Because many people, including St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern, didn't know that East St. Louis School District 189 enacted a massive 30 percent tax increase to pay for the mismanagement and theft of funds, residents in the west end of Fairview Heights, commonly known as French Village, are paying astronomical taxes to District 189 and getting nothing in return.
This school District has deflated property values in the west end for more than 30 years. No one wants to develop here due to the death grip that District 189 has on the 457 parcels it collects money from.
As I understand, Grant School District needs additional funding to stay afloat. Grant did not want the west end residents a few years ago; now they may have changed their tune.
Grant and the leaders of Fairview Heights need to pressure state schools Superintendent Chris Koch to allow Fairview Heights residents to go to school in Grant District 110 and Belleville High School District 201.
I challenge all three candidates in Fairview Heights Ward 1 to champion the cause of this educational injustice. Gil Klein, Dennis Baricevic and James Glueck are running for Ward 1. We west end residents have not heard one peep out of any of them on this issue.
Several hundred votes in the west end are up for grabs. Whoever picks up the torch for the west end residents will be the one to fill the Ward 1 seat.