Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 8
Support Dr. Barb Langer for Board Member Oak Park- River Forest High School (OPRFHS) District

Support Dr. Barb Langer for Board Member

Oak Park-River Forest High School (OPRFHS) District 200 Board of Education (D200 BOE)

Vote Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Check Ballot #167

Summary Page
Summary Page

Barb Langer’s Goals for D200:

1. Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum to Stop D200’s Cash Hoarding and Its Taxation Without Voter Approval.

Pages 1-3 and 5

D200’s 2002 Referendum is the source of D200’s wealth, power and independence from the community.

That astronomical rate cap has enabled D200 to: 1) tax us every year without voter approval, 2) extract about double the revenue it needs to operate OPRFHS each year, and 3) thereby accumulate about $133 million in cash and investments as of 20Dec2012. Operating as a for-profit business for over a decade, D200 has: 1) violated public policy, which requires school districts to break even, while maintaining 180 days cash-on-hand only, and 2) “disenfranchised” voters

from objecting ― by eliminating the need for any future referendums to object to ― so long as the 2002 Referendum stands.

To restore taxpayer sovereignty and assure emancipation from D200’s tax enslavement, voters must elect a majority of four (4) BOE members (out of a total of seven (7) members) who promise to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum. With all current BOE members, including incumbent Terry Finnegan, apparently unwilling to Repeal and Refund, that leaves the job to Repeal and Refund to non-incumbent BOE candidates. Except for Barb Langer, none of the non- incumbent D200 BOE candidates has committed in writing to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum if elected.

Barb Langer is the only candidate who has promised in writing to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum. She began the fight to Repeal and Refund in November, 2012, and has led it ever since. See page 5 for details. If elected, she would still need three more BOE members to join her to pass a motion to Repeal and Refund― and then implement it. If elected,

THE GREATER LANGER’S MARGIN OF VICTORY OVER OTHER CANDIDATES, WHO ARE ALL NON-REPEAL AND REFUND, THE GREATER THE PUBLIC MANDATE WILL BE FOR THE NEW BOE TO REPEAL AND REFUND D200’S 2002 REFERENDUM.

2. Close the Achievement Gap and Reopen In-House Vocational Training and Marketable Computer Skills.

Page 4

If D200 can pay upwards of $40,000/year each for special ed students, it can also invest in hard core tutoring for achievement gap students, so long as they do the work. D200 needs to restore serious remedial

D200 also

needs to restore in-house vocational training, expand its demonstrably inadequate course offerings in marketable computer and business skills and make computer competency a graduation requirement. D200 needs to make it a priority that

students master skills that make them employable and further educable, and inculcate healthy, lifelong habits.

education for students who fell behind during K-8 and to place them in classes that will bring their skills up to snuff.

3. Get every D200 voter to Vote Their Preference about whether D200 should use a small portion of its cash and

investments to fund a public, indoor, year-round aquatics and fitness center for all D200 residents.

Page 6

Passage of the Advisory Question would create a Public Mandate for D200 to fund a public, indoor, year-round

aquatics and fitness center for all residents of Oak Park (OP) and River Forest (RF). Thus, it is essential that every registered voter stand up and be counted with a “Yes” or “No” vote! If Langer is elected to the D200 BOE, she will serve the entire community ― and only support D200 funding a facility if a majority of D200 voters endorse it on April 9.

Langer Acts in the Public Interest, on the Merits.

Pages 4-7

Langer: led the fight to stop D200’s unnecessary 20Dec2012 tax levy, changed the River Forest Building

Code and IL Elevator Law in 2008, saving existing buildings over $1 billion in unnecessary, make-work, pay-to- play, upgrades, and advocated against Home Rule in River Forest, which RF voters defeated by ~80% on November 6, 2012.

