Skip Navigation Links
Emails for December 2017

To send a letter to this webpage, click here or here

Tax Payers Deserve to Know How Money is Being Spent | Building Thoughts | Deep Thoughts On The School | Church | Historically Significant Buildings Should be Saved | Thanks to Christmas Parade Participants | | Birthday Card Shower for Ruth Steinhilber | Fieldcrest Seeking Main Office Secretary |

Past emails - Select and click Go
  

Tax Payers Deserve to Know How Money is Being Spent

Jordan Meyer is spot-on in general, and in particular, when she indicates that facts can diffuse emotion when attempting to develop an opinion.

In regards to the cost to renovate the existing Fieldcrest properties, I would presume that the current bids submitted were accompanied by a Construction Bid Summary. Divided by Phase, (Floor, Department, Building, etc.), the summary lists generally accepted line items for analysis. (The attached is an example of an actual summary.) The focus should then shift from line item details to PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT. With this information in hand, it is customary to then ask for and receive three or four comparable projects, (differences noted), and the associated PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT. This type of information is crucial in understanding the competitiveness of the bid, and how your project compares to others that have been completed.

Further, this information is not hard to understand and, in my view, should be made available to the public so that they too can understand how the total number was calculated.

The same high-level information should also be available for the new construction bid, so that one can get a better understanding of the ACTUAL cost differences between renovations and new.

I believe that knowledge is power, and if the tax payers are being asked to flip the bill for any type of extraordinary expense, they deserve to know how and why their money is being spent. Further, if I were a school board member I would never vote one way or the other on this project until I had a chance to review the data.

Joe Limbaugh


Deep Thoughts On The School

I have been quietly listening to the talk about building a new school or repairing for over a year now. I have noticed a couple thing over this year. 1. For the past 25 year the school board has neglected the schools these schools should not be in this bad of shape, especially Toluca, Minonk Grade School and High school these schools were in good shape when the consolidation happened. 2. The only thing that is keeping these school from completely being torn down they were built great, a new school will not be built like the old ones, yes they will be prettier but cheaper materials. 3. The school won the lotto with the wind farms depends who you talk to they get between $500K and $1M from these farms instead of using this free money for the repairs they just dumped it into the general fund. Unlike any business that know they only get so much money a year and makes a facilities plan, priorities this plan and works on it. The school does neither and when they run out of money they go to the tax payers and takes more. The school should have had a list of items needing repaired, fixed or upgraded for the past 25 years and they should have been working on this every year, yes all might not have been done but the list would get shorter every year. When they started getting the wind farm money they should have taken 75% of this money and start doing repairs keeping 25% back for emergencies, if not needed it added to next year monies, instead the waste it like paving a parking lot that needs repaired, it was ok for students to park in gravel for 50 years but not for Fieldcrest. Now we as tax payers have a school administrator and school board all they have on their mind is building a new school, they can care less what it cost. They have had meeting for over a year and still can't answer basic questions either they are ignorant or worst they are trying to hide stuff from the people who will be paying for this bill. They should have reports on every single scenario out there and the total cost to the district. This school district really needs to have a come to Jesus moment, tax payers are running out of money, everyone wants more, the state just took a week worth of pay from my children, the city just took more for sewer plant upgrade, the county takes more, everyone take a couple dollars here a couple dollars there these dollars add up. Our state is broke, its beyond broke they will not be helping the district out at all. Matter of fact what if we don't do any of the requirements place on the district by the state, do you think the state will take over the school, compared to majority of the state Fieldcrest educates the children better, the state has no money they will not take over the district they know they can't pay for the upgrades. I bet if you check most of the districts around the state their building are in worst shape than Fieldcrest. So we have school district that enrollment has dropped 20% since the consolidation and study show it will drop another 20% in the next 20 years, and they want to build a new school for what less than 300 high school students? 4 walls and roof do not educate our children the resources inside these wall is what educates our children.

Kelly Brown

Keri Sammans Carls: If I recall, there was a monetary donation specific to paving the parking lot. I may be wrong, it has been a very long time ago, but I think that is how the parking lot became paved.
Mindy Johnson:I thought someone left money to pave the parking lot and that’s why it's called Dornbusch drive? Maybe?
Jeff Petersen: If money was left for the parking lot why do students have to pay to park their cars.
Keri Sammans Carls:I assume the maintenance of resealing and striping is one reason, and the other is because there are not enough spots to hold every students car. So you pay, you park. If not park on the street.
Mindy Johnson: I would guess for upkeep. I don't think it will last forever!
Becky Nalan: Here! Here! I just said yesterday, I moved here for the school, and I will stay until my youngest child graduates. It's because of the teachers and staff at this High School. FHS does provide better education because the people in the building actually want all students to succeed. It's not that way everywhere in this state.
Sherilyn Missie Sullivan Klendworth: Check the FHS school report card. What the world???
Chris Winters: If it is the mission of the board and particularly the president to divide the communities so he can build a new school out in BFE on his buddies ground he has done a tremendous job. He needs to be resign immediately not just because he’s totally incompetent and has not achieved one result but the fact that he treats other members disrespectful. I don't care what town you're from that should not happen. He wants to act like a dictator he should do it on his own time with his own money.
Kim Tarmann: I wish more people in the communities would get involved in running for the school board. I feel like school board members terms should be the length of the teachers contract they agree upon. I'm sure there are issues in saying that. So some type of cap in years would help in getting new blood with fresh eyes and ideas. I don't feel it's in the best interest of the entire communities in having some of the same people for many years.

