(Round Lake Beach, IL – December 11, 2011)
Lennie Jarratt responds to the attack on the parents, taxpayers, teachers, school board members, and businesses of Zion-Benton High School District 126 by Lake County Federation of Teachers President Mike McGue.
“Someone needed to respond to Mr. McGue. His attack on the citizens of the Zion-Benton area was excessive and uncalled for. He has chosen his personal agenda and political influence over the needs of the families and businesses of Zion, Winthrop Harbor, Beach Park and Wadsworth.”, Jarratt said.
LCFT President Mike McGue’s rather abrasive letter included the following comment:
…please feel free to use this information next time that mouth-foaming, public employee hater you know starts in on one of their rants….
Jarratt’s response follows:
Dear Anti-Taxpayer Democratic Activist Mike McGue,
Teachers deserve a fair wage and the Zion-Benton District 126 offer of 10% over the next three years is a generous offer given the current financial difficulties of Lake County, the State of Illinois and our entire country. This offer is extremely generous with the fact that the district pays the entire 10.3753% into the Teacher Retirement System on top of the salary.
A few facts that may help you understand the true financial problems facing the families and businesses of District 126:
• Property taxes in Lake County are the highest in the Midwest 1
• Property taxes in Lake County are the 16th highest in the country 2
• Illinois unemployment rate has risen from 9.0% to 10% since the Legislature passed the 66% tax increase on individuals and 45% on corporations 3
• 1 in 158 homes in Zion received foreclosure notices in October 5
• 1 in 271 homes in Lake County received foreclosure notices in October 6
Businesses and families are leaving Lake County and the State of Illinois. Yet we have people like you, Mr. McGue, calling people names and making personal attacks. You are even using your position as Lake County Federation of Teachers President and your relationship with the Benton Teacher Union President, your wife Corrine, to bully and intimidate the District 126 community.
I am running for State Senate to promote the change of public policy to help families and businesses instead of the politics of personal destruction that people like you use Families and businesses are losing their jobs and homes. They cannot afford to keep cutting back because school boards are bullied into a contact that rewards the teachers at the top end of the pay scale while harming those at the bottom.
I would like to suggest a solution to help the teachers at the bottom of the pay scale. Have the teachers at the top end of the pay scale like your wife whose compensation was over $92,000 4 last year get smaller raises over the next 3 years. Use the additional monies to share with those younger, struggling teachers making under $40,000 so they can get more than 10% over the next 3 years. This will help those teachers pay their college loans.
Republican Candidate, 31st State Senate District
Pro-Taxpayer, Pro-Family, Pro-Education, Pro-Business Zealot