At D-64, Secrecy And Lies Once Again Trump Transparency


In last Monday’s post we compared the D-64 Board’s contempt for the District’s taxpayers to that of political carcinomas, Mike Madigan, Rahm Emanuel and Richie Daley, for their taxpayers.

We also contrasted the Board’s contempt for its taxpayers with its overt favoritism for three special interests: the PREA-represented teachers; the teacher-turned-bureaucrat administrators; and parents of D-64 students who pay $5,000, more or less, of RE taxes to D-64 each year in exchange for $15,000, $30,000, or even $45,000 of D-64 education per year – which is such a bargain that many of them don’t particularly care if the education isn’t what it used to be, or doesn’t compare favorably to many of Park Ridge’s upper-tier “peer” communities.

The Board’s contempt-and-favoritism dichotomy has encouraged a form of “freeloader” mentality, the goal of which is to take far more out of the system in benefits than they pay in RE taxes, even if it means sticking their neighbors with the lion’s share of the resulting shortfall. And if they can run up their benefits high enough that there is virtually no chance of them ever getting back to even by years of paying RE taxes once their kids are out of school, so much the better.

Call it the D-64 variation on the quote attributed to Malcolm Forbes about winning by dying with the most toys. “He who moves out of Park Ridge with the largest debt to local government wins.”

But today we want to focus on a few of the lies told by D-64 representatives as political CYA for the new, secretly-negotiated PREA contract.

And what better way to start than with a few bon mots from Board president Tony “Who’s The Boss” Borrelli (SPOILER ALERT: The “Boss” is actually Supt. Laurie Heinz, which is why you don’t hear Borrelli speaking whenever Heinz is sipping a beverage).

Whenever Borrelli speaks at any length, however, you can bet he’s reading off a script written for him by Heinz and/or the District’s propaganda minister, Bernadette Tramm. If you doubt it, watch the 09.26.16 Board meeting video, starting at the 51:20 mark and continuing to the 1:02:10 mark, and you’ll see and hear Borrelli look and sound like an actor doing his first run-through of a new script at an initial table-reading.

Which is pretty much what it was.

One of our favorite lies is Borrelli’s (actually Heinz’s/Tramm’s) characterizing the new contract as having been “laboriously negotiated” since December 2015. This bit of propaganda must have so excited Heinz and Tramm that they had Borrelli reiterate it by noting, moments later, that the negotiations were “indeed laborious.”

That’s one of the most basic lessons of Sleazy Politics 101: drag a process out as long as you can (preferably until people stop paying attention) and then point to the length of time as proof of how daunting the task was. In this case, Borrelli and Heinz/Tramm must have been confident that their rube constituents and a disinterested local press wouldn’t figure out by looking at the contract – when it finally was published – that what took them 9 months to negotiate could and should have been accomplished in 9 weeks.

Take a look at the blue-lined comparison of the 2012 contract’s “secrecy” provision with the new one. Even the Israelis and the Palestinians could have hammered that out in an hour, tops. And the same could be said for many more of those differences between the 2012 and the new contract.

We also perversely enjoyed Borrelli’s (Heinz’s/Tramm’s) proclamation of how “unique to the District” is the new concept of tying teacher raises to the CPI-U index – which includes the cost of food, gasoline, electricity, apparel, new and used cars, rent, televisions, all school and college tuition, booze, tobacco products, water/sewer services, public transportation, medical care, Internet access, etc.

Not surprisingly, Borrelli (and Heinz/Tramm) didn’t mention how many of the taxpayers paying for the teachers’ raises will themselves be getting raises just because the price of sirloin and arugula, Shell regular, ComEd power, Dockers slacks, a Ford Focus, rent, a Sony 60-inch plasma, Miami of Ohio tuition, Hennessy VSOP cognac, Macanudo cigars, their sewer bill, their METRA ticket, their Illinois Bone & Joint bill,  their Xfinity bill, etc. goes up?

That doesn’t matter to them. But they did make sure that Borrelli went on the record to tell the PREA just how “grateful” the Board is “that this concept was accepted by the PREA.”


Another of our favorites is Borrelli’s (Heinz’s/Tramm’s) lie about how the taxpayers would not be able to understand the details of the new contract with the “proper background” – while ignoring the fact that it was the Board and the PREA who deprived the taxpayers of any “proper background” by agreeing to hold their negotiations in secret.

But perhaps the most dishonest and unforgiveable lie is Borrelli’s (Heinz’s/Tramm’s) insistence that, if the Board had published the contract for public comment before it was approved, the District would be opening itself up to unfair labor practice (“ULP”) charges, fines and penalties. To quote Borrelli (from the 1:00:15 to 1:00:58 mark of the video):

“The District would most definitely be on the wrong side of any adjudication to [sic] either a ULP or grievance of these issues and would result in fines, fees and penalties incurred.”

