Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Belvidere could change way school board is elected - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL


By Ben Stanley
Rockford Register Star
Posted Oct. 29, 2014 @ 8:00 am
Updated at 10:23 AM

BELVIDERE — A proposition to change the way Belvidere Board of Education members are elected will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.
As it stands, four of the board’s seven members must live in Belvidere Township and three must come from the four remaining townships in the district. The proposition is to elect all board members at-large, which means it wouldn’t matter where board members live as long as they reside within the school district.
Ten of the 13 school districts in Boone and Winnebago counties elect school board members at-large, according to Boone Winnebago Regional Office of Education Office Manager Tom McCullough. Belvidere, Durand and Rockford school districts are the only three that elect board members differently. Voters in Durand will also be asked this election whether or not all school board members should be elected at-large.
Superintendent Michael Houselog said that one reason the Belvidere School District decided to pursue at-large elections is to make it easier to appoint board members in case of a resignation.
Currently, the district must fill a vacancy with someone who meets the same residency requirement.
“For vacancies, it’s made it very difficult,” Houselog said of the district’s current school board election system. “In the past, we haven’t had people to fill those positions. We had people ready and able but they weren’t from the right township.”
Boone County Board member Bill Pysson said that he suggested the district pursue at-large elections for Belvidere Board of Education members nearly two decades ago, but has since changed his mind and would rather keep the current election system in place.
“I find it very surprising that the board is trying to do this,” Pysson said. “There’s an overrepresentation of board members that reside in the Belvidere North high school subdistrict ... Belvidere High School does not really have a representative on the board.”
According to Pysson, the current township residency restrictions were put in place more than 50 years ago when several subdistricts in School District 100 merged.
“When they merged, some of those townships really wanted to make sure that their voice would be heard, so the requirement that there be some non-Belvidere Township representation was put into the merger requirements,” Pysson said.

Above is from:  Belvidere could change way school board is elected - News - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL


Comment from this article on  District 100 Watchdog:

Blogger Allison Reid-Niemiec said...

The concern over 50 years ago was to make sure non-Belvidere township had a "voice" on the school board. The same concern is just as valid today as it was 50 years ago. In regards to Superintendent Houselog's statements, I offer the following. Since June 2010, there have been 4 board resignations: 1) Ted Stenerson in June 2010 (seat filled by Robert Torbert appointed July 2010); 2) John Powell in Aug. 2012 (seat filled by Larry Cunningham appointed Sept. 2012); 3) Larry Cunningham in June 2013 (seat filled by Ron Ramos appointed July 2013); and 4) Ron Ramos (seat filled by Jason Colson appointed Oct. 2013). The fact that the seats were each filled by the board, within 30 days, directly refutes Superintendent Houselog’s statement, “In the past, we haven’t had people to fill those positions. We had people ready and able but they weren’t from the right township.” Is Superintendent Houselog saying the individuals that filled the vacated seats were not “ready and able?” I am also unsure who Superintendent Houselog is referring to as “we” in his statement. “We” cannot be the school board as he is not a voting board member, nor does he have the authority to appoint members to open seats. As for the Boone/Winnebago Regional Office of Education Office Manager Tom McCullough’s statement that 10 of 13 school districts in Boone/Winnebago elect board members at-large, this is inaccurate. There is a minimum of 4 districts that do not vote at-large. Pecatonica #321 being another district that is divided into townships and elected by township. The remaining 9 of 13 districts vote at-large, but with election differences between each district. Some vote at-large, but do so because they are not divided into townships (e.g., Hononegah #207); some districts are divided into townships, vote-at large, but are restricted by total number of members from any one township (e.g., Winnebago #323); some are not divided into townships, vote at-large, but have a limit on number of members from a congressional district (e.g., North Boone #200); and some districts are divided into townships and vote at-large (e.g., Prairie Hill #133). Outside of Boone/Winnebago County, Marengo #154 and Genoa Kingston #424 both vote at-large, but are also not divided into townships. The rationale for this proposition is both unsupported by facts and is inaccurate. Why are we, as taxpayers and community members, being told untruths? Why is this an acceptable practice? What is the true rationale and what are we not being told?

October 29, 2014 at 10:04 PM


Letter: Vote ‘no’ on District 100 ballot question - Opinion - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL


Posted Oct. 29, 2014 @ 8:00 am

The Nov. 4 District 100 proposition to change school board elections is familiar to few people.
Please note: the proposition — the last question on the ballot — must receive the majority of votes in each township. If passed: all seven board seats will be up for election in April 2015; three members elected in April 2015 will serve two-year terms; all seven board members could live in the same neighborhood; there will be no guaranteed board seats for small townships; and board composition based on statistical representation of District 100 population will no longer be guaranteed.
Presently, two of the seven board seats represent Belvidere High School and its feeder schools. At this time, those are two of three seats guaranteed to townships outside Belvidere Township.
Currently, Belvidere Township (the largest populated township) is guaranteed 57 percent (four board seats) and the smaller townships are guaranteed 43 percent (three shared board seats). The current board is an accurate representation (58 percent to 42 percent) of the District 100 population.
If passed in future elections, candidates from Belvidere Township could potentially dominate and garner more votes than those available in smaller townships.
Vote “no” on Nov. 4 to ensure all township voices are represented and not silenced.
— Allison Reid-Niemiec, Belvidere

Above is from:  Letter: Vote ‘no’ on District 100 ballot question - Opinion - Rockford Register Star - Rockford, IL

District 100 School Referendum

If the proposition passes on Nov. 4th, ALL school board members COULD live within a 1 mile radius of each other. Do you feel communication, consistency, and compliance would be compromised if this was to happen?




