Making Democracy Work

THE BULLETIN

LWVEA Newsletter

November/December 2015

November/December 2015 BulletinPDF version Vol.60 , no. 2

September/October 2015

September/October 2015 BulletinPDF version Vol.60 , no. 1

March 2014

March 2014 Bulletin PDF version

Vol.59, no.10 March 2014

January February 2014

January/February 2014 Bulletin PDF version

Vol.59, no.9 January/February 2014

November 2013

November 2013 Bulletin PDF version

Vol.59, no.7 November 2013

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE EDWARDSVILLE AREA BULLETIN

CALENDAR

NOVEMBER 14TH--THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT Presenter: Kara Hughes, ACA Counselor 7-8:30 P.M. Community Center/ Edwardsville

DECEMBER 5TH--HOLIDAY PARTY Anne Stolte's home 7--9 p.m. 32 Hillsboro Rd, Edwardsville.

JANUARY 18th--Saturday, 6--9 p.m. ANNUAL WINE TASTING Fund Raiser at Crushed Grapes

PRESIDENT'S PERSPECTIVE Our Board has been busy during the past few months planning programs for the 2013-14 year. At our last general meeting held on Sept 24th at the Edwardsville Police Dept., Police chief Jay Keenen enlightened our members about his job and his dept.

Some highlights of the meeting were: Mayor Neibur hired him and Mayor Patton can fire him. The department is com-posed of 37 police officers and 3 women. Chief Keenen, Chief John Lakin of Glen Carbon, Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz. Dr. Ed Hightower, Supt. of Edwardsville School District, Administrators from the district, and other members of the community meet on a quarterly basis to discuss safety in the school. Due to shootings in various parts of the country, this Public Safety Committee is very concerned about the students well being.

There has been an increase in car break-ins. Concerning drugs, people using heroin need more to get high. Kids are using prescription drugs and marijuana is easy to obtain.

Edwardsville now has a prescription drug drop=off container in the lobby of the police department, which is open 24/7. Jeanette Mallon, one of our members,was the first person to drop off a prescription drug.Edwardsville was the first community in the 70's to implement 911 in the Meto-East. No prisoners are kept at the Edwardsville Police Dept. They are transferred to the county jail.Chief Keenen provided us with a printout comparing crimes from August 2012+ August 2013. There will be extras at our upcoming meetings in November and December.There was a total of 36,566 calls made in the 12 month period.We appreciated Chief Keenen giving up his time and providing us with a very informa-tive evening about our police dept. He definitely understands the importance of service to the community. Hopefully at our next meeting on November 14th, we will have a good turnout for our speaker Kara Hughes, discussing th Affordable Care Act. Respectfully, Evie Gorski, President

HOLIDAY PARTY AT ANNE STOLTE'S

Please bring a non-perishable food item for us to donate to the Food Pantry.

If you do not like driving at night, and would like someone to drive you to the party, please do not hesitate to contact Lorraine Krusa at 618-288-2681. She will arrange for a ride for you to and from the celebration. As usual we will have good food and drink to share.

WATERSHED NEWS Ellen Nordhauser has done a wonderful job identifying the LWVEA as the official guardi-ans of the road leading to the Watershed. There is a sign indicating that we take care of it. She can always use a few volunteers on the second Saturday of each month, meeting

SUNSHINE WEEK: Making Democracy Work This week is to be held the week of James Madi-son's birthday (March 16th). It is a nation wide effort to open up dialogue on the importance of transparency in govern-ment. The League of Women Voters can en-courage citizens to play an active role in govern-ment at all levels. Suggestions include observer corps activi-ties, a tour of local courts as well as en-couraging teachers we may know at ele-mentary, high school and college levels to discuss this important topic.

YES TO INDEPENDENT MAPS At its Board meeting on Saturday, August w10th, the LWVIL Board voted to support the YES to Independent Maps initia-tive, a frassroots campaign working to put a redistricting re-form amendment on the November 2014 Illinois ballot. League members are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in passing out petitions, Lorraine Krusa has peti-tions available. We hope to have the regional representative visit our League in early February.

LWVEA BOARD MEMBERS Evie Gorski--President egoski5@g,mail.com Mary Pearson--1st Vice President pearsonmary100@gmail.co Alison Lamothe--2nd Vice President aflamothe@sbcglobal.net Treasurer--JoAnn Nabe jcnabe@charter.net Secretary--Lorraine Krusa lorrainekrusa@gmail.com Sulvia Frank--Director franksr73@att.net Yvonne Jordan--Director yjordan@mac.com Rachel Tompkins--Director rvtompkins@gmail.com Ellen Nordhauser--Director nnordha@siue.edu

If you would prefer to receive this newsletter by email, contact Lorraine at the above email address. District 7 Board of Education Observed by Meg Oberlag September 23,2013: This meeting was all about money-as usual. The Board had to adopt a budget with a $500,000 deficit. In the last few years, cuts have been made and some new revenue earned to allow bal-anced budgets, but this is no longer possible. The annual increase in property evaluation kept us going , but this is now flat. A new law allows some transfer into the Education Fund, but not for salaries which is the biggest part of the budget. It is difficult to make concrete plans when we never know what is coming from the State of Illinois. There is probably never going to come a time when we have to make some drastic decisions, such as cutting teachers or programs or asking for a tax increase.

League of Women Voters of the Edwardsville Area P.O. Box 841 Edwardsvillle, IL 62025 PLACE STAMP HERE Contact us at http://www.edwardsvillearealeague.org LWVEA appreciates its mem-bers. If you have suggestions about this coming year's event planning, please don't hesitate to contact Evie Gorski, presi-dent, at: egorski5@gmail.com We welcome all suggestions.

September 2013

September 2013 Bulletin PDF file

August 31, 2013 Presentation by Rebecca Laurent /Edwardsville High School Junior On Saturday, August 31st, 26 members of the League met at the Glen Carbon Library to listen to Rebecca Laurent , Junior at Edwardsville High School, present a slide presentation and talk about climate change. Rebecca trained last July in San Francisco with the Al Gore's Foundation on Climate Reality Issues. She gave an excellent presentation, followed by many questions from the audience.

LEAGUE OFFICERS FOR THE 2013-14 YEAR Evie Gorski--President Mary Pearson--1st Vice President Alison Lamothe--2nd Vice President Sylvia Frank--Director Yvonne Jordan--Director Ellen Nordhauser--Director Rachel Tompkins--Director Kathy Jones--Director Lorraine Krusa --Secretary JoAnne Nabe--Acting Treasurer*

Vol.59, no.6 September 2013 LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE EDWARDSVILLE AREA BULLETIN http://www.edwardsvillearealeague.org

UPCOMING EVENTS MARK YOUR CALENDARS. SEPTEMBER 24TH/POLICE CHIEF TO SPEAK New Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven will speak to LWVEA members at 7 p.m. We will meet in the Training Room at the Police Dept, at 400 Main Street.

SEPTEMBER 28TH/ WATERSHED CLEANUP This month the cleanup is scheduled for the last Sat-urday in September, Sep. 28th at 8:30 a.m. We are starting a bit later now that the sun comes up later. We meet in the Watershed parking lot and we usually finish in one hour. All help is appreciated. If you need directions to the Watershed, please call Ellen Nordhauser at 656-5790. Ellen has been doing a great job, and we now have a sign identifying the League as responsible for the cleanup of the entry street. Ellen was responsible for getting the sign in-stalled.

END NOTES: BAKE SALE AT EDWARDSVILLE CONCERT IN THE PARK on JUNE 18TH The bake sale was very successful. Our profit was$130 dollars. Thanks to Betsy Slosar, Sylvia Frank, Momus, Ellen Nordhauser and all who contributed to the sale. Special thanks to Mary Pearson, Meg Oberlag and Carol Gipe for helping set up and who worked to sell and clean up after the concert.

Barbara Kinsella--Special Thanks Due to work demands, Barbara has resigned as Treasurer of the League. We thank her for her service. JoAnne Nabe has graciously volunteered to be Acting Treasurer for the remainder of the year. She is willing and able to train any member interested in taking on this responsibility next year, as August 2014.

