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SHARPWATCH

Community Watch Group of Olympia Fields          www.sharpwatcholympiafields.com

marblepyramid

Fight the Good Fight

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In The Spotlight

Mission Statement

 

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 the government working together is very important for the success of our community.

Re-elect Cheryl Coleman

SD227 School Board

On April 7, 2015

 

Restoring The Greatness of

Rich Township High School District 227

2015 School Board Candidates

Randy Alexander, Cheryl Coleman, and Shannon Smith Ross

Vote for the best candidates that will provide quality educational  programs and opportunities for all of our children that the present 227 School Board majority has failed to offer!

Cheryl Coleman

www.electcherylcoleman.com

Randy Alexander
www.randyalexander.org

Shannon Smith-Ross

www.shannonsmith-ross.org

 

Help support Restoring the Greatness

www.restoringthegreatness.org

Make an investment in your community. Please send contributions to: (no amount is to small)

RESTORING THE GREATNESS

P.O. Box 93

Olympia Fields IL 60461

 

Telephone:  (877)933-7774

Email:  227@restoringthegreatness.org

 

Text Box: Video Evidence - Watch who is denying our children an education!

 

Imoukhuede, Friday, Morgan, and Owens voted against Financial Transparency

 

Friday and Imoukhuede Voted NO to a free Career / Technical Education Lab

 

As our Municipal Tax Rate soars, so does Mekarski’s salary 

                     2006     $59,374

                     2007     $106,471

                     2008     $112,933

                     2009     $129,145

                     2010     $130,855

                     2011     $147,423

                     2012     $155,769

                     2013     $158,269                    

                     source: www.openthebooks.com

 

Village Broke?

Village Board to initiate annual vehicle stickers at $50 per vehicle

you went to the trouble of voting for us, and you ought to have us do some of the work. We are doing some of the work and no matter how much it hurts your feelings not to get to vote on this, it isn’t worth having an election” Bob Waite

               BOARD MEETING MINUTES August 25, 2014 (page34)

Despite jacking up our municipal property tax rate 431% since 2005, unprecedented sewer rates, unprecedented utility taxes, unprecedented telecommunication taxes, and many other new sources of revenue (i.e. water tower advertising, cell towers, new metra parking lot, citations, and a new Walmart supposedly on the horizon) has our irresponsible village board dug our once proud village into a hole we may never get out of ?  And once again they want even more money from the residents to bail them out.

You may personally thank our village board along with Flossmoor resident & Vero Beach reject David Mekarski.

 

See for yourself, just how much the Village receives annually from property taxes, utility taxes, telecommunication taxes, and all other sources of revenue. Don’t forget to check the whopping annual installments on all outstanding bonds.

 

2013 ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT

 

OUTSTANDING BOND DEBT 2014

 

Text Box: Why does a 2 square mile bedroom  community require a :
-  $160,000+ Village Administrator 
…..with a  $55,000 assistant
-  $110,000+ Finance Director
-  $100,000 Building Commissioner
-  $100,000 Public Works Director
-  $55,000+ Traffic Clerk (double dipping from us)

 

Read your 2013 Property Tax bill

Olympia Fields municipal tax rate up 431.5% over the last 8 years to another all time high

   Text Box: Our village board has again raised the municipal tax rate to another all time high of 1.839. That’s a 431.5% increase over the 2005 rate.

 

2005 was also the year our village board hired David Mekarski.

 

You will also notice that 2 other entities with a history of frivolous spending, are taking more of your money:

Park District Tax Rate up

From .679 in 2012 to .783

SD227 Tax Rate up

From 5.302 in 2012 to 5.830

 

Never forget

Before our present administration

started running up outstanding bonds and spending frivolously, our 1990 property tax bill had a Municipal Tax Rate of “ZERO”

 

1990 PROPERTY TAX

 

1990 was 5 years before the village had the benefit of the first Utility Tax in Olympia Fields history. In 2013 the village received $623,901 in Utility Taxes from residents.

                 Source: 2013 Olympia Fields Financial Report, page 49

 

RESIDENTS PROTEST UTILITY TAX

 

Are annual bond payments for the New Village Hall part of the reason for more taxes?

Never forget, the new Village Hall has put us in debt until November 15, 2025

 

NEW VILLAGE HALL BOND REPAYMENT

 

 UPDATED BOND DEBT 2014

 

http://seriousstartups.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/apple_dollar_sign.jpg

SD227 Board Meeting Videos

Until, as a community we choose “in the next election” the direction we plan to take our FULL Board of Education, you will witness such dysfunction, which is actually two groups, one supporting a quality education for our students, the other supporting themselves.