Who says so? The District’s lawyers, according to Borrelli.

How do we know? Because Borrelli says so.

Is there any written attorneys’ opinion corroborating Borrelli? Not that we can find.

Why not? We’re betting because this Board didn’t want such an opinion and, therefore, didn’t ask for one.

Why? Because the PREA doesn’t want open negotiations sessions where the taxpayers could hear the PREA’s outrageous demands – not just its financial demands but its insistence on no accountability of the teachers for their own performance and that of their students. And because Borrelli et al. are terrified that real transparency would reveal just how readily and thoroughly they rolled over for the teachers and the administrators.

Which is why they made no attempt to challenge the current contract’s alleged secrecy language and, worse yet, they adopted the same basic secrecy provisions in the new contract – which we predicted back in our 06.21.16 post and again in our 07.26.16 post. So four years from now those negotiations will also be Star Chamber proceedings, compliments of Heinz via Borrelli and his lemmings

We’ll discuss the legality of all this in our next post.

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New D-64 Contract, And Secrecy, A Page From The Madigan/Emanuel Playbook


Four weeks ago tonight the Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 School Board did exactly what we knew all along it would do: it approved a new four-year contract with the Park Ridge Education Association (“PREA”), a/k/a the teachers union, that will lock the taxpayers into over $200 million of teacher expense over the next four years, without even letting those taxpayers see the document and comment on its terms.

That’s what craven politicians with utter contempt for their constituents do – which is why Mike Madigan has made a career of doing it down in Springfield, Rahm Emanuel does it in Chicago, and Richie Daley did it before him. And that’s one of the biggest reasons why the finances of both Illinois and Chicago are in shambles.

Craven politicians also don’t believe they owe their constituents honesty, transparency and accountability.

That’s why they try, usually with much success, to bamboozle their generally inattentive and downright stupid constituents with waves of propaganda intended to obscure actions designed to benefit those special interests whom the politicians can count on for political contributions, boots on the ground at election time, and the assorted favor or two when nobody’s looking.

So, one big reason why the current D-64 Board members don’t give a flying firetruck about the average taxpayers is basic math.

Three of the current Board members – Vicki “Who? What? Where? Huh?” Lee, Dathan “Just say ‘No!’ to Common Core” Paterno and Scott “I’m with stupid” Zimmerman – were elected by a total of 9,887 (31.13%) of the District’s 30,772 registered voters who showed up to vote in April 2013. The top vote-getter, the incumbent Zimmerman, receiving a shade more than 5,000 votes. That’s less than 17% of the total registered voters.

That modest turnout, however, still trounced the pathetic 4,588 (14.84%) of the District’s 30,924 registered voters who showed up in April 2015 to re-elect Tony “Who’s The Boss?” Borrelli and elect Mark “Help!” Eggemann, Bob “I look like a school board member, don’t I?” Johnson and Tom “Can you believe I’m a lawyer?” Sotos – with non-incumbent Eggemann leading that field with just under 2,800 votes, or barely 9% of the total registered voters.

Do the math.

Roughly 500 PREA members and D-64 administrators live and pay RE taxes here – NOT including Supt. Laurie Heinz, who carpetbags her $250,000+ per year salary and benefits out to a more distant northwest suburb where RE taxes are almost certainly lower than here. That’s basically 500 votes pretty much guaranteed for any candidate who promises to grab his/her ankles to keep those teachers and administrators happy.

Then add just one vote from each family of the almost 4,500 D-64 students who might, at the high end, be paying $5,000/year in RE taxes to D-64 for $30,000 of D-64 education for their two kids – compared to the $9,842/year tuition for two kids at St. Paul of the Cross, or the $6,930/year for two at St. Andrew’s Lutheran – and you can see why those parent-voters have little incentive to elect fiscally-responsible Board members who will stand up to the PREA’s demands and thereby risk a strike that would cause those parent-voters the inconvenience and cost of securing non-D-64 daycare for the strike’s duration.

That’s why, like Madigan and his General Assembly minions, or Rahm and his alderdopes, any D-64 Board member with designs on re-election knows that pandering to, and appeasing, public-sector unions like the PREA and bureaucrats like the D-64 administrators will also placate the parent-voters. And that basically ensures their re-election, as well as a fan club likely to endure beyond their Board terms.

With re-election and a fan club secured, who needs honesty, transparency and accountability?

We’ll talk more about this D-64 Board’s perversions of representative democracy (a/k/a the republican – small “r” – form of government) in our next post.

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