SEPT. 24,2013 National Voter Registration Day Encourage any neighbor or family member to register to vote The League will have a table at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on that day to register students who re-side in Madison County. For Information, you can contact Lorraine Krusa at 288-2681. She will be there on the 24th with Yvonne Jordan from 10a.m. to 2 p.m. Convention Theme

100th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Leagues across the State of Illinois are marking the 100th anniversary this year of the bill that gave women suffrage in Illinois in June 1913. Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi to grant suffrage seven years ahead of the 19th amendment ratified in 1920. Once the Illinois bill was passed, the eastern seaboard states saw that women voting was a force for political change and the final push for national suffrage gained momentum. We have received a letter commemorating this event from the State. We hope to have this letter displayed in the Court House for all women of Illinois to see. We will also have this letter available as a PDF file so that members can download it if interested in having a personal copy. Remember to go to our website. District 7 Board of Education Observed by Meg Oberlag August 12, 2013--Supt. Hightower announced that all Poly Vision whiteboards had been installed and he thanked the many donors who contributed to this project. Although school had not yet started, he said that all classes were below contract size at that point. There are 3168 elementary students, 878 at Liberty, 814 at Lincoln, and 2440 at EHS for a total of 7322.

Summer school enrolled 700 students and the KidZone brought in 1.4 million dollars. This produced a $400,000 profit for District 7.

June 2013

June/July 2013 Bulletin PDF file

Vol.59, no.5 June/ July 2013 LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE EDWARDSVILLE AREA http://www.edwardsvillearealeague.org

"Dates to Remember" August 1st, League Board meets to plan for the year's events September 24th: National Registration to Vote Day

In This Issue  Observer Corps Report  LWVIL Convention Report  Celebrating 100 years of women's suffrage in Illinois  Welcome new mem-bers to our League

DISTRICT 7 BOARD OF EDUCATION Observed by Meg Oberlag April 28, 2013 + This was the final board meeting for Greg Roosevelt and Bob Perica. State Rep. Dwight Kay was there to present certificates of appreciation for their twelve years of public service. He said that District 7 is known in Springfield as a "premier" district. Jill Bertels also gave them a plaque from the board and Supt. Hightower gave words of thanks.

John Davin gave a report about the Agricultural Program at EHS. There are fifty students in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) club and they participate in many contests and activities. They raised $23,000 for college scholarships for their members. The students will monitor the landscaping around our school buildings, calculate cost of materials etc. and will actually do some of the needed work. May 1, 2013 + Judge Ann Callis administered the oath of office to all the board members which included the newly elected Jeff Miller and Lelan Olsen. The Board then voted for the following officers: Jill Bertels, president; Brad Hewitt, vice president; and Monica Laurent, secretary. New committees will be announced at the next meeting. Textbook fees will be raised as follows: $70 to $80 at the elementary schools, $80 to $90 for the middle schools and $90 to $100 at the high school. Drivers Ed will rise from $175 to $250.

Participation fees for athletics and performing arts will rise from $50 to $100 at the high school and from $25 to $50 at the middle schools. No student will pay more than $200. This will raise $210,000. They then voted on class sizes, some of which will need another teacher. And they voted to issue up to 5 million (if need-ed) to meet expenses until property tax and State money comes in. Illinois will owe the District 1.5 to 2 million by the end of June. The Board also voted to increase lunch fees (up 10 cents at middle schools and high school and up 20 cents at the elementary schools) to meet the requirements of the Hungry Kids Lunch Program, and to join a co-op for food purchases which should save seven to ten percent. May 13,2013 - Prior to the meeting, Supt. Hightower gave a 3 hour update on District finances for the Board, both old and new. It is not a pretty picture and will only get worse if the State of Illinois shifts the pension burden to the school districts.

The Edwardsville Rotary Club presented a check for $20,000 to the District toward the Poly Vision whiteboards that are being installed in the classrooms. Dr. Andre reviewed proposed changes in the 2013-14 Student Handbook, many of which concern safety procedures. This will be voted on at the May 28th meeting

LWVIL CONVENTION Normal, Illinois June 7--9, 2013 Report by Lorraine Krusa

I attended as a delegate on June 8th and 9th. On Saturday Roll Call, I summarized the events we had sponsored during the election year including the Mock Election at Edwardsville High School, registering students to vote at SIUE and the high school.; sponsoring the Mayoral Candidates Forum as well as the forum for the Board of Education and the various Meet and Greet Events. We were singled out and given an award for our work.

On Sunday the Membership Report indicated that the League in Illinois had grown .3% in the past two years. The Following Recommended Program Items for 2013-2014 were voted on and approved: 1. Study/Update LWVIL position on Charter Schools; 2. Readopt Action focus on Climate Change; Readopt Action Focus on Fiscal Policy and Tax Re-form; Adopt Action focus on Gun Violence Prevention; Adopt Action focus on Voting Rights; Readopt Action Focus on Re-districting Reform.

The LWVIL Position on State Pension Reform was tabled after much discussion of the pros and cons of the position. Those opposed ponted out that only 18 of the 36 Leagues in Illinois had sent in a consensus report. Finally a standing vote was taken and the position was tabled by a majority vote.

Edwardsville Concert in the Park, June 13th Thanks to all the members who donated drinks and cookies and cakes to our table. Special thanks to Mary Pearson, Rachel Tompkins and Carol Gipe for their work at the table. This is a once a year fund raiser that also offers us visibility in the community.

Welcome to new members Carol Meek Benna Denue Larry Miller William Mudge Alison Reeves Helen Holbert Jennifer King Vicki Van Tuyle Welcome Back to Barbara Crowder Susan Young

Convention Theme 100th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Leagues across the State of Illinois are marking the 100th anniversary this year of the bill that gave wom-en suffrage in Illinois in June 1913. Illinois was the first state east of the Mississippi to grant suffrage seven years ahead of the 19th amendment ratified in 1920. Once the Illinois bill was passed, the eastern seaboard states saw that women voting was a force for political change and the final push for national suffrage gained momentum.

LWVEA NEW & CONTINUING BOARD MEMBERS President Evie Gorski 1st Vice President Mary Pearson 2nd Vice President Alison Lamothe Treasurer Barbara Kinsella Secretary Lorraine Krusa Director Kathy Jones Director JoAnn Nabe Director Ellen Nordhauser Director Rachel Tompkins Directolr Yvonne Jordan Director Sylvia Frank

March 2013

March 2013 Bulletin PDF file

The Bulletin

Vol. 59, No. 2 March, 2013

Important Dates at a Glance:

March 20, 2013: 7 to 8 pm, Wildey Theatre,Forum for Edwardsville Mayoral Candidates Hal Patton and Barb Stamer 8 to 9 pm,Wildey Theatre,City Council Candidates Meet and Greet,Three candidates vying for one Ward 8 seat.

March 21, 2013: 7 to 9 pm,Glen Carbon Community Center Meet and Greet,Four Trustee candidates for three seats,Five Library Board candidates for four seats

March 26, 2013: 7 to 9 pm, Edwardsville High School Forum for District 7 School Board Candidates, Eight candidates for four seats

April 2,2013: 7 to 9 pm, Edwardsville Township Bldg., Meet and Greet Township Supervisor Candidates Barth Legate and Frank Miles

May 2,2013: 5:30 pm, LeClaire Room, NO Nelson Complex, Social Hour followed by Annual Meeting Dinner,Guest Speaker: Julie Furst-Bowe, SIUE Chancellor

Dates for the Upcoming Election: Early Voting begins: Monday, March 27 Early Voting ends: Friday, April 5 Election Day: Tuesday, April 9

Voter Services Events Planned

On March 20, 2013, the LWVEA will sponsor a forum for the two candidates for Mayor of Edwardsville at the Wildey Theater. Following that forum, the three candidates for the Ward 6 Alderman position will be offered an opportunity to present their positions to the voters. The event will begin officially at 7:00 p.m., but League members or members of the public are asked to come early if they have questions to submit, and to do so, on index cards, to a group of League Members who will rewrite them, if necessary, for the Moderator to present to the mayoral candidates.

On the following day, March 21, 2013, the LWVEA will hold a Meet and Greet Voter Services event at the Glen Carbon Community/Senior Center, to allow candidates for the Glen Carbon Library Board and for Glen Carbon Village Trustees to present their positions to the voters. Informal discussion/question time with the candidates will then be provided over refreshments. This event will be from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, March 26th a Forum for candidates for the Edwardsville School Board will be held at the Edwardsville High School Auditorium. There are four candidates for three in town seats (of which three are incumbents) and three candidates for the regional seat (of which one is an incumbent). Each candidate will present his or her position, and questions will be solicited from the public and from League members, then directed to the candidates by the Moderator, after being reviewed by a committee of League members to ensure a fact-finding tone. This event will also take place at 7:00 p.m.

On Tuesday April 2nd, all candidates for Edwardsville Township Trustee positions will be given an opportunity to describe their positions to the voters at 7:00 p.m. at the Edwardsville Township Building. The two candidates for Edwardsville Township Supervisor will also be presenting their backgrounds and positions to the voters on that evening.

