GC2- What do we value and how do we pay for it??

by Julianne Buck

Executive Director

October 27, 2015


The theme of this year’s Grundy County Growth Conference (GC2) is “What do we value and how do we pay for it?”


The non-profit agencies, organizations, schools, and governments in Grundy County (like everyone else) have seen a decrease in state and federal support over the years and it isn’t expected to return to previous levels. That leaves us looking for ways to do more with less and looking for innovative ways to pay for services.


The purpose of the GC2 is not to tell local decision makers what decisions to make. Instead, we bring topic experts to town to share their expertise, share tips, and inspire local leaders to take actions that best fit their organization.


This year’s event is no exception!


Our opening speaker is Judith Gethner of Illinois Partners. She will present the findings of research that they have conducted around the state about “What do we value?” If we know what we value, we can better prioritize spending to provide those services.


During Judith’s presentation, we will use keypad polling to ask the audience what they value. We will compare it to the statewide findings and then lead a discussion about the organizations in Grundy County who provide those services.


Second, we will have a panel presenting “new” and “alternative” ways for funding some services. The Village of Shorewood was successful in passing a Home Rule referendum a few years ago. Mayor Rick Chapman will explain how they accomplished and the points to take into consideration before taking such a step.


Staff of the Village of Glenview will present how they partner with other taxing bodies around shared services. Locally, we see how Saratoga, District 54, and Morris High School share bus services and we are excited to hear Glenview’s story about how they take the practice deeper.


Our other panelist is Dr. Ben Johnston, board trustee at the Community Foundation of Grundy County, sharing examples of public-private partnerships. We have seen examples in large cities, but are there ways we can use local public and private dollars to create projects that address the values we care about?


We are excited to announce that our wrap-up speaker will be Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax & Budget Accountability. He was appointed to serve on the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission. Mr. Martire teaches a Master’s class on Education Finance and Fiscal Policy for the University of Illinois and Roosevelt University where he is also a distinguished lecturer on public policy. His presentation for us is “Resolving Illinois’ Fiscal Problems.”


The 10th annual Grundy County Growth Conference will be Friday, October 30th, from 8 am to 1 pm at the Morris Country Club. Tickets are $30 in advance ($35 at the door) and include breakfast of locally grown foods including our famous pumpkin pancakes!


“Thank you” to our sponsors: Teska Associates, Aux Sable Liquid Products, the City of Morris, Lyondell-Basell, and the Law Offices of Michael Mattingly.


Please RSVP by Wednesday, October 28th, to 815-941-0852 or [email protected]