this increase
8. WILL THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES INTEND TO USE
SOME OF THE REVENUES RAISED BY THE
REFERENDUM TO SUBSIDIZE THE COST OF
NECESSARY SANITARY SYSTEM IMPROVEMENTS?
Our sewer sanitary system is aging. Over 60% of our sewer
lines are 40 years old. These lines are cracking, allowing
groundwater to flood the system. This ground water
infiltration overwhelms the systems ability to handle sewer
water. During storm conditions, sewer water can actually
“backup” into our homes. The Illinois Environmental
Protection Agency has actually issued a Violation Notice for a
portion of the system along Country Club Drive. The
reconstruction of this line alone will exceed $400,000. An
engineering study indicates that the cost of repair of our
overall system will exceed $7 million. To manage this critical
project, the Board of Trustees intends to utilize sewer rates
combined with revenues from the proposed 68-cent increase
to finance a 5-year capital improvement project. The end
result will mean a major reduction in sewage backups,
extending the life of the system for another 30 plus years, and
compliance with State Environmental laws.
Olympia Fields Municipal Tax Rate
Village has not had a balanced budget without a municipal tax rate increase since 2009
2010 was the year Debra Meyer-Martin took office allowing Mekarski control of the village
Dishonest Village Board continues to insult the intelligence of residents and boast about balanced budgets with half truth BS. Clearly they assume most residents don’t read their tax bill. The Municipal tax rate has nearly doubled since 2009.
Never forget where it all started
We have NOT forgotten who the sociopath was that launched the destruction of Olympia Fields when he irresponsibly hired David Mekarski in 2005 and kept residents in the dark about Mekarski’s reprehensible stint in Vero Beach.
Case of Mismanagement
The following presentation will provide professional and specific analysis of the village budgets revealing unnecessary management deficiencies resulting in unprecedented risk and the immediate need for an executive closed session to discuss change of course and non-renewal of contract of chief personnel responsible for village administration.
Please print following pdf or copy the link and distribute to all your friends and neighbors.
Tinley Park to study staffing levels
Tinley Park will study staffing levels and productivity of several village departments and compare their work with counterparts in similar size communities.
The Village Board on Tuesday approved hiring Matrix Consulting Group, at a cost of $42,700, to evaluate departments including the clerk's office, village manager, human resources and finance.
The study is expected to take 10 weeks to complete, with the findings likely to be presented at a Village Board or committee meeting.
The California-based firm will look at areas such as productivity, use of technology, if there are overlapping or duplicated functions and whether some tasks now being performed can be eliminated, according to a village memo. The study wouldn't look at departments such as police or public works.
Jury awards $678,723 to former village employee for Retaliation, Wrongful Termination
“a subsequent, independent audit produced only questionable evidence funds were missing and no evidence Rambo was involved”
Another poor decision by crooked David Mekarski.
Enough is Enough, Mekarski is the one that should be terminated.
Never forget, the letter received from concerned citizen on December 18, 2011
Village throws former chief
under the bus
Olympia Fields Trustee publicly accused former police chief of knowing about & covering up alleged $40,000 theft. Could village now be faced with a defamation of character lawsuit?
Spending dips in Flossmoor’s
zero growth budget for new fiscal year
Mayor Braun said that the zero growth initiative shows that Flossmoor is concerned about keeping government spending at a level that respects local taxpayers.”Flossmoor is making a statement about the cost of responsible government.”
Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said, pointing out that Flossmoor operates with little debt so that financial risk is “relatively minimal.” Continued fiscal success is a result of sound financial planning combined with “an incremental yet responsive approach” to fluctuating economic impacts, she wrote.
Flossmoor will meet
zero growth budget target
“We want to do that for our residents”
Flossmoor is poised to meet its goal of a zero growth budget
for the 2017 fiscal year, Mayor Paul Braun said he and the other board members are pleased that village staff presented a preliminary budget so close to a zero growth spending plan.
However, he wants the village to meet its true zero growth target. For that to happen, additional cuts will be needed in some spending areas, Braun told the H-F Chronicle.
“We’ve directed the staff to make those cuts so that operating expenses in the new budget don’t increase over this year’s level,” he said. “We want to do that for our residents.”
“Government needs to live within its means and cut spending when revenue declines”
Since 2004, Olympia Fields annual salaries have increased +178% over the Consumer Price index
comparison to the surrounding communities.
