Hinsdale Middle School & Home Values

As part of our mission, we work hard to provide residents information and promote awareness of local issues while ensuring transparency and accountability of our local governmental entities.

In light of that mission, there are two recent articles we would like bring to your attention.

Hinsdale Middle School – HMS

Below is a copy of an article recently published by the Clarendon Courier. In order to do so, we have asked for and have received permission from the publisher to re-distribute this article to you.

We would like to thank Editor & Publisher Mike Ellis for the grant of authority to redistribute this to our community members who are searching for information on the subject.

Mr. Ellis’ contact information is attached below.

 Courier Article – Invalid HMS Referendum

Home Values Plummet Across DuPage County

Last week, the Hinsdale/CH Patch published an article based on a story from the DuPage Policy Journal.  In summary, home values in Clarendon Hills have decreased 27% from 2007 – 2015. The article contends the culprit to the falling values is increased governmental spending and debt.

Patch Article Link

DuPage Policy Journal Link 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at: citizensforch@comcast.net


Contact information regarding publisher of attached newspaper article:

Mike Ellis


Editor & Publisher

The Clarendon Courier, The Willowbrook Post, The Western Springs Journal

Winner – The James T. Neal Award



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C4CH Winter 2016 Newsletter

Click Here to View C4CH Winter 2016 Newsletter

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C4CH Fall 2015 Newsletter

Click on HERE to View Newsletter

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New Groups Utilize Robocalls

You may have seen, been told, or have received communications from “Saving Clarendon Hills.”  For clarification, “Citizens for Clarendon Hills” (C4CH) is a completely separate group and is not affiliated with “Saving Clarendon Hills”,  ”Friends of Clarendon Hills” or any other Clarendon Hills-based, grassroots entities.  We are pleased other groups appear to be supportive of our small town charm.

Our small and charming village has a rich history of volunteerism and community involvement.  We respect all views. These new groups are exercising their rights and views independently.

Citizens for Clarendon Hills (C4CH) formed as a grassroots effort in 2011 to challenge a Village Board initiative seeking “home rule” powers, an issue that would have removed direct citizen input on certain property tax increases and would have greatly expanded the Village’s scope of taxing and regulatory powers. This was successfully defeated by referendum 86%-14%.

Since that time, C4CH has steadfastly pursued public awareness and actions to keep taxes low, to control the unnecessary growth of local governments, and to improve transparency.  C4CH has sent out newsletters, and has hosted Open Houses about property tax issues, DuPage County efforts to control taxes, and others.

Some members of our C4CH Steering Committee now ably serve in elected capacities: Bruce Carlsen on the Park District Board, Ed Corcoran on the Hinsdale High School Dist. 86 Board, and Eric Stach on the Village Board.  C4CH Steering Committee members also speak and function as individual residents and office-holders independently of C4CH.

If you have questions or need more information about C4CH, check out our website, or contact us directly.

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Downtown Master Plan & More

It has been a busy few weeks around the Village.  This email contains an update on several community plans and important meeting notifications for this week. Please consider attending these meetings.

Monday, April 28th
Clarendon Hills Park District
Community Center – 315 Chicago Ave.
There is a Public Hearing to obtain Open Space Land Acquisition Development Grant (OSLAD) in order apply for a matching grant in the amount of $400,000
to assist in the development of the park improvements to improve and redevelop Hosek Park.
The plan will make Hosek Park more accessible and useable with improvements to the baseball field and inter-park walkways and restroom facilities.

Wednesday, April 30th

Downtown Master Plan Joint Committee Meeting

Prospect School – 100 N. Prospect Ave.


Each of the three volunteer run Downtown Master Plan Committees will present their findings and recommendations to the Village board, the Zoning Board, the Plan Commission and the public for discussion.


Other Recent Items 

CLICK on each item for details

1.  Clarendon Hills 90th Birthday Party

2.  New Hinsdale Middle School

3.  Teacher Negotiations District 86 and District 181

4.  Clarendon Hills Park District Maintenance & Recreational Facility

5.  Village Garden and apiary for honey bee hives

As we continue to provide information and promote awareness of local issues, while ensuring transparency and accountability of our local governmental entities, we look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us. Our email is: CitizensforCH@comcast.net


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Is This Your Vision of Clarendon Hills?