Support Dr. Barb Langer for Board Member

Oak Park-River Forest High School District 200 Board of Education

Vote Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Check Ballot #167

Handout for Voters
Handout for Voters
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 Check Ballot #167 Handout for Voters  Barb Langer Acts in the

Barb Langer Acts in the Public Interest, on the Merits. Langer’s Goals for D200:

1. Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum to Stop D200’s Cash Hoarding and Its Taxation Without Voter Approval. Over-taxation is parasitizing our community, forcing longtime Oak Park and River Forest residents to leave and destroying diversity. On December 20, 2012, D200 said it had about $133 million in cash and investments (which it “adjusted” to about $129 million on 28Feb2013), most of which are surplus funds. D200’s hoard exceeds UIC’s endowment and will be worth about $0.5 billion by 2031. D200 has violated public policy for over a decade by operating OPRFHS as a for-profit business. According to the Illinois Association of School Boards, “a school district’s aim is to break even financially[so] “income matches expenditures each year…while providing a satisfactory educational program for every child who attends.”

How D200 gets away with over-taxing us. D200 took the first step to make itself financially and politically independent from voters in 2002, when it deceived voters it needed a Referendum to cover its operating expenses. It said it would face insolvency unless voters approved a 2.95% increased cap on the tax rate, not the dollar amount, on D200’s Education Fund (its largest tax fund) in April, 2002. The opposite was true. D200 had about $20 million in surplus cash when it claimed it could not meet its operating expenses and other obligations. The new cap enabled D200 to extract roughly double the revenue that D200 said it would, and to do so unilaterally, without voter approval, in perpetuity. Revenue from the Referendum is in addition to the revenue D200 would have received for all of its other tax funds and for the Education Fund without the increased rate cap.

Deceived voters passed D200’s astronomical Referendum tax rate cap in 2002, thereby unwittingly: 1) enabling D200 to extract about $10 million more on average than its operating expenses and projected debt and pension obligations each subsequent year, 2) forfeiting their right to veto future D200 levies that are unilateral, meaning they require no new voter approval as long as they remain within statutory caps and are less than 2.95% higher than the previous year’s levy or the CPI, and 3) consigning themselves to perpetual annual property tax increases, despite D200’s nonexistent need for them.

D200 “phased-in” the new tax rate cap during the four years following passage of the Referendum in 2002. Thereafter, D200 manipulated the rate for its annual levy to get a near-constant dollar increase in its cumulative surplus cash, but at a rate within both the cap the Referendum allows and state statutory requirements.

In December, 2005, then-D200 BOE President John Rigas got the BOE to make the 2.95% cap permanent (a.k.a. full phase-in”) and thereby made D200 independent of the community. D200 will never again need another tax referendum from voters, based on currently available data ― so long as D200’s 2002 Referendum stands ― which it will forever, unless the D200 BOE repeals it. D200’s many claims that it will need another referendum in less than a decade or two, despite the current fund balance, are unfounded. Dr. Langer believes in restoring sovereignty to taxpayers by repealing the 2002 Referendum. Every year since full phase-in, D200 has redacted the “Community” of taxpayers & citizens from its organizational charts:

From D200’s Fiscal Year 2005 Audited Comprehensive Financial Report  BEFORE the “full phase -

From D200’s Fiscal Year 2005 Audited Comprehensive Financial Report

BEFORE the “full phase-in” in 2005:

D200 included “Community” at the top of its hierarchy, acknowledging that D200 served and was answerable to us, not the obverse.

D200 erased “Community”, reducing us to a mere bankroll or chattel it uses at its
D200 erased “Community”,
reducing us to a mere bankroll or
chattel it uses at its pleasure and
discards when used up.
From D200’s Fiscal Year 2006 Audited
Comprehensive Financial Report

AFTER the “full phase-in” in 2005:

D200’s 2002 Referendum is the source of D200’s wealth, power and independence from the community.

Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum to restore taxpayer sovereignty and assure emancipation from D200’s tax enslavement.

What can D200 property taxpayers do to Repeal and Refund D200’s exploitive and abusive 2002 Referendum?

Only the D200 BOE, not taxpayers, can Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum.