Illinois Pension Reform Study

Twenty-four of the forty League chapters in Illinois participated in the Pension Study and submitted their consensus results by the required November 16, 2012 postmark date. In these twenty-four participating chapters, there were a total of 340 members from various regions of the state of Illinois with an average of 14+ members per participating chapter.

LWVIL State Pension Reform Position 2013

Recognizing that (a) there is both a revenue problem and a state public pension sta-tus problem and (b) that the burdens of changes must be shared by a broad base of stakeholders, the League of Women Voters of Illinois supports:

  • Restructuring the five state public pension systems for Tier 1 EMPLOY-EES hired before January 1, 2011 with an emphasis on a transition period for employees near retirement age to mitigate the impact of any proposed change.

  • Assuming such a transition period is established on implementation, LWVIL supports the following reforms:

- raising the retirement age
- increasing the minimum years of service requirement for full re-tirement benefits
- limiting application of unused sick leave to years of service for pension calculation
- strengthening anti-spiking provisions
- reducing pension Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) benefits
- establishing maximum annual pension benefits.

LWVIL OPPOSES restructuring the five state pension systems for Tier 1 EM-PLOYEES hired before January 1, 2011 by increasing required employee contribu-tions to state pension plans.

LWVIL SUPPORTS restructuring the five state pension systems for Tier 1 RETIR-EES by reducing pension Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) benefits.

LWVIL SUPPORTS expanding state revenue sources to cover pension obligations by

  • applying the Illinois state income tax to all retirement income
  • establishing a tax on services
  • maintaining the current temporary 5% state income tax as permanent.*

 Note: The statement referring maintaining the temporary income tax increase passed in 2011 does not override the LWVIL's long-standing Fiscal Policy position supporting a progressive income tax with a graduated rate.

LWVIL OPPOSES legislation stretching the pension funding ramp beyond 2045.

The League SUPPORTS establishment of a State of Illinois contractual obligation to fund its five public pension systems to enable individual members to sue the State if Illinois does not pay its required pension obligation.

Our Edwardsville Area chapter agreed with some of the State League's positions, and disagreed with others. Our chapter supported strengthening anti-spiking provisions, establishing maximum pension benefits, establishing a transition period for employees near retirement age to mitigate the impact of any proposed changes, and establishing a contractual obligation of the State of Illinois to fund its five pension systems. Our chapter did not support raising the retirement age, reducing pension COLA benefits, and increasing early retirement penalities.

Submitted by Carol Reinking

League of Women Voters of the Edwardsville Area 2012 HIGHLIGHTS

January 21 Fundraiser: Second Annual Wine and beer tasting at Crushed Grapes in Edwardsville

March 1 Meet and Greet for primary candidates for the US House of Representatives 13th Congressional District at the Glen Carbon Senior Center

March 8 Edwardsville Comprehensive Land Plan Consensus Meeting (after monthly Board Meeting)

May 10 Annual Meeting. Dinner catered by Bella Milano and presentation by Glen Carbon Mayor Robert Jackstadt at the LeClaire Room, N.O. Nelson Complex, Edwardsville

Feb. - November Monthly roadside trash pickup along Tower Avenue on 3rd Saturday of the month

May - September Goshen Market table on 2nd Saturday of the month. Focus: membership outreach and voter registration

June 14 Fundraiser: Refreshment table at Edwardsville Municipal Band concert in City Park

September Members Lorraine Krusa, Yvonne Jordan and Alison Lamothe participated in voter registration drives at Mount Joy Baptist Church, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville High School and Shop and Save.

September 7-8 Members Lorraine Krusa and Evie Gorski partipated in LWVIL leadership development training in Joliet, Illinois

September 27 Fall membership social and informational meeting regarding local referenda items (Home Rule and Energy Aggregation) at Edwardsville City Hall Council Chambers

October 4 Meet and Greet for candidates for Madison County offices at the Glen Carbon Senior Center

October 13 Meet and Greet for Madison County Judicial and County Board candidates at the Main Street Community Center

October 14, Members Lorraine Krusa and Evie Gorski presented to a coalition of Scouts, ages 12-16 on the issue of voting, for which they were earning a badge.

October 23 Meet and Greet for candidates for the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate and the US House of Representatives 13th Congressional District at Woodland Elementary School

November 2 Mock Election at Edwardsville High School

November 15 Presentation on Illinois State Pension Systems followed by consensus discussion at the Edwardsville Public Library

December 6 Annual Holiday Party hosted by Evie Gorski. Attendees donated items for the Phoenix Crisis Center.

DISTRICT 7 BOARD OF EDUCATION Observed by Meg Oberlag

December 17, 2012 This meeting took place just after the Newtown incident. Two parents asked what the District was doing to improve school safety. Supt. Hightower assured them that there had been a meeting right away to deal with evaluating and beefing up our school security. He said that ours is the only District in the area that has a guard at the front door of each building. He said that when that guard has to do perimeter checks there will always be someone there to sit at the desk. Then he told of the good working relationship with various law agencies and how the students are trained to respond to three Codes: Code Stay (in place), Code Move (go out to safer place) and Code Yellow (isolate in place). He also told of the video systems and cameras which cover inside and outside.

He then went on to speak about mental health and what the District offers, such as 10 social workers, 12 psychologists and 13 nurses. He mentioned the various prevention activities and the Handbook rules about dealing with troubled youth or faculty. If a student is expelled, he cannot return to school without a written letter by a trained person who has evaluated him.

January 14, 2013 The Lincoln School Alumni Association gave $20,000 toward the 21st Century Classroom Initiative (PolyVision boards in each room) and St. Cecilia's Church gave $7,547 for Special Education.

Supt. Hightower announced the new enrollment to be 7,547, which is up 58 since the start of the year. He also announced a new course in broadcast and broadcast journalism which will start next year in conjunction with SIUE. He also thanked the police departments of Edwardsville and Glen Carbon, the Madison County Sheriff's Department, as well as Ben Dickmann, Dave Bopp, Bob Hertz and Don Lask for all they have done over the years to upgrade the security in the District.

Each classroom now has an inside lock and there will soon be panic buttons, alarms and upgrades to camera systems. Discussion of the possibility of having an armed person on site will take place soon. He introduced many of the people who have been working on the Safety Committee and they made brief comments. A very impressive group!

February 25, 2013 Mr. Roosevelt gave an overview of how other schools are handling the lack of state money and repeated the board's commitment to live within our budget.

Dr. Hightower pointed out that Illinois is eight to nine billion in arrears in paying its bills. At the end of this school year, they will probably owe us three million. As it is, we only get about 15 to 18% of our funding from the state. Local taxes will probably be responsible for 79-80% next year. (Remember that our State Constitution says that the state should pay at least 50%.) Federal funding provides money for Title I, Title II and students with disabilities. The 5% sequester cut will cause a $200,000 shortfall for these programs where the teachers are already under contract. The extra spending for security is another expense that was unplanned for. Next year the cost of insurance will go up and the teachers will get their 2% raise after a freeze this year. The district will have to come up with a lot of innovative ideas to make up for these things. Hightower said, "We are getting less and less, and having to do more and more."

January 2013

The Bulletin

Vol. 59, No. 1 January, 2013

Important Dates at a Glance:

January 19, 2013 6:30 Annual Wine & Cheese Fundraiser Crushed Grapes, 1500 Troy Rd., Edwardsville January 26, 2013 8:30 a.m. Roadside Pickup (weather permitting) Terry Street, Meet at Watershed Nature Center February 7, 2013 6:30 State & Local Program Planning Meeting Prior to monthly Board meeting May 2, 2013 5:30 6:30 7:00 Social HourMain Street Community Center Annual Meeting Dinner Speech, followed by questions from Members LeClaire Room, NO Nelson Complex, Lewis & Clark Community College

Dates for the Upcoming Election:

Last day to register to vote: Tuesday, March 12 Early Voting begins: Monday, March 27 Early Voting ends: Friday, April 5 Election Day: Tuesday, April 9

As of November 1st forty-three members had renewed their membership and four new members had paid their dues.

There was extensive discussion of the candidates' meetings held in October. Evie Gorski announced that the Edwardsville School District now charges for use of the Woodland School space. The Main Street Community Center space is free.

There was general agreement on the following:

1) Saturday is not a good time for a candidates meeting. 2) There was not enough time to plan the meeting for the Congressional candidates. 3) The League should set the date for the candidates meetings, not the candidates. 4) Questions for the candidates should be developed ahead of time. 5) Audiences should be asked to refrain from applause. 6) We should consult with State and/or National League regarding video taping of candidates' meetings by the candidates.