Imagine walking out of Starbuck’s and looking north to see this sight. The DTMP draft (see below) will allow 5-story buildings along the west and east side of Prospect.

Over the past year, the Village of Clarendon Hills has been working on the “Downtown Master Plan” and the vision of the Village.  There have been several community meetings along with many sub-committee meetings.

The vision is now taking shape for Clarendon Hills.  It’s important for residents to see the plan and the “New Clarendon Hills.”  There are two upcoming meetings residents may want to attend to have a voice in “the vision.”


DTMP Economic Development Subcommittee

Panel Discussion

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

7:00pm Village Hall


The comments collected during that evening will be used to refine and complete the proposed revised master plan for the Village.

Illustration Development Workshop

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

7:00pm Village Hall

Legat Architects will be conducting a workshop to develop illustrations of our downtown public spaces based on the current downtown master planning discussions.

Draft DTMP Plan 

The numbers denote the number of stories allowed under the DTMP. For example, 5=5-stories.

Please mark your calendars for the February 5th and11th meetings.

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Zero Tax Increase – Our Position

Now is the time to expect our local governments (Village, Park and Schools) to operate in a lean and efficient manner.

Now is the time to expect our elected officials to exhibit prudent fiscal management and cost control measurers.

And now is the time our elected officials should embrace a culture that promotes fiscal responsibility by adopting annual tax increases ONLY AS A MEASURE OF LAST RESORT.

Consider attending the following upcoming meetings when our Village, Park District and School Districts vote on their annual tax increases.  There is a portion at the beginning of the meeting where anyone can speak to our elected officials. Below are the dates, times, and the tax increase for tax capped funds being considered by each entity.

School District 181 (2.79% increase) Monday, December 9th 7:00pm                       Elm School – 6010 S. Elm Street, Burr Ridge

Clarendon Hills Park District (2.66% increase) Thursday, December 12th 7:00pm Park District – 315 Chicago Avenue

Clarendon Hills Village Board (2.86% increase) Monday, December 16th 7:00pm Village Hall

School District 86 (0% No Increase)  Monday, December 16th  7:00pm           Hinsdale South – 7401 Clarendon Hills Rd, Darien

Citizens for Clarendon Hills strongly recommends a flat property tax levy (0% increase) for the next fiscal year, for all local taxing jurisdictions.

Our recommendation is based upon the following principles and represents an emphasis in a governing culture of fiscal transparency and accountability.

  • Hold the line on staffing costs & eliminate non-essential personnel
  • Challenge & justify operating costs and all cost increases
  • Eliminate excessive & unjustifiable reserve balances

Adherence to a these 3 principles is required for a shift away from the long overdue, ”spend-it-or-lose-it”culture.  A strong governing culture of fiscal transparency and accountability will only occur when demanded by residents and taxpayers through your presence and voices at local board meetings - and at the voting booth.

Sound policies must restrict increases in levies/property taxes only as a tactic of last resort. In order for civil servants to increase the level of accountability and transparency to taxpayers, actual spending must be challenged line by line.  Justification by civil servants to extract additional tax dollars based merely on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases, is irresponsible.

A flat property tax levy (0% increase) is possible without cutting service levels in schools and local governments.  Non-specific scare tactics which threaten the possibility of drastic service cuts have been the traditional means to maintain the ”tax and spend”culture.  Fear should not be used as a tool against the challenge and success of operational efficiencies, cost containment, staffing efficiencies, process improvements and shared services.  We can maintain services and improve quality in government, in the exact same manner as the private sector - via smart work and hard work.

Taxpayers must educate themselves to avoid diversionary tactics used by civil servants to inoculate against negative reactions to their tax increases.  A common example is:  ”The average homeowner should only see a $ ### increase in their annual property tax bill”.  Any unnecessary increase is a bad increase -which compounds year after year.

C4CH invites taxpayers, residents and business owners attend local school, village and park district board meetings to show support for a flat property tax levy (0% increase) and demand transparency and accountability with our tax dollars.

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Zero Levy, Why Not?