Historically Significant Buildings Should be Saved

First off, I really don't have a good reason to have an opinion about the location of the high school as I no longer live in Minonk. In fact, we no longer own any real estate in Illinois. That being said, several months ago I contacted the Fieldcrest Superintendent regarding the former Presbyterian Church. We worshipped there when we lived in Minonk and know the building well. I had read that the school had decided to raze the building as they could no longer afford to maintain it properly. (Although the most recent photos that I saw would cause one to wonder if they exercised any maintenance at all from when they assumed ownership.) I advised that we might have an interest in purchasing the Church with idea of restoring it, and then offering it to the community as a venue. (Weddings, concerts, etc.) He told me that he would have to have to run this past the Board and would advise. A few days afterwards I was advised that he had spoken to a Board Member and that the decision to demolish the building had been made and was final.

I now read where they are advocating obsoleting the high school as well. So while my interest in the Church has come and gone, it appears that the current Board has not developed a consistent, long-term plan relative to their assets. And worse, they do no keep their options open when discussing the potential reallocation of their real estate. The decision regarding the Church appears to have been made in a vacuum without regard to potential revenues and impact to the community.

The character and texture of a town is determined by its people, culture and buildings. In my view, tearing down historically significant structures should be a last resort, having exhausted all other options and possibilities.

Joe Limbaugh

Debbie DeMay: Joe, I sure wish that you would have gotten this bought. I am so sad that this church is going to be demolished. My moms family worshipped there for many years. I was baptized &married there.
Jason Hoyer: It's all special interest groups anymore. No one cares about the citizens of Minonk anymore. It's what works out best for family and friends of the board


Fieldcrest Seeking Main Office Secretary

Fieldcrest CUSD 6 is seeking a main office secretary for Fieldcrest High School. Interested parties may apply by December 6 at https://www.applitrack.com/fieldcrest/onlineapp/

Dr. Dan Oakley


Building Thoughts

I have been attending the Building Meetings and have heard and read a lot of input people have. I feel basing decisions on facts and financial responsibility is a way to keep all the emotion out of this process.

First, I would like to say students can learn in ANY environment given great teachers. I was a student at FHS and graduated in 2005. I went to Drake to get my doctorate in pharmacy after graduation. I can say the classrooms at FHS are nicer than the classrooms I had at Drake University and I still managed to get a Doctorate degree and am now a practicing pharmacist. The science lab at Drake was the exact set up as the current FHS science room/lab. So I don't agree with needing an immaculate new school in order for children to learn and I have no hesitation with kids learning in a building that will one day be 100+ years old. MANY MANY university buildings are old buildings so I don't think this is a valid argument for needing a new school.

IF the decision is made that a new building needs to be built then I feel there is an very easy way for the board to address this again based on facts and financial responsibility.
1. The school board needs to come to the school board meeting with a list of "needs" for this new school. How many students will this building hold, how many acres do you need for this building, etc, what sports facilities are needed for this building, what emergency services are needed.
2. Invite the mayors and/or city council to the school board meeting. Tell them what is needed for this new school and have each mayor comment on what resources each city has that will support these needs or what resources they are lacking. This makes an easier decision for the school board when they can see what resources are already available. Some towns may not be able to support a new building given the infrastructure needs or some towns may require a significant amount of extra money spent on infrastructure needs. These are the facts that are needed to determine where a school will be able to be built and SURVIVE vs built and closed years later.

Jordan Meyer

Peggy Rogers Winters:Well said Jordan Meyer
Susie Nelson: Don't know you Jordan but you make more sense that anything I've read yet. Thank You.
Tom Colgan: This sounds like reasonable approach to the problem FHS is facing. I agree with you, students don't need new buildings. Old buildings that are maintained do the same job housing class rooms. I don't live in the district, but I do have property in the district and will be impacted by higher taxes if they decide to build new. I also have some grand children that go to school in the district. So I have an interest in this matter. With the economy the way it is now is not a good time to go into deep debt. The board needs to take a more conservative approach. They need to be realistic and not over react.
Susan Skaggs: Jordan Meyer wish you were a member of the school board! Very logical!

Church

Interesting, someone offered to buy the church and school said no, they want to tear it down. With this kind of waste why are they even asking the public for money to build a new school, they must have more than enough just throwing money away. Typical elected board in Illinois careless about tax payers, just keep sticking it to them. Waste, waste, waste, spend, spend, spend.

Jack Welch

Bea Peters: They are a part of the government in a sense. They should be made to explain their decision. An each should say how and why they're voting on this
Michael Cave: Churches are washing machines. Pure and simple.
Megan Knack: That's the school board as corrupt as the governement


Thanks to Christmas Parade Participants

THE MINONK BUSINESS ASSOCIATION would like to "Thank" everyone who helped make the 34th annual Christmas Parade a success. The large crowd enjoyed one of the biggest parades in the event's history. We would like to "Thank" everyone who made a donation, sponsored a float or entered a float of their own. We also want to "Thank" the City of Minonk workers for their efforts. A very special "Thanks" goes to Jon and Jordan Meyer for coordinating the parade again this year. Their energy and dedication helped make this an evening and a parade that everyone enjoyed. Thanks again, Jon and Jordan!

Minonk Business Association


Birthday Card Shower for Ruth Steinhilber

There will be a birthday card shower for Ruth Steinhilber. Her birthday is 12/7. cards can be mailed to 209 S. Main St. Apt B Flanagan, Il 61740.

Her family