Wine Tasting will be January 19, 2013 at Crushed Grapes at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $20.00. A wall hanging will be raffled.

There will be no December board meeting.

2012 League Christmas Party

Twenty-two Leaguers had a great time at our annual Christmas party held at Evie Gorski's house on December 6, 2012. Phoenix Crisis Center, which is a center for abused women and children located in Granite City, received the following items from our Christmas collection:

--13 rolls of paper towels -- Various baby products
-- Set of flannel sheets -- Bag of individual soaps and shampoos
-- 3 large packages of diapers -- 3 large bottles of hand soap
-- 24 rolls of toilet paper -- Coffee pot and filter
-- 1 large container of laundry soap -- 2 packages of baby wipes
-- 2 containers of laundry soap (regular size)

The thank -you note from Phoenix's executive director, Nikki Martinez, stated how donations are vital to the operation of the Center, especially in this difficult economic time. Thank you to the League for making this a successful collection. Submitted by Evie Gorski

Results of Mock Election at Edwardsville High School

Students at Edwardsville High School participated in a Mock Election for president of the United States on Friday, November 2nd. The League of Women Voters of the Edwardsville Area organized the event with the help of Assistant Principal, Paul Stuart, and members of the Model United Nations Club and the Journalism and Yearbook Clubs.

Candidates were listed in ballot order with the following results: Mitt Romney (Republican) 875; Barack Obama (Democrat) 924; Gary Johnson (Libertarian) 226 and Jill Stein (Green Party) 170. Submitted by Meg Oberlag

VOTER SERVICES EVENTS September-November 2012

The League of Women Voters Edwardsville Area has hosted many voter services events in the fall pre-election season.

On September 21, 2012, 12 students at the Edwardsville High School became registered voters thanks to Lorraine Krusa and Alison Lamothe. These voter registrars also registered 12 citizens at Shop N Save and 3 during SIUE classes during this time period.

On September 27, 2012, the League hosted a new member social and informational presentations on Municipal Electric Aggregation, by Bob Mill, Director of Regulatory Policy and Rates at Ameren and Jamie Bowden, Glen Carbon City Administrator, and on Home Rule by Jeff Berkbigler, Edwardsville City Attorney.

On October 4, 2012, a Candidate Meet and Greet took place at the Glen Carbon Community/Senior Center. Candidates for Circuit Clerk (Mark Von Nida and John Barberis), State's Attorney (Tom Gibbons and Amy Sholar), Auditor (Rick Faccin and Jeremy Plank), Recorder (Amy Meyer and Matt Rice) Coroner (Steve Nonn), and County Board Chairman (Alan Dunstan and Chris Slusser) presented their positions to the voters.

On October 13, 2012, a Candidate Meet and Greet took place at the Main Street Community Center in Edwardsville. Candidates for County Board Districts 3, 17, 18, 24 and 26 presented their positions, as well as judges facing judicial contests and those seeking retention.

On October 14, 2012, Lorraine Krusa and Evie Gorski presented to a coalition of Girl Scouts, ages 12-16 on the issue of voting, for which they were earning a badge.

On October 23, 2012, a Candidate Meet and Greet and modified Forum took place at the Woodland School in Edwardsville. Dwight Kay and Marleen Suarez faced off answering questions developed by the League of Women Voters Edwardsville area, in their contest for 112th State Representative. Mike Babcock presented his position as a candidate for 56th State Senator. John Hartman and Rodney Davis presented their positions as candidates for the 13th U.S. Congressional District.

Mock Elections at Edwardsville High School took place on 11/2/12, as reported above.

Pension Study

On November 15, 2012 thirteen League members and a like number of people from the Alton area met to review the five pension systems of the State of Illinois. The pension systems are:

  • State Employees Retirement System
  • Teachers' Retirement System
  • State University Retirement System
  • General Assembly Retirement System
  • Judges' Retirement System.

The current benefits of the retirement systems were reviewed. Then possible changes to the systems and the impact of the possible changes were discussed. Eighteen consensus questions were presented for the League member's consideration.

The group supported;

- Strengthening anti-spiking provisions
- Establishing a maximum pension benefit
- Establishing a transition period for employee near retirement age to miti-gate the impact of any proposed changes
- Establishing a contractual obligation of the State of Illinois to fund its five public pension systems

The group did not support:

- Raising the retirement age
- Reducing pension COLA benefits
- Increasing early retirement penalty

The results of our meeting were mailed to the League of Women Voters of Illinois, to be compiled with results from other Leagues in the state. At the time of this report, we have not received information regarding the consensus of all the Leagues that participated.

I would like to thank the pension committee for their work in trying to make complicated data understandable. The committee members were: Evie Gorski, Barb Kinsella, Mary Pearson, Cinda Schmidt and Carol Reinking, chair.

Submitted by Carol Reinking

District 7 Board of Education

Observed by Meg Oberlag

October 22, 2012 + Supt. Hightower announced that $600,000 has been raised toward a goal of one million to upgrade technology with the purchase of 200 PolyVision boards for classrooms. Training for administrators and 61 teacher/trainers will begin soon.

District 7 will begin to seek bids for the purchase of diesel fuel for the buses for the rest of this year which can save $50,000 to $100,000. This saves because we do not have to pay tax as the bus company does.

The Board extended the contract of Hightower through June 30 of 2016. At his request, there will be no increase in salary and hasn't been one since 2009.

Hightower gave a report on the financial status of the District and pointed out steps that have been taken so far to slash 12 million from the budget. A few good signs show that we may get some money ($360,000) from an anticipated growth in equalized assessed valuation of property and $175,000 from tax appeals. Due to federal regulations, lunch prices will rise by 10 cents for students and 15 cents for adults, but no raise in book or activity fees. The Kid Zone summer daycare program should net $500,000 and next year's diesel fuel should save $675,000.

Though most employees accepted a salary freeze for this year, they will get a 2% raise next year. There might have to be a modest raise in the tax levy. Restructuring and refinancing our building debts may help by the end of 2013. By that time, the State of Illinois will likely owe us three million dollars. These are just a few of the many items that are under consideration for next year. A vote on all of it will take place at the next meeting.

September 2012

Sept 2012 Bulletin

The Bulletin

Vol. 58, No. 3 September, 2012

Important Dates at a Glance:

September 27, 2012 6:30 Edwardsville City Hall Council Chambers Membership Fall Kick-off

7:00 Informational Meeting:
Home Rule & Energy Aggregation October 2, 2012 7:00 Monthly Board Meeting at the home of Ellen Nordhauser October 4, 2012 7:00 Glen Carbon Senior Citizens Center Meet & Greet candidates for County offices October 13, 2012 2-4:30 Main Street Community Center Meet & Greet candidates for County Board & Judges November 2, 2012 Mock election at Edwardsville High School November 15, 2012 7:00 Edwardsville Public Library Presentation on Illinois Pension Systems followed by Consensus Discussion

Save the Date: 2013 Annual Meeting, May 2, LeClaire Room at the N.O. Nelson Complex, Lewis and Clark Community College

National Presidential Debates on TV

There will be three Presidential debates on TV during October. Mark your calendar for the following - The debate at 8 pm Central Time on Wednesday, October 3 will focus on domestic policy. The Tuesday, October 16 debate at 8 pm Central Time will be a town meeting format focusing on foreign and domestic policy. The Monday October 22 debate at 8 pm Central Time will focus on foreign policy. There will be one Vice-Presidential debate, at 8 pm Central Time on October 11, which will focus on domestic and foreign policy. Each debate will be broadcast live on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as all cable news channels including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC among others. Each debate will be streamed live online as well.

Upcoming LWVEA Fall Events

On September 27th, the League will sponsor a Membership Kickoff/ Informational meeting. This will take place at City Hall. At 6:30 p.m. members are invited to bring prospective members for a social half hour in which cookies and coffee will be served and any questions answered. The public is invited to join us at 7:00 for two speakers in the City Council Chambers, who will address the referenda which will appear on the November ballot. Paula Nixon of Ameren will address the League and the public at 7:00 pm on the subject of Community Aggregation. Jamie Bowden, Glen Carbon City Administrator, will also be there to answer any questions relating to the village's experience with Aggregation. Jeff Berkbigler, Edwardsville City Attorney, will speak at 7:30 to describe the Referendum on Home Rule.

On October 4th, Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. the League will host a Candidate Meet and Greet for the County Official Candidates, at the Glen Carbon Senior/Community Center. Candidates for County Circuit Clerk, State's Attorney, Auditor, Recorder, Coroner and Board Chairman are invited to present their positions to the voters, with time remaining for informal questions over coffee and cookies.