So voters must elect a majority of four BOE members (out of a total of seven members) who promise to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum.

Barb Langer is the only BOE candidate to suggest, let alone lead, the fight to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum. But she can’t do it alone:

Repeal and Refund will require a minimum of four new board members for passage and execution.

The three current BOE members

whose terms expire in 2015 (i.e., John Phelan, Ralph Lee and Sharon Patchak-

Layman), won’t Repeal and Refund.

From D200’s Fiscal Year 2012 Audited Comprehensive Financial Report NOW and ever since the “full
From D200’s Fiscal Year 2012 Audited
Comprehensive Financial Report
NOW and ever since the “full phase-in” in 2005:
 D200 has permanently expunged “Community”.
 The tail wags the dog and the dog must obey – or be put down.
 D200 BOE member Ralph Lee told Langer and Ms. Thomas on
23Jul2012 that D200 supports the replacement of poorer residents
with richer ones who will pay any levy― which has indeed occurred.
Who’s the Puppet Master?
Rigas, a lawyer and accountant, joined the BOE in 2001,
which orchestrated D200’s: 1) 2002 Referendum, 2) 2005 full phase-in making D200 taxation
independent of voters and 3) the 2002 hire of CFO Cheryl Witham, a former “Senior Auditor” at
Arthur Andersen. Rigas became RF Board President in 2010, orchestrated the 2012 RF Home Rule
Referendum to make RF independent of voters, which RF voters defeated by a landslide 80%,
whereupon Rigas announced his departure but sponsored a puppet-like slate to replace him.
Are Rigas, Witham, and/or other insiders the sole Puppet Master(s) in both or either scheme? Did
they bring Wall Street’s deceptive practices to Lake Street? Witham resigned as CFO less than
two months after Langer asked these questions at the 20Dec2012 BOE meeting. BOE
members Finnegan and/or Phelan tried unsuccessfully to quash Langer when she pointed out
Rigas’ efforts to enable first D200 and then RF to permanently tax us without our consent.

At the February 28, 2013, BOE meeting, Langer asked each BOE member if they would promise to Repeal and Refund and BOE President Terry Finnegan told them not to answer. Langer asked Patchak-Layman again in private later that evening. Patchak-Layman said No.― she would not vote to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum. Incumbent Finnegan quashed Langer’s Repeal and Refund query in an apparent attempt to keep his apparent opposition to Repeal and Refund from going on the record. Finnegan has admitted to all-but-abandoning his reelection campaign, apparently over public outrage at his joining Lee and Phelan in hyping and passing D200’s unnecessary new 2.5% levy on December 20, 2012 when D200

claimed to have $133 million in cash and investments. Finnegan and Patchak-Layman helped to narrowly pass D200’s derisory “tax abatement” on February 28, 2013. That publicity stunt politicized D200’s finance and may backfire when voters recognize it for the blatant attempt to redeem Finnegan’s campaign that it is. On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, voters can prove they weren’t fooled and that they won’t allow D200 or anyone else, to mislead, deceive, rob, manipulate, or placate them anymore.

Voters can take back control of ― and responsibility for ― their property taxation and community.

With all current BOE members apparently unwilling to Repeal and Refund, that leaves the job to Repeal and Refund to non-incumbent BOE candidates.

Langer interviewed another BOE candidate, Steve Nations, and asked him if he would promise to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum if elected. Nations would not commit to Repeal and Refund. His published “candidate statement” [http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/1-22-2013/Steve-Nations/] seemed unusually sophisticated regarding D200’s “financial reserves.” However, during the hour-long

interview, Nations proved to be strangely ignorant about his own campaign positions,

evidenced no knowledge of D200’s finances, levies and 2002 Referendum, and was unable to locate such information on the OPRFHS website. He made a failed bid three years before the Referendum passed for a seat on the D200 BOE. During his 1999 campaign, he reportedly promised to “make faculty pay comparable to what other suburban high schools offer.” [Cooper, C: Newcomer seeks Dist. 200 seat. Oak Leaves, 31Mar1999.] By 2011, average pay for D200 faculty and administrators was $100,478, the 10 th highest [http://files.sj-r.com/media/news/TRS.pdf] of the ~879 school districts in Illinois, which must please Nations. Langer referred him to her Protect District 200 Property Taxpayers Website [http://www.taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/uncategorized/stop-oak-park-and-river-forest-high-school-district-200-from- raising-our-property-taxes-on-december-20] to inform him about the need to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum.

