The Dixon school board has made a public record of their intention that the proposed bond issue will not be used for development of the Brinton Avenue property for any kind of sports or athletic facility.
Originally, I believed the vague language in its resolution would have allowed board members to do so, and I also believed that was their intent.
However, the public outcry on social media caused them to fear for the bond issue going to the ballot and their losing the money they otherwise need for the maintenance and repair of our school buildings, so they took action to clarify the limited purpose.
This is a good thing, and the proper thing for our elected officials to do.
With the issue of the Brinton Avenue property out of the way, I do not think it is a good thing to petition for a ballot referendum on the issuance of the bonds.
We all passed the countywide 1 percent sales tax by a good margin, but that money comes in as periodic payments.
By issuing bonds that are secured on the cash flow from that 1 percent sales tax, the schools can borrow enough money to pay for the repairs and maintenance needed now, while paying off the bonds over an extended period of time with the sales tax revenue as it comes in.
It’s just like a mortgage, only not secured by a lien on real estate. It is secured by the school district’s promise to dedicate the regular payments from sales tax toward retiring the bonds. Your real estate taxes do not go up because of this.
So, I think the Dixon school board and administration have done the right thing in responding to public opinion. I recommend that the petitions currently being circulated not be filed.
Note to readers: James E. Dixon is a former mayor of Dixon, and former Dixon school board member.