On October 13th, Saturday afternoon from 2{00 to 4:30 p.m. there will be a Candidate Meet and Greet for the candidates for County Board and the judges in contests and seeking retention. This will take place at the Edwardsville Main Street Community Center on North Main Street (formerly called Senior Center).

STATE PENSIONS: WHY SHOULD I CARE?

Many people in Illinois are asking the question: why should I care about state pensions? I don't have immediate family, relatives or friends who work for the state, therefore, the pension systems are no concern of mine. Let's think about that.

Recently, the state of Illinois financial rating has been lowered to A from A+ which will make it more difficult for the State to borrow money to meet its financial obligations and will lead to higher interest rates when the State does borrow money. Why would financial institutions lend money to the State of Illinois that has one of the worst financial ratings of all 50 states? For many years, maybe as many as fifty years, the State has under funded its contributions to the pension systems. The scheduled contributions to the pension systems have been used to fund other programs, thereby, avoiding cutting programs or raising taxes to pay for them. There seems to be a consensus that the pension systems are major contributors to the State's financial difficulties because so much money is owed to them.

During the most recent legislative session some solutions to the pension crises have been proposed but no plan has been adopted. Most of the focus has been on the teachers' pension system because it is the largest but there are four other pension systems to consider. The LWVIL has gathered information from the Illinois pension system and pension systems of fourteen other states representing different regions of the country. At our November 15th meeting information will be presented for discussion leading to consensus recommendations. Some of the potential changes in the pension systems to be considered are: reduce cost of living benefits, requiring school districts to fully fund teachers' pensions, cutting pension benefits, establishing a tax on services and applying Illinois state tax to all retirement income. Guess who will pay if some of these options are adopted? Please review the information included in this Bulletin and then attend the November 15th consensus meeting. By reaching a consensus with the other Leagues in Illinois, we can make our voices heard during the upcoming legislative session. Through lobbying by the LWVIL we can influence legislation. Don't miss this chance! Submitted by Carol Reinking

District 7 Board of Education Observed by Meg Oberlag

May 14, 2012 + Dr. Hightower announced that a 3-year contract with the secretarial employees has been finalized. There will be a salary freeze in the 1st year (2nd year in a row) and then a 2% raise in each of the two remaining years. There will also be no reduction in force during the contract.

In order to comply with the Healthy Hunger Free Act of 2010 it was necessary to increase the price of school lunches by 10 cents. Failure to do so would cost the District $500,000 in federal funds. Lunch will now be $2.00 at the elementary schools and $2.10 in grades 6 through 12.

State funding for 2011-12 is still 1.6 million short as of today and there will probably be no third and fourth payments. Word has been received that the Equalized Assessed Value in our District is down which will cause a decrease of $250,000 coming from property taxes. Some of Gov. Quinn's suggestions would hit our District hard if approved. (Correction from April Bulletin: District 7 covers 185 square miles.) If transportation funding is eliminated it would call for drastic measures! The Board is committed to no deficit spending, no Tax Anticipation Warrants and no increase in our tax rate, although ours is the lowest in the area.

It was reported that our Student Services/Special Education Department received an excellent report from a recent State visit and is in compliance with all rules. There were 712 students served by 200 professionals this year.

District 7 Board of Education Observed by Meg Oberlag

June 18, 2012 + The owner of the Goddard School made a long statement of objection to the District's plan to start offering tuition-based Pre-K classes this fall. His main complaint was that it was too hastily decided and that the District was not qualified to do it. He called the Supt. "arrogant" and asked the Board members who they were elected to serve. Two other childcare providers added brief (but more polite) comments.

In response to this, Supt. Hightower told why they were doing it. Some of his main points were that this is another way to enhance our dwindling revenue, and it is perfectly legal to do it as shown by a previous court case and the fact that other schools in Illinois and Missouri offer the same thing. He also said that we started offering Pre-K sixteen years ago, but gradually phased it out when funding dried up.

The remainder of the meeting centered on routine business, including the 7-0 vote to go ahead with plans to start offering Pre-K classes this fall.

District 7 Board of Education Observed by Meg Oberlag

August 13, 2012 + This meeting drew a large crowd of teachers and parents due to the looming threat of a teachers' strike. Board president Greg Roosevelt gave introductory comments. His main points were: we began to address financial problems four years ago, we support Supt. Hightower and the administrators who work to solve the dilemma, we will not ask taxpayers for an increased rate and we will not go into deficit spending.

Then twelve people each gave 3-minute talks about the situation + two who supported the Board, two who asked for compromise, and eight who sided with the teachers. Two of the latter group said the community would be willing to pay higher taxes.

Supt. Hightower gave an overview of the financial situation that already caused the District to cut twelve million in the last four years. The Working Cash Fund, from which we can borrow without interest, has already been drawn down from 9 million to 2 million. We expect two to three more difficult years ahead. Governor Quinn's proposal to shift pension funding to the districts would mean an additional seven million of cost for us.

August 20, 2012 + Your observer was unable to watch this meeting, but the press reported that a settlement had been reached. The teachers accepted a one-year pay freeze and the Board adjusted class size and other wording.

League of Women Voters Edwardsville Area BOX 841 Edwardsville, IL 62025-0841

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide. Membership is open to any U.S. Citizen who is at least 18 years of age. Dues of $60.00 ($85 for two members) include membership in our local, state and national organization. Send your check to Treasurer, LWVEA, P.O. Box 841, Edwardsville, IL 62025-0841

April 2012

April 2012 Bulletin

The Bulletin

Vol. 58, No. 2 April, 2012

Important Dates at a Glance:

April 12 LWVEA Board Meeting.

May 10 League Annual Meeting. To be held at the LeClaire Room at the N.O. Nelson Campus of Lewis & Clark Community College.

LWVEA Proposed Local Program

2012-2013

1. Support an effective Human Relations Commission

2. Support an effective Edwardsville and Glen Carbon Historic Preserva-tion Commission and encourage the designation of areas and/or sites in the communities as historic landmarks

3. Support the recreation systems consensus positions. The LWVEA al-so proposes to support possible ways of improving recreational fa-cilities and programming through existing governmental entities, pri-vate developers, and/or the creation of a Park district

4. Support the governance and quality of education positions that have been developed previously and support appropriate tax propositions (especially those related to funding, physical facilities, and district boundaries0 after review and further study

5. Support the consensus on the Village of Glen Carbon Comprehensive Land Use Plan

6. Support the consensus on the 2010 City of Edwardsville Comprehen-sive Land Use Plan

Submitted by JoAnn Nabe

LWVIL - 2012 Local League Legislative Interview Feedback Form

Evie Gorski, Meg Oberlag and Carol Reinking conducted a legislative interview with Rep. Dwight Kay on February 24. He was very easy to talk to and we covered the topics suggested by the LWVIL, as well as other things of interest to us. Here is a brief summary of the topics.

1. Campaign Finance Reform: Rep. Dwight Kay (District 112) favors limiting all contributions in both primary and general elections. He favors appointment of judges and has filed a bill for this based on Missouri's plan. As to the question of public funding, he is concerned about where the money would come from.

2. Health Care: Kay said that the Governing Board of the Health Benefits Ex-change should be made up of outside members who are experts in their fields and not dominated by legislators.

3. Large-Scale Livestock Facilities: He is not opposed to large scale facilities if done properly like the one in Carlyle, Illinois (Maschhoff Environmental, Inc.)

4. Immigration: Rep. Kay's opinion is that Illinois has no jurisdiction over immi-gration since it is a federal government responsibility.

5. School Funding: We were glad to hear that Rep. Kay is interested in school funding and has obtained some of the money owed to our school district.

6. State Fiscal Policy: He told us that Illinois has the 18th largest economy in the world and he thinks that stronger leadership and better management are need-ed. He said that the government of the State of Illinois needs to be downsized and noted two areas that could be easily cut to save money. He wants to abol-ish various commissions that pay high salaries for very little work and would abolish the Central Management System (CMS) that is in charge of all purchasing contracts. The tax increase has gone mostly toward Medicaid and pensions. Out of a thirty-three billion dollar budget, fifty-one cents of every dollar goes to Med-icaid and seven billion goes to pensions.

7. Climate Change +Green Jobs: In order to encourage the creation of new jobs in the area of renewable energy, Rep. Kay suggested assistance to small businesses by means of TIF districts, enterprise zones or tax credits.