the need to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum. Langer asked another D200 BOE candidate, John

Langer asked another D200 BOE candidate, John Bokum, if he would promise to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum if elected. Like Nations, Bokum would not commit to Repeal and Refund and made a past failed bid for a seat on the D200 BOE. None of the remaining D200 BOE candidates has committed in writing to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum if elected. David Perkovich withdrew his candidacy after the deadline for withdrawal, so he remains on the ballot. If he is elected ― and he changes his mind again about serving ― it is uncertain whether he would be able to take his seat despite his withdrawal, or if the new BOE would appoint a replacement because of his withdrawal. The fact that D200 didn’t announce this situation suggests the latter.

THE BOTTOM LINE re REPEAL AND REFUND: Barb Langer is the only candidate who has promised in writing to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum. She began the fight to Repeal and Refund in November, 2012 and has lead it ever since. See page 5 for details. If elected, she would still need three more BOE members to join her to pass a motion to Repeal and Refund ― and then implement it, which will only happen with a PUBLIC MANDATE, as follows:

If Langer is elected, the greater her MARGIN OF VICTORY over the other BOE candidates, who are all non-Repeal and Refund, the greater the PUBLIC MANDATE will be for the new BOE to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum.

Otherwise, despite Langer’s best efforts, a BOE majority vote to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum may not be possible after the April 9, 2013 election. A majority may not emerge until after the next BOE election, in 2015, and then only if all three candidates elected in 2015 vote to Repeal and Refund and Langer is there to provide the forth vote needed for passage.

The outgoing BOE scrambled in March, 2013, to change the D200 Policy Manual in an apparent preemptive strike to prevent implementation of a Repeal and Refund motion, should the new BOE pass one. However, any BOE that passed Repeal and Refund would also be likely to rescind any preemptive changes to the Policy Manual the present Board may make.

CALL FOR D200 BOE CANDIDATES in 2015: If you are registered to vote in D200, qualified and motivated to serve rigorously in both the public interest and the interest of all OPRFHS students on all issues before the BOE, and will promise to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum, please contact Barb Langer at nonewtax@att.net. As a BOE member, be prepared to: 1) read and understand applicable laws, policies and contracts, mountains of financial data and reports, and an endless stream of other information affecting the microcosm that is OPRFHS and 2) spend 10-20 hours per week ― for no pay ― preparing for and participating in BOE committee and board meetings, which can last six hours. Anyone seeking either to politicize the education of OPRFHS students or to supply it at a cost beyond the means of D200 taxpayers, need not contact Langer.

CANDIDATE’S NOTE: Barb Langer is an independent, non-partisan candidate. She has not endorsed any other candidate. She wishes them well. Langer is the only candidate who is an OPRFHS alum. She also attended D97 K-8. Langer is committed to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum and to stop D200 from wasting taxpayer funds. From a review of the checks D200 pays each fortnight, D200 may waste or abuse taxpayer funds to: 1) balloon the ranks of administrators, 2) pad the contracts, salaries, benefits, and perks of administrators, teachers, staff, contractors and others, and 3) fund non-essentials and luxuries. Did you know: OPRFHS’ faculty senate has a Political Action Committee that screens

BOE candidates to learn if they support increases in faculty pay, benefits and perks? D200 pays for credit cards for most administrators and some teachers and pays thousands of dollars each year for student cab fares and for faculty “development” travel, certification, and treatment programs? D200 reimbursed an athletics coach $4170.29 for his gasand hotelat two state tourneys.” That’s a year’s property tax for many D200 home owners. In the same recent period, D200 also paid:

$2,120.00 for a “Drill Team Party” at Molly Malone’s, $2,600.50 for “Soccer and Badminton Signs,$968.80 for a “Notebook Memory,” and $599.85 for a “DVD player.If you weren’t at the party, did your taxes still help pick up the tab? Langer is the only candidate doing anything to take away the punchbowl.

only candidate doing anything to take away the punchbowl. 2. Close the Achievement Gap and Reopen

2. Close the Achievement Gap and Reopen In-House Vocational Training. In the 1960s, Barb’s father helped carry a giant Liberty Bell down Lake Street in an Open Housing March. The next day, the front of their house was covered with smashed eggs and tomatoes. But today, there’s open housing in Oak Park and River Forest. People take it for granted. However, after almost five decades, the achievement gapisn’t only worse than ever, its the essence of modern discrimination. Its most insidious and intractable when self-inflicted ― and when educators play along. D200 needs to stop being politically correct because being politically incorrect, not lip service, will close the gap. D200 needs to help all students fulfill their potential more effectively than through the demonstrably inadequate “Academic Support and Intervention Courses” it now offers. D200 needs to stop warehousing underachievers in courses and detentions that merely entertain, chaperone or punish them. D200 needs to restore serious remedial education for students who fell behind during K-8 and to place them in classes that will bring their skills up to snuff. In such classes, D200 should invest in intensive daily, dedicated, individual tutoring (remember Miss Sue in The Blind Side”?), daily homework and brief daily quizzes that are graded and reviewed in class before starting new material. This can reinforce the previous day’s lesson and enable students not to fall behind. If a student performs inadequately on the daily quiz, the teacher, student and tutor can cooperate immediately to bring that student up to speed before the next class. Otherwise, the student may fall farther behind and disengage. If D200 can pay upwards of $40,000/year each for special ed students, it can also invest in hard core tutoring for achievement gap students, so long as they do the work.

There is no sugar-free substitute for doing the hard work. Students who choose to socialize or engage in other activities rather than doing their school work, and whose academic achievement suffers accordingly, may live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. D200 needs to tell such students to their face and to the faces of their parents they are blowing it ― and are wasting everyone’s time and money in the process. It’s one thing to waste one’s own life. It’s quite another to waste our money while doing it. Blunt honesty remedies political correctness and mollycoddling. Hard work, discipline, tutoring, mentoring and constant vigilance remedy the achievement gap. High school is the springboard into adulthood. Students need to understand they get only one shot at four years of free high school education and are privileged to live in a community that funds it generously. They need to make the most of their opportunity while they can. After graduating, most will have to pay tuition for higher education or vocational training. D200’s routine, $160,000 investment in a special ed pupil over four years is often double its investment in a non-special needs student ― and could buy an Ivy League diploma. D200 should review the diverse, off-site special ed services D200 contracts for to ensure they are necessary and they return the best value for the extraordinary investment we make in them.

D200 also needs to restore in-house vocational training, expand its demonstrably inadequate course offerings in marketable computer and business skills and make computer competency a graduation requirement. College is not for everyone. It’s time D200 stopped pretending that it is. It’s not the only path to a good career and no longer ensures a good job. Students and families increasingly incur post-secondary education costs they cannot sustain ― regardless of academic achievement. Starting on day one, D200 should individually orient every student about the careers they are interested in and provide a step-by-step plan or roadmap on how to qualify for and get a job in their chosen field and the practical resources and skills to launch them on their respective paths. This can serve to powerfully focus each student on the practical and necessary goal of eventually earning a living that is realistic for them. One day, some OPRFHS students may have to rely or fall back on their high school training to make ends meet. D200 needs to make it a priority that students master skills that make them employable and further educable, and inculcates healthy lifelong habits.