 

SCHOOL BOARD WARS

 

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 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.

 

Sam’s Club Systems                   Best Buy Systems

 

Microcenter Systems                   Swann Demonstration Video

 

 

                         

 

Olympia Fields now has one of the highest Municipal Tax Rates in Chicagoland

                      

Click on the CHICAGOLAND TAXEStab in the upper left to see how Olympia Fields Taxes compare to every other village in the Chicagoland region.

 

VIEW ALL OLYMPIA FIELDS PROPERTY TAXES

 

 

Highest median property tax  South Suburbs-Cook County

chicago.blockshopper.com/regions/south_suburbs

 

· 1. Olympia Fields East/Graymoor : $10,467.24 Olympia Fields

· 2. West Country Club Hills/Marycrest : $10,276.50 Country Club Hills

· 3. East Flossmoor : $10,068.14  Flossmoor

· 4. Central Matteson/Lincoln Mall : $9,311.75  Matteson

· 5. South Central Flossmoor : $9,012.52  Flossmoor

· 6. South Naperville : $8,990.14   Naperville

· 7. Olympia Fields C.C. : $8,378.96  Olympia Fields

· 8. South of Lincoln Hwy : $7,946.50  Frankfort

· 9. West Lynwood : $7,716.70  Lynwood

· 10. North Central Flossmoor/Downtown : $7,224.26
Flossmoor

 

Jones Lies to Residents about  New Tax Rate

States in letter distributed to whole village, that Olympia Fields will still have “one of the lowest Tax Rates in the entire Chicagoland region” if the referendum passes.

 

REFERENDUM LETTER TO RESIDENTS

 

Parking Ordinance

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.

 

PARKING ON HARD SURFACE ORDINANCE

 

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.

 

                

 

HOURS FOR PLACEMENT AND STORAGE OF GARBAGE CONTAINERS

 

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:

 

-VILLAGE REFERENDUM NEWSLETTER OF 2007

 

-VILLAGE SALARIES AFTER 2007 REFERENDUM

 

-VILLAGE RECIEVES 2.6 MILLION GRANT

 

Police Dog Lars helps find missing woman

LARS

 

SHARPWATCH Commends Olympia Fields Patrolmen

In a survey of 244 Police Departments in the Chicagoland Region, Olympia Fields ranked 12th in avg. citations per officer. This is indicative of a strong police presence on the streets, which contributes to the safety of our Village and Quality of Life. To the patrolmen who are “in the trenches” every night and day putting their own safety at risk, we salute you.

 

OLYMPIA FIELDS PATROLMEN

 

Don’t let Contractors

Rip You Off !

Contact the Better Business Bureau to:

- Check out a contractor before you hire them

- File a Complaint

- Compliment a Business that did a good job for you.

These actions can easily be done online at the following link:  http://chicago.bbb.org/consumers/

 

Storm Debris Pickup

following severe storms

 

To arrange pickup of branches from storm damage, You must contact the Public Works Dept. at (708)503-8200.

 

If you are told it is not the responsibility of the village, contact SHARPWATCH immediately. Now that we are paying one of the highest Municipal tax rates in Chicagoland, unprofessional service is unacceptable.

 

STORM DAMAGE RULES / REGULATIONS

 

District 227 faces $10Million

budget hole

A slow economy and the Southland Charter School will bankrupt the Rich Township High School District 227 unless it can find an extra $10 million a year, either in revenue or by cutting expenses.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

 

 

 

District 227 to waste $4 million on gratuitous office building 

Just days after announcing the creation of a Budget Reduction Task Force to tackle the issue of the district losing revenue and deal with a growing financial crisis, the District 227 board agreed to purchase a building in Matteson for its district office and approved $4 million in general obligation debt certificates. Its located at 20550 S. Cicero Ave., and will cost $835,000 to purchase and need more than $3 million in renovations. The total cost will be over $4 million !!! The board’s goal is to use the $210,000 from the present lease payment to pay off the purchase of the building, so that money can go back into the operating fund. They claim “The building shouldn’t cost taxpayers anything”. They also claim they will pay off the debt within four or five years.

UPDATE : They lied : The actual payoff date for the $4.2 million debt obligation won’t be until 2022 !!!   Raymond F. Coyne, Senior Vice President, of Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co, headquartered at 222 W. Adams St. in Chicago, explained that the board has owed more than $4 million dollars since June, and that the ultimate pricetag on the vacant building will be $6 million dollars including renovations and interest payments.

