Services have been set for the Champaign schools' chief operations officer Gene Logas, and his obituary appeared in today's paper.
A local visitation is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Friday, June 8, at First Baptist Church of Champaign, 1602 S. Prospect Avenue, Savoy.
A second visitation is scheduled for noon Sunday, June 10, at Irwin Funeral Home, 3960 Maryville Road, Granite City.
Funeral services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, June 10 at Irwin Funeral Home in Granite City.
I've only known Gene since I started covering the schools in October, but I really enjoyed working with him.
At Tuesday's press conference, school board President Sue Grey talked about how Gene tried to be 100 percent accurate in everything he did, and that couldn't be more true.
As a reporter, having a source that values accuracy as much as I do is a dream. Gene was incredibly patient in explaining complicated issues and always accessible when I needed to call him and check facts.
I'd sit in his office and grill him about the details of things like the school facilities sales tax, pensions and working cash bond issues. If he didn't know the answer to one of my questions, he would call companies that work with the school district to find out. He'd put those people on speakerphone and allow me to ask my questions directly. That has never happened to me with any other source.
If I was working on a particularly complicated story near day's end, Gene would remind me that I could always call him at home with questions, even if he happened to have the next day off.
He was understanding when I didn't report information the exact way he would have liked. For example, we typically don't report specific property tax rates, because the school district doesn't set them, the county does. Instead, we report the amount the school district asks for in property taxes, and how much it actually receives.
But Gene would want me to take this opportunity to tell you that Champaign's tax rate is the second-lowest in the area, behind Monticello, and fourth-lowest in the Large Unit District Association.
Gene will leave a huge gap in the Champaign school district and for me, personally, as a source. I'm just grateful to have known him as long as I did - and to have a collection of meticulous spreadsheets that painstakingly explain complicated school financial issues. He and his commitment to accuracy will be missed.