This evening I chose to address the board during the general public comments section because I am speaking to you not as a faculty member of the college, but as a tax-paying resident of district 502.
After spending my entire life in the north east, I moved to DuPage county 10 years ago after accepting a postdoctoral position at Argonne National Lab. When my postdoc position concluded, I found myself amused and slightly surprised that I chose to stay in DuPage county and make it my permanent home.
What is it that I love about this area? DuPage county is rich in nature and beauty. I can walk out my door and find my way through the trail system to one of many forest preserves. There are parks in every neighborhood.
DuPage county has an excellent education system for individuals of every age. My College of DuPage experience started not as a faculty member, but as a continuing education student taking an Italian language class on Tuesday nights.
On March 3rd of last year, I purchased my first home, just around the corner in Wheaton. This past summer, I paid my first ever property tax bill. While everybody around the country, and indeed the world, is being affected by high levels of inflation, I was still proud to do my civic duty and pay my tax bill. It is important to me to have Forest Preserves, parks, good roads and sidewalks, and educated neighbors.
I am disappointed that this board declined to increase the property tax levy. I know I don’t speak for all homeowners, but I would rather pay a few more dollars a year in taxes than require my students to shoulder the burden of a tuition increase. In addition, an increased tax levy doesn’t hold the school hostage to fluctuations in enrollment. The College of DuPage is a treasure that I am happy to continue to support financially. Some things are worth paying for, and this college is more than worth it. I hope you consider this next time you vote on an increase in the tax levy.