Richard Crosby

Demographics

Independent

70

Not available

Other, Ed.D., Loyola of Chicago

Education - Retired

Married, Jackie

Two children and seven grandchildren

On the Record

What experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for office?

As a former Superintendent of Harvard School District 50 I have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with many Boards of Education over a 14 year period. The other 17 years were spent as a Principal of Central, Jefferson and the Harvard Junior High. I believe that the majority of people, who know me, believe that I am a leader, trustworthy, honest, a steward of finance, hard working and that I am visible and approachable. During my 31 years with District 50 I have had direct hands on experience with curriculum; staff development; school finance; Special Education; athletics and co-curricular activities; maintenance and custodial services; transportation; food service; grant writing; referendums and immersed in building additions, renovations and a new school. I believe I understand the role of a School Board Member, having had the opportunity to work with many hardworking, dedicated and energetic Board Members. In addition, I have attended many informative workshops offered by the Illinois School Board Association, which has emphasized the Role of a School Board Member. In summary, I believe I am a good Board of Education candidate, because of my experiences, knowledge of school operations, personality and desire to serve.

What are your top two or three priorities if elected?

My top priority will be to study and support the Strategic Themes and Goals approved by the Board of Education on July 18, 2012. The five Strategic Themes are: Academic Achievement; Communication; Facilities and Learning Environment; Financial Stewardship and Board Development and Effectiveness. Each of these five Strategic Themes has three to five Goals for mapping District Priorities and work for the school year. It will be my responsibility as a Board Member to support and monitor progress on these Strategic Themes and Goals and help determine what the Board can do to assist in the implementation and attainment of these Strategic Goals. Another priority of mine is to be visible and approachable in the Schools and in the Community. The primary role of a School Board Member is Policy Setting and hiring the most qualified staff to administer and work with our children.

Would you support freezing your taxing district’s levy until housing prices rebound? Why or why not?

As a tax payer, I can see how this would be very appealing. But, this would be detrimental to the School District as a revenue source. The District’s costs do not stay the same from year to year. The District has been subject to the Tax Cap since 1995. The Tax Cap limits the amount of new growth which can be taxed the first year to 5% or the CPI, whichever is the lesser of the two. In the past number of years, new growth has been virtually non-existent. The Equalized Assessed Value of the District is one third the Market Value of all properties within the School District. This figure is multiplied by the District’s Tax Rate to determine the Tax Dollars to be received by the District during the next Fiscal Year. Since the District is under the Tax Cap, the School District must access what they can in order to stay close to the Tax Rate already approved by the Voters of the District. As a result of the Tax Cap, over the past seventeen years, the District has not been able to receive millions of dollars, which has been an appreciable Tax Break to their constituents.

What one decision by the school board do you most disagree with and why?

Whenever a governing body makes a decision, controversial or not, the background facts that went into the vote are not always known to the public. I would need all of the facts, which in most cases, are protected by law and not able to be released to the public. The present Board of Education is making decisions, which they trust, are in the best interest of the students and the Community. Therefore, I believe that it is unfair for me to criticize decisions made by the current Board of Education.

What was the biggest accomplishment of the board in the past year?

I would say that moving forward with finalizing plans for the extensive renovations at Harvard High School and outfitting Jefferson School with a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. In 1999 the District had submitted a Grant Proposal for Construction Funds based on a formula that took into account all of the teaching stations in all of the five schools and their respective square footage. This resulted in an over or under Utilization Factor per building. All of the buildings resulted in an over Utilization Factor. The passing of the November 4, 2008 Building Referendum to build a new Elementary Building was key to reducing the over crowdedness at Washington, Jefferson and the Junior High. With savings from the construction of Crosby Elementary, Central was renovated and four classrooms provided for at the High School. The District’s ability to be moved up on the State Capital Development Board’s list for Construction Money for major projects was due to the fact that Crosby Elementary had been completed and the District had actual construction figures for the Capital Development Board to review and determine a Grant award figure of $13.8 million dollars for major capital development projects in the District.

Why should voters elect you to office?

I believe that former students, parents and community members would consider me to be honest, fair, diligent; passionate about student involvement and that I have the interest of the students at heart. I am willing to listen to others’ opinions and consider all facts and opinions before making decisions. My involvement in Community groups, Church and community activities have shown my desire to work for the betterment of the Community. I believe that relationships built on trust are essential for the fervent pursuit of a common purpose. And to that end I will work diligently with the other six Board Members to accomplish our mission of providing the best possible education for our students. In summary, I believe I am a good Board of Education candidate, because of my experiences, knowledge of school operations, personality and desire to serve Harvard School District 50 and the Community of Harvard.