Langer’s Record of Acting in the Public Interest: Langer initiated and has led the fight to: 1) expose and stop D200’s cover-up of its $133 million cash hoard and its unnecessary 20Dec2012 levy, and 2) Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum. Langer founded Protect District 200 Property Tax Payers (PD200PTP) in November, 2012. She gave PowerPoint presentations (PPPs) protesting the cover-ups, levy and 2002 Referendum at D200 meetings on December 11 and 20, 2012. Her 20Dec2012 PPP nearly all the information on pages -of this handout and called for volunteers to become candidates for the BOE and to run on a platform to Repeal and Refund D200’s 2002 Referendum. See PD200PTP website:

Langer B: Say no to District 200's new tax levy increase. Wednesday Journal, p. 26, 13Nov2012.

Langer B, Thomas V: District 200 rushes levy increase, survey. Wednesday Journal, p. 23, 20Nov2012.

Langer B: D200 Seeks 2.5% Tax Hike, Despite $123 Million Stash. Join the Property Tax Revolt. http://www.taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/Viewpoint-item-censored-by-Wednesday-Journal.pdf The Wednesday Journal censored this article after first promising to publish it.

Langer B: Dr. Langer’s Public Comments to the D200 BOE: 15Nov2012 Meeting.

Langer recruited renowned forensic accountant, Dr. Barry Epstein, to review D200’s published Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports and Projections for the last 10 years. Dr. Epstein found no justification for a new levy for the foreseeable future, and documented why not in his brilliant presentations for the D200 meetings on 11 and 20Dec2012 and in his articles:

Epstein B: School District 200 by the Numbers: The 2002 Tax Increase Wasn’t Used – and The Proposed 2012 Increase Isn’t Needed. http://www.taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/School-District-200-by-the-numbers-FINAL.pdf

Epstein B: School District 200 by the Numbers. Wednesday Journal, 11Dec2012. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/12-11-

Together, Drs. Epstein and Langer wrote a rebuttal to D200 BOE President Terry Finnegan’s articles supporting the levy:

Epstein B, Langer B: Rebuttal to District 200 President Terry Finnegan’s article entitled: “Criticism of District 200 levy is misinformed. http://www.taxpayersunitedofamerica.org/wp-content/uploads/Rebuttal-to-Terry-Finnegans-Nov-28-WJ-article.pdf

On the basis of their hard work, Taxpayers United of America offered to host the above website in support of the postcard our wonderful volunteers delivered within D200 before the 20Dec2012 meeting. As a result, scores of taxpayers attended the meeting to protest the levy and dozens yielded their speaking time to Drs. Epstein and Langer, who blasted both the 2012 levy and 2002 Referendum. Dr. Epstein observed: “many other citizen-attendees echoed those sentiments in their own impromptu remarks. Taken together, this was probably the most extensive citizen involvement in a Board meeting in many years, demonstrating the importance of the issue to the community.The BOE passed the levy over the community’s objections:

Dwyer, B: D200 passes tax levy amid criticism. Oak Leaves, 21Dec2012. http://oakpark.suntimes.com/news/17163444-418/d200- passes-tax-levy-amid-criticism.html

Dwyer, B: D200 members defend tax hike. Oak Leaves, 27Dec2012. http://riverforest.suntimes.com/news/17162854-418/d200-board- members-defend-tax-hike.html

Langer single handedly changed the River Forest Building Code in 2008, saving homeowners and condo owners in River Forest tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary upgrades to existing buildings:

Langer B: Proposed Changes to Village Building Code Will Be Costly for River Forest Condo Unit Owners and May Invade Their Privacy. RF Village Board Meeting and Possible Vote on Monday, January 28, 2008. RF Condo Unit Owners Are Encouraged to Attend. [Based on this seven page Brief, River Forest residents attended a RF Village Board Meeting to oppose the proposed code changes. The Village of RF redacted every single code change from the Village’ updated Building Code that Langer objected to.]

