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 Post subject: Hammond School City Referendum-Special Board Meeting 5-30-20
PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:20 pm
Posts: 3039
Location: Hammond
Here are the highlights:

All board members were present, but Mrs. Jones left early.

Many people spoke this evening, most in favor of the new school, but almost all were upset about the lack of communication and no information on what the SCH is really going to do, or what it is going to cost them. The plans presented are flexible,and schools combining or closing is all up in the air.

The school board, with Mrs. Jones absent, voted unanimously to have the referendum in the fall, without any concrete plans or presentations to the public. In plain words, they are in effect holding a blank check on the taxpayers bank account with no concrete plans, asking the public to approve this anyway. I am appalled, even though the school board promised to release proposals and information at a later date.

Yes, Hammond High needs a lot of work. It has been neglected for years, even though money was easily found for frills at other schools. Morton High School had just under the $20 million limit to generate a referendum,for work done mainly for it's athletic facilities and the Arts, the Career Center had millions in work done, while Hammond High had peeling paint, curtains on the windows that were so dry rotted, pieces of them were literally falling off, carpeting that was duct taped together,etc. Hammond Highs pool, which was jointly shared by the Hammond High and Eggers swim teams, has not been operable for 5 years.

I call this deliberate and targeted neglect. So, we are supposed to trust them on this, when they couldn't even give the basic necessities to Hammond High students?

Then there is a question about finances. We still have years to pay on the previous loans taken out to replace several school buildings years ago. If you would like a rough figure as to how much MORE this will add to your tax bill, multiply the number of thousands by 8,and you will have the figure. For example, say your house is assessed at $67,000. Multiply 67X8. The result is $536. That is how much more per year you will have to pay in property taxes that is NOT covered under the property tax caps.

Hammond property owners are already taking a big hit from the civil city and the county with added fees and charges added to their property tax bill. Many of our homeowners are disabled or elderly on fixed incomes. A lot of the other homeowners are below the poverty line, or close to it. They cannot afford another hit. A lot of them cannot even pay their property taxes now. The collection of property taxes in Hammond is reportedly around 89%. This means that slightly more than 1 out of 10 homeowners in Hammond cannot pay even their current property tax bill, let alone have it go up 50% or more in some cases, or even double.

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I am a life-long Hammond Resident. I am a practicing Catholic, and an adherant to the Teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, who truly was the first enviornmentalist. He loved and appreciated all of God's creation, and I try my best to do the same.


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