Average annual salaries
Olympia Fields $40,556 $66,612
FACT: Since 2004, Total Annual Salaries has increased by +178.62% over Consumer Price Index (CPI) = (inflation)
Source:Village of Olympia Fields
Flossmoor $42,864 $52,434
FACT: Since 2004, Total Annual Salaries has increased by +20.97% over Consumer Price Index (CPI) = (inflation)
Source:Village of Flossmoor
Matteson $39,825 $45,268
FACT: Since 2004, Total Annual Salaries has decreased by -88.04% over Consumer Price Index (CPI) = (inflation)
Source:Village of Matteson
Pension boost tactic sidesteps laws
to cost taxpayers millions
A Chicago Tribune investigation found that the costly perk of “pension spiking” has thrived despite the General Assembly passing two laws — nearly 50 years apart — that target pension spiking. In some communities, soon-to-be retirees have been relying on a little trick to increase their retirement income. They cash out for severance, unused vacation or sick days, or receive bonuses — yes, bonuses — in the months leading up to their retirements. That way, their overall salary for that final year is bigger, and that's a key factor in calculating the pensions they'll receive for the rest of their lives.
These public servants avoid laws that aim to stop so-called pension spiking by timing those payments just right — near their retirement date but not in the last three months leading up to it. That way, they can get around laws that cap salaries in the final three months of employment — the laws that were designed to stop pension spiking
Search for padded pensions near you (database) The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund — using metrics from a 2012 law — flags pensions it suspects are spiked. It demands immediate payment from the local agency of the extra costs from the padded pension. You can search for agencies by their names, and sort the columns:
Denise Will, Olympia Field Park District another member of the “$100,000 club"
More wasted tax dollars on a park system which has failed to operate within its budget and failed the taxpayers of Olympia Fields.
Suburban legislator pushing for law to prohibit Double Dipping
A suburban legislator is pushing for a law that would prohibit retired cops throughout Illinois from collecting a police salary and a police pension at the same time.
State Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) introduced legislation this year that would stop retired cops from collecting their pensions and going back to work as officers for a different department. Wehrli said he introduced his bill because of a situation in Naperville where a high-ranking police officer retired, started collecting his pension and came back as chief.
Employee Wage Job Title City Vacation Sick
Les Delya $63,249.95 Tow Impoundment Olympia Fields 25days 10days
Residency requirements popular in south suburbs
Officials say living in village shows commitment
Ed Paesel, executive director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, said "In a lot of cases, it's good to have employees live in the community that they work in" "Some communities view it as the employee having a stake in the future." Paesel said
Matthew Fares, chief of staff for Chicago Heights, said "Obviously, it shows a community effort to turn the city around and move the city in a positive direction," South Holland Mayor Don De Graff said he strongly believes that a residency requirement is good for the community."
Did the Village Board know about Mekarski’s blemished record at Vero Beach when they hired him?
“The parties mutually agree that they will not utter, transmit or print any negative or disparaging comments regarding the other party concerning the employment of Mr. Mekarski.”
Tinley Park hires new
Code enforcement performance has a major impact on property values
If a criminal breaks into your home while your away, a Monitoring Alarm System and Video Surveillance are the best assets to have. However, there are many things you should be aware of to prevent becoming the next target.
Why was the Jones Gift Higher Priority than Police Dash Cameras?
Why did the Village have to wait for a generous $10,000 private donation from Rose Paving to purchase 2 police dash cameras ? Dash cameras are not new technology and have been in use by Police Depts. nationwide for years. Even small farm towns like Manteno,IL utilize dash cameras in daily routines.
Home Rule always means higher taxes. Why else would village bureaucrats seek to strip your right to vote!
CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK FOR :
“Follow The Money”
of campaign committees
in Olympia Fields supposedly
SD227 Board directs security to physically block ABC Channel 7 and WGN Channel 9 from entering “Public Meeting” at Rich Central
SD227 Public Meeting
September 17, 2019
Rich Central HS
Comments from residents at
Sept. 17, 2019 Public Meeting
Municipal tax rate showing stable trend since departure of Mekarski and Meyers-Martin
Audit appraises Lincoln Way North at $15.86 million, far below the $60 million offer presented by Desiree Watkins
Lincoln-Way Community High School District 210 in its most recent audit disclosed the appraised value of its closed Lincoln-Way North high school at $15.86 million, far below the original cost of $114 million, at its Thursday, Oct. 18 meeting. The land that the building sits on was appraised at $4.14 million.
Watch Rich Township SD227 Board meetings online
Residents protest 1975 Vollmer Rd & viaduct widening
“Those who fail to learn from history
are condemned to repeat it”
This was a dumb idea in 1975, and an even dumber idea 40 years later. David Mekarski and Debra Meyers-Martin wasted $1 million in state taxpayer money studying the reconstruction of something we don’t even own.
Vote Obstructionists Out
Enough is enough. Any Village Board Member that does not represent the best interest of the residents must be removed by the residents. Read for yourself exactly how 3 Village Board Trustees, following their own political agenda, obstructed the proposed Culvers Restaurant in the old Jewel Plaza.