Citizens for Clarendon Hills (C4CH) recently invited DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin to speak at its November 13th meeting at Walker School where more than 30 elected officials from 8 local jurisdictions listened and shared ideas.  The event drew over 120 residents and participants from the DuPage County Board, College of DuPage, School District 181, Hinsdale High School District 86, Clarendon Hills Park District, Gower School District, and Villages of Clarendon Hills, Oak Brook, Westmont and Downers Grove.  


High School District 86 Passes ZERO TAX INCREASE

 Click HERE for more details 

C4CH and Chairman Cronin agree that local government should examine ways to control costs and improve efficiencies. During his remarks, Cronin emphasized the need to determine the most optimal and cost effective ways to provide services, while eliminating overlap and duplication. This fiscally responsible approach has saved taxpayers millions of dollars during his term through shared services, holding the line on property taxes and eliminating pension sweeteners associated with employee benefit packages.

C4CH member Andy Schmidt added that a flat property tax (or a zero increase) is possible without cutting service levels.  Flattening the revenue stream to curtail “a tax and spend mentality” has to start with recognition that there is limited tolerance for further increases and without the fear of draconian service cuts.  He noted that Chairman Cronin achieved a zero property tax increase 4 years in a row and that other jurisdictions have done so without impacting service levels.  Schmidt said that “fear should not be a weapon against the challenge and success of efficiency improvements.  We can maintain services and improve quality in Government in the exact same manner as the private sector – via hard work.”

Ed Corcoran, Vice President of High School District 86 and chairman of the finance committee there added this after the seminar, “we should not take one penny more from taxpayers than we need, and the padding or gaming of the levy process can be stopped locally and instantly with good leadership”.

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The Week Ahead – November 18th

Last week’s meeting with DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin was very informative.  Over 120 residents and elected officials from Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Burr Ridge, Darien, Westmont and DuPage County attended the meeting.  We will be sending and posting a summary of the meeting in a few days but wanted to pass along some important information about this coming week.

Three different boards will be discussing or approving their 2013 tax levy increases. All the boards are subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL).PTELL limits the taxing body’s ability to extend an increase in tax revenue by the prior year’s Consumer

Price Index (CPI) or 5%, whichever is less, plus the percentage of new property. The prior year’s CPI is 1.7%

In addition, the Village is hosting an open house for the Downtown Master Plan initiative.  Here are the key dates and locations of meetings this week.

Monday, November 18th 

Village of Clarendon Hills 

Board Meeting 7:00pm Village Hall

* First consideration of the 2013 Tax Levy – The Village Board is proposing a 2.86% increase in taxes this year (2nd consideration and vote at the December 16th Board Meeting)

School District 181

Board Meeting 7:00pm Elm School – Burr Ridge

* Discussion of the 2013 Tax Levy – The School Board is proposing a 2.79% increase in taxes this year (approval at the December 9th School Board Meeting)

High School District 86

Board Meeting 7:00pm Hinsdale Central

* Approval of 2013 Tax Levy – The School Board is considering one of the following increases:

1)  1.7% increase

2)  1% increase

3)  0% increase

4)  1% decrease

Wednesday, November 20th

Village of Clarendon Hills 

Downtown Master Plan Open House Meeting

7:30pm – 9:30pm Village Hall

* Three DTMP Subcommittees will be hosting an Open House in the Village Board board room. During this open house event the subcommittee members will be sharing their work and seeking community input.

If you are unable to attend these meetings, please click HERE for contact information for elected officials.  Feel free to contact them regarding their proposed tax increases or the Downtown Master Plan. 

Also, watch for the summary of our November 13th Tax Meeting with DuPage Country Chairman Dan Cronin.



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“Zero Property Tax Increase – Why Not?”

“Zero Property Tax Increase-Why Not?”

Wednesday, November 13th


Walker School

120 Walker

Clarendon Hills, Illinois

DuPage County is proposing a ZERO property tax increase for 2013, which would be the fourth straight year of freezing the levy.

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin is looking forward to sharing the benefits of freezing property tax levies. He will answer questions and provide insight into steps and procedures to ensure your local district can achieve doing more with less.

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