Edwardsville Comprehensive Land Use Plan League of Women Voters Edwardsville Area-Consensus Position

The review of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan resulted in a recommendation to endorse the following points addressed in the document:

Vision--Livability, Community Character, Shared Direction. Livability: Inclusive Community that provides opportunity for citizens of diverse cultural, racial and economic background. Community Character: We protect and preserve valued open spaces and natural and scenic resources throughout the community; The visual character of the City is enhanced by landscaping, protection of woodlands and tree canopy, and careful attention to the design of roadway, scenic corridors, and public places. Shared Direction: In carefully managing growth, we balance the benefits of economic development to citizens with the need to maintain livability and preserved community character. Smart Growth: Requires that residential development preserve our natural features, such as, vegetation, wildlife, waterways, wetlands, topography, and scenic vistas. City rework design standards to allow streets that are narrower, pedestrian-friendly, traffic calming, and that generate less rainfall runoff, yet provide adequate access for emergency vehicles. Living In Place Initiative: Residential uses allow people to live within walking distance of all the services and opportunities in the Downtown District. Provides potential customers, enlivens area, contributes to safer streets Affordable Housing: The City of Edwardsville will conduct an affordable housing study to determine what an "affordable" range is and then adopt policies based on the recommendations of this study. Mixed Use Development: Traditional downtowns and urban, mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods and centers are recognized as important to the economic health of the area. Redevelopment is actively pursued including infill commercial development. Residential Character: City challenged to provide housing in a manner that creates a sense of community rather than contribute to conventional suburban sprawl. Water Supply and Wetland Management: Promotes an ecosystem-based approach to environmental and land use planning at the watershed level including minimizing impervious surfaces (roads, parking lots) in new development. The city regulates the location of development within the flood plain. Use of native plants in the landscape. Bicycle and Pedestrian Friendly Planning: Minimizing surface parking through shared parking, mass transit and parking structures in downtown. Availability of Public Transportation to Commercial and Residential Districts Historic Preservation Element: Zoning and land use policies can increase the availability of existing buildings to meet changing uses and demands. Encourage building owners to reinvest in their properties with fašade renovation. Maintain Local Character: Creation of sub-area plans to ensure existing historic and architectural districts retain their unique characters through urban conservation overlay districts. Parks and Green Space: Greenbelts serve to protect the development of flood-prone lands, preserving trees and open land in such areas. Encourage an inventory of the ecology, biology and geology of the area to better provide guidance for potential developers. Seek qualitative parcels and land donation for parks of interesting character. Greenbelt sections suitable for bicycle and pedestrian trails should be identified. Creating a Development Standards Program: LEED 2009 for Neighborhood Development Rating System exemplified a way to incentivize unique, sustainable development which promotes a sense of "place". LWV supports such a system. Support the Transition: of existing, auto-oriented strip commercial areas to compact and connected mixed uses with pedestrian connections between businesses and neighborhoods.

Consensus Statement Drafted by Rachel Tompkins.

District 7 Board of Education Meeting March 12, 2012

Observed by Meg Oberlag

Most of the meeting was again concerned with the dire financial situation confronting District 7 (and all other districts in Illinois). Not only is the State way behind in payments, but they are now talking about reducing per pupil dollars from $6119 to $5593, cutting out all transportation funding (a blow to our 56 square miles) and asking schools to assume all the pension funding for their employees. It will be interesting to see where these last two ideas go!

Some of the cuts will not be known until after contract negotiations are completed in August, but in order to meet State rules, dismissal notices are being sent to 24 teachers. Some of the reductions affecting 62 positions include eliminating 19 certified staff (10 who are retiring), eliminating extended summer contracts for those who work more than 180 days, cutting 33 non-certified staff, 3 administrators and 7 non-union personnel. There will also be a 4th year freeze of administrators' salaries and budget cuts for the following: $75,000 each for athletics and performing arts, $80,000 for building and grounds, $25,500 for drivers education, $30,000 for service contracts and $22,500 by eliminating the Collinsville Area Vocational program.

Supt. Hightower concluded by praising local legislators (especially Dwight Kay) who are working the get support for schools.

District 7 Board of Education Meeting March 26, 2012

Observed by Meg Oberlag

Dr. Hightower presented two ways in which District 7 can save money while not depriving kids of needed services. The first is to save $200,000 by not sending 20 special needs kids out of district. Instead, services will be provided at Goshen (primary), Cassens (intermediate) and Liberty Middle School by District staff in conjunction with SIUE. This will take effect August of 2012. In addition, we will discontinue the before/after school childcare contract with the Edw. YMCA. The program will continue as it now exists in each school except that on snow days institute days and so forth, all kids will go to Woodland Elementary for a full day. This will save $450,000 to $500,000.

In the summer of 2013-14 the District will offer a weekday childcare program which includes elements of summer school, recreation etc. More information, cost and reservations are available at http://www.ecusd7.org. All of these changes will not only save money, but keep some staff members who might otherwise by laid off. Nominating Committee Report

The Nominating Committee, with the special assistance of Evie Gorski and the Board, announces the following slate of officers and Board members for consideration at the Annual Meeting:

President Mary Pearson (term expires in 2013)

First Vice-President Ellen Nore (term expires in 2013)

Second Vice-President Alison Lamothe (term expires in 2014)

Secretary Carol Reinking (term expires in 2013)

Treasurer To Be Announced

Board Members

JoAnn Nabe (term expires in 2014) Evie Gorski (term expires in 2014) Kathy Jones (term expires in 2014) Meg Oberlag (term expires in 2013) Rachel Tompkins (term expires in 2013) Lorraine Krusa (term expires in 2013)

Submitted by the Nominating Committee

League of Women Voters Edwardsville Area BOX 841 Edwardsville, IL 62025-0841

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide. Membership is open to any U.S. Citizen who is at least 18 years of age. Dues of $60.00 ($85 for two members) include membership in our local, state and national organization. Send your check to Treasurer, LWVEA, P.O. Box 841, Edwardsville, IL 62025-0841

February 2012

February 2012 Bulletin

The Bulletin

Vol. 58, No. 1 February, 2012

Important Dates at a Glance:

February 18, 2012 Roadside Pickup (well needed at this time- a lot of trash observed on the road side).

February 27 Women Studies talk, SIUE.

March 1 Meet & Greet for 13th Congressional District Candidates, at the Glen Carbon Senior/Community Center.

March 8 LWVEA Board Meeting - Land Plan Consensus, Local Program review, and By-Laws review will be held at this meeting; General Membership is invited to attend.

April 3 LWVEA Board Meeting.

May 10 League Annual Meeting. To be held at the LeClaire room at LCCC, with Tom Jackstadt, Mayor of Glen Carbon, as the featured speaker. Save the Date!

Important Dates for the 2012 Primary Election:

February 21, 2012 Last day to register to vote

February 27-March 15, 2012 Early voting

March 20, 2012 ELECTION DAY

Meet and Greet Primary Candidates For the 13th Congressional District

On Thursday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m., the Edwardsville Area League of Women Voters will host a Meet and Greet at the Glen Carbon Senior Center for candidates for the House of Repre-sentatives seat in Illinois' 13th Congressional District. David Gill, a Democrat, will be joined by Republicans Michael Firsching and Frank Metzger, who are challenging incumbent Republican Congressman Tim Johnson in the primary election to be held on March 20. Mr. Phil Bloomer, a member of Repre-sentative Johnson's Staff will stand in for the incumbent. Candidates will make a statement of their reasons for seeking the office,and then, the floor will be open for questions and comments from members of the audience. Coffee and cookies will be available.

Voter Registration at Mt. Joy Baptist Church On January 28th, League members Yvonne Jordan and Lorraine Krusa participated in a voter registration drive at Mt. Joy Baptist Church in Edwardsville. The church will hold several other opportunities for people to register before the fall elections. We will post the dates when they are finalized. Mt. Joy plans to send out letters to the more than 4,000 residents of Madison County who are not yet registered, and we will again participate at the church at the dates to be announced. Thanks to Mt. Joy for this service to our County.

Highlights of the January 2012 Board Meeting

Lorraine Krusa reported that $661.18 was our net profit from the wine and cheese fundraiser. This total was $200.00 more than last year.

The annual meeting will be May 10th in the Leclaire Room at the N.O. Nelson complex.

There will be a trash pick up on Saturday February 18th. Meet at the Watershed Nature Center.

A meet and greet candidates meeting will be held at the Glen Carbon Senior/Community Center at 6:30 p.m. on March 1st. Candidates from the 13th legislative district will attend: David Gill, Mike Firsching, Frank Metzger and Phil Bloomer, who will represent Tim Johnson.

Local program planning and by-laws revision will be discussed at the March 8th board meeting. All members are encouraged to attend the meeting.

Meg Oberlag and Carol Reinking will complete legislative interviews with State Senator Bill Haine and State Representative Dwight Kay.