Village pays Walmart $933,227.85
This element of the Walmart contract, spearheaded by our infamous former village administrator, is something Mekarski and his cronies never wanted the residents to know about. This is certainly not what former mayor Debra Meyers-Martin bragged about to the residents on March 26, 2017
REMOVE CROOK COUNTY LAPDOGS
Vote for a 100% nonpartisan Village Board
Democratic affiliations must be removed and never given a chance to run Olympia Fields further into the ground
Olympia Fields spending/debt problem is entirely due to a decade of wasteful undisciplined leadership supported by the Cook County Democratic Party.
All the Democratic affiliates that have ever sat on our Village Board have been loyal soldiers representing their own political agenda.
Their agenda is not and never was to be loyal Public Servants fighting for the residents needs first.
We must continue to get out and vote for candidates that have our backs and weed out the political yes men.
While these affiliations have been personally beneficial to the careers of Board members, village employees, and Robinson Engineering, it has been nothing but a detriment to all the hard working residents of Olympia Fields. Many of whom have cut their loses and fled.
100 biggest spenders: What Illinois Park Districts rank highest?
Source: South Cook News | Apr 9, 2018
Park districts for Olympia Fields, Homewood-Flossmoor and Oak Lawn are among those in Illinois with the highest spending per capita in 2017, Illinois State Comptroller financial reports show.
State law requires local governments to self-report financial records each year, including revenue, spending and debt. Spending per capita is calculated to compare budget habits across park districts.
How does your district rank?
Analysis: Olympia Fields pays property taxes nearly four times national average
Property owners in Olympia Fields paid nearly 4.5 percent of the value of their homes in taxes last year. That’s nearly four times the national average, according to an LGIS analysis of real estate sales data in the South Suburbs from Jan 1. to June 30.
Olympia Fields, population 4,884, recorded a median sale price of $179,750, based on data from the 40 properties sold during the first half of 2018. In 2017, homeowners paid a median property tax bill of $8,061, according to county tax data from the Cook County Assessor’s Office.
That’s 4.48 percent of the community’s median home value. In the U.S., the average effective property tax rate is 1.19 percent.
Put another way: a $179,750 home in Indiana, where the effective rate is 0.89 percent, would have a property tax bill of about $1,600, or more than $6,400 less per year.
For Public Servants that represent the Residents Needs First
- School Board
- Village Board
- Park District
Survey asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes
86 inmates currently serving time for burglary were asked to respond anonymously to 17 questions detailing how they broke in, when the crime occurred and what they were looking for.
Olympia Fields pension debt
Another Mekarski Failure
Source: 2017 Olympia Fields Property Owners Tax Bill
% of Pension and Healthcare
Costs village can pay: 41.28%
Money Owed: $15,267,578
Pension and Healthcare
Amounts Promised: $33,930,702
Amount of Pension and
Healthcare Shortage: $19,924,592
Who Spearheaded the Disastrous Lincoln Mall Redevelopment?
Who is credited with spearheading the failed massive redevelopment project that left the mall in shambles, put Matteson millions in debt, and forced its demolition?
Flossmoor sales tax figures triple following Meijer opening
Flossmoor gaining $790,000 annually in new sales tax and property tax revenue
Flossmoor’s monthly sales tax revenue jumped threefold following the opening of the Meijer superstore in June.
The State of Illinois Friday posted sales tax numbers for July, the first full month Meijer’s Flossmoor store was open. They show the village receiving $67,384 in sales tax revenues for that month.
Flossmoor Finance Director Scott Bordui said that amount is $45,000 more than average monthly distribution in the previous year. read more
Our 1990 property tax bill had a Municipal Tax Rate of “ZERO”
Quality of Life for staff prospers Chicago Style Politics thrive in Olympia Fields
For the last decade, the David Mekarski Administration has refused to reduce spending while sucking more money from homeowners year after year, with increased taxes and fees.
Clearly, the priority of David Mekarski is the Quality of life for the village administration and staff, especially himself.
As our Municipal Tax Rate soars,
so does Mekarski’s salary
What do much larger Suburbs pay their Village Managers
Video cameras are now cheaper, smaller, and higher quality
Our Village leaders philosophy that we are better off not knowing about residential burglaries in our village is senseless and irresponsible. Valuable information has not been shared. That’s why many vigilant residents are fighting back by installing video surveillance in addition to their alarms. Cameras are not only a deterrent, they can provide evidence to help convict the criminal element that dares to try. The following are examples of current systems on the market.
Olympia Fields now has one of the highest Municipal Tax Rates in Chicagoland
Click on the “CHICAGOLAND TAXES” tab in the upper left to see how Olympia Fields Taxes compare to every other village in the Chicagoland region.