Dwyer B: Nearly 100 jam council chambers over proposed building code changes. Condo owners rage at code amendments. Wednesday Journal, 29Jan08, http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/01-29-2008/Modified_water_rate_hike_passes.

WARNING: River Forest voters who live in an elevator building should note that River Forest Village Board President candidate Michael Gibbs reportedly works for an elevator company. See: http://oakpark.patch.com/articles/pride-in- river-forest-candidates-to-run-as-group-for-president-open-trustee-seats. Was Gibbs behind the unnecessary and extremely costly elevator upgrades mandated in the draft River Forest Building Code that Dr. Langer defeated in 2008? Does Gibbs have a conflict of interest that River Forest elevator buildings might end up paying for? Is that what

Gibbs means by “business leadership”?

Langer changed the Illinois Elevator Regulation and Safety Act in 2008, saving private residential elevator buildings in Oak Park, River Forest, and elsewhere in IL about $1 billion in unnecessary, make-work upgrades to existing elevators:

Dwyer D: Top 10 River Forest stories for 2008 [story 7], Wednesday Journal, 29Dec08. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/12-29-

Dwyer D: Condos get lift as state delays costly elevator bill Brief reprieve on costly mandated improvements to condo building elevators. Wednesday Journal, 5Aug08. [¶8]

Thomas V: Langer's efforts make her a heroine. Wednesday Journal, 17Jun08. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/06-17-

Langer B: two separate sessions of oral and written testimony before the Illinois Senate Licensed Activities Committee on behalf of private, multifamily residential elevator buildings in Illinois; May, 2008. Langer also represented all private residential suburban and downstate elevator buildings in Illinois at a separate, closed door negotiation session with the bill’s Senate and House sponsors, the president of the elevator union/head of the State Elevator Board, the union’s lobbyist, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and other stakeholders. As a result, the Illinois legislature exempted downstate elevators for many years, saving private, downstate condo and apartment elevator buildings in Illinois about $1 billion and defeating Blagojevich’s “pay-to-playscheme with the union.]

Langer B: New legislation needs to 'Exempt Our Elevators'. Wednesday Journal, 3Jun08. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/06-

Dwyer B: Elevator amendment passes state senate. House to vote on extending deadline of Elevator Safety and Regulation Act. Wednesday Journal, 27May08.

Dwyer B: State senate may reconsider elevator law. Harmon amendment heard by committee Thursday. Wednesday Journal,

6May08.

Langer B: Elevator laws waste condos' money. Wednesday Journal, 22Apr08. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/04-22-

Lucht W: In praise of Langer, in defense of Harmon. Wednesday Journal, 1Jul08

Langer got the following non-binding “Advisory Question” referendum onto the April 9, 2013 ballot:

Question” referendum onto the April 9, 2013 ballot: See: Dean T: Should OPRF pay for pool/fitness

See:

Dean T: Should OPRF pay for pool/fitness center? Wednesday Journal, page 1, 19Sep2012.

Editorial: Make No Small Plans Deep End of the Pool. Wednesday Journal, page 22, 19Sep2012.

When the East Avenue exit from the Eisenhower Expressway was being built over 50 years ago, Barb’s mother circulated a petition that stopped it and the traffic it would bring. She preserved the neighborhood’s safe and quite streets for future generations of new children and families, not just for Langer’s family. The non-exit is still there today, a reminder that every citizen can make our community a better place to live if we take the initiative to lead. During the summer of 2012, Barb spoke with thousands of members of the community to collected almost 4000 signatures on a petition to get the above Advisory Question on the ballot. It was a privilege to meet so many of you and hear your stories. She was deeply moved to learn about the widespread hardship, fear and loss that over-taxation has caused thousands of D200 residents, families and seniors. Your stories galvanized Langer: 1) to stop D200’s over-taxationby running for the D200 BOE and voting to Repeal and Refund

D200’s 2002 Referendum ― and 2) to follow through with the pool petition, since so many people expressed a desire

for an affordable, public, indoor, year-round aquatics and fitness center for the sake of their health, children, families, and enjoyment. Langer discovered a park district in Kearns, Utah that delivers world class facilities and services at a fraction of the cost of those available in our area (see below). If the Advisory Question passes, she hopes we might emulate Kearns’ example.