LWVEA 2011 HIGHLIGHTS

January 22 Fundraiser: Wine and beer tasting at Crushed Grapes in Edwardsville March 18 Meet and Greet for the candidates for offices in Glen Carbon at the Glen Carbon Senior Center March 21 Meet and Greet for the candidates for Aldermanic positions in wards 1, 3, 5 and 7 at the Edwardsville Public Library April 3 Candidate Forum at Worden Elementary School April 30 Public discussion led by Master Gardeners Duwane Nickle and Bill Klopfensteinn focused on starting a community vegetable garden for the Edwardsville area at the University of Illinois Extension, Madison County May 18 Annual Meeting. Dinner catered by Bella Milano and presentation by Mayor Gary Neibur at the N.O. Nelson Complex, Edwardsville May - November Monthly roadside trash pickup along Tower Avenue on 3rd Saturday of the month May - October Goshen Market table on 2nd Saturday of the month. Focus: membership outreach and voter registration. June 16 Fundraiser: Refreshment table at Edwardsville Municipal Band concert in City Park June 25 Fundraiser: Yard sale in Grandview subdivision, Edwardsville September 26 Public forum: Local Efforts to Recycle Waste: How Successful?

at the Edwardsville Public Library
October 20 Education Consensus Meeting concerning the role of federal funding for public schools October 27 Voter education program and mock election for Cub Scout Pack 31 at Eden United Church of Christ in Edwardsville November 21 Presentation by Scott Hanson regarding changes to the Edwardsville Comprehensive Plan in 2010 at the Edwardsville Public Library District 7 Board of Education Meeting December 19, 2011

Observed by Meg Oberlag

Glen Carbon Mayor Jackstadt reviewed the process of getting Sam's Club to locate in Glen Carbon on property recently occupied by Four Flags Motors. The ground is contaminated with creosote and there is mine subsidence. There were many back and forth negotiations until an agreement was reached in early December and it will not be a TIF district. The various taxing districts will receive revenue and Ed Hightower thanked the Mayor and the Village of Glen Carbon for working that out. Sam's will open in mid-2013 after spending nearly 30 million.

Supt. Hightower again pointed out the dire financial situation. The State of Illinois paid us 17 million in 2006-07 and is now only sending 12 million. Funding from local property tax provides 76% of our budget. However, the Board will not ask for a tax increase and approved a levy that will keep our tax rate at $4.05 + the lowest of all schools in our area. In January, the Board will work out a budget that reduces 3 million for the 2012-13 school year.

District 7 Board of Education Meeting January 23, 2012

Observed by Meg Oberlag

Supt. Hightower again gave an overview of the dire situation with State of Illinois funding (see Dec. 19th report). The State owes us $2.3 million for this year and is five months behind in payments. They are talking about cutting all funding for transportation and that would be disastrous for District 7 which covers 185 square miles. Local revenue growth has also gone negative. Hightower said that citizens should write their legislators to ask that they at least keep the $6119 per student foundation level.

Since the Board is committed to not asking citizens for a tax increase, plans are underway to cut $3 million from the 2012-13 budget. All areas will be reduced, but no program will be completely cut out. Nothing specific was mentioned, but the following areas were listed: cut 28 certified teachers, non-replacement of 7 retirees, reduction in administration/support areas, cut 33 aides, and cuts in Collinsville Area Vocational Center, driver's education, athletics and performing arts. After the District bargains with the three unions, a specific list of cuts will be presented at the March 12 meeting. 50 People Attended Wine and Cheese Event

Saturday, January 21st was great night for our local League. This was a team effort by the Board, our members, and community.

The food was outstanding with culinary delights provided by the Board. Jim Coode, the manager at Crushed Grapes, donated a $50 wine and a goodies basket. A raffle was held raising $62. Mr. Coode also gave a short talk comparing wine tasting to our political system of electing candidates. Just like wines, citizens want to find out everything they can about the politicians. Voters give the candidates a taste and sometimes they do not like the taste and they spit it out, and look for a different one.

Alison Lamothe created a poster detailing the League's 2011 meeting, studies, projects, and fundraiser. This information was beneficial to both League and community members.

Another big thank you to JoAnn Nabe, Meg Oberlag, Carol Reinking, and Lorraine Krusa for assisting at the ticket table. Our net profit was $661.18.

Thank you, members for attending this event and inviting family and friends. The evening was a success because so many members participated in various ways. What a fun way to raise money and enjoy our membership!

Submitted by, Evie Gorski, Fundraiser Chair

League of Women Voters Edwardsville Area
BOX 841 Edwardsville, IL 62025-0841

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide. Membership is open to any U.S. Citizen who is at least 18 years of age. Dues of $60.00 ($85 for two members) include membership in our local, state and national organization. Send your check to Treasurer, LWVEA, P.O. Box 841, Edwardsville, IL 62025-0841

October/November 2011

November/December 2010

March 2010

January 2010

August 2009

March 2009

January-February 2009

November 2008

August 2008

May 2008

May Newsletter PDF file

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

October/November 207

September 2007

The Bulletin

Vol. 54 No. 2 September 2007

Minutes of LWVEA Board Meeting 10-2-2007 at 5pm at Ellen Nore's home

Present: Lisa, Ellen, Judy, Kathy, Kim, Mary, Carol Gipe, and Ruth. Absent: Carol, JoAnn, and Jody

Lisa announced consent, by e-mail, to approve minutes of the September 11, 2007 meeting and the September treasurer report. It was determined that minutes will be considered approved if no objections are received by e-mail. Prior to this meeting, Lisa and Jody Keating discussed a possible redefinition of Jody's board position. Board members agreed that Jody would be considered a member-at-large.

Using Education Funds to pay for the website is not yet approved. Both Lisa and Ruth continue to check with their contacts at the LWVIL office. Money is not due until October 20th.

Fundraising was discussed. The Pasta Dinner will be revisited next year. Other, possible fundraising events were discussed. A letter soliciting support from local businesses will be developed. Ruth said that a letter from a former business solicitation might provide a model for this project. This letter is possibly in the archives. The Chamber of Commerce should have a computerized list of local businesses that could be used to generate mailing labels. Members discussed the advantage of having a League member with name recognition send the letter. Other alternative fund raising events suggested include a quilt or needlepoint show and a 5K run/walk, to coincide with upcoming elections. Carol Gipe will confirm election dates.

About 15 people attended the War Made Easy event. Kim reported that the speaker was excellent and the movie thought provoking.

The October 11th Moderator Training, with Paula Lawson and Edith Auchter, will be preceded by a public and media reception. The reception is scheduled from 5 + 6:00pm, immediately followed by the moderator training. The Glen Carbon Library usually closes at 8:00; however, Kim will check to see if the time can be extended for this event. The phone tree will be activated prior to the Moderator Training, as all members are encouraged to attend the reception and invited to attend the training.

The Leadership Conference in Springfield will be attended by Lisa, Carol Gipe, Carol Rienking, and Joanne Nabe. The fifty dollar budget will be split between these members.

Ellen reported that road pickup has been delayed, as the city reports the application file was misplaced. Road pickup is now scheduled for 11/4/07. Participants will meet at 9:00 at the Watershed. 3 members are needed to attend a training session prior to this time, to include Ellen and Kathy. Mary will contact the EHS National Honor Society sponsor, Ms. Larson, to offer service hours for this project.

Several membership letters were mailed this past month. Judy suggested that we send a brief, hand-written note with membership materials, and has volunteered to do this. Lisa will provide Judy with letterhead paper and envelopes. The LWVIL was not chosen for LWVUS membership initiative, but Lisa reported that membership training will be available in December through the state office. Ruth handed out Dues Notices to board members.

Judy was approached by several members about the Annual Meeting. Judy, Meg, and Carol Rienking will explore dining and meeting room options for this event. Judy will report on findings next month.

The Goshen Market is available on October 20th. Lisa will be present for voter registration. Small plants, brochures, pencils, etc. will be given away. Members are invited to volunteer.

Judy reported that the library is not available to serve as the location for a November training session, to help members use the computer to obtain information from the National, State and Local League websites. The training will be rescheduled closer to the elections, when related information will be available on the Edwardsville Area League website. This meeting might be promoted with a postcard announcing the website and time and date of the training.

Kim is interested in following up on the water tasting idea. She will explore possible hosts for this event. She will also explore options for the Christmas party.

Collinsville will host an informational session to explain the Show Us Amendment. If available, a flyer for this event will be posted on the newsletter.