Highest median property tax South Suburbs-Cook County
for non-hard surfaces
All 4 wheels must be on hard surface
Sec. 14-39.( I ) Parking on non-hard surfaces. It shall be unlawful to park any motor vehicle on any public or private property within the village unless such vehicle is parked on a hard surfaced driveway...
Chief Krull has requested all residents
to remember to call the police
non-emergency number if a violation is observed.
Garbage Can Ordinance
Sec. 11-41. (B) ...refuse containers and garbage containers shall be stored in area on the owner’s property which is not visible from the street.
Government wants another Bogus Referendum for Sewer Repairs that were supposed to be paid for by the 2007 Referendum
Olympia Fields may ask voters to OK sewer upgrade
Southtown Star By Sarah Zylstra Correspondent May 11, 2011
Olympia Fields voters may be asked to decide if the village should borrow an estimated $2.7 million to finish upgrading the municipality’s sewer system.
The village board this week discussed placing the matter on the ballot next year.
“We’re doing a comprehensive sanitary rehabilitation sewer project village-wide,” village administrator David Mekarski said. “It’s just an expensive endeavor.”
So far, 50 percent of the sewer system has been overhauled in order to prevent rainwater from leeching in and overtaxing the system, which could lead to sanitary sewer backup, he said.
The village has spent close to $5 million financed by bonds and federal stimulus grants to tighten up manholes, slipline the sewer mains and enforce plumbing codes that prohibit illegal connections to the sewers, such as sump pumps and gutter drains.
“We still have a lot to do even though we’ve eliminated all the rainfall that’s getting into the mains and the manholes,” Mekarski said. “What appears to be still leeching a lot of rainwater into the system are laterals — pipes that essentially connect the house to the mainline.”
The village board Monday approved borrowing $500,000 internally for now to rod, smoke and televise the lateral sewers in the Graymoor subdivision, a section of 150 homes where rainwater during storms can exceed the pump capacity.
“Graymoor is a serious situation because otherwise we could have sanitary sewer backups,” Mekarski said. “We’re trying to prevent that.”
Investigations into Graymoor will allow for a more precise dollar number on the bond next year, he said. The final number could range from $1.5 million to $4 million.
“We’ll formalize an entire budget then go out on essentially a backdoor referendum question to finance this last component,” Mekarski said.
Olympia Fields is one of the few villages in the state that is working to update its system to comply with federal and state standards, he said, something many villages are setting aside in the face of more pressing financial difficulties.
But Olympia Fields is financially strong, and ended last year with a surplus of funds, Mekarski said.
Now ask yourself, why would any “sane citizen” vote YES to such a plan that was supposed to have been paid off by the last referendum ? The same referendum that tripled our Municipal Tax Rate !!!
Millions of dollars were wasted on the "building out" of the new Village Hall. To add further insult to injury the government's representatives autocratically voted to spend over $62,000 on a sculpture to honor the former mayor that tripled
our municipal tax rate.
Never forget the following:
“The problem is ridiculously exaggerated. Most of the problem comes from unconscious racism…The truth is, there are only 5 or 6 run down homes in the whole village” THE INFAMOUS TEN 9-10-2006 STAR David Mekarski, Matthew Sosnowski,, Geraldine Tyler, Ilene Waite, Larry Green, Pat Collier, Kay Mangan, Susan Gatlin-Moroney, Craig Martin, Bob Waite
$62,394 “Gift for Jones” ?
Just when you thought the village couldn’t waste any more tax payer money...Now comes a sculpture that has cumulatively ended up costing us more than $60,000. The bill for this “GIFT FOR PRESIDENT JONES” should be footed by the people that have benefited the most from Jones, the village administration and all village employees. Their enhanced salaries could be garnished equally until the total cost of the Tribute is paid off. However, the true accountability for this irresponsible waste of taxpayer money goes to the 6 Trustees that unanimously approved it.
Controversial Jones Sculpture
not so “original” or “hand made”
Turns out this “original piece of art” is actually contracted to a body shop and fabrication shop for manufacturing.
Olympia Fields Median
Household Incomes spiraling
to new lows
According to the United States Census Bureau, As of 2008-2012, Olympia Fields median household income is $79,762, which has shrunk by -15.89% since 2000. The median household income growth rate is much lower than the state average rate of +22.03% and is much lower than the national average rate of +26.32%.
REAL COST OF SEWERS
TOLENTINE PARK DEBT
Community Watch Group of Olympia Fields www.sharpwatcholympiafields.com
Fight the Good Fight
In The Spotlight
Our Mission is to restore the integrity, safety and prestige of Olympia Fields, Illinois. Our members watch out for each other and report suspicious and inappropriate activity to the Police, Village Hall, and to each other. Citizens and a nonpartisan government working together are imperative to the success of our community.