The Advisory Question will determine fairly and objectively if a majority of voters in D200 approve or disapprove the proposed aquatics and fitness center. Many of D200 residents will never realize any other direct benefit from paying their D200 taxes. D200 offers no routine public access to its pools and indoor athletic facilities that we all pay for, whereas private clubs and organizations do get to use them at our expense. The public has had no public access indoor pool time and swim classes since Concordia closed its pool in 2011. Providing them would fill a compelling community need. Moreover, D200’s pools are inadequate for D200 students. At 85 years old, they are no longer code-compliant for diving, are inadequate for many swim

meets, and have become exorbitant to maintain.

Precedents. D200 already funds community centers. D200 may be one of

the largest financial backers of the privately-owned and operated River Forest Community Center, routinely paying bills, contractors, services, programs, workers and other costs there, often when it could host activities at OPRFHS for less.

Passage of the Advisory Question would create a Public Mandate for D200 to fund a public, indoor, year- round aquatics and fitness center for all residents of Oak Park and River Forest.

Thus, it is essential that every registered voter stand up and be counted with a “Yes” or “No” vote!

If Langer is elected to the D200 BOE, she will serve the entire community ― and only support D200 funding a facility if a majority of D200 voters endorse it on April 9.

The need for a public, indoor aquatics center arose when the last such facility here closed its doors at Concordia University, in August, 2011. Langer then searched for the highest quality public aquatics and fitness facility in America that operates at the lowest cost and found the one in Kearns, Utah. She interviewed officials there and learned they enclosed their outdoor, 50- meter pool for year-round use for about $2 million. She also discovered that the same type of permanent enclosure Kearns used could be applied to the Ridgeland Commons renovation ― for a fraction of the $23.5 million projected cost. Working closely with Kearns officials, she wrote a 27 page article detailing the many advantages and cost savings that would accrue by emulating Kearns, which Kearns published on its website:

Langer B: How to enclose an outdoor 50 meter park district pool for about $2 million. Other communities can get affordable, year round public swimming just like in Kearns, Utah. http://www.kopfc.com/Share/index.html. [Click on “Documents” and be patient while the file loads]

Langer and Ms. Thomas cofounded Enclose Our Pools and asked the park districts in Oak Park and River Forest to collaborate with other taxing bodies to provide a public, year-round aquatics and fitness center modeled on the one in Kearns:

Rose D: New advocacy group pitches year-round pools in Oak Park. Enclose Our Pools wants two park districts, OPRF to collaborate. Wednesday Journal, 7Feb2012.http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/02-07-2012/New_advocacy_group_pitches_year- round_pools_in_Oak_Park

Langer B and Thomas V: Ensure year-round swimming, skating in Oak Park and River Forest. Wednesday Journal, 14Feb2012. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/02-14-2012/Ensure_year round_swimming,_skating_in_Oak_Park_and_River_Forest

On March 13, 2012, we presented our case to D200 for using a small portion of D200’s cash and investments to fund an aquatics and fitness center modeled on the one in Kearns. Langer asked D200 to either open its existing pools to the public when not in use by students or to fund construction of a new aquatics and fitness center that both D200 students and the public can use. She arranged two more meetings with local taxing bodies to request they cooperate to create a public aquatics and fitness center that meets both D200’s and the public’s needs. As a resultand for the first time, the RF Park District subsidized summer pool passes at Park District of Oak Park pools and year-round memberships at Gottlieb Fitness Center for all River Forest households. Were most grateful to the RF Park District for making this possible.

Langer advocated against Home Rule in River Forest, which voters defeated by ~80% on November 6, 2012:

Langer B: Home rule is for home fools. Wednesday Journal, p. 24, 31Oct2012. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/10-30-