Respectfully submitted, Mary Pearson for Carol Gerdt

DISTRICT 7 BOARD OF EDUCATION Observed by Meg Oberlag

Sept. 24, 2007

Supt. Hightower announced that the district will benefit if the state legislature passes the school construction grants and road improvements (Gov. Parkway and Glen Crossing) that are being considered. Also, the June 7, 2008 graduation will not be held at SIUE due to remodeling of Vadalabene. Parents will vote for either EHS gym or athletic field.

A balanced budget for 2007-08 was approved. There will be 7.8 million in the Working Cash Fund. The following construction bids were approved: 8-room addition to Glen Carbon, EHS South conversion to Alternative School, wheel chair lift at Woodland, EHS track resurfacing, and installation of a 605 foot fence at Woodland for a girls' softball field.

Linda Andre said that a recent study was completed to ensure that no student "falls through the cracks" to failure. Early intervention will look at grades, attendance, regular communication with parents and offer of free academic support services such as after-school tutoring and a writing center (open all day). These will be staffed by regular teachers.

August 27, 2007

Jill Bertels gave a construction update on the following: groundwork for the Worden expansion; steel framework up at the two in-town new elementary schools; new entrance, canopy and teacher parking lot at Glen Carbon; new front canopy at Midway and track at Lincoln Middle School. New driveway at LeClaire is also completed.ugust 27 school board

Supt. Hightower gave the 5th day enrollment figures as follows: 7414 total, 499 in kindergarten (2nd only to last year's 505), 3277 in grades 1-5, 729 at Lincoln Middle School, 898 at Liberty Middle School, and 2500 at EHS. 500 high school students go to the Lewis &Clark campus each day for three classes which helps alleviate overcrowding at EHS which was built for 2400. He said, "We can adequately address growth at the high school for the next 7 to 8 years." Boundaries may have to be changed at the middle schools due to disparity in enrollment.

The auditor contract with Schowalter & Jabori was extended to June 30, 2010. Delta Dental Insurance will be offered to employees, but with no cost to the district.

Edwardsville City Council Sue Webb, observer

10/2/07

Haroian excused.

Accepted the Housing Impact Study and approved proceeding with the TIF plan for North Main St. Final approval will come later.

Approved the IDOT Utility Permit Resolution for the Park Plaza Project.

Commended the Lincoln Middle School girl's softball team for winning fourth place in the state.

9/19/07

All present.

Mayor Niebur read a proclamation recognizing SIUE's 50 years of existence.

Allowed David Ulriede to address the council on the topic of the amended dumpster ordinance. He was against it, labeling it "folly".

Approved a tourism request for $3000 from the Friends of the Edwardsville Children's Museum.

Approved the annual Fire Dept. Open House on Sat. Oct. 6, 2007 from 9AM to 3PM.

Passed an ordinance amending the Dumpster ordinance to require that they be enclosed and have gates. Tippitt voted nay.

Authorized the mayor to sign an intergovernmental agreement with Lewis and Clark Community College regarding use of property att the N.O.Nelson Complex.

9/4/07

All present.

Appointed James Bedell as Director of Police.

Approved payment of membership dues of $1500 to the Tourism Bureau of Southwestern Illinois.

Approved the final plat of the Villas of Eagle Rock (formerly the Villas of ESIC).

8/21/07

All present.

Approved the final change order to Moniger Excavating for $36,887 for the 2006 Brick Street Project.

Extended the mowing contract with Greenside Lawn Care to 2012.

Annexed two properties owned by Logan D.P. Development Co. LLC and one at 7407 Leslie Drive.

Appointed Eric Williams as Interim City Engineer with an annual salary of $67,000 effective 8/22/07.

Approved the EHS Homecoming and Halloween parades.

8/7/07

Janet Haroian served as mayor pro tem in the absence of Mayor Niebur. Alderman Hummel was excused.

Received a letter of resignation from City Engineer Cynthia Watters and one from James McKee, planning and zoning intern.

Suspended the rules and passed on first reading an ordinance authorizing issuance of General Obligation Certificates, Series 2007A for the purchase and renovation of a building at 200 E. Park St. for use by the Public Works Dept.

7/17/07

Stamer excused.

Received letters of resignation from Steve Black and Kimberly Berry, operator and Police/Fire/EMS telecommunicators.

Approved an ordinance making appropriations for the current fiscal year.

Background Information for LWVEA Local Affordable Housing Action

National League Position:

Housing Supply. Support policies to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family.

Exerpt from the National League's Where We Stand: Meeting Basic Human Needs The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that one of the goals of social policy in the United States should be to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families and that the most effective social programs are those designed to prevent or reduce poverty. Persons who are unable to work, whose earnings are inadequate or for whom jobs are not available have the right to an income and/or services sufficient to meet their basic needs for food, shelter and access to health care. The federal government should set minimum, uniform standards and guidelines for social welfare programs and should bear primary responsibility for financing programs designed to help meet the basic needs of individuals and families. State and local governments, as well as the private sector, should have a secondary role in financing food, housing and health care programs. Income assistance programs should be financed primarily by the federal government with state governments assuming secondary responsibility.

Exerpt from the National League's Where We Stand: Criteria for Housing Supply

  • When families or individuals cannot afford decent housing, government should provide assistance in the form of income and/or subsidized housing.
  • Government at all levels should develop policies that will assure sufficient land at reasonable cost on which to develop housing and that will assure fulfillment of other goals such as access to employment, preservation of open space, environmental cleanliness and beauty, and other aspects of a suitable living environment.
  • Lower-income families should not be segregated in large developments or neighborhoods. As their economic status improves, lower-income families should be enabled to continue to live in the same units as private tenants or as homeowners, if they are so inclined.
  • Housing should be designed to meet human needs and should be built with amenities that will encourage economic integration within apartment buildings as well as within neighborhoods.
  • Publicly assisted housing should be included in viable, balanced communities, with provision for quality public services and facilities, including schools, transportation, recreation, etc., that will encourage integration and stability.
  • Zoning practices and procedures that will counteract racial and economic isolation should be promoted.
  • State and local tax structures should be examined and revised to: a. benefit communities that build housing for lower-income families; b. encourage private owners to improve their homes; c. reduce speculative land costs.
  • Citizen groups should participate in the development of publicly assisted housing programs by: a. evaluating performance; b. activating nonprofit sponsorships; c. supporting legislation; d. developing public awareness of housing discrimination and need.

Structural Causes of Homelessness in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) operates several programs to provide limited housing and services to homeless persons, with most services targeted to populations of persons with serious or permanent disabilities.

The HUD model reflects widespread beliefs that attribute homelessness to problems, deficiencies and defects experienced by individual persons. However there are clear, direct structural causes for the rise of homelessness in the last 25+ years.

In fact, homelessness as we know it did not exist as a noteworthy social issue prior to the early 1980's in this country. Major causes of endemic homelessness include:

  • Huge decline in number of low-rent and affordable housing units across the country along with significant increases in rental costs

  • Huge reduction in overall HUD budget for housing subsidy and development

  • Long period of static and declining wage levels, particularly for low wage workers

  • Decline in value and availability of public income assistance and related programs

  • Deinstitutionalization of persons with mental illness without building a comprehensive community system of car

  • Significant reduction in single-room occupancy units, particularly in urban areas

  • Elimination of public housing units

  • Shift in overall Federal housing subsidy to mortgage deductions over low-income subsidies

 For every $1 the Federal government spends on low income housing, it loses $4 to housing-related tax deductions, 75% of which go to households in the top fifth of income distribution

Lack of Institutional Remedies for Homelessness

The homeless assistance system can neither prevent people from becoming homeless nor change the overall availability of housing, income, and services that will truly end homelessness.

  • The homeless assistance system does not control or influence wages or income support

  • The homeless assistance system does not manage, fund, or build affordable housing

  • The homeless assistance system is not equipped to provide long-term or comprehensive support--resources are too scarce and other systems exist to accomplish this.

People who experience homelessness are often the clients of major service systems, such as: the mental health system, the public health system, the welfare system, the veterans system, the criminal justice and the child protective service systems (including foster care).

  • The more effective the homeless assistance system is in caring for people, the less incentive these other systems have to deal with the most troubled people and the more incentive they have to shift the cost of serving them to the homeless assistance system.

Sources:

http://wraphome.org/wh_press_kit/Without_Housing_20061114.pdf

http://www.endhomelessness.org/section/tools/tenyearplan/execsum

Background information compiled by: John Harvey

League of Women Voters Edwardsville Area BOX 841 Edwardsville, IL 62025-0841

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The goal of the League of Women Voters is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide. Membership is open to any U.S. Citizen who is at least 18 years of age. Dues of $45.00 include membership in our local, state and national organization. Send your check to Treasurer, LWVEA, P.O. Box 841, Edwardsville, IL 62025-0841

April 2008