Above are from PASS—Parents Advocating Students and Staff.  SEE:

Monday, October 27, 2014

A larger font version of this Rockford Register Star reprint is available by clicking on the following:
The RR Star requires voter to compare two candidates.  To date neither Mrs. Giesecke nor Mr. Larson have completed the survey.  Mrs. Giesecke was selected to be the second candidate only because two candidates are required to retrieve Bill Pysson’s responses.  To see if the two Republican candidates now have submitted their surveys go to:
Boone County Board District 1 Choose 2

Choose two candidates from below to compare.

  • Sherry Giesecke (Rep)
  • Raymond Larson (Rep)
  • Bill Pysson (Dem) retired

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Bill Pysson (Dem) retired

Sherry Giesecke (Rep)

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Social Media
Biographical Information

Age 65

Occupation Former teacher, bank auditor, veterans claims examiner, Viet-Nam era veteran.

Family Married Margaret Osbakken (1981); Daughter, Mary Anne, living and working in Chicago. Son, Michael, working in Seattle, WA.

Campaign Address 9592 Denver Drive
Belvidere, Illinois

Campaign Phone (815) 544-5115



Education/degrees earned BA in Education, MA in Economics, MBA in Finance

Why are you running for Boone County Board?

Bill Pysson I seek re-election to the Boone County Board because there are many improvements still needed for our county government. The accounting function is criticized each year by our external auditors for not having written procedures. Documentation of vehicle usage, citizen’s complaints and animal kennel occupancy are rudimentary if not, non-existent. Government is a series of checks and balances—the county board controls funding to the elected officials however thorough questioning of their budgets and financial actions does not always occur. The county board makes decisions with too few comparisons regarding costs of our county’s functions versus comparable counties. Revenues have not returned to pre-2008 levels; costs are escalating particularly in the policing and public safety areas. More questions need to be asked for county government to improve.

Friends and neighbors, both Democrats and Republicans, have asked me to run again.

Sherry Giesecke Candidate response is not yet available.

Why should voters vote for you?

Bill Pysson I have a track record of questioning, investigating and taking a stand on issues. I have taken actions to improve county government. The following is a partial list of my accomplishments: Required bidding for county owned farmland. Regular updating of changes in the county code are now available on the county’s website. Staff answering Freedom of Information Requests now have completed the state mandated training. Employees supervised by the County Administrator now have annual written reviews. For the first time in seven years a physical inventory of all county property was taken and a perpetual inventory is being devised. Public disclosure of employee salaries and benefits is made by name rather than position. Voluntary and paid positions in county government are being posted on the county website. I needed help from fellow board members to accomplish these improvements and sometimes there were major obstacles from leadership.There is much more to do. VOTE FOR BILL PYSSON

Sherry Giesecke Candidate response is not yet available.

Do you support larger property setback rules that would allow for wind turbine development in Boone County? Why or why not?

Bill Pysson The wording of the question confuses the issue. The current ordinance only sets the "minimum of minimum" setbacks. Under the ordinance each wind turbine will require a special use permit which will take into account the unique geographic conditions of each turbine and its effect on the health and welfare of our citizens. Each turbine will have individual positioning which under most conditions will greatly exceed the ordinance's minimum setbacks. For more than two years anti-wind forces have attempted to change the stated minimums to much larger setbacks which would effectively outlawed wind turbines in Boone County. I voted "NO" to these larger setbacks. Our current ordinance is designed to use the special use process to insure safe positioning of turbines. Such positioning can occur only when an actual application is received. My position is nearly identical to the recommendation of the professional staff of the Boone County Planning and Zoning Department.

GARTMAN: We're Witnessing The End Of The Oil Era - Yahoo Finance


Earlier on Monday, it had been reported that Gartman saw crude oil going to $10 a barrel, but he backed a bit off that claim in his appearance on Monday, saying that maybe next time he ought to be a bit more circumspect when he talks to CNBC's producers.

But the central spirit of Gartman's not quite $10 call was still intact, with Gartman saying simply that the era of oil is over. At one point, Gartman went so far as to compare crude oil to whale oil, which became obsolete following the advent of crude in the early 20th century. 

In discussing the "end of oil," Gartman referenced news from Lockheed Martin earlier this month that the aerospace giant has made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion. And while Business Insider's Jessica Orwig reported that some in the scientific community are skeptical of this breakthrough, Gartman sees the potential in this breakthrough as being something of a death knell for oil.

Gartman also referenced other factors weighing on oil prices, namely a supply glut and a market that is contango.

A market is said to be in contango when the futures contract for a commodity is more than what the expected price will be in the future.

Read the entire story by clicking on the followingGARTMAN: We're Witnessing The End Of The Oil Era - Yahoo Finance