After serving nine years on the Rock Valley College Board of Trustees, Ted Biondo will call it quits in April. He's helped crunch numbers for various groups around Winnebago County, but Biondo says staying with RVC just doesn't add up.
To Biondo, leaving is a calculated risk. Things got messy when faculty negotiations almost led to a strike at RVC in early 2012. After that, he felt staff members manipulated state leaders. Currently, a law states that an individual can serve on a county board and another board if the county has 40,000 or less residents. Winnebago County has 300,000. Ted Biondo is on the county board as well as RVC's, but for months he never heard a word about it being a problem until contract negotiations were being discussed in 2012. In a recent Illinois General Assembly session, legislation overwhelmingly passed in the State Senate, removing that 40,000 resident cap. It wasn't brought to a vote in the House. Biondo believes faculty influenced Speaker of the House Michael Madigan to shelf the item. He says it's not worth it to take his case to the Illinois Supreme Court.
"Costs a lot of money for a job that pays nothing."
Biondo has a reputation for not always being the most-liked board member, but he says it's important to do what he feels is right rather than what's popular.
"If I do what you want me to do, when I know it's wrong, then you might as well be sitting here, and then I'll go out and do something else."
He's proud of his years spent with RVC. Among his accomplishments, "All the finances have been fixed, we've spent $80 million doing capital improvements and in the nine years I've been there we've never raised the tax rate a penny, not a penny."
Biondo will stay busy not just looking after our tax dollars, but protecting residents' well-being.
"I'll now have time to focus just on the Winnebago County Board and primarily Rockford Public School district's finance. Also, I want to get involved with public safety and crime because I did that 10 years ago. I want to look into recidivism because the Police Chief just said that most of the crime that's happening is people who are doing it for a second, third time. They're on parole, they're out."
Biondo will stay involved with RVC after he leaves through observation and writing his Rockford Register Star blog.
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