He also admitted that his fee is 1 percent ($42,000) of the total $4.2 million borrowed by the school board. You can contact Mr. Coyne at  (312) 443-1567

          

Text Box: 
On April 7, 2015 for t.o.p. candidates for village trustee
Willis Pennington
Andrea Townson
Kelvin Oliver

Platform
Transparency in Governing the way forward
televise board meetings
Open government
Empower all commissions & committees 
Planning and budgeting for the future-in 
the present
implement viable 5 and 10 year pro-active development plans
Effective and efficient government-
paving the way
overall review of village operations, processes and procedures
full-time governance to solve full-time problems
Actively work to regain AAA bond rating
Create a formal branding model to market Olympia Fields

Early Voting locations
Oakwood Recreation Center 
4450 Oakwood Lane
Matteson, IL 

Park Forest Village Hall 
350 Victory Blvd.
Park Forest, IL 

(Mon–Sat  till  April 3  9am-5pm)

 

Of the 4,171 registered voters in Olympia Fields, only 1299 ballots were cast in the last election on April 09, 2013

2,872 registered voters stayed home

 

STOP THE APATHY

 

              walmart worker at supercenter

Wal-Mart to scale back sharply on Supercenter openings

According to Crane’s Chicago Business, Business Insider, and The Huffington Post, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its revenue outlook for its current fiscal year as it announced it is scaling back its expansion plans for its supercenters next year and stepping up investments in its online operations. "It's important for us to really think about these big boxes," Wal-Mart US CEO Greg Foran said, referring to the supercenter stores.

Supercenters have been proposed for Homewood, Richton Park and Olympia Fields.

 

NEW WALMART SUPERCENTERS

 

SAVE FOR REFERENCE

 

Olympia Fields Housing Market among worst in suburbs

From February 2014 thru January 2015, Homes SOLD in neighboring communities like Park Forest, Chicago Heights, and Flossmoor are selling faster than Olympia Fields.

 

LATEST OLYMPIA FIELDS REAL ESTATE MARKET COMPARISON

 

Village Censures Trustee

In an unprecedented move, The Village Board of Olympia Fields on January 12, 2015  formally condemned the activities of Trustee Robert Waite by way of formal censure.  

Village President Debbie Meyers-Martin presented Resolution 2015-01 which stated: "over the past several months the Board had become concerned that Trustee Robert Waite had become engaged in conduct and activities which are unprofessional and which did not reflect the values of our community."

His unprofessional conduct culminated on January 4, 2015 with the dissemination of a highly inflammatory and racially insensitive communication to certain members of the community.

Trustee Waite admitted that his email was widely distributed, and further commented that, "It was a dumb of me to send it in the beginning"

One board member called for the resignation of Trustee Waite.

RESOLUTION NO. 2015-01

 

Citizens Police Academy

Class of 2014 Graduates

Congratulations to the Citizens Police Academy Class of 2014. Once again we commend Officer Dan Kickert, Officer Sean Berry and all the supporting officers for their hard work and dedication in this awesome program.

 

Village loses AAA Bond Rating

Olympia Fields bond rating has been downgraded to the ranks of AA status. Get ready for our dysfunctional village board to aggressively seek even more pledged revenue from the overtaxed residents instead of reduce spending.

“Mrs. Housten stated that she should mention that the rating is very important. There is no two-ways about it. Your rating is important. When you start talking about the interest cost that you are going to be paying on your Bonds, you also have to factor in what the Underwriters think about your community. Sometimes a AA will sell at the same interest rate as a AAA. We were not at all happy at our office when the downgrade came in.”

Brenda Housten

Asst. Vice President Speer Financial

VILLAGE BOARD MEETING

 September 23, 2014

 

No Economic Recession at

Village Hall

Chicago Style Politics alive

in Olympia Fields

Staff prospers after the 2007 referendum while the village deteriorates, goes broke, and seeks more revenue from residents.

 

ANNUAL RAISES SINCE  2000

 

Building Commissioner raise gives Village another 6 figure salary

More Chicago Style Politics

in Olympia Fields

Despite being broke, trying to squeeze a $50 vehicle tax, and losing their AAA Bond Rating, our Village Board is still refusing to reduce spending and is going to award controversial Building Commissioner John McDonnell with a new $100,000 annual salary.

 

             BOARD MEETING MINUTES 8/25/2014 (page44)

 

Residency requirements popular in south suburbs

Officials say living in village shows commitment to community

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."

 

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT

 

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%.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/17/1755938.html

 

http://www.usa.com/olympia-fields-il-income-and-careers.htm

 

 

2008-2012 LIST OF TOP MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOMES

 

IN 1977 OLYMPIA FIELDS RANKED #4 IN MEDIAN INCOME IN CHICAGOLAND

 

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.”

