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4A Chillicothe Times-Bulletin, Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Opinion
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin
co-publishers: Beth Gehrt and Linda Smith Brown
executive editor: Beth Gehrt
editor: Marianne Gillespie
associate editor: Karen Danner

Council takes lead in law enforcement


Whether you think the Chillicothe City The root of this lingering smoke began with
Council is misguided or right on with its a poorly written law by state legislators in
decision to enforce the Smoke-Free Illinois respect to how to enforce the law they wrote.
Act, one thing is clear — aldermen spout Is not enforcement just as important as what
the need to “level the playing field” for all the actual law says?
establishments in town. What should surprise residents is that
It should comfort residents to know that the Chillicothe is one of the few municipalities to
council, comprised of citizens just like those actively enforce the law in the state.
who read this newspaper, care about obeying For far too long, this spot is used for saying
the law. the council does not enforce its own ordinances
One business should not have an advantage and uses the “complaint-driven” system.
over another for not enforcing the law. While this also will be complaint-driven, it
Whether residents or business owners like is refreshing to see aldermen take a stand.
the law is immaterial — it is a law, not just a Thumbs up to the council in trying to uphold
mere suggestion. the law, not turning a blind eye to it.

newsmaker Q&A: Dr. Nick Polyak


Superintendent of Illinois Valley Central District 321

Answers about school district’s financial crisis Coffee with the


Superintendent
We are in unprecedented times in Illinois school complete as part of ongoing this will be accomplished by
finances. The state of Illinois is facing a budget deficit of life-safety work. Much like not replacing staff members WHAT IVC School District
more than $12 billion next year, and this will have a direct the addition at South, we have who are retiring or resigning. Superintendent Dr.
Nick Polyak invites the
impact on every school district in the state. We have heard certain dollars that can only be The district will be asking community to “Coffee with
a number of questions around town regarding the impact spent on these projects. its faculty, staff and admin- the Superintendent” at
that the state’s financial crisis will have on IVC schools. To meet these requirements, istration to do more with less Happy Thought Coffee, 953
These are quick answers to some of the more common we will be replacing fire alarm next year in order to main- N. Second St.
questions school administrators have been asked. systems at CEC and the high tain, as much as possible, the WHEN 8 to 10 a.m.
school, replacing doors at the course offerings and programs Wednesday
What impact will this have How is IVC responding to high school, and replacing currently offered. DETAILS Polyak and
on IVC finances this year these uncertain financial con- windows at Mossville, along The state budget is set to be assistant superintendent
(2009-10)? ditions? with a few other, smaller proj- announced in March. After Patrick Hatfield will be on
The state is approximately Due to conservative spend- ects. that time, we will know more hand to answer questions
five months behind in some of ing over the last few years, about programs such as Bright and chat about IVC schools.
their bills to school districts. the district has some financial Will people’s taxes be affected Futures for next year. If residents have additional
In several of our funding cat- reserves. Because of those by these financial problems? questions about IVC schools
egories, we will be lucky to reserves, the district is able to Dr. Nick Polyak The short answer is “no.” What can residents in the dis- or the impact of the state’s
receive half of the money that make some cuts towards the funding issues, stop in
The school board and the dis- trict do to help?
to discuss questions and
is owed to us. We started this anticipated deficit, while also came at a time when construc- trict have made a concerted The best thing residents can
year with a balanced budget using some reserved funds for tion costs were as low as they concerns.
effort to keep our community’s do is to continue to be support- MORE INFO If residents
but may end the year with a next year. will likely ever be again. tax rate consistent. ive of the students, the faculty
$700,000 deficit due to these Over the next few months, While in the short term it cannot make it at that time,
With that in mind, the dis- and staff, the schools and the call the district office at
unpaid bills by the state. the district will make a wide may seem counterintuitive to trict is looking to make pru- local community. It might also 274-5418, or e-mail Polyak
range of cuts to save approxi- spend a significant amount of dent financial cuts rather than be helpful to encourage local at npolyak@ivcschools.com.
What impact will this have mately $1.5 million. The focus money on a building project, asking for an increase in the legislators to make the crisis in
on IVC finances next year of the board of education has in the long run, it will provide tax rate. school funding a top priority.
(2010-11)? been to save money while great value and return to the doing this?
A bad situation this year is making as small of an impact district. It is also important to What effects will be seen in I have seen on the news where While it is sometimes ca-
expected to greatly worsen on the education of students as note that the money being used programs and services next school districts have been thartic to vent frustrations, the
next year. The state was given possible. for that project can only be year? identifying the amount of district does not feel this con-
over $1 billion in stimulus used for construction. It can- IVC will have fewer admin- money they are owed by the tributes anything constructive
funds this year for schools. If the finances are difficult, not be spent on salaries, books, istrators, teachers, secretaries state and displaying it promi- to solving the current funding
The lack of that money next why is IVC adding on to South etc. and aides next year. Some of nently on signs. Why is IVC not crisis.
year, coupled with a number of School?
other factors, would give IVC Regardless of our current What summer projects will
a projected deficit of some- financial situation, the district the district be completing this THE DIGITAL JUNCTION
where between $2 and $3 mil- still needs to invest in our fa- year? 3 x 7"
lion in 2010-11 if no changes cilities. The project at South The Regional Office of Separation
are made to the way the district will improve the educational Education identifies certain Give The Gift
operates. experience for our students and projects that districts must

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