D95 officials to host 2 referendum meetings

? Community members are asked to come to a pair of information sessions on the upcoming tax referendum next week.

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By BOB UPHUES

Residents who live within the Brookfield-LaGrange Park Elementary School District 95 boundaries will have two opportunities next week to speak directly with district officials about the tax referendum that will be on the April 5 ballot.

Superintendent Dr. Douglas Rudig, school board President MariAnn Leibrandt and other school board members will host a community information meeting on Monday, Feb. 7 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the second floor library at Brook-Park School, 30th Street and Raymond Avenue in LaGrange Park.

Then on Wednesday, Feb. 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. at S.E. Gross Middle School, 3524 Maple Ave. in Brookfield, the group will hold a second informational session in the second floor conference room.

Rudig and Leibrandt will give community members a short presentation, after which they and other board members will field questions.

"It's certainly a way to explain why we're going to a referendum at this time," Rudig said. "We'll talk about the forecasting we've been able to do and show how we've been fiscally responsible.

"There will also be information about the referendum process in the public schools," he added, "and we'll discuss the excellent programs we've put together in the last couple of years."

Last month, the District 95 board voted to put the referendum question on the April ballot, asking for a 38-cent increase in the district's tax rate for the education fund. At that time, Leibrandt estimated that for the owner of a home worth $250,000, the tax increase would be approximately $300 to $350 the first year and under $50 the second year.

The last time District 95 asked voters for a tax hike was 14 years ago. At that time, the tax hike was for capital improvements. The district hasn't asked for an education fund tax hike in at least 20 years.

Rudig said that the two information meetings will take the place of the regularly scheduled Community Forum, which the district had slated for Feb. 7.

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