Source: CITY OF VERO BEACH, FLORIDA MAY 17, 2005 7:00 P.M.

REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MINUTES (Page 3 line 30)

 

Mekarski paid $170,000 severance to leave Vero Beach

 

Olympia Fields Villager Fall 2005

 

Tinley Park hires new

Village Administrator

 

SOMETHING DOESN’T ADD UP FOR OLYMPIA FIELDS TAXPAYERS

 

Property Values Plummet

Olympia Fields falls to #134 on list of 2013 top Median Property Values in Chicagoland  

 

2013 MEDIAN HOUSE SALES PRICE RANKINGS IN CHICAGOLAND  Chicago Magazine April 2014 Issue

 

IN 1977 OLYMPIA FIELDS RANKED #9 IN MEDIAN HOME VALUES IN CHICAGOLAND

Chicago Tribune Monthly Housing trends in Olympia Fields since 2002

ALL CHICAGO TRIBUNE MONTHLY DATA FOR OLYMPIA FIELDS

 

Our village leaders policy on the direction of property values

is not working

 

 

Code enforcement performance has a major impact on property values

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF CODE ENFORCEMENT

 

Annual Average Unemployment Rates in Olympia Fields

Calendar Year                        Olympia Fields      County        Illinois

2004 ............................................. 6.5%              6.8%            6.2%

2005 ............................................. 6.5%              6.5%            5.7%

2006 ............................................. 4.7%              4.7%            4.6%

2007 ............................................. 5.3%              5.1%            5.0%

2008 ............................................. 6.8%              6.5%            6.5%

2009 ............................................ 11.0%           10.3%            9.3%

2010 ............................................ 11.3%           10.5%          10.3%

2011 ............................................ 10.8%           10.4%            9.8%

2012 ............................................. 9.6%              9.3%            8.9%

2013     ........................................ 11.5%             9.6%            9.2%

 source: Illinois Department of Employment Security

 

 

  h             

Olympia Fields

Residential Burglaries

Source: Village of Olympia Fields through the Freedom of Information Act

            

Text Box: 1999    11
2000      8
2001      8
2002    22
2003    22
2004    15
2005    12
2006    14
2007    24
2008    18
2009      7
2010    23
2011    12
2012    21

 

                 

Burglary Prevention

Don’t be the next victim

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.

SECURITY TIPS

 

 

Rental Housing Watch

Building Dept. (i.e. John McDonnell & Reginald Ford) still failing to do their jobs and enforce our Rental Laws

Inexplicably calling written laws “unconstitutional”, is a desperate excuse for incompetence

Rental Inspection

A Rental Inspection is required by the Village each time a new tenant moves into your property. Inspections are $50.00 each. Once the home has passed inspection, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued. Tenants may not move in until the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued.

 

LATEST REPORTED OLYMPIA FIELDS RENTAL HOUSING

 

            OLYMPIA FIELDS RENTAL LAWS

 

Audit finds $40K was stolen in Olympia Fields

Why wasn’t subject arrested and charged ?

A special audit has discovered that a police department employee in Olympia Fields stole about $40,000 in ticket payments during the past four years, according to village officials.

 

40K STOLEN IN OLYMPIA FIELDS

 

70.9% of Rich Central

Fail to meet State Standards

 

Rich Central High School fails to meet PSAE minimal state requirements for 2012-2013 because:

· Only 30.3% of students meet or exceed State Reading Standards.

· Only 27.1% of students meet or exceed State Math Standards.

· Only 20.8% of students meet or exceed State Science Standards

Wasn’t the Olympia Fields Educational Committee supposed to prevent things like this? This issue is critical to everyone, even if you don’t have children. Approximately 35% of your property tax bill goes to Rich Central (District 227) alone. This is your money that’s going down the toilet, along with your property values. Either get involved or support those who are involved.

 

RICH CENTRAL 2012-2013 TEST SCORES

 

“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

                   

GALLERY OF SHAME

         

                   

               vh

 

$62,423 “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.

 

TOTAL CUMULATIVE COST OF GIFT TO JONES

 

                    

 

         

Controversial Jones Sculpture

not so original or “hand made”

Caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware

Turns out this “original piece of art” is actually contracted to a body shop and fabrication shop for manufacturing.

 

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.

 

ROSE PAVING DONATES $10,000 TO OLYMPIA FIELDS POLICE DEPT FOR DASH CAMERAS

 

Home Rule always means higher taxes. Why else would village bureaucrats seek to strip your right to vote!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Sharpwatch News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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